A project manager is the person who keeps the company and the client happy. As the “point person” for the company, becoming a project manager means taking charge of the project and keeping the various departments on schedule. As the face of the company for the client, the project manager provides updates and answers questions as the project progresses.
Project managers can be found in many different industries, ranging from engineering and computer technology to construction. Most of them start with a bachelor’s degree in a subject related to their industry, but others go on to earn a master’s degree. Many courses in project management and business can be found online.
Because project managers work in varying fields, there are different routes for entering the profession. Most project managers earn a bachelor’s degree and then work for a few years in the field before going on to earn a master’s degree, which allows access to more prestigious positions.
The Project Management Institute offers a certificate program, which is not required, but is the most widely recognized accreditation in the field.
Project managers enjoy an ever-changing work experience as each project is started anew. Project managers may work with a software company installing new software and training clients, or they may work for a roofing company overseeing the installation of commercial roofing.
Besides a quality education, the strongest requirement for project managers is experience and knowledge of their industry. Work must flow steadily from inception to completion. A successful project manager will also be able to:
Project managers work in a variety of environments. Many spend a great deal of time traveling, while others stay in their corporate offices. For any project manager, the job requires many phone calls, emails and meetings with both corporate managers and clients.
Project manager salaries vary widely based on the location, experience and industry of the manager. According to Salary.com, the average salary for a project manager is $94,267.
With the increase in organizations that use teams and project-based methods to get the job done, there is expected to be an increase in the employment prospects for project managers in the near future.