Project Managers


Employment Prospects


Project managers work for companies of all sizes in every industry—from manufacturing and shipping, to finance, insurance, and information technology. They also are employed by nonprofit organizations and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. Some work as self-employed consultants.

Starting Out

The career of project manager is typically not an entry-level position, although some small businesses or other organizations hire new graduates. Most people become project managers after first working in lower-level managerial and supervisory positions.

Aspiring and current project managers are highly advised to become members of the Project Management Institute, which offers a wealth of career resources and networking opportunities, as well as a job board, to members.

Other methods of entry include attending networking events and career fairs, using the resources of a recruiter, creating a profile on LinkedIn and utilizing other resources that are provided by this professional networking Web site, and contacting employers directly about job openings. Those who are interested in positions with federal agencies should visit the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's website,

Advancement Prospects

A skilled and experienced project manager can advance to the position of program manager, who oversee multiple related projects, and portfolio manager, who selects, aligns, and prioritizes an organization’s projects based on its overall strategy. These positions will most likely be offered by large companies and organizations. Project managers also can advance to executive-level positions such as vice president of project management. A project manager with a background in technology can be promoted to the position of chief technology officer, while those with expertise in data acquisition and management can advance to the position of chief information officer. Others move up to become vice presidents, chief operating officers, and chief executive officers. Some project managers choose to open their own consulting firms, while others pass on their knowledge by working as college professors.

Tips for Entry

Visit for job listings.

Become a student member of the Project Management Institute to access professional development opportunities (such as its Career Navigator assessment tool), publications, and other resources.

Read the Project Management Journal ( to learn more about the field.

Get certified. It will give you the edge over other applicants.