Project managers help ensure projects align with a company’s goals and vision. Through project managers, top companies can ensure projects meet their objectives, timelines, and budget. Proper project management contributes to a more successful project team and can increase profits.
If you want to become a project manager, it is key to conduct avid research of the industry. In this guide, we feature important aspects to consider before launching your career. In this guide, you will find out about project manager job satisfaction and salary.
What Is a Project Manager?
A project manager is a professional responsible for planning and executing projects within a stipulated time frame and budget. To succeed as a project manager, you need to base your work on five principles: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and closing.
Companies rely on project managers to define the scope of a project. They should ensure the deadline is met and the costs stay within budget. They also manage project resources, communicate with stakeholders, assess risks, and troubleshoot problems.
Project managers have key skills that help them navigate the industry. They are proficient in communication, stress management, organization, critical thinking, leadership, and collaboration. Aside from soft skills, they might have experience in Agile, Lean, Waterfall, Scrum, Kanban, Six Sigma, or Extreme Programming (XP).
Is Project Management a Good Career?
Yes, project management is a good career. If you like challenges and would like a dynamic career path, you should consider becoming a project manager. All projects differ in terms of resources, budget, goals, and timeline, so there is always a need for versatile and highly adaptable project managers.
In addition, project management requires a lot of human interaction. If you have great interpersonal skills, you will find it easy to become a project manager. The job role involves working with different professionals for each project. This means you will develop an extensive professional network that can come in handy during your career.
Project Manager Satisfaction Rates
According to Indeed.com, 67 percent of project managers working in the US are satisfied with their salaries, earning an average income of $73,790 per year. This means the majority of professionals in this industry believe they are being compensated fairly for their hard work.
What Makes Project Management Jobs Satisfying?
Project managers are generally happy and there are many reasons for this. Below, we list five of the most important factors that make project management a satisfying career path.
Project managers are not limited to one level in their careers. Earning certifications can help them gain a promotion or even switch to a career with a higher salary. Aside from earning professional certification, they can also enroll in short project management classes.
Project managers are skilled professionals who can oversee a project from inception to completion. This gives them the satisfaction of building something from nothing. They are in charge of resource targeting, interviews, budgeting, and management tasks.
Opportunities to Learn
Project managers interact with multiple professionals from different industries. This not only reinforces their existing skills but also expands their knowledge base of other industries. They may gain familiarity with different technical concepts depending on the project at hand.
Unlike other jobs which involve little or no interaction with colleagues, project management is a highly social post. It requires heavy deliberation with other department members. Project managers also interact frequently with key stakeholders.
One of the top reasons to become a project manager is the versatility of the industry. Project managers work on a wide variety of projects, each with different scopes, resources, and goals. This means you will never get bored during your time as a project manager.
Project Manager Stress and Rewards
Before starting your career as a project manager, you should weigh the stress and rewards. These factors will help you figure out if it’s the best career path for you. Below you will find a list of advantages and disadvantages of becoming a project manager.
Project Manager Stress
- Complete accountability. Project managers are often tasked with handling project resources, budgets, and deadlines. They are also responsible for stakeholder management. This can lead to a lot of stress and a stressed project manager is less likely to accomplish their goals.
- Handling stakeholders. Project managers tend to have a challenging time exceeding all stakeholder expectations. Often, stakeholders hold different opinions and project managers are responsible for ensuring all the members are on the same page.
- Uncertainty. Project managers often expect a particular outcome but sometimes they are wrong. This level of uncertainty can be very stressful, particularly when handling major or complex programs.
- Limited resources. One of the common challenges project managers face is a lack of resources. At times, clients provide limited financial backing to facilitate a variety of projects. This leads to strain in the development process.
- Lack of technical knowledge. Given that project managers deal with multiple professionals from different industries, sometimes they encounter challenges that require technical know-how.
Project Manager Rewards
- Networking and traveling. A project manager forms multiple relationships with professionals from diverse fields. The profession can feature traveling as part of the job description.
- Team empowerment. Project managers have the ability to motivate large numbers of people to work collaboratively toward a common goal.
- Increasing business value. Companies hire project managers to help them boost the value of the business. These professionals are well-equipped to oversee small and large projects and help the company reach its profit goals.
- Flexibility. Most project managers are not limited to one job location. They normally have the freedom to work from the office or on-site. If you detest the monotony of working at one station all day, every day, project management could be for you.
- Career progression. Working as a project manager will prepare you for more advanced roles, such as CEO. After a few years working as a project manager, you will have the technical expertise and knowledge to manage large numbers of people and projects.
Life as a Project Manager
Find out what life as a project manager will be if you choose this career path. Below we discuss project management benefits, career growth prospects, and work environment details. You can rely on these discussions to determine if a career as a project leader is for you.
Project Manager Work Environment
Some days, project managers work from their offices. Other days, they work in the field. They often rely on project management software to carry out their daily tasks. Companies require project managers to work full-time. Overtime work, which is compensated, is a common part of the job, particularly as deadlines approach.
Project management is a diverse field. There are project managers working in finance, construction, engineering, and technology. The job descriptions vary considerably from one industry to another, but the tools and processes required are usually based on the same principles.
Project Manager Benefits
Project managers receive plenty of benefits from companies. Most hiring companies seeking full-time project managers offer them a full package of benefits. They provide paid time off, 401k retirement plans, health and dental insurance, and employee stock ownership plans.
Project Manager Career Growth
As a project manager, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to advance your career. Many project managers climb up the corporate ladder to become C-level executives such as CEOs. To do this, they often advance their education by acquiring a master’s degree or join other forms of training such as project management bootcamps.
