what is a project manager?

As a project manager, your key task is to plan and execute projects. That means you are in charge of determining the project scope and resources necessary to execute your plan to completion. You are also responsible for managing teams and resources assigned to you. As a project manager, you take care of tangible and crucial elements like planning and budgeting. You also participate in less quantifiable aspects like providing moral support and leadership to your teams.

Project managers are agents of change who enjoy working in a complex and dynamic environment. As a project manager, you inspire others to achieve milestones and drive results. You also shift between the big picture and minor details – a crucial skill for project success. That means you are responsible for developing the game plan for executing a project, creating schedules and defining tasks of each team member that leads to the achievement of milestones.

Unlike other careers where you work in a specific industry, project managers serve in all sectors. For instance, they provide roadmaps for construction projects, help in marketing, and support the IT industry in project development.

Would working as a project manager suit your problem-solving and time-management skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a project manager role.

project manager jobs

average project manager salary

According to Job Bank, the average salary of a project manager is $90,000 per year. The earnings fluctuate depending on the region and area of expertise. In an entry-level position, you are starting out in your career and have minimal experience. Your salary starts at $70,526 annually. With experience, the earnings increase gradually and your take-home salary could be over $126,794 yearly.

how to increase your salary as a project manager

Your earnings as a project manager depend on your qualifications and the expertise you bring to the team. When you have a master’s degree, you earn a higher salary than a project manager with a bachelor’s degree. The industry sector you work in also determines your earning potential. Industries like IT and construction pay more due to the complexity of the tasks and the expertise required.

The project size or company also affects your earnings. You earn more when you work in a large company with unlimited resources. That’s because you handle large projects with unlimited funds. When you work on small projects, the pay will be slightly lower.

Would you like to know what a project manager earns? Where the highest salaries are paid for a project manager? Then download our Randstad salary guide and find out all about the salary of a project manager in Canada.


types of project managers

Project managers serve in different industries and have different roles. Some of them include:

  • construction project managers: as a project manager in the construction industry, you work closely with architects and create a plan for completing projects. That includes overseeing construction projects like building structures and infrastructure.
  • IT project managers: when you are a project manager in IT, you solve problems in the IT department. Some of the issues you are likely to deal with are installing new software or updating networks. Software project managers also guide teams in developing new software.
  • energy project managers: in energy, you supervise projects that lead to infrastructure development or improvement of existing energy-efficient practices in a company.
Employee applying sticky notes on wallpost
Employee applying sticky notes on wallpost

working as a project manager

As a project manager, you play a role in creating amazing structures and information technology systems. Let’s explore project managers' specific duties, responsibilities and work schedules.


project manager skills and education

To become a project manager, it is important to have the following educational requirements:

  • education: pursue a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering to work in construction or computer science to get project management jobs in IT. Complete a postgraduate program in project management to learn leadership skills.
  • experience: build your practical experience through internships and entry-level jobs in your industry. Entry-level jobs improve your knowledge in the industry, and you can easily move to higher roles.

competencies and characteristics of project managers

Aside from educational qualifications, you need these skills to become a great project manager:

  • negotiation skills: when you are a project manager, being a great negotiator helps you get the best contract deals. Negotiation skills are also crucial to bring all stakeholders on board with your strategic plans.
  • leadership skills: as a project manager, you need strong leadership skills to guide your team toward project goals. With your skills, you can motivate and guide your team members throughout the project process.
  • organizational skills: when you are a project manager, you have numerous tasks to accomplish, and organizational skills come in handy. Organization skills help you multi-task since you can prioritize responsibilities and compartmentalize projects.
  • problem-solving skills: with problem-solving skills, you can find a structured approach to deal with problems that arise during the project process. The skills also enable you to mitigate risk and achieve positive results.
  • computer skills: you need basic computing skills to operate project management systems and organize your teams with scheduling systems. Sometimes, you also analyze data using spreadsheets.
  • communication and interpersonal abilities: as a project manager, communications skills help relay your plans to the teams and stakeholders. You also require effective communication skills to make presentations to stakeholders and write reports after a project.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a project manager.


meet a recruiter

Make sure your resume is up-to-date, including information about your technical skills and certifications. Then share it with us to connect with a recruiter and be matched with job opportunities.

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.