Project managers plan and manage business projects to make sure they are finished on time and within budget. They can be employed in almost any industry including IT, construction, finance, law, manufacturing, engineering and sales. They also work in the public sector including the National Health Service (NHS).
You could be:
discussing the project with the client
negotiating timescales, costs, materials and contract terms and conditions
making a plan for all stages of the project
recruiting and managing a project team
arranging for the supply of materials and services needed
using specialist software to plan and monitor risk analysis, timescales, costs
ensuring that the project meets health and safety and legal regulations
checking that the project is running to schedule, within budget and to the required quality standards
giving regular progress reports to the client.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the type of industry or business you work for
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting salaries for assistant or trainee project managers can range from £19,000 to £35,000 a year. Salaries for experienced managers can be from £45,000 to £75,000 a year and top salaries can be £85,000. You might get extra income from a bonus scheme. Freelance project managers can earn around £350 to £540 or more a day.
You would work in an office but you may visit clients on site and suppliers.
You might have to travel to meetings in other parts of the country or perhaps abroad. You may have to spend nights away from home.
Working hours could be long and might include evenings and weekends to meet deadlines.
Many entrants have a degree in project management or a degree relevant to the industry sector such as construction, engineering, business, finance, IT or manufacturing.
For entry to a degree you normally need 4-5 Highers including English and sometimes Maths.
Postgraduate courses in project management are available at several universities throughout Scotland including construction project management.
Most project managers have relevant experience in business or industry.
It helps if you have skills and experience in project management processes (known as methodologies) such as PRINCE2 and Agile, and specialist project management software like Microsoft Project and Workbench.
A driving licence is useful and sometimes necessary.
You could work in construction, finance, law, retail, IT, manufacturing, engineering or the public sector or for a firm of consultants.
cope with stress and work under pressure to meet targets.
You should have:
excellent problem solving skills
strong networking and influencing skills
excellent ‘people’ and teamworking skills
good IT skills
excellent organisational skills
You could study part time for a degree or postgraduate qualification in project management while you are working.
You can work towards professional qualifications in project management at various levels from any one of the following organisations: the Association for Project Management (APM), Project Management Institute (PMI) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
The British Computer Society (BCS) offers courses in project management for those working in IT.
If you start as an assistant project manager, with experience you could move on to be a team leader.
You may progress to be a senior manager.
For senior jobs you will need a lot of experience in your relevant area.