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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. 

Career overview

Project managers are business professionals 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 

In the project manager career, 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 in this career.

Career-relevant skills

To lead their project teams to success, project managers may need to demonstrate the following skills

  • 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 skills:

  • 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 soft skills you may find valuable as a project manager, BLS states.

Salary range $74 - 129K

25th-75th percentile

In 2023, project managers within the 25th and 75th percentiles earned between $74,100 and $129,690, according to BLS nationwide statistics.[1]

54,700 jobs

Projected growth (2022-2032)

Jobs in this field are projected to increase by 6% nationally between 2022 and 2032. This is faster than the average projected growth rate for all occupations, BLS reports.[1]

[1] The 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. The BLS Projected Growth for 2022-2032 is published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This data reflects the BLS’ projections of national (not local) conditions. These data points are not specific to University of Phoenix students or graduates.

Education and experience

A project manager leads the team in a brainstorming sessioon

To pursue the project manager career path, a bachelor’s degree in business, project management or a related field is usually required, BLS states. If you aspire to work in software development or other technical industries, you may consider earning a degree in computer and information technology or engineering.

Certificates can also be beneficial while working toward the project manager career. Certificate programs can help you stay on top of the latest trends in your industry and hone skills you need in the real world in a shorter amount of time than a traditional degree. University of Phoenix offers undergraduate and graduate certificate programs that align to the project manager 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 (PMI). 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 in the project manager career — is right for you.

Project Management Certificate (Undergraduate)

This undergraduate certificate — aligned to standards set the Project Management Institute (PMI) — 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 (PMI) — can help you build on concrete skills 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 the Bachelor of Science in Business with a Project Management Certificate worthwhile as it can open doors to job opportunities aligned to both the Project Management Certificate and our Bachelor of Science in Business outcomes.

Business professional uses a whiteboard to make a presentation

How can University of Phoenix support me in pursuing my career goals?

Students and graduates can access 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

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