How Do I Become a Project Coordinator?

Explore the career requirements for project coordinators. Get the facts about education requirements, certifications and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Project Coordinator?

Project coordinators can work in a number of industries. While doing administrative tasks, they may also coordinate meetings, plan project strategies and create project calendars. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that a particular project is running smoothly and the work process is organized. They may distribute information to project team members as needed, update team members and clients on the project's progress and manage the project's budget. These professionals may also take detailed meeting minutes, keep project notes and records and assign duties to team members. Project coordinators need excellent communication, organization and time-management skills. The table below lists the general requirements for a career in this field.

Degree RequiredBachelor's degree in field of particular interest
Certifications Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) and Project Management Professional (PMP) credentials after obtaining bachelor's degree and experience, optional
Key Skills Excellent communication skills, proficiency in management and database software programs, experience often required
Median Salary (2017) $46,879*

Source: *PayScale.com

What Education Is Necessary to Become a Project Coordinator?

A bachelor's degree is required in order to perform many of the job duties in this profession. The field of study will depend on where you want to be employed. For example, you might pursue a bachelor's degree in computer information systems if you're interested in working for an information technology (IT) company. Courses in this major include operating systems, programming and database management. A bachelor's program in business administration could also help you learn project coordination skills; you might study business writing, management techniques and financial operations.

What Skills Are Needed?

According to the International Association of Administrative Professionals, project coordinators need excellent communication skills, as well as proficiency in current project management and database software programs (www.iaap-hq.org). Microsoft Project, Outlook and Excel are a few examples of common programs.

Many companies look for project coordinators who have 2-5 years of relevant work experience, as well as a bachelor's degree. You could gain professional experience by pursuing entry-level work in a particular industry. For example, aspiring project coordinators in the marketing industry may start out as account representatives or administrative assistants.

Although not required for this career, earning a project management certification may lead to additional job prospects. The Project Management Institute offers a few relevant certifications, including the Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) and Project Management Professional (PMP) credentials. You'll need to complete a bachelor's program, 3,500 hours of project scheduling experience and 30 hours of scheduling education before taking the PMI-SP certification exam (www.pmi.org). Similarly, completion of a bachelor's program and at least three years of project management experience, which equals 4,500 hours of project leadership experience, are required in order to take the PMP exam.

How Can I Gain Professional Experience?

Companies in numerous industries hire project coordinators, working them under the guidance of project managers. At a construction company, you may keep building projects on schedule and make sure all supplies are delivered on time. At an IT organization, duties could involve coordinating communication between team members, scheduling meetings and tracking each phase of software or hardware implementation.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

A couple alternative careers that require a bachelor's degree include top executives and cost estimators. Top executives can work in any number of industries for various organizations. Their primary role is to oversee the daily activities of an organization and ensure the organization's success. They may implement policies and different strategies to meet certain goals set for the organization. Cost estimators can also work in different industries, but usually specialize in one industry or in a certain kind of product. These professionals are responsible for predicting the cost of everything that goes into manufacturing a product or providing a service to consumers. They may analyze data on labor costs, how long a project will take, what materials are required and more.

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