A Comprehensive Guide On Project Management Career Path

by Rahulprasad Hurkadli

Employers’ needs for an efficient project manager and the expertise of candidates to actually fill the role are twin challenges. The population of job seekers adept in project management skills is lagging far behind the number of open job positions. According to a report, employers will post job vacancies for more than 2.2 million new project management roles annually through 2027. This number is likely to increase with time as the economies develop and the demand for project talent skyrockets.

Thus, project management is a challenging and developing career that promises to open new avenues in the professional lives of millions of enthusiasts. If you are planning to indulge in this profession, here is a complete guide on the project management career path that will show you the right way to succeed.

11 Opportunities For Your Project Management Career Path

The opportunity for project management as a career is not limited to project managers. There are several roles you can apply for, being a project management professional, and earn a handsome take-home.

Assistant Project Manager

An assistant project manager helps a PM in administrative tasks while performing planning, resource management, budget monitoring, cross-department integration and implementation of project schedules. An APM earns an average salary of $63,000 yearly.

Project Coordinator

Being a direct subordinate of PMs, a project coordinator performs budgeting and funding, coordinating and conducting meetings, developing project strategies, and preparing daily presentations for PMs to report on financials. They earn an average salary of $51,000.

Project Scheduler

They plan the execution of projects within the deadline by consulting scheduling software. They identify and solve potential delays and prepare regular progress reports. Their salary, on average, is around $88,000.

Project Team Lead

A project team lead constructs a team, motivates it, manages internal conflict, and communicates with each team member while making decisions. He organises team meetings and assigns responsibilities to his team members. The average salary of a project team lead is around $81,000.

Business Analyst

They act as a line of communication between the project team and the client. Their role involves negotiating with the project manager to meet client expectations, providing business objectives, and analysing risks, trade-offs, and cost-benefit. They earn a handsome salary of $62,000 on average.

Project Manager

A project manager efficiently balances the scope of the project with the resources available in the organisation, applying the right tools, techniques, and planning to complete the same. He designs a project framework complying with the time and budget constraints and communicates with his team and key stakeholders. Project managers may scale up their positions as project manager I, II, III, or graduate to senior project manager in the organisation. Their annual salaries range from $87,000 to $120,000.

Program Manager

A program is a group of projects working in a coordinated and coherent style. Thus, a program manager has the responsibility to oversee multiple projects and handle them simultaneously. He efficiently integrates a program, invigilates individual projects, and develops project-level plans to drive the program to success. The annual earnings of a general program manager range from $125,000 to $149,000.

Portfolio Manager

Portfolios contain multiple projects and programs. A portfolio manager is largely responsible for overseeing several portfolios in a centralised fashion and should be highly experienced and skilful. He holds a high designation in the organisation and manages program execution and completion. The average salary of a portfolio manager is around $138,000.

Resource Manager

They assist PMs by hiring and allocating skilled employees to the project. They monitor employee training, workload, schedules, and compensation. They earn around $70,000 on average.

Scrum Master

They streamline the workflows to achieve project goals, facilitate team meetings, conduct retrospectives, and overcome hurdles to progress. A scrum master earns about $94,000 annually.

Executive-Level Roles

After acquiring substantial experience in project management, professionals can opt for project management office (PMO) director or chief operating officer (COO) roles. These executive-level designations are responsible to lead a project management office of an organisation and set standards for projects carried out throughout the company. The annual salary is expectedly high and revolves around $145,000 per year on average.

Top 10 Project Resource Management Best Practices for Project Managers

Project managers need to follow guidelines and adhere to best practices for successfully completing their projects within constraints. The top 10 best practices every PM should know are listed below.

1.Building Business Cases

Considering a project objective, time, and budget, a PM should design requirements, allot resources, foresee hurdles, and streamline workflows to reach the finish line.

2.Developing Project Brief

A project charter is an overview of the project, its objectives, deliverables, budget, deadline, and resources, which acts as a guideline for the personnel throughout its execution.

3.Creating Project Plans

A project plan is not the same as a brief. It is a detailed account of the step-by-step process to drive the project towards completion.


Regular and effective communication with team members, stakeholders, clients, and authorities is the most important factor to coordinate a project.

5.Creating Schedules

A project schedule is created by working backward from the deadline of a project that equally distributes workload in the team and maintains progress.

6.Action Plans

Setbacks occur due to internal variations within the organization. Taking early and decisive actions may prevent the project from failing in such circumstances.

7.Monitor Scope Creep

Deadlines may look stubborn during planning, but become fluid in the execution phase. Scope creeps should be closely monitored to avoid delays in delivery or budget excesses.

8.Tracking Projects

Tracking KPIs, managing variances, checking scope creeps, and managing risks are the regular monitoring activities a PM needs to perform.

9.Updating Documents

Regularly updating the project schedule, expenses, RACI matrices, risk and issue logs, etc. can streamline your workflow and help complete the project on time.

10.Retrospective Meetings

Conducting daily meetings with project personnel helps figure out what’s working and what’s not. It gives insight into the required improvisation in plans and schedules to avoid project failures.


Project management is a lucrative career that requires highly qualified and skilled professionals to lead a team and plan the successful execution of a project. With booming economies, the requirement for PMs is increasing, throwing open opportunities for expert personnel to choose the career.

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