Project Officer Job Description
A Project Officer provides essential support to a project, working with the Project Manager and other team members to achieve project success. Project Officers work in almost every field – construction, communications, education, sales – anywhere that projects are undertaken. Exact responsibilities will vary by project and industry, but key component of a Project Officers’ roles include administrative and technological skills. Project Officers answer directly to a Project Manager.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks Project Officer employment by industry. For example, a Project Officer working on a Public Relations project may be categorized as a Public Relations Specialist, and one working on a construction project may be listed as a Construction or Engineering Specialist. Because there are Project Officers in virtually every industry, their job outlook depends on the strength of each specific industry.
Project Officer Duties and Responsibilities
To accomplish their primary goal of providing administrative and technical skills to support a project to success, Project Officers perform many duties. We analyzed several job listings to identify these core Project Officer duties and responsibilities.
Organize Project Meetings
On a regular basis, Project Officers meet with the Project Manager to review progress and to discuss future steps. The Project Officer also arranges meetings with the members of the project. They organize appropriate meeting rooms and any refreshments, contact the attendees and note any who can’t attend. Before the meeting, they send out any relevant information, and they attend each meeting to take minutes.
Project Officers are responsible for maintaining crucial project documents which track project progress. They file all project documents in an appropriate database or library, and ensure that all documents are accurate and have been accepted by the Project Manager.
Identify Problems or Risks
Being so closely involved in the project, the Project Officer is relied upon to identify any potential issues or risks that could effect the progression of the project. They communicate these items with the Project Manager, and work to identify potential solutions.
Manage the Schedule
Project Officers closely watch the project schedule, monitoring deadlines for each project task. They check regularly that every deadline is still possible, and report any potential delays to the Project Manager.
Project Officer Skills
An analytical thinker with excellent problem-solving skills, a successful Project Officer is able to multi-task in a high volume, fast-pace work environment. They are team players with a high level of self-motivation and ability to set and meet goals. In addition to these general skills and personality traits, employers are seeking Project Officer candidates with the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Project Officers with these core skills. If you want to work as a Project Officer, focus on the following.
- Thorough familiarity with word processing, spreadsheet, and project scheduling computer applications
- Ability to work effectively as a team member and independently,
- Ability to manage multiple priorities under pressure, trouble-shoot, and to meet short- and long-term deadlines
- Demonstrated experience in budget and financial management
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Excellent critical and creative thinking and analytical skills
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Project Officer toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Experience in program administration, operating procedures, oversight and monitoring
- Ability to work with database applications
- Knowledge of project funding procedures and guidelines
Project Officer Resources
We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Project Officer. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.
On the Web
Project News Today – Sign up for a weekly roundup of the best information on project support from around the web.
Work Matters –This blog focuses on helping readers to deal with the personnel issues that get in the way of project success.
Back From Red – A very helpful read, this blog focuses on the reasons projects fail and how to recover them.
Planners & Schedulers & Project Control Professional – A platform for Professional Planning, Scheduling and Project Controls experts to share their experiences and ideas, and support and train the next generation of professionals.
Project Risk Management Online – Connect with and learn from other professionals involved in project risk management.
Construction Project Pros – A group specifically for those involved in construction projects.
Project Officer Books
Project Management For Beginners: 44 Steps for Starting and Developing a Successful Project Strategy That Supports Your business Goals – Learn the essentials of project management to improve your Project Officer skills.
Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager – This book will help you apply the practices of Project Management to be a more effective Project Officer.
Project Planning, Scheduling, and Control: The Ultimate Hands-On Guide to Bringing Projects in On Time and On Budget – A helpful guide to some of the most important roles a Project Officer takes on.
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