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Project Manager

Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree.
Average Salary: $90,000
Job Outlook: Very good

Job Description

A Project manager is responsible for making sure the project achieves its objectives. This involves creating attainable objectives and identifying the requirements of the project. Quite often a Project manager will be representing a client and has to be aware of the exact needs of that client, which involves having a thorough knowledge of the firm involved. The project needs to be managed in terms of time, cost and quality, and this involves extensive planning to show each separate aspect of the job in conjunction with another. A manager has to be aware of which projects can be delayed and which must be completed early on. They have to allocate a certain amount of time to each job and must provide an extensive estimate of the cost.

Once the objectives are known then a Project manager must contract out various aspects of the job to other firms or individuals, and must oversee the project to make sure that everyone knows exactly what they have to do, is capable of doing it, and achieves the objective to the required standard. In effect the project manager has to build their own team.

Project managers can work in different fields, and one of the most common is in construction. These types of projects are frequently large and require particular skills and training. Architectural project managers work in the field of architecture and are closely allied to the construction industry, and will often work in conjunction with a construction project manager. Software project managers generally have a background in software development and will hold a degree in computer science or a related field.

Necessary skills for project managers include being excellent communicators, having good leadership qualities and being able to assign work and monitor employees. Project managers frequently need to explain technical aspects to non-technical people in a way that is easy to understand. Being a project manager requires a high level of skill and a willingness to be fully responsible for a project.

Education and Training Requirements

The majority of project managers will have at least a bachelor’s degree in their chosen field. Most will also have obtained professional certifications which are available through a the variety of organizations. Project managers can also develop their skills through the completion of a Ph.D. or an MBA.
Construction managers may not necessarily need a bachelors degree although it is becoming more common, although many have associates degree and practical construction experience is extremely important.

Getting the Job

Project managers need to have worked in their chosen field for several years before being qualified to apply for these jobs. It is a job that requires experience as well as qualifications before this type of promotion can occur.

Those working in construction are likely to have practical experience of working on a building site, while those working in IT are likely to have good technical knowledge gained from working in a computer related occupation.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Job prospects are very good for project managers, and depending on the field in which they work they can be salaries or self-employed, and this is often the case for those working in construction and IT.

Working Conditions and Environment

Working conditions and environment are largely dependent on the type of project management job. Obviously anyone working in construction or architecture is likely to spend at least part of their time outdoors, while someone working in information technology will spend all their time indoors in a comfortable office environment.

Hours for this type of job are likely to be very regular, and will almost certainly not require any weekend work.

Salary and Benefits

The salary and benefits enjoyed by a Project manager are also dependent on their chosen field and qualifications. Project managers who are certified are likely to earn more. Those working for software companies or who are architects may be more highly paid than those working in construction. It is quite common for project managers to receive additional benefits such as expense accounts, stock option plans, and also bonuses.

Where to Go for More Information

American Management Association
(877) 566 9441

Project Management Institute
14 Campus Blvd.
Newtown Square, PA 19073-3299 USA
(610) 356-4600

Stanford Center for Professional Development
496 Lomita Mall, Durand Bldg.
Stanford, CA 94305
(866) 802-1152

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesBusiness