A project manager applies your knowledge, skills and experience in a particular field to fulfill the objectives sought by a particular project. You will be placed in a position of leadership. As a project manager, you will usually be assigned to complete a specific project and will be given a team of people to work under you.
You will see to it that everyone in your team understands the goals that need to be accomplished and the time frame with which they need to be done. You are the master at the helm, making everyone see the big picture and directing everyone to accomplish the individual tasks that will contribute to the completion of the project.
Depending on the industry where you are working in, project managers can finish a construction project, design the interior of an office or organize a nationwide gathering. Some project managers can head a team that develops gaming software or study and recommend new technologies for educational use. Others may be asked to look into the feasibility of opening a restaurant business in a particular city.
While project managers may operate in different industries, the tasks they do are similar. Aside from planning the work and delegating responsibilities, you will be coordinating their work to ensure that overlapping does not occur. It’s also essential that project milestones are not only completed on schedule but that they are also done within the set budget. As a project manager, you will ensure that the project’s financial considerations are met. You also need to see to it that the projects meet set standards.
A very important part of your job as a project manager is assessing the risks posed by a particular project. You also need to come up with a plan that will enable you to handle these risks. In the event the project experiences setbacks along the way, you will need to know how to manage these problems so that the work can proceed as planned. You need to be able to deal with these changes because at the end of the day, your concern is to make sure that the project will deliver results.
To succeed as a project manager, you will need to be very knowledgeable about the field you are working in. Most employers hire project managers from the ranks because they have to make sure that the manager knows how to go about getting a task done to completion. You also need to be very organized and highly analytical since heading a project management team is no easy task. There are bound to be problems in any undertaking and it is your responsibility to address these.
Why Become A Project Manager
Project managers are generally appointed from within an organization. It is usually given to those who already have extensive experience about the job. There are a number of reasons to become a project manager if the opportunity is presented to you. For starters, it puts you in a position of leadership where you get to direct a team’s operations and bring a project to completion. Nothing beats the feeling of satisfaction that can be derived from knowing that you were integral to the success of a project that you headed. On the more practical side, project managers are also paid very well so this is a career that’s definitely worth aspiring for.
Project Manager Work Environment
The work environment of project managers depend on the industry they are working in. Those who head construction projects are typically found on site directing the work that engineers, architects and carpenters do. Those who are tasked to study the feasibility of putting up a mall in a particular location may have to research on the feasibility of the project by asking the residents and other members of the community. Project managers assigned to develop software may be found in software development firms.
However, project managers usually do their conceptualizing and report writing in an office. They also meet the members of their team here. They usually work fulltime, although it’s not unusual for them to log in more hours especially when deadlines are already looming.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not gather salary figures for project managers as a group. However, the May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the mean annual wages of “Managers, all other” is $108,380. The salary figures of managers in other professions may serve as a good gauge for the wages received by project managers who might be working in a particular industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that architectural and engineering managers received $136,540; medical and health services managers were paid $101,340 and construction managers got $92,700.
Project Manager Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not gather data regarding the employment outlook of project managers. However, it is safe to assume that the demand for project managers will be dependent on the industry where they will be working in. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does have data on the employment projection of other industry managers. Construction managers, for example, have a projected growth rate of 16 percent which is faster than the national average. Computer and Information Systems Managers are also set to have a growth rate of 15 percent, which is also quite promising.
Project Manager Degree
Most project managers typically have an advanced degree in the field where they are working in. While a bachelor’s degree may suffice for entry-level positions, employers prefer their project managers to have a master’s degree or better yet, a doctoral degree. Extensive work experience in the industry is also a must for project managers.
Those who really want to take on project management roles would do well to get certified. Certification proves professionalism and knowledge when it comes to managing projects and enhances employment prospects. One of the more popular certifications is the Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute.