How to Become a Project Manager career path to becoming a project manager

How to Become a Project Manager?

What qualifications do you need to be a project manager? How to become a project manager? Many professionals working in the field of project management often wonder about the career path to becoming a project manager. Therefore we decided to write this article to provide a guide for the professionals who want to grow up their management career path. Actually it is difficult to determine what you should study, what type of experience you need, how to select the industry and what qualifications you need to be a project manager. Many types of companies employ project managers to manage projects from construction to healthcare. Typically, a PM is responsible for keeping projects on track and organized to meet the organizational goals. Before to start, let’s discuss what a project manager does?

Who is a Project Manager and What Does a Project Manager Do?

Basically the role “project manager” is a popular role among professionals. However, do you know who is a PM and what is the responsibility of him/her?

Simply put, a PM is someone who has the entire responsibility for the successful performance and completion of a project. He has the overall responsibility to manage design, initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling and close up processes within a project.

From this aspect, a PM is responsible for both the success and the failure of the project.

A PM spends most of his time with managing people, communication and collaboration.

Basically the responsibilities of a project manager include but not limited to the following;

  • Planning the schedule and creating the budget of the project
  • Guiding the project team and removing the obstacles
  • Managing resources (labor, equipment, and machinery)
  • Stakeholder management
  • Risk management

A PM’ s daily routine includes writing several emails to various people, reviewing reports, communicating with the client’s representatives, assisting team members and participating in meetings.

What Qualifications Do You Need to be a Project Manager?

In order to become a PM, you need to have some basic skills and competencies such as technical, management and organization. A PM is the one who can develop strategies to reach the project goals. He deals with people, issues, systems, processes as well as resources. Therefore a PM needs a wide range of skills to perform the project.

If you are considering to become a PM, you need below skills to success

  • Leadership
  • Technical Knowledge
  • Negotiation
  • Scheduling
  • Cost Management
  • Risk Management
  • Communication
  • Coaching
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving
  • Quality Management

Considering today’s challenging projects, a PM must be able to work under pressure and manage several individuals participating in a project.

Note that you must have enough knowledge on project management processes and knowledge areas as well as project management methodologies such as Waterfall, Scrum, Kanban, etc.

How to Become a Project Manager? (Career Path to Becoming a Project Manager)

Most of the project managers have at least a bachelor degree in their field of businesses. Except for exceptions, if you want to become a PM in the construction industry, it will be better for you to be a civil engineer. The same goes for other industries. In other words, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a specific area such as marketing, engineering or IT, depending on what type of industry you would like to work, will help you to become a PM.

You can participate in master programs or project management or organizational management programs that many universities provide. After getting a bachelor’s degree, you can improve your knowledge in the field of project management by participating in certification programs.

If you don’t have time to attend a course, you can try online courses, webinars, and training programs.

Attending Project Management Certification Programs

There are many programs available for project managers to improve their knowledge and network. Obtaining a project management certification provides many benefits to professionals such as increased salary, having better job opportunities and working in better projects.

Getting certified will help you to hold a Junior or Associate PM position at the beginning. Companies prefer certified PM’s rather than non-certified ones for large and sophisticated projects.

However, in order to become a certified professional, you need to meet specific eligibility and experience requirements along with passing a written exam.

Below are some of the best certification programs currently available.

  • The Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
  • Projects in Controlled Environments (PRINCE2)
  • CompTIA Project+ Certification
  • Certified Project Director (CPD) Certification

Note that certifications are not mandatory to become a Project Manager. However, globally acknowledged certifications confirm your knowledge and provide greater visibility to recruiters.

Simply put a project management certification;

  • Confirms your knowledge
  • Helps to increase your salary
  • Expands your market reach
  • Helps to have better job opportunities
  • Helps to work in important projects
  • Is applicable to many industries

How to Prepare for Job Interview

Hiring an effective PM is vital for the future of any organization. Therefore, HR Managers and executives test the knowledge and experience of an applicant during the interview. They often ask your current and previous work experiences to understand if you are suitable for the job or not. Most of the questions that they may ask are related to project management skills and competencies. We recommend you to read this article regarding PM Interview Questions and Answers.


Many professionals seek the best career path to becoming a project manager. However many of them don’t know where to start. This article provides you a guide to help you to become a project management professional. In brief, if you want to become a PM, you should possess some technical and management skills as well as being well educated. Becoming a PM may be good carrier for you. Could you please share your knowledge on how to become a Project Manager? We would like to hear from you about your path to become a project manager.

See Also

Project Management Certification

Project Manager Skills and Competencies

Project Manager Interview Questions

List of Technical Skills

External References

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