How To Become a Project Manager
So, you’ve been thinking about becoming a project manager?
Maybe you’ve gotten a taste for it through work. Perhaps you were put on a project and after seeing the rewarding and challenging experience of working through a project from start to finish you’re eager to do it again.
Maybe you’ve heard how much you can make as a project manager and you’re interested in seeing if it’s the kind of role that would suit you.
Whatever the reason for your interest, if you’re a big picture thinker with an eye for detail who is great at collaborating with others and managing complex strategies then becoming a project manager might be the right career path for you!
What is a project manager?
A project manager is the person in charge of managing the team who complete a project.
From the ideation stage through to the completion and implementation stage. What kinds of projects they manage will vary greatly depending on which industry they work in and the size of their company and team.
What does a project manager do?
The Project Manager is responsible for the entire lifecycle of a project. Including but not limited to:
- Hiring the team
- Delegating the work
- Leading the meetings
- Deciding and monitoring outcomes for each team member
- Signing off on contracts
- Managing risk
- Taking responsibility for project milestone delivery
- Supervising the documentation
- Delivering reports to senior leaders and stake holders e
Where do they work?
Project Managers are found in every industry because there are always projects to be managed. So, this a role that can take you anywhere from retail companies to construction, mining to the art world.
There is a plenty of work in just about every industry for project managers.
How much do they make?
Project managers are in demand, earning an average of $120,000 per year. Of course, how much you earn depends on how much experience you have, what qualifications you have and which industry you work in as a project manager.
However as being the project manager is essentially the top job on a project, it is a high earning position which also comes with all the responsibilities and perks of being a manager including the pay cheque.
What’s next? Options for career progression
Working as a project manager is one of the top roles you can get in this particular area. Generally, you’d start off being a project team member, then a coordinator and then you would rise up to the top role of project manager.
So, when looking to level up a lot of project managers decide to work for themselves freelancing or consulting in their particular area of expertise. This can be a lucrative next step for those moving up and out of project management.
What kinds of skills do you need?
Project managers have a lot of plates to juggle in their roles. Running a project is a complex undertaking and to succeed you’ll need the following skills.
As a project manager you are in charge of a whole team responsible for the delivery of every task associated with the project. You’ll need to manage your people, delegate tasks, maintain the smooth running of the project and deliver on each smaller task within the timeline for the project.
With multiple different competing priorities, you will need to have exceptional organisational skills.
Being a project manager is one of those rarer roles which is finite. You will move on to do a different project, perhaps even with a different company once you finish a contract.
And so, everything is time sensitive. Every aspect needs to be scheduled and every task completed on time so that the project can move forward. If one task is delayed it can derail the whole project. This is why time management is so essential to being a successful project manager.
Project Managers handle the whole team working on the project and what each of these team members needs to produce for the project to reach completion. That is why it is so important that a project manager has good communication skills.
Verbal and written communication skills will be paramount to ensuring all tasks are completed and each team member understands what they are responsible for. A miscommunication could result in the entire project falling apart so it’s vital for project managers to be effective communicators.
Project Managers oversee their team. They need excellent leadership skills, being able to organise and lead the team to success is essential for a project manager. You’ll need to be able to take charge and manage people, make hard decisions and be confident in your choices.
Naturally project managers need to collaborate with a variety of stakeholders to complete projects. This means working well with others, getting a natural feel for which personalities and ideas will mould well together and finding compromises where collaboration fails.
What do you need to study?
To work as a project manager, the starting point for qualifications would be a Diploma of Project Management. There are no formal entry requirements to enter this course. The course is delivered online which means you can start anytime and study from anywhere in Australia.
What does the course cover?
The course covers everything you will need to know to work as a project manager including:
- Managing project scope
- Managing project time
- Managing project quality
- Managing project costs
- Managing project human resources
- Managing project information and communication
- Managing project risk
- Managing project integration
- Interpreting compliance requirement
- Managing business resources
- Managing person and professional development
- Managing team effectiveness
How much does it cost?
The cost of the Diploma of Project Management depends on whether you are completing the whole course through full study or if you are completing part of the course through Recognition of Prior Learning.
The course can cost anywhere from $2700 to complete it entirely through RPL to $4800 to complete the whole course through full study. However, there are pay as you go options and payment plans you can take advantage of. If you are an eligible or unemployed worker in the construction industry you may also be eligible for Construction Skills Queensland funding.
How long does it take?
The Diploma of Project Management can take anywhere from 3 months to 12 months to complete depending on what study mode and type of study you choose.
For example, if you are able to complete the entire course through RPL, it could only take 3 months. However, if you complete the course through full time study it would be up to 12 months to complete.
If you’re interested in knowing more about how to get started on this exciting career path, have a chat with one of our course advisors today.