Everything You Need To Know About Becoming a Project Coordinator
If you’re a bit of an organisational whiz and you’ve got a passion for big picture thinking and pulling together large-scale operations, being a Project Coordinator might just be the right career path for you.
What does a project coordinator do?
A project coordinator is a varied and constantly changing role. Depending on which projects your company is tackling, your role will change and accommodate what’s required for the success of that project.
This could include things such as developing and managing project schedules, organising project meetings and overseeing the rollout.
Being a Project Coordinator is a lot like being an Assistant Director. The Project Manager is the director and you support them to oversee and plan everything.
You may be organising teams, setting tasks and managing the deliverables. You could be facilitating the division of resources, budget and jobs amongst the key departments.
A project coordinator does many different tasks but overall, it comes down to organisation and implementation.
What kinds of industries can they work in?
The great thing about being a Project Coordinator is that they are needed in every different industry, from construction to architecture, events to the arts.
There is work in every industry for these savvy individuals because all industries have projects that must be organised and overseen.
How much does a Project Coordinator make?
A Project Coordinator is a valued member of the company. They have an important role in supporting the Project Manager to manage and orchestrate large scale projects.
According to Seek, in Australia the average salary for a Project Coordinator is between $65,000 and $70,000 per year.
What’s the next level up from being a Project Coordinator?
Once you’ve spent some time working as a Project Coordinator and you want to move up the ladder, the next job you’d want to go for would be Project Manager.
A Project Manager is your immediate boss as a Project Coordinator and they are responsible for running the show. To move up to doing that role you would want to complete the Diploma of Project Management.
What skills will you need to be a good Project Coordinator?
Attention to detail
A Project Coordinator needs to be able to zone in on small aspects of the larger project work and make sure everything is in order.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that to be a good Project Coordinator you’ll need exceptional organisational skills.
Project Coordinators have a lot of plates spinning at once, so you need to be great at keeping everything running and balancing competing priorities.
Creative problem solving
In a role such as this, it’s essential that you can think on your feet and find a way to resolve issues as they arise.
Because project work often includes larger projects the company might not have undertaken before there are going to hiccups. Being calm in a crisis and finding a fix is key to being a good Project Coordinator.
The reality of this job is you’re going to have to lead the way. You might not be the head honcho at this level but you will need to be confident in giving direction and handing down orders and work flows.
As a leader you’ll also need to be good at motivating the staff in various departments and advising adjustments when the workload isn’t met.
As the name would suggest, coordinating people and workloads is the basis of this role. This means you’ve got to be someone who can get everyone working together to complete the common goal.
This is the basis of the role and it requires a delicate balance between big picture thinking and being detail-oriented.
Being a strong communicator is paramount to succeeding as a Project Coordinator.
Because you are central point of contact and you’ll be handing out directives to other departments, you’ll need to understand how best to communicate with each worker so that the message is clear and the work gets done.
If one department doesn’t quite grasp what you’ve asked of them, you could find you have two different workers completing the same task because it wasn’t clear who had been assigned the work.
That’s why clear and consistent communication is essential to being a good Project Coordinator.
How do you become a Project Coordinator?
People come to this kind of role through all different avenues. They may have experience in administration or finance. Perhaps they were a manager previously and found a flair for large project organisation.
But you don’t need a degree or a background in office work to do this job. A lot of hospitality and events staff have these skills from planning or organising large events.
The first step is to complete the Certificate IV in Project Management. This will give you a solid foundation to begin building your career in project management.
You’ll learn how to apply time management and scope management techniques, how to apply budgets to the project, handle human resources and how to plan and follow procedures for the lifecycle of the project.