- Requires excellent organisational, planning, and time management skills, and the ability to use project management software
- Option to study for a project management degree or postgraduate qualification while working
- With experience, option to move into senior management or become a freelance consultant
As a project manager, you could work on different types of projects in almost any industry, from introducing a new computer system to overseeing a large building development. You'll need to track work to be completed, set deadlines and delegate tasks to your project team, identifying any potential risks. Ultimately, you're responsible for completing the project work in line with the plan and will often report progress to senior managers.
- Find out what the client or business wants to achieve
- Choose and lead a project team
- Agree timescales, costs and resources
- Draw up a plan for each project stage
- Negotiate with contractors and suppliers
- Report regularly to senior managers and the client
- Use specialised software and spreadsheets for planning, costing and analysing risks
Your salary will depend on your experience, the industry and the size and type of project. You could get bonuses for meeting deadlines. Freelance contracts are common; freelance project managers negotiate a daily rate.
You'll usually work in an office but may spend time travelling to meetings and visiting contractors and suppliers. You will likely need to wear professional business attire and may be expected to work additional hours in order to achieve project deadlines.
Project managers need excellent organisational, planning, and time management skills, and the ability to use project management software.
Getting a degree in any subject can help you get into this type of job, although business or project management may give you an advantage. You could get into this career through a graduate traineeship, where you'll usually start off as a junior project manager. Some graduates choose to take a postgraduate qualification in project management, although this is rarely an essential requirement.
You could also get into this career through a higher or degree apprenticeship in project management, lasting around 4 years.
You may be able to work your way up if you've got several years' experience in a project support or administration role.
While you're working, you could study for an industry qualification like PRINCE2 or Agile. You could also get professional qualifications through the Association for Project Management (APM), the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) or the Project Management Institute (PMI). If you're working in the IT industry, you could get a certificate in project management through The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS).
With experience, you could move into senior management or become a freelance consultant. With experience, some project managers choose to specialise in different sectors such as cyber security or finance, often taking further professional training linked to their specialism.
After gaining significant experience, you could apply your leadership skills and move into senior management roles. Progression within senior management can include positions such as head of department, director or chief executive.