This finding is an element of our extended 2015 Annual Survey of Practitioners which is due for publication early in the new year.
The survey is based on self-reported information from our course participants in the Leinster, Munster and Connacht regions and it includes nine major position descriptions/levels in reporting the data.
How many hours do you work per week?
1. Expected number of hours to be worked, as per terms of employment
2. Actual number of hours typically worked
Actual Hours Worked
Director of PMO
Project Manager (Senior)
Project Manager (Intermediate)
Project Management Specialist
Project Team Member
Project Management Consultant
Total / Average
*N = Number of respondents
*Mean = Arithmetic average
Regarding the work environment, project managers typically operate in office settings, working approximately 40 hours per week, usually between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. However, project managers in industries such as construction and extraction may also need to travel to different work sites in the field. Regardless of the location, project managers often dedicate long hours to planning, budget, and discussing project activities to ensure timely project completion.
Project managers are found in various industries, including technology companies, construction firms, manufacturers, engineering companies, architectural firms, and retailers. The industry in which you work can impact your salary as a project manager. The national average salary for project managers is around $79,935 per year, with some companies offering salaries as high as $119,302 per year. Project managers in provinces like Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta tend to earn higher salaries than the national average. Advanced certifications and extensive experience can also increase earning potential.
Project managers are tasked with planning, procuring, and overseeing project execution. A project is a time-bound endeavor aimed at achieving specific goals within a defined budget. Collaboration with other professionals is crucial for project managers to ensure project success.
Project managers bear the responsibility of balancing the triple constraints of time, scope, and resources, ultimately accountable for a project's outcome. Let's explore some common duties and responsibilities associated with this role:
Developing a comprehensive action plan to guide project completion.
Breaking down projects into smaller, manageable tasks.
Delegating tasks effectively to team members.
Identifying project stakeholders and managing their expectations.
Mobilizing and managing resources to ensure project completion.
Overseeing procurement processes and maintaining supplier relationships.
Regularly monitoring project progress to stay on track.
Taking corrective measures to address any project-related issues.
Documenting project activities, lessons learned, and achieved goals.
Presenting and reporting on completed projects.
Now, let's delve further information into the steps involved in becoming a project manager:
Obtain an undergraduate degree: While any degree can be a starting point, pursuing a business or project management degree offers an advantage in the job market. Degrees in engineering, construction, IT, or marketing can also provide relevant expertise for managing projects in those domains.
Choose a specialization: Determine the industry or field in which you wish to specialize as a project manager. For example, if you aspire to be an IT project manager, consider pursuing an IT-related degree to establish a strong foundation. Other areas of specialization include construction, energy, product development, and engineering.
Prepare for and pass certification exams: Acquiring certifications enhances your skills, employability, and demonstrates your commitment to the profession. Notable certifications for project managers include the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. The eligibility requirements for these certifications vary, such as a minimum degree, relevant work experience, and project management education.
Gain work experience: Building experience is crucial for excelling in project management. Seek internship positions with companies that manage projects or volunteer for responsibilities that expose you to project management roles. Such experiences enable you to stand out to recruiters and provide valuable practical insights.
Maintain certifications: Certifications often require continuous professional development, including additional training, attending conferences, and participating in learning programs. Some certifications also have expiration dates, necessitating the retaking of the certification exam. Maintaining certifications ensures you stay updated on project management best practices and standards.
Now, let's highlight some essential skills that successful project managers possess:
Leadership skills: Effective project managers must inspire and motivate their teams toward goal achievement.
Financial management skills: Managing project funds efficiently and ensuring projects stay within budget are crucial responsibilities.
Decision-making skills: Project managers must make practical decisions throughout the project cycle to enhance progress and success.
Team-building skills: Building consensus and fostering collaboration among diverse team members contribute to project success.
Time management skills: Excelling in managing time-bound tasks and ensuring projects are completed within specified deadlines.
Communication skills: Strong communication skills, including active listening and effective written communication, facilitate successful project outcomes.
Negotiating skills: Resolving conflicts and aligning diverse interests among stakeholders contribute to project development.
Technological skills: Proficiency in relevant tools and technologies aids in project management and coordination.
Now, let's consider some of the benefits of pursuing a career as a project manager:
Improved leadership skills: A career in project management allows you to develop effective leadership traits, motivating your team and making better decisions.
Enhanced problem-solving capability: Project management equips you with the skills to identify and resolve various workplace challenges, fostering critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
Improved interpersonal skills: Project managers constantly interact with stakeholders, project teams, and owners, leading to the development of strong interpersonal skills that can benefit other aspects of your career and personal life.
