How To Become A Project Manager


become a project manager

In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving professional landscape, a Project Manager is a crucial component of almost every organisation. As projects become increasingly complex, companies are realising the importance of skilled professionals within multiple industries. 

Project management is a dynamic and rewarding career path that requires a unique blend of skills, knowledge and experience. Becoming a Project Manager is a fantastic choice with a range of career opportunities that will allow you to pursue your goals. Start your exciting journey towards becoming a Project Manager with CAL. 

What does a Project Manager do?

A project manager is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the various aspects of a project from its inception to completion. They play a crucial role in planning, organising, and executing projects within specific timeliness, budgets, and quality standards. 

A project manager’s responsibilities encompass a wide range of tasks, including defining project objectives, developing detailed plans, allocating resources, managing risks, communicating with stakeholders, and monitoring progress. They act as a central point of contact, facilitating effective collaboration among team members and ensuring that everyone is working towards the project’s goals. 

A project manager also monitors project metrics, analyses data, and adjusts plans as necessary to ensure successful project delivery. Their strong leadership, problem-solving, and decision-making skills are vital in navigating challenges, resolving conflicts, and keeping the project on track. 

Become a qualified Project Manager

The best way to become a Project Manager is with a Nationally Recognised Qualification. The Diploma of Project Management (BSB50820) has been designed in consultation with industry experts, equipping graduates with the complete range of skills needed to be high-performing project managers. 

If you don’t have prior experience in projects or management, consider a Certificate IV in Project Management Practice (BSB40920). This course has been designed to equip you with the complete range of skills needed to enter project management in any field, including project scoping, scheduling, and quality planning. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking to utilise your experience and skills in a specific field of project management, like construction, the Diploma of Project Management (Specialising in Construction) (BSB50820) might be the right qualification for you. Project management diplomas are an excellent way to develop key skills in project planning and delivery, human resource management, stakeholder communication and WHS management. This project management diploma has a particular focus on applying these skills to construction projects.

Register for national accreditation

CAL has received endorsement for our Diploma of Project Management (BSB50820) online course from the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), the premier, longest-serving body for project management in Australia.

Having passed a rigorous review by AIPM auditors, adding an AIPM-endorsed diploma to your repertoire demonstrates your commitment to project management professional development and the elevation of industry practices.

As an AIPM Member, you'll enjoy:

  • Access to largest most exclusive online community of project managers
  • Certification and Industry recognition at a Certified Practising Project Practitioner (CPPP) level
  • Online access to project management resources and templates
  • Access to career opportunities through personalised and curated online jobs marketplace
  • Invitation to exclusive member-only events
  • Events and webinars at discounted rates

How long does it take to become a Project Manager?

The time it takes to become a project manager can vary depending on a range of factors such as past education and work experience. Generally, acquiring the right qualification and experience to become a professional project manager will take at least a year. This includes building up relevant experience needed on top of any formal qualifications needed. 

The bonus of studying a qualification at the College for Adult Learning is that you can study your project management qualification at your pace, and fit it in with your life. This means you can gain a Nationally Recognised Qualification in project management whilst simultaneously gaining the relevant work experience. 

What skills do I need?

Becoming a successful project manager requires a diverse set of skills that encompasses both technical and interpersonal abilities. First and foremost, strong leadership skills are essential for guiding and motivating teams towards project goals. Effective communication skills are vital to facilitate clear and open communication with stakeholders, team members, and clients. 

Project managers must also possess excellent organisational and time management skills to ensure efficient project planning, resource allocation, and task prioritisation. They need to have a keen eye for detail and be able to manage complex project documentation, budgets, and schedules. Problem-solving and critical thinking skills are crucial for identifying and addressing project challenges and risks.

Additionally, project managers should be adept at negotiation and conflict resolution to navigate potential conflicts and maintain team cohesion. Adaptability and flexibility are valuable traits in handling unexpected charges and setbacks. 

Finally, a Project Manager should possess a strong understanding of project management methodologies and tools to effectively plan, execute, and monitor projects. Developing and honing these skills through experience, qualifications and continuous learning is key to thriving as a project manager. 

How much does a Project Manager earn in Australia?

Salaries in project management vary depending on qualification level, industry, and past experience. However, on average, a project manager in Australia can expect to earn $101,000* a year. 


Career pathways in Project Management

With an expected growth of 9.3% over the next 5 years*, Project Management is a great choice for those looking for longevity and security within their career. You’ll gain interchangabale skills across industries and roles, offering a vast amount of pathways for every step of your career and learning journey.



Entry-level positions such as a Project Coordinator role are great if you don’t have the experience behind you, but have a qualification like the Certificate IV in Project Management Practice (BSB40920). You can earn on average $67,000* a year as a Project Coordinator, a very lucrative first step for those wanting to start their new project management career. 


From here, a Senior Project Administrator position is perfect after a year or two in the industry, or after you’ve gained your project management diploma. In this role, you can expect to earn $86,000* a year. A Senior Project Administrator oversees and manages the execution of complex projects, and can often work as a ‘right hand man’ to the Project Manager. 


The added benefit of project management is that you can take your skills into multiple industries. After a minimum of 2 years experience, you can enter senior roles such as a Construction Project Manager, earning on average $125,000* a year. A construction project manager is responsible for planning, coordinating, and overseeing all aspects of construction projects, as well as communicating with stakeholders and ensuring successful completion of the project. 


If you’re ready to start your career in Project Management, consider a qualification at the College for Adult Learning. Download our free Your Career in Project Management to find out why this industry is one to get into, and how you can start a new job as a Project Manager.