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Become A Projects Controller

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Working As A Projects Controller

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $92,598

    Average Salary

What Does A Projects Controller Do

Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants and auditors assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently. 


Accountants and auditors typically do the following:

  • Examine financial statements to ensure that they are accurate and comply with laws and regulations
  • Compute taxes owed, prepare tax returns, and ensure that taxes are paid properly and on time
  • Inspect account books and accounting systems for efficiency and use of accepted accounting procedures
  • Organize and maintain financial records
  • Assess financial operations and make best-practices recommendations to management
  • Suggest ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits

In addition to examining and preparing financial documentation, accountants and auditors must explain their findings. This includes preparing written reports and meeting face-to-face with organization managers and individual clients.

Many accountants and auditors specialize, depending on the particular organization that they work for. Some work for organizations that specialize in assurance services (improving the quality or context of information for decisionmakers) or risk management (determining the probability of a misstatement on financial documentation). Other organizations specialize in specific industries, such as healthcare.

Some workers with a background in accounting and auditing teach in colleges and universities. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.

The following are examples of types of accountants and auditors:

Public accountants perform a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting tasks. Their clients include corporations, governments, and individuals.

Public accountants work with financial documents that clients are required by law to disclose. These include tax forms and balance sheet statements that corporations must provide potential investors. For example, some public accountants concentrate on tax matters, advising corporations about the tax advantages of certain business decisions or preparing individual income tax returns.

Public accountants, many of whom are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), generally have their own businesses or work for public accounting firms. Publicly traded companies are required to have CPAs sign documents they submit to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including annual and quarterly reports.

Some public accountants specialize in forensic accounting, investigating financial crimes such as securities fraud and embezzlement, bankruptcies and contract disputes, and other complex and possibly criminal financial transactions. Forensic accountants combine their knowledge of accounting and finance with law and investigative techniques to determine if an activity is illegal. Many forensic accountants work closely with law enforcement personnel and lawyers during investigations and often appear as expert witnesses during trials.

Management accountants, also called cost, managerial, industrial, corporate, or private accountants, record and analyze the financial information of the organizations for which they work. The information that management accountants prepare is intended for internal use by business managers, not by the general public.

Management accountants often work on budgeting and performance evaluation. They also may help organizations plan the cost of doing business. Some may work with financial managers on asset management, which involves planning and selecting financial investments such as stocks, bonds, and real estate.

Government accountants maintain and examine the records of government agencies and audit private businesses and individuals whose activities are subject to government regulations or taxation. Accountants employed by federal, state, and local governments ensure that revenues are received and spent in accordance with laws and regulations.

Internal auditors check for mismanagement of an organization’s funds. They identify ways to improve the processes for finding and eliminating waste and fraud. The practice of internal auditing is not regulated, but The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) provides generally accepted standards.

External auditors perform similar duties as internal auditors, but are employed by an outside organization, rather than the one they are auditing. They review clients’ financial statements and inform investors and authorities that the statements have been correctly prepared and reported.

Information technology auditors are internal auditors who review controls for their organization’s computer systems, to ensure that the financial data comes from a reliable source.

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How To Become A Projects Controller

Most accountants and auditors need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Certification within a specific field of accounting improves job prospects. For example, many accountants become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).  


Most accountant and auditor positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Some employers prefer to hire applicants who have a master’s degree, either in accounting or in business administration with a concentration in accounting.

A few universities and colleges offer specialized programs, such as a bachelor’s degree in internal auditing. In some cases, those with associate’s degrees, as well as bookkeepers and accounting clerks who meet the education and experience requirements set by their employers, get junior accounting positions and advance to accountant positions by showing their accounting skills on the job.

Many colleges help students gain practical experience through summer or part-time internships with public accounting or business firms.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Every accountant filing a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is required by law to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Many other accountants choose to become a CPA to enhance their job prospects or to gain clients. Many employers will often pay the costs associated with the CPA exam.

CPAs are licensed by their state’s Board of Accountancy. Becoming a CPA requires passing a national exam and meeting other state requirements. Almost all states require CPA candidates to complete 150 semester hours of college coursework to be certified, which is 30 hours more than the usual 4-year bachelor’s degree. Many schools offer a 5-year combined bachelor’s and master’s degree to meet the 150-hour requirement, but a master’s degree is not required.

A few states allow a number of years of public accounting experience to substitute for a college degree.

