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Project Manager Job Description and Details
Salary, Skills, Certifications, Duties and more…
Did you know that a project manager has many similarities to an orchestra chef?
As the saying goes; A car goes into a tunnel. Operations keep the wheels turning, strategy provides the headlight, but project management is the engine that moves the car to the end of the tunnel.
One of the crucial roles in every company, the project manager’s main responsibility is ensuring every project gets completed on time and within the allocated budget: They plan and assign resources, analyze the budget, keep close track of the progress, and maybe the most important of them all, they keep the stakeholders informed periodically.
One of the attractive aspects of being in this role is the variety of tasks/projects you can manage is very diverse. Some project managers deal with small technical projects whereas some manage global, multi-team initiatives that involve many functions of the organization.
Depending on the role, most experienced managers come from business administration or engineering backgrounds and/or have MBAs.
Let’s dive in to see what are the skill requirements, what necessary education is needed for this highly sought-after role, as well as salary information!
WHAT IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT? & WHO IS A PROJECT MANAGER?
In simplest terms, project management is the process of leading a team to complete all the tasks in a project within pre-determined constraints (time, budget, headcount).
Project management is a fast-growing function in all major companies for a reason, as the companies get bigger and bigger, and the processes get even more complex, leaders with project management experience are required more and more.
Therefore, a PM is a successful leader with good team/task management and exceptional communication skills.
Depending on the type of organization and scale of the project, the skills required for project managers will be as follows:
- Coordinate internal teams / external agencies that work around a common goal.
- Make sure that a project is delivered on time and within budget.
- Create progress reports in order to keep the management in the loop (As a note, communication skills is one of the most underrated skills of a project manager. A good project manager without communication skills will have a hard time making the team’s success visible to upper management).
- Plan and organize resources necessary to complete the project.
- Create necessary documentation including RFPs (Request for Proposals), project scope documents, scheduling, and cost analysis reports.
- Measure and report performance.
- Identify and plan to mitigate potential risks.
- Be quick to act on crisis scenarios and change/amend the project plan accordingly.
- Arrange regular meetings with the internal/external stakeholders.
So when you think about required skills, think of these keywords: budgets, leadership, coaching, staffing, hiring, process improvement, inventory management, time management, communication, reporting, performance monitoring and management, negotiation, problem-solving, and technical prowess.
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WHAT SKILLS & QUALIFICATIONS ARE NECESSARY?
Apart from relevant educational background, (BS in Engineering, Business Administration, or similar), the skills need in general are:
- Excellent communication skills, written and verbal
- Excellent leadership skills and team management experience.
- Expert in using productivity tools like MS Office, Trello, Asana, Atlassian, Monday etc.
- Experience in project management tools
- Multi-tasking skills
- Adaptability to strict deadlines
- Spreadsheet proficiency
What about the Certification and/or Training that is Required for Project Managers?
For project managers, the most widely known and accepted certification is the Project Management Institute’s PMP Certification. PMP is an internationally recognized certification and as of 2022, there are more than 1M PMP certified professionals working across various sectors.
If you want to research what certifications are available for project managers, we suggest you to check out the project management certifications list found on Wikipedia.
On the other hand, there are numerous other institutions that offer online certifications or courses for project managers. The most famous ones are:
PROJECT MANAGER SALARY
According to Glassdoor, the US national average salary of project managers is 89K USD as of 2022, whereas The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports it as 77K USD.
- Average entry-level project manager salary: 50K – 75K USD
- The average salary of an experienced project manager salary: 75K – 150 K USD
- Chief Operations Officer salary: 150K – 600K USD.
So similar to other professions, experience is highly crucial here as well and an experienced project manager’s average salary will be significantly higher compared to junior project managers who are just beginning their careers. Project Management Institute predicts that there will be more than 2 million vacancies to fill for project managers each year in the next 5 years, so it is never late to start your career as a project manager!
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR YOUR PROJECT MANAGER JOB INTERVIEW
For a successful interview, first of all, examine the project manager job description written in the job post, as it provides the necessary information that the company is mainly looking for. The recruiters simply give the job description, role, or position summary and try to find which applicant best fits the project manager role job, but there can be many hints in the job post to give an indication of whom they are looking for. Analyzing thoroughly what is required in the role will take you closer to getting a job offer.
During your interviews, underlining your strengths as relevant to the skills and qualifications mentioned in the job description is important. Discussing your past experience and what you learned about project management (a kind of self-assessment) is always important for recruiters. Showing off your communication and management skills is a good idea.
Also, knowing the company well and highlighting your enthusiasm for the role is also important. As a general rule, being on time, being kind and polite, and bringing your CV, cover letter, and references to indicate organizational skills are critical in a project manager job interview as in other types of job interviews.
If we wrap up, you can find the definitions and guidelines (skills, requirements, education, training and certification etc.) for a Project Manager above. We hope it helps to give you an overview and shows which path suits you more.