Requiring attention to detail, organization, and follow-through, project management jobs can be a great career avenue. Highly organized people capable of multitasking and leading others often thrive in project management careers.
So, what does a project manager do? As the name implies, project managers oversee specific projects. They look at the desired end result and figure out the best step-by-step ways to get there.
Clients, executives, and staff members see the project manager as a liaison and central source of information who ensures tasks get done correctly, on time, and within budget. Project management positions exist in a wealth of different industries. We’re going over common project management career paths, along with their average annual salary information. Click on each career below to see the open jobs available on FlexJobs with a variety of flexible work options.
Here’s a look at what’s involved in some of the most popular project management career paths
Median annual salary: $93,370
From putting up new shopping malls to fixing the nation’s aging infrastructure, an abundance of construction projects means a need for competent construction project managers. These professionals break down what must be accomplished during every phase and work with clients, architects, engineers, and subcontractors to make it all happen—including compliance with safety, zoning, and legal regulations.
Average annual salary: $70,031
Project managers in this field work for public and private organizations interested in developing new energy systems or improving existing ones. For instance, a project manager on a wind plant project may take charge of selecting and clearing a site, gathering bids from contractors, keeping track of materials and equipment, and maintaining a safe environment.
Average annual salary: $94,440
From aerospace to manufacturing, companies hire engineers to design new products or find better (faster, cheaper, safer, etc.) ways of doing things. Engineering project managers work closely with these engineers as they figure out how to create something new or solve a given problem. They also pay close attention to the business side of engineering projects, such as allocating resources, staying on schedule, and keeping clients updated.
Average annual salary: $86,372
Software project managers use their solid technical background plus their ability to explain concepts to laypeople to turn ideas into reality. After achieving a firm grasp of what the client ultimately desires, software project managers work with tech staff to figure out the steps needed to make it happen and the tests required to ensure quality. Along the way, they stay abreast of deadlines, budgets, and potential problems.
Median annual salary: $142,530
Perhaps the highest-paying project management career path, IT project managers combine their technical prowess with business acumen to direct their organization’s computer-related activities. They keep an eye on factors such as upgrades, installation of new equipment, security, departmental requirements, and cost efficiency. Working with vendors to address needs and negotiate deals is often part of the job.
Average annual salary: $75,474
As the number of people with chronic conditions continues to rise and baby boomers age, healthcare project managers stand to have quite a lot on their plates in the years ahead. A healthcare system, for instance, may want to open a new hospital wing and needs someone to oversee each stage of its development. Taking on such an endeavor involves collaboration with doctors, department heads, donors, hospital board members, and vendors—each with their own priorities. Thus, awesome interpersonal skills serve a healthcare project manager well, as does the ability to juggle multiple responsibilities in a fast-paced environment.
Average annual salary: $89,453
Advances in drugs and medical treatments play a huge role in improving health and quality of life. Pharmaceutical project managers oversee new ideas from conception to sale. They work closely with doctors, researchers, and marketers on responsibilities such as testing new products, keeping records, monitoring risks, ensuring compliance with medical and legal standards, and getting the word out about new products.
Average annual salary: $59,916
A crowded global marketplace necessitates that organizations think carefully about how to get their products and services noticed. Marketing project managers take charge of brand awareness campaigns. They collaborate with marketing strategists to develop a vision and how it can be implemented to reach the target audience. They develop timelines and oversee the work of writers, designers, and others responsible for bringing objectives to life.
Salaries vary by the nature and duration of projects.
Both large and small organizations sometimes require assistance with certain projects. Perhaps an insurance firm wants to revamp its record-keeping system or a large city is upgrading its public works equipment. Consulting project managers provide the organizational skills and follow-through needed to obtain results. They use their talents to identify objectives, plan out the specifics in terms of time and money, hire and monitor workers, keep everyone involved updated, and problem-solve as situations arise.
Your Project Management Career Path
Ready to take charge of your project management career? FlexJobs can help! Take a look at these success stories from subscribers who found legitimate, flexible project management opportunities in a variety of industries. Then, when you’re ready, browse our database of project management jobs — all of which have flexibility that ranges from partially remote to fully remote, and more.
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