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As a senior project manager, you're responsible for organizing and managing people and tasks. Your job as a project manager is to plan what work needs to be done, analyze the risks involved, and ensure the project is executed on-time and on-budget by assigning the appropriate resources.
To become a senior project manager, you’ve already proven your worth with a track record of accomplishments in the areas of analytics, documentation and human resources management. You've taken on greater responsibility and are likely managing more complex projects. The people you report may vary from middle management to C-level executives.
You work full-time hours in an office setting. Though a typical work schedule is 40 hours, time-sensitive projects with tight deadlines may require you to work overtime. You may report to a department director, VP, or senior executive. Project managers are also often hired as contractors to oversee specific projects that require additional management or expertise. You may also be required to travel to accommodate the projects you're working on.
Becoming a project manager typically requires several years of supervisory and management experience, leading to annual salaries well above the national average (the average Canadian worker earns approximately $49,000 annually.)
As a project manager, you can expect a starting salary of approximately $85,000, depending on the area you are located in. Senior project managers with 5+ years of experience in their role can expect to make a six-figure salary. Project manager salaries in Montreal are lower than the national average, but otherwise, project manager salaries are quite consistent across Canada.
As a senior project manager, you will likely have several coworkers who report to you. Your primary responsibility is to manage your direct reports and ensure that projects are completed on time and on
Whenever there are people and resources that need to be managed, you have the expertise to get things done. As a project manager, there are a wealth of opportunities in just about every industry under the sun. Some industries you may consider working in include finance, healthcare, insurance, government, or technology.
Another option is to become a project management consultant. Becoming a consultant allows you the freedom to pick and choose projects that interest you. However, choosing this path means giving up the certainty of a regular 9 to 5, and could require you to travel to meet the needs of your clients.
Project managers are often hired from within the organization they work, based on their prior contributions. To become a project manager, you will often need several years of experience in a closely related role. In particular, prior experience as a supervisor or manager will set you apart from other candidates and make you a prime candidate for project manager jobs. Some universal skills required in most project manager jobs include:
Most project manager jobs will require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in business or a similar field. If you're working as a project manager in a specialized field such as IT or finance, a more specialized degree or additional certifications in your field may be required.
To obtain senior project manager jobs, you may even be required to have an MBA or the gold standard in project management: a PMP certification. For senior project manager jobs, you will also likely be required to have several years of experience in a related project management role. Some prestigious senior project management roles may require as many as 5 years of experience and a proven track record.
As you prove yourself and demonstrate that you are an effective team leader who has managed projects that contribute to your company's success, you can work toward higher level management roles including executive roles such as director, VP, and various C-suite positions.
A third option that many senior project managers choose to take advantage of, is to become a freelance consultant. With an impressive resume and track record, you should have no problem lining up jobs as a consultant specialized in project management. Companies will call upon your expertise when launching new projects that can't be handled in-house.