How to Become a Project Manager: 6 Steps 2023

Before participating in an actual project, you must know if you can use those techniques and platforms. If you’d like to see what other skills you’ll need for your next project manager job, check out our complete analysis of 200+ project management job descriptions. Knowledge of project management is sometimes just not enough for you to become a great PM. Tackling daily project management challenges also requires accountability, adaptability, analytical and strategic thinking, decisiveness, a stress-resistant personality, and love for risk-taking. Being a multitasker with excellent written and oral communication skills can place you among the top project managers in your sector. With self-study and research, you can learn the basics of the profession.

You can either go the “traditional” route — i.e. set out to become a project manager, get a qualification, and take a role as a project manager. Or you can keep gaining project management experience and working your way up the project management career ladder without a degree, certification, or other “classical” project manager education. In some cases, relevant experience in organizing, planning, and managing can be more useful than a degree. Leadership skills tend to be universal and applicable to multiple industries. You can build these skills with volunteer work and entry-level jobs where you have opportunities to lead teams. For example, if you want a career as a marketing project manager, you could build your resume with experience as a marketing assistant or coordinator.

What does a project manager do?

A project manager is a professional who organizes, plans, and executes projects while working within restraints like budgets and schedules. Project managers lead entire teams, define project goals, communicate with stakeholders, and see a project through to its closure. Whether running a marketing campaign, constructing a building, developing a computer system, or launching a new product, the project manager is responsible for the success or failure of the project. They aren’t necessarily responsible for the coaching and mentorship of a team—in fact, a project manager’s team members may report to another member of the organization. But even though  a project manager’s responsibilities aren’t typically people-focused first, it’s still important to have some communication and organizational soft skills. That way, you can support and guide your team towards project success.

companies moving to remote work permanently

If you have a knack for organizing people and tasks to complete a job, consider becoming a project manager. These professionals are often natural leaders who know how to break big projects into smaller tasks, establish deadlines, and support others who help them meet their goals. They work for public and private organizations in various industries, which should allow you to find a job in a field that suits your personal and professional needs. Project managers in the U.S. earn a median annual salary of $115,000, according to a 2022 jobs report by PMI. In a 2021 talent gap report, PMI projected that the global economy would have to add 25 million project management professionals to meet demand by 2030.

Senior project manager

Make sure you put your hand up for any opportunities that arise. Speak to your manager and to HR and let them know that you’d like to take on more responsibilities and roles in projects that can build your experience towards a project manager role. Your career path doesn’t have to stop at being a project manager. You can go on to become a program manager and handle multiple related projects. They are responsible for choosing and prioritizing future projects according to an organization’s rules and strategy. This job helps ensure the entire company’s project organization.

Review project manager job listings, from entry-level to advanced roles, to find out what companies are looking for. Also, try Paymo for free to start working with project management software or use it to track your learning process. Paymo is free without limitations to schools, colleges, and universities. If you’re working for a smaller company where you’re the only project manager, you might be in charge of all duties.

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