One of the more popular academic degrees that have become more prevalent in recent years involves the study of project management. Many different businesses need project managers to oversee some of the most complicated projects imaginable. Some may wonder what project managers actually do.
Project managers frequently oversee the many diverse parts of a complicated project. One example would be a construction manager. Those who manage construction projects are responsible for making sure all of the parts of the project are carried out in order and in a timely fashion. Without a construction manager, the likelihood of subcontractors standing around and waiting to get their part of a project done increases greatly. A good construction manager would make sure to have the carpentry work done before scheduling the installation of windows. Time is usually equated with money, and a good construction manager can make sure that the use of both is maximized.
How much can project managers make?
Project managers can expect to make quite a bit more than the average worker nationwide. The exact amount that a project manager can make in a year varies by the type of project management a person decides to specialize in. For example, a person specializing as an information technology project manager can expect to earn an average salary of $85,221 per year. A project manager in manufacturing can expect to earn six figures annually. Those who work in project management consulting can expect to earn quite a bit less at an average of just over $64,000 per year. While this is not quite as much as a project manager that emphasizes project management in manufacturing or information technology, it is quite a bit higher than the average per capita income for all Americans.
What type of degree is necessary?
A career with a master’s in project management will probably be more lucrative than one with merely a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree in project management can improve the resume of anyone looking to start a career in project management. Some positions require an advanced degree. Others provide sizable pay increases for those with advanced degrees. A graduate degree can lead to higher pay in just about any field, and this is no different with the field of project management. Those wanting a master’s degree in project management will want to see if there are any professional certifications that are also necessary for their particular field. An engineer working in construction management will probably want a professional engineering certificate.
Project manager positions usually require quite a bit of education. A master’s degree can set an aspiring project manager above the competition. Those who are lucky enough to become a project manager can have a very rewarding career with wonderful pay and benefits.
The type of individual that usually succeeds as a project manager is very goal-driven since the job typically requires someone to strive to accomplish certain tasks, and often within an ambitious timeframe. Good communication skills are also essential (as they are with any manager) because they will need to interact with a wide variety of people on a daily basis. Learning how to constructively critisize someone in a professional manner, or motivationg someone to work to their full potential are valuable “soft” skills that managers should strive to possess, and try to learn from those that they have worked under before.
When project managers first come out of university it is often difficult for them to find work if they have to “on-site” experience. Because of this fact I recommend getting experience as you go through your educational path. Sometimes the best way to learn how to manage job sites is to have performed multiple roles yourself. A young boss with no track record and no experience can be very grating for blue collar workers and I would try to avoid this situation if at all possible. Instead, work as you go through school to avoid debt, build up a decent skills set, and provide yourself with a little resume material.