Almost all businesses across the globe are constantly looking out for the latest and most efficient options to manage their projects cost-effectively. The project management sector has become a diverse and exciting field to pursue. Project management is significantly becoming a valuable tool for helping the execution of ingenious ideas. How it is used in the material production or manufacturing sector might differ from the implementation of project management in the service sector. But project management is now being increasingly implemented in private and public sectors worldwide, bringing noticeable improvement in the productivity and efficiencies of businesses. With the rise in its importance, many professionals are now pursuing PMI certifications to validate their skills in this domain. In this article, we'll check out the top project management industries, the merit of project management in these industries, and more.
Project Management Industry: Overview
The 7 sectors contributing the most to project management industry growth seeking workforce as per the PMI report are:
- Finance and Insurance
- Management and Professional Services
- Oil and Gas
- Information Services and Publishing
Just by focusing on any one of these sectors and taking the relevant Project Management training courses earlier on, you can sharpen your skills to harness the huge industry demand well and stay far ahead of the rest.
Top 10 Industries with High Demand for Project Managers
Almost all sectors need project managers with seemingly diverse job profiles and daily activities, but they all share the common need for ingenuity, phenomenal productivity, and performance. A list of ten top industries for project management with a towering requirement for project managers are:
Soaring prices, regulations, and other concerns make it very tough for project management in the construction industry to profit even under excellent demands. Here is where the value of project managers is felt the most. They must effectively coordinate with numerous stakeholders and resources like architects, engineers, city planners, public works employees, and construction crews for various projects like residential buildings, commercial properties, or industrial facilities.
Their involvement keeps the construction industry on track, from budget formulation to schedule development and managing daily activities throughout the project lifecycle. Besides quality management, contract administration and risk management play a heavy role in their job profile.
The average annual salary of the construction project manager is $71,726 per annum.
The various engineering project fields include Mechanical, Civil, Industrial, Aerospace, Chemical, Biomedical, Electrical, Nuclear, Agricultural, and Marine, where project managers are required. They need a degree (sometimes even a Master’s degree) in the specific engineering field of interest coupled with project management knowledge and skills. Though the salary range varies depending on the sector, demand and other factors, the average base salary is around $150,124 per annum.
3. Information Technology (IT)
In its entirety, IT covers industries of software, hardware, semiconductors, and internet service providers, as well as projects often relating to the creation of software applications, technological upgrades, computer and network infrastructures, equipment installation or cybersecurity. With such an array of varieties, project managers in the IT sector must possess both technical knowledge and business acumen to understand project planning, costing, and feasibility. The project managers in this sector are highly paid, with an average base salary of $89,299 per annum.
4. Finance, Insurance Services
Just when finance percolates through all aspects of project management in any sector, the finance sector itself requires efficient finance project managers to maximize productivity and reduce costs. However, their approach is a little narrower than their counterparts in other sectors, focusing on priorities like cash flow projections and earned value management, developing metrics, estimates, and operation plans. They supervise a company’s investments and planning and require skills like financial analysis, budgeting, and forecasting.
While they handle cash flow involving payroll and project-related expenditures, many also develop revenue enhancement strategies. Working closely with high-level or top executives and other influential people, financial reporting is key to their job.
Large insurance companies also hire project managers or consultants for initiatives of high stakes requiring technical considerations as well along with a thorough understanding of risk management imperative for success in this role. The average base salary for finance project managers is around $71,330 per annum.
While compliance and cost are the two obligations of the healthcare industry, both can be addressed with the help of efficient project managers. Hospitals and large clinics need healthcare project managers, but medical equipment manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies also need project managers' involvement.
Some of the potential projects that healthcare project managers handle could be:
- Development of web apps or web portals.
- Facilitation of construction of new buildings/departments at a hospital or inclusion of emergency medical services or improved systems.
To fulfill such needs, therefore, specialized field knowledge is required, and hence often, a degree in health management, public health, or any related studies is helpful. Project manager salary in Healthcare / Pharma Companies is around $73,547 per annum on average.
Overseeing marketing campaigns related to any brand, aiming to create a brand identity, spread, and increase brand value is the chief role of the marketing project managers. Without a project manager's involvement, marketing campaigns risk becoming ineffective, hyped, unorganized, delayed and focus less.
They work in collaboration with designers, copy and content writers, digital and social media specialists, advertisers, and ad agencies. For this, they need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in marketing, communication, PR, and business administration, along with knowledge and skills in project management. The average base salary of a marketing project manager is $75,178 per annum.
