What is project management?

Project management is everything that involves leading a team of people and managing resources, deadlines and software to achieve a specific goal or goals in a dedicated timeline. Within a project, there are often multiple goals and objectives that need to be achieved. Successful project management is the ability to reach all of these objectives within the desired timeframe. Working in project management is not only highly financially rewarding but also allows professionals to use critical thinking and problem-solving in a career where no two projects, problems or even days are the same.

SKILLS THAT EMPLOYERS ARE LOOKING FOR

Employers will always look for project management professionals who are proactive, motivated, have a sharp eye for detail and can work well to deadlines. People skills are essential to a successful career in project management, as all project management professionals are working with multiple groups of stakeholders to collectively achieve specific project goals. The ability to work well under pressure is important, with projects often very reliant on dependent tasks. Not only is the ability to effectively take charge of people and situations important, but employers also highly regard the quality of being a team player and collaborator.

HARD SKILLS

  • Time management
  • Budget and financial planning
  • Cost estimation
  • Quality management and assessment

SOFT SKILLS

  • Decision making
  • Planning, scheduling and organisational skills
  • Negotiating
  • Able to work under pressure

TRAITS

  • Driven
  • Decisive
  • Adaptable
  • Detail-oriented

JOB ROLES

Risk Manager

Average Salary
$118,000

This role occurs in a variety of industries, but commonly in project management due to the importance of understanding, assessing and minimising large-scale project risk. Risk managers assess project risks and develop policies, processes and approaches to ensure the project is successful from start to finish.

Project Manager

Average Salary
$99,000

The responsibilities of a project manager vary dependent on the size of the project and the organisation. Project managers are essentially responsible for the planning, coordination, overseeing and execution of each project, whilst managing budgets and project deadlines to ensure projects are completed on time.

Estimating Manager

Average Salary
$110,000

This role is often for professionals looking to progress from a construction management role into a more strategic management role within an organisation. As one of the most important aspects of a project is cost and meeting budget requirements, estimating managers are responsible for project cost estimation and managing the financial side of construction projects.

Construction Manager

Average Salary
$110,999

Construction Managers oversee and manage multiple functions within the construction process, including people and budget management, policy creation and documentation and stakeholder management. This role has lots of responsibilities over a variety of areas and requires excellent leadership, communication and organisational skills.

Construction Project Manager

Average Salary
$115,000

Construction Project Managers oversee and manage multiple functions specifically for large-scale construction projects that require a lot of organisation and planning. CPMs are responsible for people and budget management, policy creation and documentation and stakeholder management. This role has a lot of responsibilities over a variety of areas and requires excellent leadership, communication and organisational skills.

Senior Project Administrator

Average Salary
$68,000

Professionals in this role look after multiple functions within the management of a project, particularly administrative areas, project and budget planning, reporting and maintaining project documentation.

Site Supervisor

Average Salary
$89,000

Supervisors work underneath the Construction Manager or Construction Project Management team and oversee the general day-to-day management of the worksite’s people, processes and operations to ensure the site is operating effectively and efficiently.

Construction Foreman

Average Salary
$101,000

Foremen work alongside or under the site supervisor to manage one, two, or several work teams. This is more of a people management position, providing correct documentation and leadership support to employees.

Project Coordinator

Average Salary
$63,000

Project Coordinators are involved in a variety of project management functions, and assist the project manager with ensuring the entire project process is executed correctly. This role allows you to have ownership over smaller areas of a project as well as a range of administrative duties.

Contract Administrator

Average Salary
$62,000

This role looks after the administrative side of contracts within project management, with all relevant stakeholders. This involves assisting in the contract process from start to finish, and requires strong communication skills, as well as attention to detail and written skills.

Risk Manager

Average Salary
$118,000

This role occurs in a variety of industries, but commonly in project management due to the importance of understanding, assessing and minimising large-scale project risk. Risk managers assess project risks and develop policies, processes and approaches to ensure the project is successful from start to finish.

Project Manager

Average Salary
$99,000

The responsibilities of a project manager vary dependent on the size of the project and the organisation. Project managers are essentially responsible for the planning, coordination, overseeing and execution of each project, whilst managing budgets and project deadlines to ensure projects are completed on time.

Estimating Manager

Average Salary
$110,000

This role is often for professionals looking to progress from a construction management role into a more strategic management role within an organisation. As one of the most important aspects of a project is cost and meeting budget requirements, estimating managers are responsible for project cost estimation and managing the financial side of construction projects.

Construction Manager

Average Salary
$110,999

Construction Managers oversee and manage multiple functions within the construction process, including people and budget management, policy creation and documentation and stakeholder management. This role has lots of responsibilities over a variety of areas and requires excellent leadership, communication and organisational skills.

