A project manager is, as the name suggests, responsible for overseeing and implementing an organization's project or projects. Managing teams working on these initiatives is but one of the many responsibilities of the project manager and they are similarly responsible for identifying new clients and partners and new development opportunities. They also ensure that project deliverables are of a certain quality and are created and submitted in a timely and budget-friendly manner.
How To Become a Project Manager
To become a project manager, you usually need a bachelor's degree and zero years of experience. The most common jobs before becoming a project manager are project engineer, internship, and manager. Hiring managers expect a project manager to have soft skills such as analytical skills, business skills, and customer-service skills. Once you have all the required skills and experience, it doesn't take any job training to become a project manager.
The national average salary for project managers is $91,578, but with the right certifications and experience, they can make up to $129,000. Getting a certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP) will help you to earn more as a project manager.
Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 10% and produce 46,200 job opportunities across the U.S.
How to become a Project Manager in 4 steps:
- Step 1: Explore project manager education
- Step 2: Develop project manager skills
- Step 3: Research project manager duties
- Step 4: Prepare your resume
Key Steps To Become a Project Manager
Explore Project Manager Education
If you're interested in becoming a project manager, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 67.7% of project managers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 14.3% of project managers have master's degrees. Even though most project managers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a project manager. When we researched the most common majors for a project manager, we found that they most commonly have business, computer science and electrical engineering.
Project Manager Degrees
Project Manager Major Percentages Business 28.80% Computer Science 6.50% Electrical Engineering 5.50% Mechanical Engineering 4.90% Other Degrees 54.30%
Develop Project Manager Skills
It'll be a good idea to develop project manager skills before applying for a job. Here are some skills commonly requested in project manager job descriptions:
Skills Percentages Project Management 22.54% Project Scope 6.45% Customer Service 5.62% Infrastructure 4.58% Status Reports 3.85%
Research Project Manager Duties
When you decide to become a project manager, It's important to know what duties and responsibilities are required for this position. Some common responsibilities are a part of most project manager jobs. Here is a list of the main duties that define the role:
- Schedule and manage the GCP audit process.
- Define, develop and manage metrics and KPIs systems for new product business group.
- Manage the application process for the FDA medical device, minority and small business certifications.
- Manage multiple projects and resources simultaneously while mentoring, coaching and implementing best practices, SOX and HIPAA compliance standards.
- Lead teams using the Informatica ETL tool for the design and development of multiple financial and risk enterprise data warehouses.
- Administer and manage Salesforce requirements.
Prepare Your Resume
Finally, when you already have checked the skills and responsibilities for this role, you can start creating your resume. Everything that goes into creating a perfect resume can take hours, days, or even weeks. No worries, we created a resume builder to make this process as easy as possible with tips and examples of skills, responsibilities, and a summary.
Choose From 10+ Customizable Project Manager Resume templatesBuild a professional Project Manager resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Project Manager resume.
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Project Manager Jobs
Average Salary for a Project Manager
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Becoming a Project Manager FAQs
What Is The Career Path Of A Project Manager?
The career path of a project manager includes jobs as a junior project manager, assistant project manager, and project manager (or project coordinator).
Project managers are professionals who manage, plan, give instruction, and coordinate specific company projects. They are accountable for ensuring that projects are run efficiently, completed on time, and ultimately successful.
They work within the means of a company's budget and try to match or exceed company objectives. A project manager supervises all teams involved with a project, and schedules meetings accordingly.
The education required to become a project manager is usually at least a bachelor's degree in business management. Some schools also have specialized majors specifically for project management.
While this is the minimum educational requirement, some choose to also get more advanced degrees, such as a master's in business management or project management.
Advanced degrees give you more initial job options for this career path, and also help to advance your career more quickly.
To clarify, proper degrees for project management also depend on what industry you want to practice project management in. Software development project managers, for instance, should obtain degrees in software development, engineering, or computer science to excel in their field, while a prospective construction project manager should seek out degrees related to construction management.
Internships are another strongly recommended component of the project manager career path. These programs can give you professional experience and act as resume-building opportunities to open you up to more entry-level full time positions in the field.