In the manufacturing sector needs, the skills of budget management are required as the project managers need to provide estimates on labor and productivity while looking for new clients. Vendor accounts management, vendor and relationship management streamlining production processes keeping in mind the risks, hazards, and safety issues, are other skills that manufacturing project managers bring in. The average base salary of a manufacturing project manager is $65,871 per annum.
Legal project managers oversee processes relating to legal services like budget, timing, and resources required for a litigation team. While a law degree is essential, although not a compulsion, certification in project management will help improve candidacy and advancing salary as well, which is $86,565 per annum in India in mid-career on average.
Consulting project managers are highly skilled ‘for-hire professionals’ employed or contracted by agencies. Their function is to identify the areas needing improvement in any project and offer actionable insight to help the clients manage their projects. This calls for very high experience at their end, which they have, and they keep expanding with every agency they work with. Usually, they hold an advanced post-graduation degree in management coupled with project management skills, knowledge, and certifications. The average base salary of a manufacturing project manager is $120,500 per annum.
10. Energy and Utility Services Industry
Utility and energy management is observing growth, with hundreds of jobs forecasted to open up due to social, environmental and political pressure. The urgency for exploring environmental-friendly fuel and energy sources is creating new avenues of employment.
Particularly oil and gas sectors are open to innovation and newer ways to conserve or create fuel. The insistence in home countries to find newer opportunities to generate household fuel supply create room for innovation in oil and gas, making these sectors ideal for project managers wishing to create an impactful future.
Apart from experience in Agile project management, coordinating research and effectively communicating goals and vision are the skills required for such project managers of energy production and management.
Large-scale risk management is also required as potential outages due to disaster, delay, or other unforeseen situations could affect an entire community, state or country. The average base salary of utility services project managers $90,337 per annum.
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The 6 Merits of Project Management in Different Industries
The stellar benefits of exceptional project management can be enlisted as follows:
1. Step towards better business decisions
With clear documentation of a project’s progress, the management understands where the resources are being spent, how well utilized or wasted, areas that need prioritization, the chances of going off track, and how to avert them. Flawless project management forecasts issues before they show up, arrests bottlenecks, and makes faster and smarter data-driven decisions.
2. Finer Project management yields superior projects
A survey reports that 80% of people spend nearly half their work time on rework. An immense loss of manhour and energy. Proper project planning is a way, rather than the only way out. Because it ensures:
- Right stakeholder alignment from the onset helps in minimizing needless pushback, sets the scope of a project, removes ambiguity, ensures everyone is on the same platform of awareness, and gives all involved a clear idea of what is expected to prevent mishaps.
- Flagging of the risks in advance with the signs to ‘watch out for like a budget overspent warning or something going off track.
- Ensures that each project has a strategic goal and that all stakeholders are aware of the same.
- Project leniency instead of making a water-tight compartment leaving no room for any change, thereby helping to remain prepared for the unexpected.
Learn finer project management by working on industry-grade projects and by attending an online PMP course from a distinguished institution.
3. Shields wastage of time and money
Effective project planning methods ensure the work is finished within budget and on time by mapping the entire project journey right from the outset with the milestones to achieve, risks to mitigate, resources to optimize, and expenses to incur to avoid delays and project overspending.
According to PMI findings, 9.9% of every dollar spent gets wasted due to substandard project performance, which approximates $99 million for every $1 invested!
4. Strategic alignment with the business goal
“If your organization is not good at project management, you’re putting too much at risk in terms of ultimately delivering on strategy,” says Mark Langley, the president and CEO of PMI.
Project managers oversee the planning and execution of a project, ensuring the overall goal of a project and its subsequent tasks and milestones all align with the business goals. Such strategic alignment is required at every level of a project because it keeps all stakeholders on the same page and ensures the project initiatives drive the business forward.
5. Quality control
A project might have fulfilled all the parameters of time and budget, but in the end, if the quality parameters are not met, the project is bound to be a disaster, which is not uncommon. Here is where the role of an efficient project manager is best felt and realized. Someone who defines the expected quality parameters ensures all involved in the project lifecycle are aware of the same and finally ensures that those are strictly followed at each step.
6. Set SMART goals
Skillful project management sets SMART goals that are, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. An efficient project manager defines each of these parameters set against the backdrop of business goals to ensure that the project objectives are attained within a certain time frame. The cost estimation, resource, and risk management factors are kept in mind throughout the process.
