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Project Manager Career Path – A complete Guide

project manager career path

Are you wondering about becoming a project manager, or have you already begun and are unsure what to do next? For those who enjoy working with people and have strong organizational skills, this Project Manager Career Path can be rewarding.

Project management roles at all levels are in high demand across a wide range of businesses. Professionals are pursuing profitable and satisfying careers as a result of this long-term trend. In this detailed guide, we’ll take you through everything from the essential project management skills to the Project Manager’s career path and where to begin.

Why Choose a Project Manager Career Path?

According to research from the Product Management Institute, the “need for project managers will grow faster than demand for workers in other occupations over the next 10 years.” Each year, approximately 214,000 new project management-related jobs will be created in the United States. 

Project managers organize, plan, supervise, regulate, and execute projects, which includes everything from gathering groups of experienced workers to creating the project’s structure and timeline. With 10 or more years of experience, established project managers can advance up the corporate ladder to senior management positions by following a project manager career path.

Project management is vital to the Growth & development of any organization; it is at the heart of practically all everyday operations. A project manager is in charge of forming teams of experienced workers, creating and implementing team strategies, and ensuring that all projects are completed on time. 

All of this is done in order to meet the company’s objectives. The specific responsibilities and obligations of each project manager are mostly determined by the organization for which the manager works and the industry in which the company operates.

Skills To Become a Project Manager

When it comes to developing project manager skills, you’ll need a mix of hard skills like risk and performance management to ensure the project runs well, as well as soft skills like communication and motivation, as team members and stakeholders will turn to you for direction.

  • Technical skills: Technical skills include knowing how to manage a project’s schedule, budget, and scope. Project manager skills require knowledge to plan, execute, and monitor projects effectively using the correct tools at the right time.
  • Business Skills: Project managers rely on business expertise to comprehend how project deliverables and objectives provide value and advantages to the organization, customers, and employees.
  • Managerial Skills: Manage risk and be skilled in estimating, budgeting, and forecasting to assure that the project stays on track, is completed on time and has no project overruns are the best project management skills everyone should possess.  Know your industry through and out, as well as project management tools, strategies, and processes.
  • Leadership Skills: Project managers have the responsibility of the team. Client and management expectations are managed by project managers, and they communicate with stakeholders at all levels of an organization, both internal and external. As a result, they require excellent leadership abilities such as communication, problem-solving, decision-making, negotiation, interpersonal, team-building, and emotional intelligence.

Project Management Qualifications 

Many candidates are interested in following their passion by pursuing a career as a project manager, and an undergraduate degree in management is usually a good place to start. However, to become a project manager, one requires a certain level of project management qualifications ready.  This degree gives a foundation in important areas relevant to the profession, such as overall management and human resources abilities. There are a few basic project management qualifications skillsets that every candidate should possess- 

  • Experience –  Speaking of experience, it is one of the most relevant project management qualifications that a person should have to understand the working of an organization. For this, the best practice is to volunteer. Volunteering gives you exposure to new projects and leadership management. You should always raise your hand if there is any responsibility given by your seniors because this will help you in a later stage. 
  • Project Management Certification-  One of the essential parts of project management qualifications is certification in that field. Certification makes you stand out among the other crowd and gives you credibility. A few of the renowned project management certifications are, PMP, Agile/Scrum, CAPM, PMI-ACP, and many more on the list. 
  • Training- There are two ways in which training can be done as part of the project management qualifications. One of them is the formal training method and another is the informal training method. Formal training includes a structured format for getting a degree from the institution and pursuing a number of certification courses. The certain organization has their in-house training courses to convert you into a project manager by giving you guidance and mentorship for a certain period of time.

Whether you work in banking, construction, information technology, healthcare, manufacturing, or business services, you will find that project management talent is in high demand across all industries. With the increasing complexity of corporate operations and the shifting needs of the market, clients are seeking faster, better, and more affordable solutions that match their ever-increasing expectations of performance and reliability. 

Project managers are equipped with the necessary abilities to see this through to completion some of the criteria for this position vary depending on the company to which the applicant applies and the industry in which the organization works. Certain companies are more likely to require a master’s degree in project management before hiring someone.

Project Management Job Titles

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), in order to keep up with demand, the global economy will require 25 million new project experts by 2030. Burning Glass Technologies conducted a study and discovered that from 2019 to 2022, there were over 280,000 job advertisements for entry-level project management positions on the internet. Take this project manager title hierarchy into consideration as you work your way up to the job you desire. The following positions are frequently seen in the project management profession:

