A project director plans and manages specific projects for a business, organization, or agency.
Project directors are the detail people who handle every aspect of a project, making sure goals and objectives are reached on time. They organize start and completion dates, tasks, time, people, and budgets.
Project directors are also in charge of making sure different departments working on the same project are in sync and meshing well together. Accordingly, being a project director requires excellent organizational and communications skills.
Because this is a managerial position, aspiring project directors are well-served with both higher education and some work experience.
Although there is no specific educational path to becoming a project director, an associate or bachelor’s degree in management or business administration will provide a solid background in areas such as human resources and management.
Some employers may also prefer a candidate with a master’s degree, but in any event, some experience in leadership roles is helpful. An unpaid internship is a good way to get experience working on projects as a member of a team, getting a feel for different styles and methods of management as well as possible solutions to common problems that may arise.
Certification as a project management professional is also an option, and there are also several associations related to this field that may provide more guidance.
Salaries of project directors vary greatly by education, experience, type of company, and geographic location. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2008 the median yearly wages of administrative services managers were $73,520; the lowest 10% made less than $37,340 while the highest 10% pulled in more than $129,770.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the number of administrative services manager jobs is expected to grow “about as fast as the average for all occupations.”
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics