what is a project manager?

As a project manager, you work on projects and programmes within a company. Your job is to lead and coordinate the activities associated with the projects. That means you perform various administrative and technical tasks to ensure the smooth running of processes and systems. Your goal is to ensure the successful and efficient completion of projects.

When a project manager formulates a project, you assist with transitioning the idea to reality. You oversee specific teams in the project and monitor their performance to ensure they align with project objectives.

where do project managers work?

As a project manager, you work in diverse industries. For instance, you could work in the construction industry, supervising building projects. Some project managers work in mining, assisting with the supervision of infrastructure operations and planning. When you work in the corporate environment, you focus on developing projects that improve business systems and processes. You can work for public, private and non-governmental organisations.

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average project manager salary

A project manager is a management position with a good remuneration package. The median salary in the role is $117,500 per year. The variations in earnings depend on your experience and skills. For instance, entry-level project managers take home around $65,000 annually due to minimal knowledge and skills. Senior-level project managers have a remuneration package of over $170,000 per year. Some companies provide additional benefits as part of the remuneration package. For instance, you may receive a car allowance and annual sick leave.

how to earn more as a project manager

The project managers' remuneration package depends on the industry and project scope and your credentials. The more academic qualifications you have, the better your earnings. That's why project managers with bachelor's degrees receive better salaries than those with diplomas. The scope of your project also affects your earning potential. You are likely to make more money when you work on complex projects.

A project manager working in manufacturing, engineering and technology has a higher salary due to the expectations in the role. Projects in some corporate environments attract lower salaries.

Group of people having a meeting
Group of people having a meeting

types of project managers

The types of project managers depend on the industries they work in, including:

  • construction project managers: when you work in construction or infrastructure as a project manager, you supervise building projects. You assist with scheduling tasks and planning the building activities. You work with contractors and construction workers to maintain the project timeline.
  • information technology project managers: as an IT project manager, you work in technology companies delivering projects related to information technology. You help companies with software development and creating IT strategies to improve processes. You also assist with network upgrades and integrating of new technologies into existing systems.
  • business project managers: you develop processes and systems that improve project completion as a business project manager You oversee various business improvement processes in the finance, health and hospitality industries.

working as a project manager

Working as a project manager allows you to work independently, making it an excellent career for self-motivated people. It will enable you to use creativity and organisation skills to solve problems. Let's explore a project manager's duties, work schedules and career prospects.


education and skills

There are no specific entry requirements to become a project manager. However, most employers prefer you to have a tertiary qualification in your specialised area such as engineering, construction or information and communication technology (ICT).

A diploma or degree in project management is also useful. Most employers prefer courses approved by the Project Management Institute (New Zealand chapter).

project manager skills and competencies

A project manager requires the following skills and competencies:

  • math skills: as a project manager, you rely on math skills to excel in your role. While you don't require knowledge of advanced mathematics, the skills help you in your duties. For instance, you rely on your math skills to keep track of budgets and timelines to ensure deadlines are met.
  • communication skills: as a project manager, you organise meetings with staff and rely on your communication skills to give people clear messages. Communication skills also help you with presentations.
  • teamwork skills: as a project manager, you work with a team of professionals and need interpersonal skills to build good relationships. Teamwork skills also improve your work ethic and help you avoid conflicts.
  • time management: projects usually have specific timelines, and it is your job to ensure the activities are completed on time. Your time management skills are useful for prioritising tasks and improving work efficiency.

FAQs about working as a project manager

Here are the most asked questions about working as a project manager:

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