Project manager jobs combine "big picture" thinking with detail-oriented processes and organization. A typical project management job description includes a related certificate, industry-standard project management certification through testing, or an advanced degree such as an MBA. This requirement shows that workers have mastered the skills and processes needed so that others can depend on them. These skills are used to track project progress and communicate the current status and any concerns with stakeholders such as group leaders and upper management.
The U.S. federal government is starting to track project management as a specific profession in its own right, recognizing that this role is an essential part of many industries, from construction to information technology. Project manager careers are especially important in companies that contract with government agencies because these managers connect engineering, financial, purchasing and other departments to achieve the particular goals of a contract. Construction project manager jobs work much the same way, often out of a jobsite, as they pull together additional factors such as permits, subcontractors whose work is dependent on each other and temporary labor needs.
Entry level project manager jobs, overseen by a lead project manager (PM), allow workers to gain experience with challenges that were not taught in school. Certified associate project manager training can help project managers to have confidence in their assistants and to enhance project manager careers at any level. A 2017 survey by the Project Management Institute showed that United States businesses place a high value on PMs, where a surveyed sample of nearly 11,000 working PMs reported a mean salary of $112,000. This global survey also shows that project managers have a skill that is transferable worldwide; a project in the United States, a Pacific Island or the Middle East requires essentially the same management and reporting skills.
Project management jobs are skilled specialist roles that allow team members on a project to focus on their primary skills, whether those are engineering, finance, client relations or personnel management. PMs provide important tracking and feedback information to team members and company management, helping everyone to understand how the project is performing relative to established delivery, cost and schedule goals.
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