Project Manager

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What Does a Project Manager Do? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

Project managers provide the foundation for projects by defining their scope and establishing teams to carry them out. They set deadlines and budgets to ensure teams have the resources and tools they need to complete their tasks. Here’s what to know about a project manager’s salary, needed skills and how to become one.


What Is a Project Manager

A project manager is the driving force behind a company’s projects, ensuring they are done on time and within budget. For that reason, project managers need to know how to efficiently allocate time and resources. Their responsibilities may also include quality assurance, risk management and financial analysis, and they must be able to communicate proficiently both internally and externally.


What Do Project Managers Do?

Project managers establish teams, assign tasks, set deadlines and communicate with both internal and external stakeholders. Their leadership duties typically involve tracking the progress of projects and making decisions to adjust as issues or changing priorities arise.

Project Manager Responsibilities

  • Establishing and coordinating project teams.
  • Assigning tasks, setting deadlines and budgeting.
  • Onboarding, training and mentoring new hires.
  • Using software and tools to organize projects and track their progress.
  • Communicating with internal and external stakeholders.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities of a Project Manager

  • Identifying timelines, resources and manpower for new and upcoming projects.
  • Checking in with team members for updates on projects already in progress.
  • Assigning tasks and deadlines to team members.
  • Documenting and reporting project statuses.
  • Scheduling and conducting meetings with clients and other project stakeholders to plan for upcoming projects, discuss projects already in the works and gather feedback on completed projects.
  • Meeting with team members for retrospective discussions about feedback and lessons from past projects.

Types of Project Managers

Project managers operate across a variety of industries. Though their general functions are typically similar, some work in more technical fields or have positions with senior titles because of their level of experience. Here are some of the common types of project managers:

  • Marketing project manager
  • Construction project manager
  • IT project manager
  • Engineering project manager

A Project Manager’s Role Within a Company

The project manager is in charge of formulating the overall project vision and strategy. Companies rely on them to construct teams with the right personnel for each project, as well as understand what resources are needed to perform all tasks necessary to complete the project. In a larger organization a project manager will likely report to a senior project manager or director of project management, but in smaller companies, they may be answering directly to a VP or CEO.

Importance of Project Mangers

Project managers enable teams to complete projects within deadline. They also act as liaisons who provide clients updates on project statuses and make sure they are satisfied with the quality of the work. If an obstacle arises or a change needs to be made, the project manager is the decision maker who recharts the path to getting the project done correctly and on time.

Video: Adriana Girdler


What Skills Are Needed to Be a Project Manager?

Qualifications to Be a Project Manager

  • A strategic and collaborative mindset.
  • Proficient at time management and delegating tasks.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Leadership experience.
  • Familiarity with project management tools and software.

Project Manager Prerequisites

  • A bachelor’s degree in a field relevant to the chosen industry.
  • Professional certification is not always required, but is beneficial.

Project Manger Hard Skills

  • Proficiency in project management software.
  • Ability to create budgets and foresee what tasks are possible with available financial resources.
  • Understanding of complex foundational aspects of certain technical industries.

Project Manager Soft Skills

  • Strong communication skills.
  • Leadership qualities.
  • Problem solving abilities.
  • Organized with a high attention to detail.
  • Collaborative mindset.

Tools and Programs Project Managers Use

  • Project management software like Asana, Basecamp, Trello and Scoro.
  • Video conferencing platforms like Zoom.
  • Messaging and collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack.
  • Programs like Calendly and Google Calendar for scheduling meetings.
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How to Become a Project Manager

Project Manager Education and Experience

A project manager will commonly have a four-year degree, industry-approved certification and at least three years of relevant experience. They often get their bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications or other related fields, but they can also bring equivalent professional experience. Those who plan to enter advanced fields like the IT industry may want to explore software engineering, computer science and other technical majors.

Project Manager Certificates and Courses

Project Manager Career Path

Aspiring project managers often spend time learning the ropes in a position such as project coordinator, assistant or associate project manager or junior project manager. For anyone seeking a position in a more technical field, they may serve in roles like software developer or product analyst before moving up in the ranks to become a project manager. As project management professionals gain experience, they may move into an advanced position like program manager, become a senior project manager or eventually serve as director of a project management office.


Project Manager Salary and Job Outlook

Approximately 2.3 million workers need to enter the project management field each year to meet the anticipated need for 25 million new project professionals by 2030, according to a report by the Project Management Institute.

The full compensation package for a project manager depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average project manager salary.


Expand Your Project Manager Career Opportunities

Enhance your daily performance in the workplace with Udemy’s online project management courses.


This course walks through all the core features and functionality of Advanced Roadmaps - JIRA’s project planning and agile road-mapping tool, that is now available with Jira Premium.

The tool (previously know as the…


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*** 2021 New Updates on Jira Project Types ***
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[EXCLUSIVE] Double Degree, Badges and Community. Upon completing this course you will receive 2 Certificates of Completion, an Agile Certified Digital Badge you can add to your Resume, LinkedIn Profile or any other online profile…


Project Manager Certifications + Programs

Take one step closer to realizing your career dreams with Udacity’s online project management certifications.

Learn how to build products that deliver continuous value to customers using an Agile approach to software development. By the end of this program, students will be able to differentiate between Scrum, Kanban, and XP, create an environment that fosters high performing teams, and manage iteration planning using Agile techniques. Students will also be able to create a release plan for a Minimum Viable Product, create metrics that show project status, and effectively communicate progress both within and outside of the development team.

3 months
5-10 hours

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