  • Project Coordinator: This is an entry-level administrative position that is responsible for the generation and distribution of project reports. The project coordinator is a member of the management team who provides assistance.
  • Project Scheduler: The project schedulers are responsible for scheduling project deadlines, work, and managing project requirements. They assist project managers to plan, coordinate and monitor the timelines and identify potential clients for the pitch deck.
  • Assistant project manager: In the case of extremely big projects, an assistant project manager may be required to cooperate with the project manager and take on tasks that the project manager is unable to complete. The assistant project manager may be required to attend meetings and work on certain minor pieces of the project when time permits. The assistant meets with the project manager on a regular basis to report on progress and to discuss any potential barriers that may arise.
  • Project Manager: Budgets, plans, timelines, and product demos are all managed by a project manager who is in charge of the entire project from start to finish. When working alone or with an assistant, the project manager can delegate specific tasks or collaborate on the project with the rest of the management team. This individual is in charge of seeing the project through to completion.
  • Senior Project Manager: This job might be in charge of several projects at the same time and determines which ones should be prioritized first. A senior project manager is likely to be part of a broader management team that comprises project managers and assistants as well as other professionals.
  • Director of Project Management The major role of a director of project management is to guide, instruct and develop project management operations, and structure the workflow. They provide overall project governance by establishing standards, protocols, and tools for effective project delivery. A director typically requires 5-6 years of experience in the project management field with additional skillsets. 
  •  VP Of Operations, COO- The VP of operations is responsible to operate, manage, plan, and coordinating the overall operations activity of the project handling. They are responsible for ensuring the smooth working of operations by implementing rules and regulations. Apart from this, a VP of operations handles others and collaborates with companies to ensure the best operational services in project delivery.

 

Learn About New PMBOK 7th Edition Project Management Principles that will aid you in developing your vision, planning, and approach.

Top Industries for Project Managers

There are various industries out there in the market that requires experienced project managers. Project management is not limited to certain industries but is spread across a variety of industries. Here is a list of top industries that require project managers – 

  • Construction 
  • Architectural 
  • Health Insurance 
  • Manufacturing
  • Engineering 
  • Software/IT

Is Project Manager Career Path Beneficial?

Project management, like many other careers, necessitates the development of a wide range of abilities in order to be successful. In addition to strong organizational abilities, project managers should be capable problem solvers with above-average arithmetic abilities, as well as excellent communicators. A career in project management may be a suitable fit for those who appreciate taking on a variety of duties.

According to Indeed, the typical income for a mid-level project management position is approximately $80,000 per year, with a range of $22,000 to $174,000 per year for the most experienced professionals based on input from more than 23,000 people currently and previously employees with project manager titles.

The following are some more reasons to pursue a degree in project management.

  • Project managers are in high demand, and the market is saturated. Up to 2027, according to the Project Management Institute (PMI®), there will be 22 million additional project management job positions.
  • Professional project managers are required in a wide range of sectors. Despite the fact that project-oriented work is relatively widespread in the information technology industry, it is also common in the business service, oil and gas, banking and insurance, manufacturing, construction, and utility industries—and this is true all over the world.
  • Salaries for project managers are competitive in today’s marketplace. According to Glassdoor, the national average compensation for a project manager at the entry-level is $59,680 per year.
  • Prospective project managers benefit from studying since it allows them to obtain the many abilities necessary to complete the plethora of duties required to complete work successfully.
  • There are numerous prospects for advancement available. Highly experienced, skilled, and credentialed project managers should expect to earn at least twice as much as an entry-level project manager—if not more.
  • Project managers have the ability to make a significant difference. They have a direct impact on not only employee morale but also the bottom line of the organization. In addition to the amazing pay, that’s a very good bonus to receive as well.

Conclusion

Project managers are constantly in demand, no matter what business you work in, qualified individuals are always required to plan and provision the necessary resources for the job. Of course, this is only a high-level overview of project management, which may be a challenging but ultimately rewarding profession.

Project managers must keep up to date on processes and structures, new markets, technology, products and services, and clients. It should be on a regular basis. Techcanvass offers a variety of project management training courses like PMP certification, Agile/Scrum certification, PMI-ACP, CAPM, etc,  and learning paths to enable prospective project managers to gain not just the education they need to pass certification examinations, but also real-world project management experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the next level after being a project manager?

A project manager’s professional progression should include taking on longer, larger, and more challenging projects as part of their overall development as a project manager. A senior project manager is a title that may or may not be assigned to these positions. Once you have achieved the position of senior project manager, you have a number of choices for continued professional advancement.

How can you get the role of a project manager if you don’t have a degree?

Certified project management can aid make the move from being a part-time project manager to being a full-time project manager for those with extensive informal project management expertise. For those with little to no project management experience, the schooling requirements for certification might provide a jumpstart on learning the information and skills necessary to land a project manager position.

What are the alternative career paths for project managers?

Project managers have a wide range of talents that can be transferred to other management jobs in a variety of industries.

What to do if you don’t want to be a project manager anymore?

Project management is a pleasant career path that can lead to lucrative work in a variety of industries, especially for people who are organized, driven, and have a strong sense of leadership. More than just knowing how to handle abstract tasks and projects is required for a project management career; you also need leadership qualities to successfully unite a team behind common goals.

Can a product owner be a project manager?

A Product Owner can be classified as a Project Manager who is in charge of delegating the project team to a Scrum Master while also being responsible for the project’s and project environment’s success.

What can be a career path for a project manager?

Project managers are in charge of a project from start to finish, overseeing everything from planning to execution. Stepping up from Project Coordinator to Project Manager will almost certainly result in a raise in pay, but it will also bring with it a great deal more responsibility, as the performance (or failure) of a project is primarily in your hands.

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