Opportunities to achieve personal goals: Project management skills not only facilitate career progression but also enable you to achieve personal goals, such as entrepreneurship and financial management.
In the field of project management, the Project Management Institute (PMI) is a globally recognized organization that plays a significant role in the project management institute setting industry standards and best practices. The PMI provides valuable resources, certifications, and networking opportunities for project managers. Their renowned certifications, such as the Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), demonstrate a project manager's competence and dedication to the profession.
For professionals seeking to validate their project management knowledge and their professional skills further, certification exams are often conducted at authorized exam centers. These exams assess a candidate's understanding of project management principles, methodologies, and best practices. Successfully passing these exams demonstrates proficiency in project management and enhances professional credibility.
A key component of project management is the development of a comprehensive project plan. A project plan outlines the project objectives, scope, deliverables, milestones, timelines, resources, and risk management strategies to execute projects. It serves as a roadmap that guides the project team throughout the project lifecycle and ensures alignment with project goals and stakeholder expectations.
For professionals seeking to advance their project management careers, pursuing a professional diploma or certification course can open up new opportunities. These programs provide in-depth knowledge and practical skills in project management, equipping individuals with the expertise needed to tackle complex projects and lead high-performing teams. Additionally, acquiring certifications from reputable institutions, such as the PMI, can enhance credibility and increase job prospects in the competitive project management job market.
When considering professional diploma programs or certification courses in project management, it is essential to evaluate the course content. Course content should cover a wide range of project management topics, including project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure. It should also incorporate practical techniques, industry best practices, and case studies to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of project management principles and their implementation across various industries.
For further information about project management certifications, professional diplomas, and course offerings, individuals can explore reputable training providers, industry associations, or official websites of certification bodies. These sources provide detailed information about the skills and knowledge required, exam formats, eligibility criteria, and recertification requirements. Additionally, they often offer resources such as study materials, practice exams, and support and guidance for exam preparation.
In addition to technical expertise, project managers require strong business acumen to understand the broader public sector and organizational context in which projects operate. They need to align project goals with strategic objectives and demonstrate the value of projects to key stakeholders.
Business skills such as financial management, strategic planning, and risk assessment enable project managers to make informed decisions that align with business priorities. They must consider the financial implications of projects, manage budgets, and ensure cost-effective resource allocation. By integrating business skills into their project management approach, project managers can contribute to organizational growth and success.
With the increasing demand for skilled project managers across industries, individuals with strong project management capabilities have a competitive edge and can explore diverse career paths and advancement opportunities.
It is worth noting that many countries have established a national framework for project management that outlines guidelines, standards, and competencies for project professionals. These frameworks provide a structured approach to project management and ensure consistency and quality in project delivery. Familiarizing oneself with the national project management framework and aligning and developing one's skills and practices with it can contribute to professional growth and success in project management.
In addition to project management, it is crucial to understand the management processes involved in overseeing multiple projects and aligning them with organizational goals. This is where program management comes into play. Program management focuses on coordinating and prioritizing a portfolio of related projects to achieve specific objectives and maximize overall project performance. Program managers work at a higher level, and focus on ensuring that projects are executed in a coordinated manner and that resources are allocated effectively across the program.
Successfully planning and executing projects requires a continuous and ongoing process of monitoring and controlling project activities. Project managers regularly assess project performance against key metrics, such as scope, schedule, budget, and quality. By closely monitoring project progress, identifying potential risks, and implementing appropriate mitigation strategies, project managers can proactively address issues and ensure that projects stay on track.
One popular approach in project management is the application of agile principles. Agile methodologies promote iterative and flexible project execution, allowing project teams to adapt to changing business requirements and deliver value incrementally. By embracing agile methods and principles, project managers can enhance collaboration, improve project outcomes, and respond more effectively to evolving client needs.
Becoming a project manager involves a combination of education, experience, and the development of key skills. By obtaining a relevant degree, specializing in a particular field, acquiring certifications, gaining practical experience, and honing essential skills, aspiring project managers can set themselves up for success in this dynamic and rewarding profession.
Remember, project management is not limited to a specific industry and can be applied to various sectors. Whether it's IT, construction, engineering, marketing, or any other field, the principles and practices of effective project management are universally valuable.
By continuously learning, adapting, and staying updated with industry trends and best practices, you can become a highly skilled and sought-after project manager capable of successfully leading projects and achieving desired outcomes.