How to become a Project Manager
If you’re naturally organised and the type of person to plan a family holiday down to the exact minute, then project management could be a fantastic fit. Project managers, or consultants who work on large projects, can enjoy challenging work that is well paid. Being a project manager comes with a lot of responsibility, and you’ll need to have the right mix of hard and soft skills to be successful. Check out this handy guide to starting your consulting career as a project manager.
Step 1: Get your bachelor's degree
Project management is typically a role that will require you to contract, either independently, or via an agency, to larger firms such as banks, telcos and insurers. These big businesses prefer to hire project managers who have a bachelor's degree in a field related to the industry in which they will be working. For example, a degree in engineering or computer science may be beneficial for someone who wants to be a project manager in a technical field. If you do have a degree, you’ll likely be able to charge a higher day rate.
Step 2: Build up your project management experience
Before applying for larger projects, you’ll want to get some work experience before becoming a project manager. This can help you gain an understanding of how organisations function and give you valuable skills and knowledge that you can use in your future career as a project manager. Many project managers start their career as a PMO analyst, business analyst, product manager or developer. These roles allow you to project manage distinct parts of a much larger project and can help you get familiar with the role.
Step 3: Obtain a project management certification
There are several certifications available for project managers, including the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Earning a certification can demonstrate your commitment to the field and your expertise in project management. For some project management, you may also be required to develop some more specialist skills such as in waterfall, agile development, agile SAFE, or lean.
Step 4: Open a business bank account
After your register for your ABN, you’ll be able to start contracting as a project manager. Most project managers will be paid on a day rate. The larger and more complex the project, the higher the day rate will be. To get paid, you’ll need to open a business bank account. With Thriday, you can open a business bank account* in minutes online. All you’ll need is your ABN details and two forms of ID. Once you get paid into your bank account*, Thriday will then automatically take care of your accounting and tax. You can even keep track of your business expenses and deductions using the receipt scanning functionality.
Step 5: Work on your leadership skills
As a project manager, you will be responsible for leading a team and making important decisions. It is important to develop your leadership and management skills so that you can effectively lead your team and ensure that your projects are successful. In addition, you should stay current with the latest trends and developments in project management. This can involve continuing your education through training programs or attending industry conferences and events.
Project management is a challenging but exciting profession, where you can be responsible for delivering groundbreaking new initiatives and technology at some of Australia’s largest companies. Project management pays well, and there is a lot of demand for quality project managers. If you follow these steps above, you’ll be ready to begin your consulting career in no time.