Skip to Main Content Skip to bottom Skip to Chat, Email, Text

Career Guide
Project manager

If you enjoy planning, organizing, managing deadlines and seeing a project through from start to finish, you may excel in a career as a project manager. 

If you enjoy planning, organizing, managing deadlines and seeing a project through from start to finish, you may excel in a career as a project manager. 

If you enjoy planning, organizing, managing deadlines and seeing a project through from start to finish, you may excel in a career as a project manager. 

What is a project manager?

Project manager is the job title for business professionals who are responsible for planning, executing and overseeing projects for organizations to ensure they are successful. While the project manager job description may differ by industry, organization and department, these business professionals are typically expected to

  • Coordinate with team members to develop and manage a project plan, including budget and timelines for deliverables
  • Lead technical staff, ensuring tasks are carried out efficiently and aligned with project objectives
  • Serve as a primary liaison for clients and vendors, coordinating communication and managing stakeholders’ expectations 

As a project manager, you can explore different work environments with employment opportunities existing across industries in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Around 881,300 project management specialists were employed nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Companies in professional, scientific and technical services were the largest employers of professionals with this job title in 2022, BLS reports.

To lead their project teams to success, project managers may need to demonstrate some or all of the following competencies: 

  • Project implementation
  • Project performance
  • Project planning
  • Strategic planning
  • Forecasting
  • Project coordination
  • Change control 
  • Milestones 
  • Project scoping 
  • Business process
  • Product design 
  • Project management tools
  • Project schedules 
  • Corrective and Predictive Action (CAPA)
  • Project Management Institute (PMI) methodology
  • Agile methodology
  • Process improvement
  • Change management

Additional competencies:

  • Team management 
  • Risk mitigation
  • Risk management
  • Risk assessment
  • Organization culture
  • Innovative leadership
  • Project monitoring
  • Quality control
  • Business value

Soft skills

Regularly used on the job

Critical thinking, organization, problem-solving, communication and time management are valuable soft skills you may use on the job as a project manager, according to BLS.

Salary range $68 - 126K

25th-75th percentile

The project manager salary in 2022 fell between $68,980 and $126,660 for professionals within the 25th and 75th percentiles, according to nationwide statistics from BLS.[1]

54,700 jobs

Projected growth (2022-2032)

BLS projects jobs in this field to increase by 6% nationally between 2022 and 2032. This is faster than the average projected growth rate for all occupations, BLS states.

[1] Project manager salary ranges are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual. University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment, salary level or career advancement. BLS data is geographically based. Information for a specific state/city can be researched on the BLS website.

Education and experience

A project manager leads the team in a brainstorming sessioon

To become a project manager, a bachelor’s degree in business, project management or a related field is usually required, according to BLS. If you’d like to work in software development or other technical fields, you may want to pursue a degree in a related field like computer and information technology or engineering, BLS notes.

Certificates can also be beneficial while working toward a career as a project manager. Certificate programs can help you stay on top of the latest trends in your industry and hone skills you need for your career in a shorter amount of time than a traditional degree. University of Phoenix offers undergraduate and graduate certificate programs that align to this career. These certificates are designed to support individuals who have already earned a bachelor’s degree and are looking to specialize or expand their expertise within a specific field. 

The undergraduate and graduate project management certificate programs can help you prepare for Project Manager Professional (PMP) certifying exam offered by Project Management Institute. Professional certification is one way you can showcase proficiency and establish credibility with potential clients and employers, according to BLS.

In the highlighted programs below, students work to complete one course at a time. Learn more about which of these programs — focused on teaching you the skills you’ll need as a project manager — is right for you.

Project Management Certificate (Undergraduate)

This undergraduate certificate — aligned to standards set the Project Management Institute — can help prepare you for a career in project management, equipping you with skills to help organizations plan, execute and complete big initiatives.

In this program, you can learn how to:

  • Apply the principles and practices of project management in a dynamic business environment to advance organizational goals.
  • Apply problem solving, adapted through project management techniques to address organizational challenges.
  • Apply appropriate business tools, resources and processes to mitigate risk.

This certificate requires you to complete 18 credits and is seven months long. Each course is five weeks in length.

Graduate Project Management Certificate 

This graduate-level certificate — aligned to standards set by the Project Management Institute — can help you develop and build upon concrete skills that you can apply in your career as a project manager.

In this program, you can learn how to:

  • Estimate project costs and build timelines
  • Use project management software
  • Manage and motivate team members
  • Track projects and measure progress

This certificate requires you to complete 18 credits and is nine months long. Each course is six weeks in length.

Additional pathways

While the Bachelor of Science in Business at University of Phoenix cannot independently prepare you for a career as a project manager, you can complete the Project Manager certificate in coordination with this degree. Students may find this choice worthwhile as it can open doors to job opportunities aligned to both the Project Manager certificate and our Bachelor of Science in Business degree outcomes.

Business professional uses a whiteboard to make a presentation

How can University of Phoenix support me in becoming a project manager?

Once you become a Phoenix, you'll gain access to our Career Navigator tools, which can help you evaluate career options, track career-relevant skills and discover job postings suited to your needs. From resumé building and interview preparation to networking and mentorship, University of Phoenix offers career services for life to all students and graduates. Dive deeper into our career services, resources and tools to find out how we can help you reach your goals.

Explore project management programs