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How to Become a Project Manager in 2024

  • By CAYOP
  • Published on May 25

How to Become a Project Manager

Job Description

Are you skilled in leading teams to success under complexity and uncertainty? If so, you could be the ideal candidate for the position of Project Manager. As a Project Manager, you will be in charge of planning, executing, and closing projects across many sectors, ensuring that they are completed on time, within scope, and within budget. Project managers work in various industries, including construction, IT, healthcare, finance, and marketing/advertisement.

What Would I Do?

Here's a glimpse of what you may anticipate doing in this role:

  • Project Planning: One of the primary responsibilities of a Project Manager is to create comprehensive project plans. This includes identifying project objectives, timeframes, and requirements for resources. You'll work with stakeholders to gather requirements and define the project scope, ensuring that it aligns with company goals.
  • Resource Allocation: Allocate resources efficiently, ensuring that availability and utilization meet project needs. During the duration of the project, monitor resource allocation and make modifications as needed to maximize performance.
  • Risk Management: Identify potential risks and devise mitigation plans to reduce their impact on project outcomes. Assess and analyze risk factors on a regular basis, and put emergency strategies in place to deal with unexpected issues.
  • Quality Assurance: Implement quality assurance systems to ensure compliance with projects and deliverables. Conduct frequent reviews and inspections to detect and address violations from quality requirements.
  • Project Closure: Facilitate project closing tasks such as final delivery acceptance, documentation, and stakeholder sign-off. Conduct post-project assessments to identify key learnings and opportunities for improvement.

Am I Suited for This Job?

Here’s a list of skills and traits one should have to become a project manager:

Skills and TraitsDescriptionLeadershipAbility to inspire, encourage, and direct team members to achieve project goals.CommunicationProficient in both verbal and written communication for conveying ideas, directions, and updates.OrganizationThe ability to handle various projects, deadlines, and resources efficiently.Problem-solvingCapability to evaluate difficult circumstances, uncover underlying causes, and develop effective solutions.Time ManagementEffective time management and planning skills are required to accomplish project milestones and deadlines.AdaptabilityFlexibility in adapting to changing project needs, priorities, and unexpected occurrences.Attention to DetailThoroughness and accuracy while examining project deliverables, documentation, and quality standards.Conflict ResolutionCapable of identifying, addressing, and resolving internal project problems or disagreements.

Typical Day of a Project Manager

For a project manager, they would start their day by checking emails and messages, updating task boards, and setting up meetings, whether they work in an office setting or remotely. During the day, they supervise project progress, handle team issues, communicate with stakeholders, and move between virtual collaboration tools and in-person interactions. As the day progresses, they could lead a meeting to talk about the status of a project, check in with team members one-on-one, and collaborate with stakeholders to develop strategies for reducing risks and overcoming challenges. Adaptability is essential because the project manager needs to be ready for unforeseen developments and new problems that may occur. Travelling to client or project sites may be necessary on some days, requiring flexibility in working conditions and hours. Whatever the context, a project manager's normal workday frequently goes beyond the standard 9 to 5 since they are always making sure goals are met and projects are on schedule.

Wages and Benefits

Project managers' salaries can vary significantly depending on factors such as industry, experience, location, and level of responsibility. According to the Government of Canada Job Bank website, project managers in Canada are rewarded with a variety of benefits and competitive pay across various sectors. For entry-level workers in Information Technology (IT), the range of pay is around $27.00 to $28.85 per hour in Ontario and Quebec, respectively. The median hourly salary is between $43.96 and $43.13, while the highest paying range is between $68.29 and $64.10 per hour. IT project managers in British Columbia might make somewhat more money; the lowest pay is $27.44 per hour, and the highest pay is $88.00. Hourly rates for construction project managers range from $26.44 to $30.00 in Ontario, $25.00 to $42.00 in Quebec, and $30.00 to $44.71 in British Columbia. Wages for these positions are not fixed.

