Demand for project management is anticipated to increase rapidly as the global economy becomes more interconnected. The project manager’s responsibility is to ensure a project is finished on schedule, within budget, and to the appropriate standard.
A project manager needs to be very organized and communicative to succeed in this position. In addition, they must possess the skills essential to collaborate successfully with others and step into leadership positions when called upon.
Many industries highly seek project managers. By 2027, companies will need approximately 88 million people with experience in project management-related fields, according to PMI.
Considering the bright future awaiting new project managers, knowing how to become a Project Manager is essential. So, let’s explore the academic requirements, skills, and prerequisites for becoming a project manager.
A project manager is an expert who manages, plans, and organizes projects considering the limitations of time or budget constraints.
Project managers establish a project’s objectives, oversee the work of entire teams, consult with stakeholders, and see it through to completion.
The project manager is accountable for the success or failure of the project, regardless of whether they are managing a marketing campaign, building a structure, creating a computer system, or launching a new product.
They are also responsible for dealing with any conflicts that may arise during the project and providing guidance and support to team members throughout all project stages.
Project managers come in various forms, including those that work on building sites, for the government, and in the engineering industry. Although they are some of the most well-known experts in the area, project managers are also employed by many other sectors to oversee specific operations and duties. Here are some prominent types of project managers.
- PMO manager
- Marketing project manager
- Engineering project manager
- Architectural project manager
- IT project manager
- Construction project management
- Systems project manager
- Electrical project manager
Here are some actions you could consider taking to launch your project management career:
1. Earn a Degree in Project Management
Given that a Bachelor’s degree is often the entry-level educational requirement for the position, most project managers start their careers after obtaining it. You have various options for your degree, but many aspiring project managers specialize in either project management or business management. You can also major in marketing, project management, or a subject linked to the industry you want to work in, like engineering or IT.
You can also start your career in project management by attending a bootcamp. Check out our list of the best project management bootcamps and find the one best suited to your needs.
2. Develop Your Management Skills
It will be wise to hone the technical and professional abilities required for project management. The following are some skills that project managers frequently need:
- Decision-making skills
- Risk management
- Time management skills
- Dynamic project management
- Quality management skills
- Critical thinking skills
You can hone these skills by preparing for a certification exam, enrolling in specialized classes, or using them in the workplace.
For example, a Professional Certificate in Project Management can help you develop fundamental project management skills.
3. Sharing Your Projects
As you develop the skills required to become a project manager, you must showcase them by sharing your projects. You can start publishing your blogs on relevant topics to capture the recruiters’ interest. You could also present your ideas by sharing your projects with like-minded people or connecting with peers.
4. Improving Your Resume
As you advance in this sector, spend time improving your resume and earning experience. Look through job postings for project managers at all levels to see what employers seek.
On your CV, draw attention to your qualifications that align with the position’s requirements and share your previous job roles and responsibilities.
5. Finding a Project Management Entry-Level Job
The only way to become a project manager is to rise through the ranks within a team gradually. Many project managers begin their careers in entry-level organizational positions to develop essential abilities. Here are some project management entry-level jobs you can apply for:
- Operations Coordinator
- Project manager in training
- Project manager assistant
- Associate in administration
- Associate in operations
If you want to pursue a career in project management but lack the necessary experience, think about taking the following actions:
1. Develop Foundation skills
Companies are always looking for candidates with a knack for project management, even if they lack experience. To stand out from the crowd and show your potential, highlight abilities such as organizational savvy, problem-solving, and communication skills on your resume – all key ingredients to success in this field! Demonstrate the following expertise that could give you an edge in achieving success:
- Time management
These are a few soft skills that successful project managers frequently possess. Additionally, you may improve your problem-solving, delegation, conflict-resolution, and time-management abilities so you can discuss them with any hiring manager.
2. Ask a Mentor for Guidance
You can get career advice from a project management mentor who has achieved success. For example, ask one of the project managers at your present employer if they will mentor you or if you can join professional organizations.
While you work with a mentor, you often get the opportunity to shadow them, learn about different project management approaches, ask them questions to understand project management better, and research best practices to use when managing projects.
3. Get PMP Certification
Project Management Professional (PMP) is one of the most well-known project management credentials. To take this test, you must have at least three years of project management experience and a specific level of formal education.
However, if you have minimal project management experience, the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) credential is also preferable.
4. Search for Training Opportunities
You may discover various training options where you can learn more about the job of a project manager, project management processes, and specific tools that expert project managers use if you’re interested in pursuing a career in this field.
Look for training through conferences, webinars, project management firms, and online platforms. If you want to familiarize yourself with different systems, consider investing in books on the subject or signing up for free trials of well-known project management software.
5. Explore the Project Coordinator Position
Consider roles you could be a better candidate for, which might help you build crucial project management abilities if you can’t locate or qualify for an entry-level project manager position. Project coordinator, marketing assistant, operations specialist, and office manager are a few of the job titles you need to search.
These kinds of jobs frequently involve some responsibility for controlling procedures, jobs, and other people. Because of the effort you put out, you could be able to advance in this job and obtain a promotion to a project management position.
Currently, a project manager makes an average yearly pay of $76,949 in the United States. However, this compensation might vary widely depending on the sector or region you work in and your years of experience. For instance, New York City and Washington, D.C. project managers can expect to make an average of $89,164 and $89,050 a year, respectively.
Even in other parts of the world, a Project Manager earns handsomely. For example, a Project Manager makes around $81,434 per year in Canada, while the salary is between $120,000 and $140,000 in Australia. Overall, it is definitely a worthy career path to pursue. You can also check out our guide on the highest paying project management jobs to learn more about the top salaries for project managers.
There are many different career options available in the field of project management. However, project management is an excellent career choice for someone who is well-organized, meticulous, and appreciates collaborating to accomplish shared objectives.
If you were looking for the answer to how to become a project manager, we hope this guide helped you get enough information to start your career in project management.
The lucrative field of project management offers competitive pay and a wide range of job opportunities. It is, however, a challenging career path to pursue.
At least 3 years of experience in a comparable capacity, formal training, communication skills, and a PMP certification are often needed to become a project manager.
It might take 3 months to years to become a project manager, depending on your education, experience level, and professional objectives.