Doing this ensures the elimination of the scope of any guesswork, sets a clear timeline, helps in quicker and easier progress track, identifies the missed milestones, if any, and sets them in place, keeping in mind the big picture while setting realistic and achievable targets.
The result is shutting off the possibility of trying to overestimate the deliverables both in terms of quantity and time and underestimating costs, the major causes of a project failure.
The Need for Project Managers
Interestingly, the latest findings of the Project Management Institute (PMI) reveal some outstanding career growth and job opportunities along with the best industries for project managers in 11 countries. The demand over the next 10 years (from 2017 to 2027) is growing faster than the workforce mandate in other occupations. The industries that need project managers are expected to grow by 33%, creating almost 22 million new jobs, the PMI report further points out.
By 2027, employers from seven industries for project management sectors will need nearly 88 million workforces, with India and China alone consuming more than 75% of this demand.
Project managers organize, plan, execute and finish projects by defining goals and leading teams within the framework of schedule and budget. They contribute significantly to productivity, and there could be a massive demand-supply gap risking US$208 billion in GDP in project productivity, cautions the PMI report.
What Do Project Managers Do?
They are the professionals responsible for the entire lifecycle of a project from start to end. That is, taking ownership, tending the hiccups, ensuring the timely progress of the individual milestones of the project, and confirming its scheduled delivery. Almost every aspect of any business, whether marketing, sales, production, or publishing, needs some level of project management. Hence the requirement of project managers.
Their responsibilities may be broadly enlisted as follows:
- Defining the goal and scope of a project
- Breaking the project into smaller milestones, each to be completed as per the schedule.
- Planning the cost and adhering to the allocated budget
- Understanding and assessing the risks and managing mitigation
- Project resource management, including workforce/ teams.
- Task delegation and team management
- Documenting project progress
- Ensuring the progress follows the schedule.
- Communication with the stakeholders
- Quality management, assuring all quality parameters are strictly met.
- Often facilitating several active projects
The amazing miscellany of such tasks means that no two days of a project manager or even no two projects to be managed are the same, making each day unique with new challenges. For example, on a given day, a project manager might be hiring and interviewing a new human resource, managing several team meetings, and the next day could be the calling for the demand to reallocate resources to cover an unexpected expense.
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How to Become an Effective Project Manager
There are many ways by which one can become a project manager. While some learn project management definition and principles in high school or college, others gradually become project managers after shouldering more responsibilities in their current roles and/or working in unrelated fields. Irrespective of ways, here are four ways to consider becoming a project manager.
1. Stocktaking of the existing skills
If you have ever participated in any project, planning, leading a team, budgeting, scheduling or documenting, you have already learnt some elements of project management.
2. Acquiring project management experience
Some start careers in non-managerial positions as team members, for example, an IT manager starting as an IT associate or a business analyst supporting the IT team. With experience, they take on managerial responsibilities and develop organizational and project management expertise like budgeting, risk management, communication, leadership and more.
3. Looking for entry-level positions in project management
Many start early on by seeking less important project management positions like project coordinator, operations coordinator, associate or junior project manager.
4. Acquiring a project management credential
Most importantly, taking on a project management course and acquiring a certificate will be immensely helpful in becoming a future-ready project manager. Rated as the Best by Google, Trustpilot, Facebook, and Switchup, KnowledgeHut's Project Management training courses are worth trying.
To conclude, project managers are in much demand throughout the globe as today’s way of doing business is changing rapidly. Irrespective of the industry sector, apart from technical skills, the ability to thrive in a collaborative environment and an innovative and strategic mindset are the qualities that make a good project manager.
Talking about the experience via average salary range, a project manager with 4-9 years of experience earns a salary of ₹9 Lakhs per year, while someone with 10-20 years of experience gets around ₹16 Lakhs per year. But the most beautiful part of project management is that the skills learned play an impactful role in making a better future and a brighter world.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is PMP useful in the industry?
Not just useful Project Management Professionals (PMPs) are increasingly becoming indispensable because the way of doing business has changed, with timely, quality, and customer satisfaction becoming an increasing challenge to meet by businesses and industries across the globe.
2. Do project managers need industry knowledge?
Although domain or industry knowledge is usually not considered an essential skill, it can be definitely helpful for proper planning, execution and completion of a project by creating realistic schedules and milestones and also understanding the complexities of the tasks.
3. What are the Technical Requirements in Project Management?
Technical requirements are the challenges that need to be surpassed for the successful completion of a project, and hence varies from sector to sector. An IT project may have completely different sets of technical requirements from a manufacturing or production project.