All states use the four-part Uniform CPA Examination from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Candidates do not have to pass all four parts at once, but most states require that they pass all four parts within 18 months of passing their first part.

Almost all states require CPAs to take continuing education to keep their license.

Certification provides an advantage in the job market because it shows professional competence in a specialized field of accounting and auditing. Accountants and auditors seek certifications from a variety of professional societies. Some of the most common certifications are listed below:

The Institute of Management Accountants offers the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) to applicants who complete a bachelor’s degree. Applicants must have worked at least 2 years in management accounting, pass a two-part exam, agree to meet continuing education requirements, and comply with standards of professional conduct. The exam covers areas such as financial statement analysis, working-capital policy, capital structure, valuation issues, and risk management. 

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) offers the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) to graduates from accredited colleges and universities who have worked for 2 years as internal auditors and have passed a four-part exam. The IIA also offers the Certified in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA), Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP), Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA), and Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) to those who pass the exams and meet educational and experience requirements.

ISACA offers the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) to candidates who pass an exam and have 5 years of experience auditing information systems. Information systems experience, financial or operational auditing experience, or related college credit hours can be substituted for up to 3 years of experience in information systems auditing, control, or security.

For accountants with a CPA, the AICPA offers the option to receive any or all of the Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV), Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), or Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) certifications. The ABV requires a written exam, completion of at least six business valuation projects, and 75 hours of continuing education. The CITP requires 1,000 hours of business technology experience and 75 hours of continuing education. Candidates for the PFS also must complete a certain amount of work experience and continuing education, and pass a written exam.


Some top executives and financial managers have a background in accounting, internal auditing, or finance.

Beginning public accountants often advance to positions with more responsibility in 1 or 2 years and to senior positions within another few years. Those who excel may become supervisors, managers, or partners; open their own public accounting firm; or transfer to executive positions in management accounting or internal auditing in private firms.

Management accountants often start as cost accountants, junior internal auditors, or trainees for other accounting positions. As they rise through the organization, they may advance to accounting manager, chief cost accountant, budget director, or manager of internal auditing. Some become controllers, treasurers, financial vice presidents, chief financial officers, or corporation presidents.

Public accountants, management accountants, and internal auditors can move from one aspect of accounting and auditing to another. Public accountants often move into management accounting or internal auditing. Management accountants may become internal auditors, and internal auditors may become management accountants. However, it is less common for management accountants or internal auditors to move into public accounting.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Accountants and auditors must be able to identify issues in documentation and suggest solutions. For example, public accountants use analytical skills in their work to minimize tax liability, and internal auditors use these skills to detect fraudulent use of funds.  

Communication skills. Accountants and auditors must be able to listen carefully to facts and concerns from clients, managers, and others. They must also be able to discuss the results of their work in both meetings and written reports.

Detail oriented. Accountants and auditors must pay attention to detail when compiling and examining documentation.

Math skills. Accountants and auditors must be able to analyze, compare, and interpret facts and figures, although complex math skills are not necessary.

Organizational skills. Strong organizational skills are important for accountants and auditors who often work with a range of financial documents for a variety of clients.

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Projects Controller Career Paths

Projects Controller
Operations Manager Bookkeeper Assistant Controller
Assistant Corporate Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Manager Controller
Controller, Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Business Manager Controller
Controller/Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Senior Manager Controller
Controller/Director Of Finance
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Operations Manager Finance Manager
Controller/Finance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Controls Project Manager Controls Manager Controller
Director Of Accounting & Finance
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Project Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Division Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Controller Bookkeeper Assistant Controller
Divisional Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Finance Advisor
Finance Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Director Chief Finance Officer
Interim Controller
15 Yearsyrs
Business Manager Payroll Administrator Accounting Manager
Manager, Accounting Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Project Scheduler Project Control Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Manager-Finance Systems
8 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Manager/Finance Accounting
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Vice President And Manager Controller
Regional Controller
10 Yearsyrs
Project Scheduler Project Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Regional Finance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Controller Accounting Consultant Accounting Manager
Senior Accounting Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Controller Finance Director
Senior Director Of Finance
14 Yearsyrs
Finance Controller Senior Finance Analyst Plant Controller
Unit Controller
8 Yearsyrs
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Projects Controller Demographics










Hispanic or Latino


Black or African American





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Foreign Languages Spoken








































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Projects Controller Education