Construction Project Manager

Average Salary
$115,000

Construction Project Managers oversee and manage multiple functions specifically for large-scale construction projects that require a lot of organisation and planning. CPMs are responsible for people and budget management, policy creation and documentation and stakeholder management. This role has a lot of responsibilities over a variety of areas and requires excellent leadership, communication and organisational skills.

Senior Project Administrator

Average Salary
$68,000

Professionals in this role look after multiple functions within the management of a project, particularly administrative areas, project and budget planning, reporting and maintaining project documentation.

Site Supervisor

Average Salary
$89,000

Supervisors work underneath the Construction Manager or Construction Project Management team and oversee the general day-to-day management of the worksite’s people, processes and operations to ensure the site is operating effectively and efficiently.

Construction Foreman

Average Salary
$101,000

Foremen work alongside or under the site supervisor to manage one, two, or several work teams. This is more of a people management position, providing correct documentation and leadership support to employees.

Project Coordinator

Average Salary
$63,000

Project Coordinators are involved in a variety of project management functions, and assist the project manager with ensuring the entire project process is executed correctly. This role allows you to have ownership over smaller areas of a project as well as a range of administrative duties.

Contract Administrator

Average Salary
$62,000

This role looks after the administrative side of contracts within project management, with all relevant stakeholders. This involves assisting in the contract process from start to finish, and requires strong communication skills, as well as attention to detail and written skills.

What does an average day look like for a project manager?

Project managers have a lot on their plate, so they need to be expert multitaskers. Looking after teams, resources, budgets, timelines and stakeholders means balancing the needs and wants of many different individuals and being the “go-to” person for questions, issues, suggestions and concerns. This is where the right project software and methodology comes in handy – to help project managers successfully manage all the intricate elements of a project. In any given day, project managers might:

  • Be involved in several meetings with various stakeholders (internal and external)
  • Conduct a strategy development session to make sure all tasks are progressing and keeping within the right timeline
  • Visit jobsites or workplaces to assess project progress and to speak with subordinates
  • Spend time logging everything in the right systems and software platforms.
Top reasons for starting projects1
  • 19% = To grow revenue
  • 15% = To develop new infrastructure
  • 10% = To introduce new products / services
  • 10% = To support organisational change
  • 10% = For compliance / regulatory purposes
  • 9% = To refresh infrastructure

Generalised business skills within organisations are reviewed as the most important skills currently lacking in Project Management Professionals, particularly change management and delegation abilities.

Project managers working in the Resources and Mining industry can earn annual salaries between the range of $112,00 – $250,000.

Salaries are often higher in larger cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.2

30% of large-scale projects in Australia were recorded as being ‘on-time.’

36% of large-scale projects in Australia were recorded as being ‘on-budget.’

47% of large-scale projects in Australia were recprded as having ‘met original goal and business intent.’1

1AIPM KPMG Report, 2018 2AIPM, 2020

Industry Insights

HOW DO I START A CAREER IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT

The most important step to beginning a successful career in project management is getting qualified. This shows potential employers you are serious about your project management career and that you have the correct skills and knowledge required to succeed. Studying a qualification in project management online is the best option as you can pursue roles within the industry at the same time or transition out of another career seamlessly. There are several key attributes which are important to develop for your career in project management. These attributes include communication, leadership, organisation, delegation, mediation, and the ability to meet deadlines. You can develop these traits with hands-on experience or through the expertise gained from a formal qualification.

WHY STUDY WITH CAL?

Real Outcomes. Guaranteed.

Our Real Outcomes Guarantee is our commitment to you and your career goals, ensuring that your studies will give you real-world benefits.

Our team, assessments and feedback are all focused on helping you in your career, not just completing your course. As the only RTO offering this, our guarantee is part of our ongoing work to go beyond just a piece of paper.

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CAL Careers Hub and Career Counselling

We support you beyond achieving your qualifications – we want to help you be as prepared as possible for taking the next step in your career. Our Careers Hub gives you complimentary and exclusive access to resources and personalised advice from our in-house Career Coach.

My experience with Jenni the career counsellor was exceptional…The feedback was so helpful. She was encouraging too, and made me feel more sure about how to ‘sell myself’ to the target employers. I am very impressed with CAL’s careers hub – many resources that I will use. Thank you very much for your help.

– Samantha M.

Every member of our team is here to support you beyond achieving your qualifications. We want you to be as prepared as possible for taking the next step in your career. As a CAL student you’ll gain access to our Careers Hub through our online learning hub ‘Spark’.

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PROJECT MANAGEMENT BLOGS