Most project managers start their careers in non-managerial positions and work their way up the ladder to becoming a project manager. Some can start off assisting project leads or managers, and slowly gain more responsibilities until they are given a small project to manage on their own. This also depends on the industry, specific company, and its practices.
Professional certifications are also essential to advancing along the career path as a project manager, these might also vary depending on the industry, but here we will look at several helpful certifications to obtain to be a project manager in a business capacity.
Here are some certifications to consider:
PMI Project Management Ready. This certification is designed for students and is a great initial certification to obtain in the field of project management. This unique credential introduces students to basic project management concepts, practices, and strategies. It enhances your skills concerning project management and exposes you to foundational knowledge in the field.
Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). This certifies you have foundational knowledge in the area of project management. This is good for those just starting off on the project manager career path. It also helps to grow your knowledge and expertise in this field. You do not need professional experience to attempt to gain this certification.
Project Management Professional (PMP). This certification is provided by the Project Management Institute and proves you have the knowledge, skills, and expertise needed to be successful in project management. This is the most popular and recognized certification for a project manager. You need to have some experience in the field to attempt to gain this certification. It is the perfect certification to help you advance along the project management career path. Thirty-five training hours and 36 months of project management experience are required; 60 months of experience if you do not have a bachelor's degree.
PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP). This certifies your competency with Agile-style project management, which emphasizes short sprints and adaptation qualities. This is good for those with some Agile experience and those who intend to keep using Agile within their teams or companies. You need at least 21 hours of Agile training to apply, and one full year of general project management experience.
Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA). This certification is helpful for those in project management who want to display a good understanding of how to manage business objectives. If you want to specialize your project management career path in business analysis, this is a great certification to obtain. You must have at least 60 hours of business experience and 35 contact hours of coursework in business analysis.
Program Management Professional (PgMP). This certification is designed for project management professionals that are advanced in their career path and have the ability and authority to oversee multiple projects for the success of a specific program. Being a PgMP holder exhibits expertise in the ability to coordinate responsibilities across different organizations, specific locations, and cultures. To gain this certification you must pass a panel review and take a certification test. This is good for project managers who have years of experience under their belts, and have participated in managing complex projects.
PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP). This certification is for project management professionals who have verifiable and advanced skills in risk management associated with projects. This proves you are ready to evaluate and reduce risks for large or complicated projects. You need to have several years of experience in project management, specifically risk management, to apply for this certification.
PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP). This certification is for professionals who want to specialize in the scheduling aspects of project management. Obtaining one exhibits your ability to create optimal schedules for teams and projects. This includes schedules on a virtual or global scale, and also ones that are inherently complex. You should have some experience in scheduling project management before applying for this certification.
There are several different positions you will encounter on this career path. Here is a list of roles for project management from entry-level rank to higher ranking positions:
Junior project manager. The entry-level position of project management. Tasks may include a wide variety of things and can apply to anything that is needed to keep a project moving forward smoothly.
Associate project manager. Works amongst the team of a specific project and backs up tasks, orders, and initiatives given by higher level project managers
Assistant project manager. This title can vary depending on the company and specific project. Though often they act as a personal assistant to the project manager and project coordinator, making sure all directions from them are clearly communicated to the team or teams. They also may be in charge of making sure projects are aligning with time goals.
Project coordinator. Works directly under the project manager and assists them with large-scale tasks. They are also in charge of organizing a team or teams for a project and developing efficient and cost-effective strategies to complete the project.
Project management is a great career path to be on, considering that the demand for these roles is high. The Project Management Institute (PMI) has stated that the global economy is going to need 25 million new project management professionals by 2030 to keep up with industry demands.
Careers in project management require skills related to analytics, organization, leadership, communication, and problem-solving.
What Should I Study To Become A Project Manager?
To be a project manager, you should study business administration or management. This would give you a strong foundation in the basics of running and organizing a business.
Another option would be to specialize in engineering or construction management. This would give you specific skills and knowledge related to implementing and overseeing construction projects.
Why Do You Want To Be A Project Manager?
You answer, "Why do you want to be a project manager, by focusing on your desire to be an essential team member. Project management is an excellent career path for individuals with strong communication, organization, and leadership skills.