How to become a Project Manager
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How to become a Project Manager

There is currently a huge demand for skilled and qualified Project Managers worldwide. This is an ideal career option for anyone who has excellent organisational skills and the ability to see objectives through to completion.

Experienced project managers are highly sought after in almost every industry imaginable, so project management is a solid career choice. Although a career in project management might be high-pressured at times, requiring you to lead teams and meet tight deadlines, it can also be a highly rewarding career choice. If you are passionate about working with people to secure positive outcomes, then perhaps the role of a project manager would be a great fit for you.

If you are looking for more information about project management as a career path you are in the right place. In this article, we aim to give you more details to enable you to decide whether project manager is the right role for you. We will look at an overview of the day-to-day tasks of a project manager and discuss the best ways to kickstart your career in project management.

What does a Project Manager do?

As project managers are required in a huge variety of industries you may find yourself working on projects in the following areas:

  • IT
  • Engineering
  • Construction
  • Marketing

As you advance your career you may choose to specialise in specific fields.

Common tasks and day-to-day duties of project managers include:

  • Following a standard project management process, such as determined by a body like PMI (Project Management Institute).
  • Organising teams and resources throughout the duration of the project.
  • Planning, setting goals, objectives, and timescales for the project.
  • Monitoring the project and keeping progress on track.
  • Working to a budget and ensuring that the project does not go over budget.
  • Identifying and managing factors that might inhibit the project’s success.
  • Regularly reporting to management and other stakeholders.
  • Successfully closing the project and identifying successes and areas for improvement.

How much can a Project Manager earn?

In terms of salary for project managers, this depends on your level of experience and where you are located in the UK. The average starting salary of a project manager in the UK is somewhere between £20,000 and £35,000 per annum. However, seasoned project managers who are highly specialised may earn between £40,000 and £80,000 or even higher, depending on the industry and scale of the project.

Our article on the History of Project Management is an interesting read.

Do you have the skills needed to become a Project Manager?

Arguably, a project manager’s main qualities are excellent organisational and communication capabilities. Other key skills include:

  • A highly methodical approach to work.
  • An ability to thrive in high-pressure situations.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to motivate, lead and get "buy-in" from colleagues to achieve success.
  • A strong ability to budget for projects.
  • First-class negotiation skills.

What do career prospects look like for Project Managers?

There is currently a very high demand for project managers in a variety of sectors including the public and private sectors, large multi-national firms, agencies and charities. There is potential to work in a range of industries as a project manager.

Many Project Managers go on to become a Senior Manager, Head of department, Director, or even Chief Executive.

It is advisable for an aspiring Project Manager to take on projects in a range of companies in order to build up a solid amount of experience. This will enable you to build up a reputation as an experienced and competent project manager.

How do I become a Project Manager?

Project Manager is a popular job role for anyone who thrives when inspiring teams to successfully complete complex projects. There is a significant demand for skilled project management professionals in the UK. Many emerging project managers will earn project management qualifications from organisations like e-Careers earning globally recognised certifications from awarding bodies such as PMI, AXELOS or APMG.

Entering the world of project management does not require you to go to university or college.  Practical work experience alongside the right training and certifications is undoubtedly the most important prerequisite for becoming a project manager, as a large number of jobs will specify that you need experience of working as an assistant or junior project manager before applying to more established roles.

There are many ways to start a career in project management with the help of relevant awarding bodies offering training and qualifications such as PMP, PRINCE2®, Agile and ITIL® are amongst the most popular project management courses online which will help you to launch a career in project management.

Alternatively you can consider a career lean management by studying a Lean Six Sigma Certification.

Many project managers continuously top up their skills with the latest certifications in order to ensure that their skillset remains highly sought after by employers. Have a look at the various project management courses currently offered by e-Careers. An online project management course from e-Careers will allow you to study part-time at a pace that is right for you.

Entry requirements

In terms of what you need to become a project manager, there are no concrete requirements other than solid work experience and knowledge of the relevant project management methodologies. There are many routes to this career, but for the majority of employers, experience along with project management certifications are the most important requirements when it comes to how to become a project manager.

For more training information and tips, read our article 'Training for a qualification in Project Management'. 

Call us on +44 (0) 20 3198 7700 to speak to one of our Career Consultants today, to discuss your career goals or get started.


The Open Group
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