Project Manager Job Outlook, Salaries, and Career Growth
There is no point in pursuing a career that will not reward you financially for your efforts. To help you decide if project management is the most suitable career for you, below we show you statistics on job outlook and salaries for this profession.
Is Project Management in Demand?
Yes, project management is in demand. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), project management careers will experience a 33 percent job growth by 2027. The institute estimates that over 22 million job opportunities will be created in the coming decade.
According to PMI, employers will require more than 88 million professionals in project management roles. Project managers contribute greatly to productivity, and a potential shortage of these professionals could result in losses of over $208 billion in GDP over a ten-year period.
Project Manager Salaries
According to indeed.com, project managers working in the US earn an average salary of $73,929 each year. Most of these professionals receive paid time off, health insurance, 401k plans, vision insurance, employee stock ownership plans, and dental insurance. However, it is important to note that these benefits are only available for company employees and not third-party contractors.
According to ZipRecruiter, project managers can earn as little as $28,000 and as much as $119,500 each year. The site highlights education, skills, and location as the factors influencing this wide range. The cities with the highest-paid project managers are Sunnyvale, Livermore, Santa Rosa, Napa, Cambridge, Wakefield, and Brentwood.
PMI notes that there are a few factors that affect the average project manager’s salary, including previous work experience, education level, and Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
High-Paying Project Management Jobs
|Job Title||Average Salary|
|Marketing Project Manager||$75,581|
|Project Management Consultant||$109,690|
|Construction Project Manager||$85,220|
|Engineering Project Manager||$99,432|
|IT Project Manager||$105,291|
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Marketing Project Manager
- Marketing Project Manager Average Salary: $75,581
Companies hire marketing project managers to take the helm of marketing campaigns. They monitor marketing teams and the advertising projects of a company. Often, these professionals oversee the development of a product, from inception to launch.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers will increase by 10 percent, which is as fast as the national average. Over 316,800 new jobs will be created between 2020 and 2030, according to BLS.
With a bachelor’s degree from a relevant field, you can land a job as a marketing project manager. You can increase your chances of employment by pursuing project management certifications.
Project Management Consultant
- Project Management Consultant Average Salary: $109,690
As a project management consultant, your role will involve advising, planning, and leading activities that aim to enhance the overall quality of projects. In this role, you will conduct meetings, perform reconnaissance visits, and keep abreast of industry trends. To work in this position, you need proficiency in project management software and soft skills such as analytical, problem-solving, and interpersonal abilities.
The minimum prerequisite for becoming a project management consultant is a four-year degree. You can pursue a degree in project management, business administration, or a related field. However, to remain competitive in the field, you should consider acquiring a master’s degree or certification. Work experience can also be a huge advantage during the job search process. Recruiters often go for professionals with at least five years of experience in the field.
Construction Project Manager
- Construction Project Manager Average Salary: $85,220
Construction project managers are in charge of planning and delivering construction projects. Companies hire them to oversee logistics, manage staff, and budget the projects. They are also in charge of obtaining relevant licenses and scheduling operations. This job requires extensive collaboration between project stakeholders.
To qualify for this job, you will need a Bachelor’s Degree in Project Management or Construction Management. You should also look into acquiring some work experience in the field by seeking entry-level positions. Familiarity with the state’s health and safety standards is an added advantage. There are PMP certifications that can also improve your salary potential.
Engineering Project Manager
- Engineering Project Manager Average Salary: $99,432
An engineering project manager oversees all engineering projects of a company. They are in charge of scheduling, acquiring materials, approving action plans, and budgeting. In this role, you will work collaboratively with engineers, designers, and managers.
To be a successful engineering project manager, you must have communication, organization, problem-solving, and listening skills. You should acquire a four-year degree in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, or equivalent if you want to pursue this career. You can also specialize in the profession by pursuing a master’s degree.
IT Project Manager
- IT Project Manager Average Salary: $105,291
An IT project manager oversees the operations of a company’s IT department. Companies rely on these professionals to ensure the smooth delivery of projects. They expect IT project managers to monitor software development, mobile application development, cloud migration, hardware installation, and network configuration. They are also responsible for database management, backup, and recovery.
In this position, you will plan projects, set goals, maintain schedules, manage teams, and distribute tasks. You should also expect to present plans to stakeholders or management, track task performance, and manage risks. Often, IT project managers have a four-year degree in computer science. They also have extensive experience in the field.
Should I Become a Project Manager?
You should consider becoming a project manager if you have the proper combination of skills. These positions tend to be highly social, and only professionals with strong interpersonal skills will flourish.
Consider this career path if you have extensive communication, leadership, collaboration, and listening skills. These essential project management skills will help you manage remote teams and maintain good relationships with stakeholders.
If you have these qualifications, then becoming a project manager is an excellent career choice. These professionals enjoy robust demand for their services and have a high salary. Once you become a project manager, you can climb the corporate ladder and increase your job security and salary by furthering your education or attending one of the best project management bootcamps.
Project Management Career Change FAQ
There are plenty of career paths that project managers can pursue. This is mainly because project managers tend to have extensive skills and knowledge applicable to different industries. Project managers can become account executives, business developers, business analysts, or program managers.
Yes, a project management career is worth it. If you have good people skills and like challenges, a project management career is an excellent path. This career is rich in diverse projects that will test your abilities in multiple ways. You will get to interact with different professionals, clients, and stakeholders with varied ideas and personalities.
The project management profession doesn’t have to be stressful. The project management role encompasses making plans, mitigating risks, and collaborating. An effective project manager is able to carry out these tasks seamlessly by relying on strong management and organizational skills.
No, the project management profession does not usually require a lot of traveling. However, this depends on the company that hired you. Your specialization may also affect your work location or travel.
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