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Senior Project Manager

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What Is a Senior Project Manager? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

A senior project manager has several years of experience under their belt along with expertise in product development and talent acquisition. They oversee and coach various project teams, as well as hire top talent to join those teams. Here’s what to know about a senior project manager’s needed skills, salary and how to become one.


What Is a Senior Project Manager?

A senior project manager holds teams accountable for meeting project deadlines and goals and has the experience to know when they need to step in to offer mentoring and technical support to keep a project on track. They usually oversee projects involving complex issues and products.


What Do Senior Project Managers Do?

This leadership position interviews and hires project staff, mentors project managers and junior team members and may work on multiple projects at once. Senior project managers ensure teams complete projects on time and within budget, and they may step in to assist teams to keep projects from veering off course.

Senior Project Manager Responsibilities

  • Oversee multiple often complex projects.
  • Communicate with internal and external project stakeholders.
  • Set deadlines and define project strategy.
  • Budget and delegating tasks.
  • Track project metrics.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities of Senior Project Managers

  • Use project management and collaboration software to keep projects organized.
  • Assist and provide technical support to project teams.
  • Mentor and coach project managers and junior employees.
  • Interview and hire job candidates.

Types of Senior Project Manager

Senior project managers work in a variety of industries. Here are some of the most common ones hiring experienced, high-level project management professionals:

  • Construction
  • Healthcare
  • Information technology
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Finance

Senior Project Managers Within a Company

Senior project manager is a supervisory role that involves managing and coordinating project teams, as well as providing mentorship to project managers and entry-level project management employees.  

Importance of Senior Project Managers

Senior project managers keep up with teams and metrics to ensure projects are completed on time. They have experience to know when a project is straying from the intended strategy and timeline and the expertise to lend a hand as needed. A senior project manager also has a capacity for identifying top job candidates and cultivating their skills.


What Skills Are Needed to Be a Senior Project Manager?

Qualifications to Be a Senior Project Manager

  • Leadership and management experience.
  • Expertise in product development and talent acquisition.
  • Strategic and collaborative thinking.
  • Deadline- and goal-oriented accountability.
  • Ability to mentor and coach team members.
  • Knowledge of interviewing and hiring best practices.
  • Experience with project management software.
  • Familiarity with metrics and how to incorporate them into project strategy.

Senior Project Manager Prerequisites

  • A bachelor’s degree in a field like business or finance.
  • Professional certifications that demonstrate high-level experience.

Senior Project Manager Hard Skills

  • Working with project management software.
  • Using metrics to track projects.
  • Interviewing job applicants.
  • Providing teams with technical support.

Senior Project Manager Soft Skills

  • Strong leadership qualities.
  • Communication and collaboration skills.
  • Setting and managing deadlines.
  • Analytical thinking.
  • Patience for guiding and instructing team members.
  • Multitasking to keep various projects organized.

Tools and Programs Senior Project Managers Use

  • Project management software like Jira, Trello, Asana, Basecamp and Scoro.
  • Tools like Zoom, Slack and Google Workspace for collaboration and communication.
  • Job aggregator tools and applicant tracking systems for the hiring process.
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How to Become a Senior Project Manager

Senior Project Manager Education and Experience

A senior project manager typically has a bachelor’s degree in a field like business, finance or marketing along with five to 10 years of relevant experience. Though not necessary for every senior project manager, many also have backgrounds in software engineering, computer science and other technical fields.

Senior Project Manager Certificates and Courses

Senior Project Manager Career Path

A project management career typically begins with at least three years in a position such as project coordinator or assistant project manager, though some gain experience working in more technical jobs like software developer, IT support specialist or product analyst. Once they move up to becoming a project manager, a professional will most likely need a minimum five years of experience before they’re considered for senior project manager. Successful senior project managers can look forward to advanced positions like program manager or director of project management.


Senior Project Manager Salary and Job Outlook

Between 2021 and 2031, employment for project management specialists is expected to grow by 7 percent, with demand expected to be particularly high for “computer systems design services,” according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The full compensation package for a senior 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 senior project manager salary.


Expand Your Senior Project Manager Career Opportunities

Master in-demand skills within your industry by taking Udemy’s online project management courses.


This Introduction to Jira course will get you up to speed on how to be more productive and effective in Jira. With six hours of content, we'll focus on the three main types of users in Jira. The modules in this course are broken up for each of…


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Senior Project Manager Certifications + Programs

Explore the next stage of your career path 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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