Project Management Specialist Job Description
Project management specialists design action plans to increase productivity, manage project costs, and keep projects on schedule for completion. This is a management position, and project management specialists will often lead entire teams of staff to keep project goals coordinated and get projects completed. Project management specialists communicate with clients and ultimately answer to supervisors, though this job requires a great deal of autonomy. Businesses in all industries hire project management specialists.
Project Management Specialist Duties and Responsibilities
Because project management specialists are hired across all industries, people in this position are required to have specialized knowledge of their chosen career field. However, these essential duties and responsibilities for all project management specialists are the same in any type of business:
Analyze Project Needs
The project management specialist must identify the products and personnel required to complete projects.
Manage Project Schedules and Budgets
Project management specialists are responsible for keeping projects on schedule and on budget. People in this position must provide detailed cost analysis and timetable reports in order to facilitate this task.
Determine Project Priority
It is the responsibility of the project management specialist to determine which projects are most essential to the business and divide resources based on project priority.
Receive Regular Updates
The project management specialist must ask for frequent updates from all staff assigned to various projects and analyze these updates to identify potential problems that may keep projects from being completed on time and within budget.
Project management specialists must create visual and written presentations regarding the status of projects to which they are assigned and present these presentations to supervisors, customers, and project staff team members.
Monitor Project Performance
A project management specialist must continuously monitor the status of projects and the performance of the team assigned to the project.
Assign Duties to Staff
As the person in charge of the project, the project management specialist must assign various work duties and tasks to the project staff and ensure that everyone involved with the project is working continuously and efficiently.
Project Management Specialist Skills and Qualifications
In addition to the skills required for their particular career field, project management specialists need to have several other abilities in order to excel at this job. Employers are much more likely to hire project management specialists who display these talents:
- Management – project management specialists supervise entire teams of workers, so a background in management is much needed
- Communication skills – the ability to relay information to clients and project workers is essential for project management specialists
- Problem-solving skills – project management specialists must find solutions for every problem that may arise with the project
- Time management – in addition to people management skills, project management specialists must have the ability to manage their own time and multitask efficiently and effectively
- Budgeting – project management specialists need to have good economic sense because the finances of the project and needs of the budget fall directly upon them
Project Management Specialist Education and Training
Project management specialists need at least a bachelor’s degree in their chosen career field. Those who work in the marketing field, for example, should have a degree in marketing or business management. In addition to a degree, employers want candidates who have at least five years of work experience in their chosen field.
Because project management specialists must often work independently, the training period for this position is brief and rudimentary. After a few days or a week of learning the business and the employees who work there, the project management specialist will be left to their own devices to successfully manage the projects for which they are responsible.
Project Management Specialist Salary and Outlook
Project management specialists earn a salary that ranges from approximately $44,866 to $98,931 annually, with a median wage of $62,860 per year. Data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that there were 249,600 jobs available for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers in 2016. The projected job growth for this career is 10 percent by 2026, which is faster than the national average.
Become a successful project management specialist by making use of these resources:
Project Management Institute – PMI provides tools and resources about certification projects, research, publications, and networking opportunities for project management specialists in all industries.
Projects: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) – Learn the basics of projects and project management with this very short introduction to the topic written in a simple, straightforward way.
International Project Management Association – Use IPMA to find membership associations for professionals around the world, find news that’s relevant to project management specialists, and discover consultants and trainers who help professionals advance in their careers.
Project Management: A Multi-Perspective Leadership Framework – Check out this book to learn more about the five core principles of a project and to learn tricks and tips for developing solutions for project problems.
American Management Association – This website offers seminars, podcasts, and a number of text-based resources for project management specialists who want to learn how to more effectively perform their jobs.
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