University of Phoenix


George Washington University


Strayer University


University of Houston


University of Maryland - University College


George Mason University


Texas A&M University


University of Tennessee - Knoxville


Georgia State University


University of Florida


Northeastern University


University of Texas at Dallas


University of Maryland - College Park


Purdue University


University of Kansas


Southern New Hampshire University


Liberty University


University of Illinois at Chicago


Hofstra University


University of Texas at San Antonio

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Project Management


Mechanical Engineering


Electrical Engineering




Construction Management




Computer Science


Political Science


Industrial Engineering


Civil Engineering


Engineering And Industrial Management






Computer Engineering




Computer Information Systems


Human Resources Management

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Part Time

Real Projects Controller Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR. Project Controller Integrated Project Services, Inc. Blue Bell, PA Jan 10, 2016 $160,000
Special Project Controls Occidental Oil and Gas Corporation Houston, TX Nov 14, 2014 $152,300
Project Controls 4 Jacobs Project Management Company Irvine, CA Jun 16, 2015 $150,218
Project Controls 4 Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. Long Beach, CA Jun 06, 2016 $148,892
Project Controller American Liquid Packaging Systems, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Dec 01, 2014 $148,034
Project Controls 6 Jacobs Project Management Company New York, NY Apr 18, 2015 $138,965 -
Project Controls IV Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. Houston, TX Sep 30, 2016 $135,491 -
SR. Project Controller Integrated Project Services, Inc. Blue Bell, PA Jan 10, 2016 $130,000
SR. Project Controller Integrated Project Services, Inc. Somerset, NJ Oct 01, 2013 $120,349
Project Controls V Jacobs Civil Consultants, Inc. New York, NY Aug 03, 2016 $114,650 -
Project Controls V Jacobs Civil Consultants, Inc. New York, NY Mar 08, 2016 $114,650 -
SR. Project Controller Integrated Project Services Lafayette, PA Jul 23, 2012 $108,000
Project Controller Rock Oilfield Group LP Katy, TX Oct 03, 2011 $105,664
Project Controls 3 Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. Houston, TX Aug 10, 2011 $90,949 -
Project Controls 3 Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. Houston, TX Aug 08, 2011 $90,949 -
Information Technology Project Controller Phillips 66 Company Bartlesville, OK Dec 22, 2014 $90,720 -
Project Controller Clifton, Weiss & Associates, Inc. Valley, PA Sep 14, 2016 $90,000
Project Controller Aker Solution Americas, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 16, 2011 $90,000
Project Controls Advisor Atkins North America, Inc. Austin, TX Oct 01, 2015 $90,000 -
Project Controls 3 Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. Arlington, VA Aug 08, 2014 $71,906 -
Project Controls 3 Jacobs Project Management Company Irvine, CA Jun 13, 2014 $70,554 -
Senior Project Controller Deloitte Consulting LLP Philadelphia, PA Sep 11, 2013 $70,400
Project Controls 3 Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. Arlington, VA Oct 01, 2012 $70,100 -
Project Controller Nexius Solutions Inc. Allen, TX Oct 01, 2012 $70,000
Project Controller Heller MacHine Tools L.P. Troy, MI Sep 23, 2013 $68,000
Project Controls II Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. Irvine, CA Jul 13, 2011 $66,165 -
Project Controllers, Planning and Scehduling Aker Solutions Us Inc. Houston, TX Mar 23, 2011 $66,140

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Top Skills for A Projects Controller

  1. Financial Statements
  2. Project Controls
  3. Project Management
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepared month and year-end consolidated financial statements including closings and eliminations and distributed to the UK for board presentation and discussion.
  • Managed efficient working of all operating procedures required for effective project controls.
  • Project Financial Review Process Accomplishments Streamlined process & reporting Skills Used Business Administration & Project Management and Finance
  • Generated project schedules based on critical path methodology to track subcontractors payments versus accomplished tasks while projects progress.
  • Provided administrative and technical direction to project accountants and administrative staff while maintaining project life support and on-site human resources functions.

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Top 10 Best States for Projects Controllers

  1. Alaska
  2. Texas
  3. Connecticut
  4. New Jersey
  5. District of Columbia
  6. New York
  7. Colorado
  8. Massachusetts
  9. North Carolina
  10. Rhode Island
  • (12 jobs)
  • (253 jobs)
  • (61 jobs)
  • (92 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)
  • (204 jobs)
  • (108 jobs)
  • (105 jobs)
  • (93 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)

Top Projects Controller Employers

Jobs From Top Projects Controller Employers

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