A project manager is a professional team leader and oversees a project from start to finish. Overcoming hurdles, managing the budget and maintaining control over time-constraints and deliverable all fall under the jurisdiction of a project manager.

Moreover, a project manager may have control over selecting and administrating a team of individuals, who will each be assigned particular tasks with specific responsibilities to help the project achieve success.

To this end, the project manager must model effective communication with each individual as well as with the group as a whole. If this sound familiar to you, whether you have been in the military or not, then a project manager career may be for you.


Job Responsibilities and Building a Project Manager Resume

According to one blog, there are a few things you should consider before diving into a project manager career head first. First off, ask yourself if you are always the leader of your group or project at home, at work, or with friends? Are you always the one who writes everything down, has a laser sharp memory and keeps people on task? Do you get bored easily if you are not multi-tasking?

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If so, then consider that project management is one of the most dynamic and complex fields around. Projects range from marketing and website building to construction and interior and exterior design and everything in between.

There is never a dull job, and you may be designing a newsletter campaign one day and setting up an office space the next.

As a PM you’ll most likely be responsible for leading the entire project through brainstorming, planning and list building, execution, time and product management, and completion and deliverables.

Thanks to our friends at Paymo, here are some possible responsibilities that fall to the PM:

  • You might have to create and initiate a project plan, with items such as inventory, time, budget, and personnel needs.
  • You may be required to collaborate with team members and delegate tasks.
  • You might identify, manage, and track project issues and solutions.
  • You could have to lead professional development meetings and provide information to all involved in deadlines and deliverables.
  • It is possible you may have to manipulate the project's timeline in order to ensure the integrity of the deliverable.
  • You could be asked to report metrics and provide status updates to superiors or groups.
  • You will be asked to wear multiple hats and multi-task many requirements at once.

Necessary Skills for a Project Management Career

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If you are with us so far and are still chomping at the bit for more, than consider what this project management career guide said about project management and characteristics employers want to see on project manager resumes:

  • A project manager will have great organizational skills, and you will need to transform chaos into order, making deliverable fit into timelines, meeting deadline, and prioritizing projects.
  • PMs will need a broad range of technical knowledge know how and the connects in the industry that will help you to get things done.
  • A PM will need to be a leader and exhibit effective communication as well as a demonstrated ability to motivate people.
  • By and far, the best project managers are great listeners and have an uncanny way of reading people to know what the team can handle and what they can’t.
  • Project managers love puzzles and showing off their problem-solving skills. If a project hits hurdles or snags you will likely be the person called upon to fix them.
  • Great PMs have an unmarked ability to stay focused and remain on target despite everyday dramas.
  • A project manager must be flexible. Inevitably, shipments will be late, a team member will be sick, and deadlines will come and go. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Stay locked in on the big picture.
  • Sometimes a PM is required to be a referee. Team members will have disputes. Superiors may have tirades. But, a great project manager will know a thing or two about crisis management.

Some of these characteristics will be innate in a project manager, just as great athletes are attracted to professional sports or actors to Hollywood, but some of it may need to be taught, and in terms of organization, budget, and time management, those things can certainly be learned.

Many business schools offer MBA programs that cover topics such as project management methodologies, cost estimation, organizational change management, process improvement, and more.

And these classes, combined with the proven ability to manage projects and lead teams, certainly look great on a project manager resume.

Why Choose a Field in Project Management?

All of that sounds kind of exhausting? Why would I want to be a project manager? If you are asking these question, then, perhaps, you lack another key ingredient in successful project managers energy. PM’s have seemingly vast, untapped reserves of energy.

But to answer the quest of why project managing makes a great career choice, project managers are always in demand. In the business world, and even outside of it, there is no shortage of projects that need to be completed, and, reportedly, not enough PMs to go around.

According to one article online, no matter what the industry, there is a need for qualified professionals to plan and provision hundred of thousands of projects.

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Moreover, the demand for project managers is really high, and The Project Management Institute (PMI) estimates 22 million new project management job openings in the next 10 years.

Further, project management hot spots include IT, business services, oil and gas, utility services, finance, manufacturing, construction, and utility industries.

Plus, salaries for project managers are highly competitive with Glassdoor estimating the national average for an entry-level position at $59,680.

And, remember, project management is not for everyone, which can work in your favor as effective PMs can expect to double that entry level number in just a few years time.

Of course, we haven’t even touched on the subject of making a difference. Project managers directly impact team morale and the company’s bottom line, and some articles even claim that project management is like CEO training, so there is high praise, indeed.

And the similarities don’t end there. Project managers are always learning, they often embrace change, and they are always looking forward to the next challenge. Inasmuch, they, continually refresh their knowledge in, new markets, technology, demographics, and products and services.

Project Manager Recap and Wrap-Up

You can get your MBA or look into professional certifications like PMP™ and PRINCE2. These are the two most common project management certifications that can boost your resume.

There are many practice tests online, and you should commit to studying for a few nights before you take it, although the test is free and you can take it as many times as you want.

Between online universities, certifications, and programs, if the interest is there, you should be well on your way to a successful career in project management.

But, just in case you forgot, let review what that looks like with some help from our friends at Saint Leo University.

  • According to many articles and blogs, project management represents one of the fastest-growing professions out there today. And there will be many opportunities for project managers in the coming years.
  • Many career-long project managers are expected to retire, according to the university, and the global market is expanding exponentially, leading to the growing demand in this career.
  • In a day and age where many qualified professionals are forced to take pay cuts, project managers are commanding lucrative salaries, and according to the school, average salaries are estimated as $88,000 in Florida and $101,000 in Georgia, with the national average coming in at around $92,000.
  • Further, the university estimates that average salaries for information systems project managers will be around $120,950, while healthcare project managers will make around $90,940.
  • It’s a career where you can make a difference. In addition to a lucrative salary, you will be coordinating a diverse team and motivating people, not to mention resolving problems and managing budgets, as well as overseeing a project from start to finish.
  • With companies looking to save money and improve efficiencies, project managers bring tangible value and can relay a huge impact on the success of any organization.

If this sounds like it's for you, dust off that project manager resume, and maybe sign up to take a certification or two.

Remember, you don’t need a fancy degree to be a good project manager, you just need buckets of energy, the ability to multitask, great organizational skills, and effective communication.

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