6 Skills You’ll Need To Become A Project Officer
If you’re someone who likes change, and constantly embarking on new challenges then becoming a project officer might be right for you!
But what is a project officer? What do they do, where do they work and what kind of skills do you need to excel in this career?
What is a project officer?
A project officer works in a team of people under a project manager. Together with their team and under the guidance of the project manager they will take on large projects for a company. Sometimes the project team is comprised of existing workers in an organisation and sometimes they work for an outside firm and come into companies to launch and manage new projects.
What do project officers do?
A project officer reports to the project manager and their tasks and KPIs are set by the project manager. Depending on the company and the project they are undertaking this could include administration and record keeping associated with the project, negotiating with the suppliers and outside contractors, delegating tasks to different departments, completing progress reports and much more.
Where do project officers work?
Project officers work in all different industries, but most often for large organisations such as universities, tech companies or the public sector. There are project officer roles in construction, education, architecture, the arts and government to give a few examples.
How much do project officers earn?
According to the Seek, project officers make an average annual salary of around $90,000. But the salary range can go up or down depending on the industry, the role and the experience of the applicant.
How do you become a project officer?
The best and most straight forward path to becoming a project officer is to complete the Certificate IV in Project Management. This course can be completed entirely online, through self-paced, trainer supported study, which means you can start anytime and study from anywhere in Australia.
In this course you’ll learn how to:
- Apply project scope management techniques
- Apply project time management techniques
- Apply project quality management techniques
- Apply project cost management techniques
- Apply project risk management techniques
- Apply project life cycle management processes
- Coordinate business resources
- Develop personal work priorities
- Implement and monitor WHS policies, procedures and programs
You can check out more about this course here.
What skills do you need to be project officer?
While Certificate IV in Project Management does give you a lot of fantastic skills that you can apply in your role as a project officer, there are some soft skills that will help you excel in the role.
There is a lot of administration in project management and as a lower-level worker in this field, much of the administration will fall to you. A good typing speed, the ability to operate and learn new filing systems, and a solid understanding of Microsoft office suite will come in handy for project officers.
Creative Problem Solving Skills
In project management you are often working on and implementing new systems or troubleshooting new technology. So, the ability to think outside the box and find innovative ways to fix problems will really help you to excel as a project officer.
Time Management Skills
Project management is a high pressure environment. Everything must be kept to a timeline in order to deliver on project goals. With all these competing priorities you will need excellent time management skills to keep on top of the tasks and make sure you’re meeting all the deliverables.
Often times as the project officer you can be charged with keeping everyone else to their timelines and delivering progress reports, so you’ll have to keep on top of other departments to ensure they are finishing tasks within allotted timelines. Projects move in stages so if one department or team member doesn’t finish their tasks in time, the next stage can’t progress.
As project officer, you’ll need excellent communication skills. In the role you’ll need to communicate with different department members, project team members, outside contractors and other stakeholders.
In this role you need to be assigning tasks, seeking feedback, writing reports and relaying information between different team members. For this reason, both verbal and written communication skills are essential to excelling as a project officer.
In project management you are working with people across all different areas, from outside contractors to project team members to different departments. Being able to alter your approach depending on the situation is paramount to the role. You’ll need to be able to work well with others, seeking feedback and collaborating with all different areas of a company to work towards the best possible outcomes for the project.
Project officers need excellent organisation skills. They are often put in charge of administration and progress reports for the project. Managing and maintaining filing, tracking the progress of the project and keeping records up to date are all important parts for the role. Excellent organisation skills will come in handy with this intensive record keeping.
Project management is a fantastic career path for anyone who enjoys a challenging workplace with changing priorities and lots of opportunity for growth.
If you’re thinking about getting into this exciting field, you can check out the course here, or organise to have a chat with one of our friendly course advisors. We’d love to help you find the right course for your career.