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What Does a Project Manager Do?

People who are organized and enjoy being in a leadership role may be interested in becoming a project manager. Read on to find out more about the duties associated with this career.

Career Overview

A project manager is responsible for the overall completion of a project. Project managers may oversee projects in a wide range of fields, such as:

  • Construction
  • Information technology (IT)
  • Architecture
  • Software development
  • Telecommunications
  • Engineering

Project managers work in one industry, though they generally excel in several different areas and use their expertise to efficiently lead their teams. Organizing, managing and planning a project are some of the tasks executed by a project manager. Some of the principal duties of a project manager are listed in this article.

Important Facts About Project Managers

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Critical thinking, problem solving, excellent communication, organization, leadership, multitasking, customer focused
Work Environment In office or outside, depending upon specific occupation, with traditional business hours
Similar Occupations Business managers, marketing coordinators, office managers, operations managers

Cost Estimation and Budgeting

Project managers usually have a specific amount of money with which they must complete a project. They must effectively estimate how much money will be necessary to complete each task and create a corresponding budget. This budgeting process is extremely important to the success of a project because failure to budget correctly can cause unnecessary delays.

Project Organization and Delegation

It is the project manager's responsibility to decide which individual or team will carry out each task. This delegation helps maintain organization within the project and provides people or teams with specific duties. Organizing well and knowing how to delegate work are essential parts of what a project manager does.

Risk Analysis

Project managers must be able to assess the risk associated with a particular project. They are responsible for reporting to their boss regarding the potential success or failure of the tasks that make up a project. If a project manager does not believe that a project can be completed by a certain deadline or within the budgetary constraints, it is his or her responsibility to report this result to the supervisor.

Team Leadership

It is the responsibility of the project manager to act as the overall leader of the group of individuals completing a task. This role involves being available to field concerns or complaints, encourage team members during the project and ensure that morale stays high throughout the project.

Salary Information

According to PayScale.com in May 2019, the salaries earned by project managers depend on the field in which they specialize. Project managers working in engineering typically earn between $60,000 and $132,000 a year, while most construction project managers take home salaries ranging from $47,000 to $112,000 annually. Project managers in the field of information technology typically earn between $54,000 and $124,000 a year.