Who is a Project Manager? Salary, Skills & Career

What does a Project Manager do? The Skills required, Salary and Career Guide

Every company emphasises having good project managers. Why might that be? The reason is that good project managers are essential for smooth execution, happy clients and employees, and successful business.
In this article, you’ll learn about project management and project managers in detail.

The Concept of Project Management

Project management points towards the planning and organisation of a company’s resources to carry a specific task or duty towards completion. A project manager achieves this through a set of procedures and tools. Read more about project managers and their responsibilities in the succeeding sections.

Who is a Project Manager?

Project managers play the lead role in planning, implementing, monitoring, controlling, and completing different projects. They are responsible for handling project teams and resources, the project budget, and most importantly the success and failure of the project.

What Does a Project Manager Do?

Broadly, project managers plan, organise and direct a project for its successful completion. Let’s take a detailed look at project managers’ responsibilities.

Initiating the Project

Project managers take on every new project by defining its objectives, purpose, and scope. They also discuss and identify expectations to understand the goal.

Planning the Project

In this phase, the project manager outlines the plan for the project. This includes the scope, budget, resource requirements, and timeline to complete the project.

Executing and Monitoring the Project

No matter how well planned the project is, things deviate from the plan at various stages due to many reasons. Project managers keep track of the execution phase via meetings, performance updates and monitoring of the project schedule. They even estimate risks and troubleshoot them.

Delivering the Project

Managing all the phases of the project and delivering them on time is a project manager’s core responsibility. Effective communication and leadership skills are the key aptitudes of a project manager to get the best possible results.

Irrespective of the type of project, it is necessary for a project manager to understand the correct planning and execution of the project. Here comes the application of the project management life cycle. In simple terms, the project management life cycle is a step-by-step framework for the best initiation to execution, followed by the closing of a project.

What are the Skills Required to Become a Project Manager?

As more and more companies realise the significance of project management, the demand for skilled managers continues to rise.

The key skills project managers are expected to possess are:

  • Leadership skills to motivate and lead a team to accomplish a goal.
  • Organisation skills for smooth planning and properly using people and resources to meet deadlines.
  • Good communication skills for management and communication within and outside teams (vendors, stakeholders, and customers).
  • Technical skills to understand the project requirement and plans.
  • Critical thinking skills for analysing and evaluating a situation to help prevent problems before they occur.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, to encourage and lead the project team.

In addition to the above-mentioned skills, a good project manager should have:

  • The capacity to monitor and manage the budget for the project.
  • The capability to initiate and construct decisions under pressure.
  • The skill of approaching a project with a positive attitude.

Salary of a Project Manager in India

The project manager plays a leading role in different industries. However, depending on the methodologies and output, the role might vary. For example, you can become a project manager in:

  • A construction-based business
  • An engineering-based company
  • An IT and marketing-based corporation

The salary varies depending upon the role, experience, location, and type of industry. In general, the salary of a project manager starts from ₹ 5 Lakhs and goes up to ₹ 30 Lakhs [Source]. The average annual salary range is between ₹ 14 Lakhs to ₹ 16 Lakhs [Source].

Career Pathway of a Project Manager

For aspiring project managers, the prime requirement is:

  • A degree in information technology, computer science, business management, or a related field.
  • Project management-related experience and skills.
  • A certification in project management can be an added advantage.

The career pathway of a project manager is as follows:

  • In the beginning, you can start with the Project Coordinator role, assisting tasks for the given projects.
  • With expertise and experience, you can step into the Associate Project Manager In this role, you will be assisting smaller projects under the leadership of the Senior PM.
  • With time and enhanced knowledge, you can further step ahead to manage and handle big projects or several smaller projects and take the position of a Project Manager.
  • Once you become a project manager and gain a few years of experience, you can transition to senior roles and become a Senior Project Manager where you would be leading multiple projects and programs.
  • The Program Manager, Portfolio manager and Director of the Project Management Office are the higher positions in the hierarchy.

Be it a field in computer science, information technology, robotics, construction, architecture, fashion, design, or something else, there is always a need for a project manager. It is a versatile career option where you can land a well-recognised career with the right skills and experiences.

You can enhance your skills and knowledge in project management for better opportunities and growth. Emeritus India offers some top-notch online project management courses in collaboration with prestigious universities like the IITs and IIMs.

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