Project Manager Job Description

By University Alliance

As we recover from the turbulent economic times, the project manager job outlook is clearly improving. According to a study published by the Anderson Economic Group, an average of 1.2 million project management positions will need to be filled each year through 2016.

This study found that while there are some areas that have scaled back, such as financial services and the automotive industry, many other fields are expanding, including healthcare, infrastructure development and green technologies. “The demand for project managers is definitely growing,” said Sheree Rulard, senior recruiting consultant for Beeline RPO, a workforce solutions firm with offices in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. The two main factors contributing to this increased need for project managers are:

  • A shift in demographics (especially due to the rise in retirement-aged workers)
  • Growth in global projects worldwide

Positive Outlook for Project Management Jobs

In a recent survey listing the top 50 best jobs in America, IT Project Manager was ranked at number five. This could be a key opportunity for project managers all over the world. also reported that the 10-year job growth is expected to be 16% and graded it a B for job security, future growth and personal satisfaction.How many other fields can say that?

There’s even more good news for project managers, according to Spencer Shaffer, president of IT staffing firm ConsultNet of South Jordan, Utah. Shaffer says that, “Experienced IT professionals and project managers will be landing more assignments because companies will be launching new projects and completing others put on hold.” He expects that many of the IT projects shelved in 2009 will forge ahead in 2010.

That means there will be thousands of projects moving forward now that decision-makers are spending prudently and proceeding with projects cautiously. The Project Management Institute® (PMI®) expects the future to be brighter than you might think, with the global gross domestic product (GDP) in projectized industry anticipated to increase in the United States by $4.5 trillion by 2016. PMI reports that, “Between 2006 and 2016, the number of project-oriented employees will grow by an estimated 8.2 million.” Qualified project managers will be able to benefit from this exceptional employment opportunity.

What Do Project Managers Do?

Unlike department managers, who oversee particular areas of a business, project managers are responsible for all aspects of a time-limited, specific business initiative. Some examples:

  • Launching a new product for a pharmaceutical firm
  • Developing a new mobile application for a telecommunications company
  • Implementing an internet-based banking system for a financial institution
  • Standardizing testing procedures for an environmental organization
  • Rolling out a new brand for a global retailer

Although each project manager job description will reflect the specific needs of the company, the project manager will generally plan, coordinate, implement and finalize projects according to the specifications and deadlines, all while keeping the project within budget.

Depending on the industry and specific initiative, project managers may put together teams of personnel from a number of departments, such as information technology, purchasing, product development, marketing or distribution.

Project management professionals oversee projects from the planning stage, through implementation, testing and reporting. They typically choose and manage the project team members, and are ultimately responsible for the project’s success or failure, based on objectives set by project stakeholders. Success may depend on whether the project is completed within the financial budget allocated or the established time frame – or whether it is completed at all. 

All project management professionals need excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Strong leadership and multitasking abilities, as well as a knack for scheduling and finance, are also valuable attributes for success as a project manager.

See what these experienced project managers have to say about a career in project management!

Don Kim, PMP Gina Abudi Steve Hart, PMP

Click on their picture to read the full interview.

How Much Do Project Managers Make?

According to the PMI® Project Management Salary Survey, 51% of project manager practitioners reported an increase in their total compensation, with the global median salary reaching $90,260. Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential holders earn upwards of $10,000 more than non-credential holders, with median salaries in the United States now exceeding $100,000.”

On average, reports the average project manager salary for jobs posting nationwide as “21% higher than average salaries for all job postings nationwide.” You, too, can benefit from this highly rewarding and lucrative career. To give you an idea of how profitable this field can be, take a look at these job titles and average salaries for these project management jobs:

Job Title Average Salary
IT Project Manager $108,000
Senior Project Manager $105,000
Construction Project Manager $103,000
Technical Project Manager $97,000
Project Manager $90,000
In USD as of May 12, 2010 according to

How PMP Certification Can Advance Your Career

Today’s top corporations compete in a more complex business environment than ever before. Employers need to know that the project managers they hire are fully qualified to lead their most important business initiatives. Therefore, most major companies and countless small- to mid-sized firms require project management certification.

The most widely-recognized and respected credential in the profession is the Project Management Professional (PMP®), awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI®). PMI® developed industry standards to ensure businesses that certification holders have pursued project management education and can demonstrate a high degree of knowledge and skill. Certifications are more valuable than ever as they represent a high level of competency and dedication. It has become increasingly common to see PMI certifications as a job requirement. A PMP certification can also increase your salary.

  • Those who have held the PMP credential for two to four years earn, on average, 15.6% more than their non-credentialed colleagues who have similar experience. – PMI Project Management Salary Survey, Fourth Edition
  • The Project Management Institute states that, “certification is an important step in career development, and recognizes qualified and competent individuals.”

Certification in project management validates your ability to lead business projects and earns you the respect of peers and employers. And, with the PMP® credential on your résumé, you’ll have greater confidence to compete for top project management positions. Earning your project management certification online can be the key to advancing in your career, reaching your goals and a higher salary potential.

Online Training For Your PMP Certification

Gain critical knowledge to lead successful projects with Villanova University’s online Project Management certificate programs. Supporting the latest Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide – Fourth Edition), Villanova offers the most up-to-date information in a dynamic online classroom. By earning your Master Certificate in Project Management and attaining PMI certification, you’ll be on a clear path to job security, professional growth and better pay. Choose from these online certificate programs:

Master Certificate in Project Management

Gain critical knowledge to lead successful projects with Villanova’s online Project Management certificate programs. Acquire vital project management skills at your convenience and apply what you’ve learned immediately on the job!

Advanced Master Certificate in Project Management

Once you’ve earned either a Master Certificate in Project Management, PMP or CAPM certification, enhance your knowledge by obtaining an Advanced Master Certificate in Project Management. You will learn all the latest high-level techniques to lead and manage people and projects, plus you’ll earn PDUs necessary to maintain your PMP certification.

Category: Project Management