Construction project managers' average hourly pay falls between $46.00 and $44.71, with peak pay exceeding $72.12 to $65.75. Compared to their counterparts in IT and construction, marketing project managers often make less money; entry-level roles in Ontario and Quebec, for example, start at $18.00 to $21.00 per hour, while median hourly pay ranges from $32.69 to $30.00. While pay in British Columbia ranges from $18.50 to $28.75 for lows to highs of $55.38 per hour, high-end incomes for marketing project managers may reach as high as $55.29 to $48.90 per hour in Ontario and Quebec.

Health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, flexible work schedules, opportunity for professional growth, and bonuses based on project achievement are typical perks for project managers in Canada.

Wages of Project Managers in Different Sectors:

Information Technology (IT) Project Manager in Canada

Community/AreaLow ($/hour)Median ($/hour)High ($/hour)Ontario$27.00$43.96$68.29Quebec$28.85$43.13$64.10British Columbia$27.44$52.85$88.00

Project Manager, Construction in Canada

Community/AreaLow ($/hour)Median ($/hour)High ($/hour)Ontario$26.44$46.00$72.12Quebec$25.00$42.00$69.71British Columbia$30.00$44.71$65.75

Marketing Project Manager in Canada

Community/AreaLow ($/hour)Median ($/hour)High ($/hour)Ontario$18.00$32.69$55.29Quebec$21.00$30.00$48.90British Columbia$18.50$28.75$55.38

Job Outlook in Canada

The employment forecast for project managers in Canada differs depending on the industry. We will look at a couple of the industries that project managers work in. It is anticipated that there will be 42,600 new employment opportunities for Information Technology (IT) project managers, especially Computer and Information Systems Managers, between 2022 and 2031. This growth will be driven by both expansion and replacement need. 53,400 additional job seekers, including immigrants, school leavers, and those changing careers, are anticipated to enter this industry to fill these openings.

There will likely be a consistent need for construction managers in Canada; between 2022 and 2031, 32,300 new employment opportunities are expected to arise. The demand to replace retiring professionals and the growth of the construction sector are the two primary factors of this need. In addition, an estimated 38,700 additional workers are anticipated to enter the market over this time, expanding the skill pool.

Public relations, advertising, and marketing specialists have a lot of room to expand in the marketing industry. It is anticipated that this industry would create 73,700 new jobs during the same time period, mostly due to corporate development and the demand for creative marketing approaches. An estimated 67,200 additional job seekers are anticipated to enter the market in order to satisfy this need, bringing with them new perspectives and skill sets.

Overall, it is anticipated that work possibilities for project managers in Canada's IT, construction, and marketing sectors would expand gradually. This reflects well for both aspiring and seasoned experts in the industry.

How Do I Become a Project Manager?

A combination of education, experience, and specific skills relevant to the sector you want to work in are necessary to become a project manager. The standard prerequisites and credentials, educational pathways, and extra licenses you might need to start a career as a project manager are broken down as follows:


  • Strong leadership and organizing skills.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Familiarity with project management tools and techniques (e.g., Microsoft Project, Agile, Scrum).
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and deadlines effectively.


  • Bachelor's Degree: Many companies prefer individuals with a bachelor's degree in business administration, management, engineering, computer science, or a similar discipline, however a specific degree isn't necessarily necessary. It might be helpful to take courses in organizational behavior, finance, and project management.

Examples of Programs:

  • University of Toronto: Specialist Program in Management and Human Resources (Bachelor of Business Administration)
  • Conestoga: Waterloo - Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours)
  • Sheridan: Marketing Management, Honours Bachelor of Business Administration

Certifications: Getting a professional certification might improve your qualifications and project management marketability. One of the most recognized certifications in the industry is the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential, which is provided by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Additional qualifications include PRINCE2, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM).

Experience: For those who want to become project managers, gaining real-world experience is essential. To get a feel for the processes and tools used in project management, many professionals begin in entry-level positions like team member or project coordinator. You can advance to positions with more responsibility and leadership as you acquire experience.

While specific licensing requirements could change based on the industry or region, certain project managers might need to have extra qualifications or licenses in order to work in particular fields. For instance, depending on local laws, construction project managers might need to have a construction management license or certification. In highly regulated sectors like financial services or healthcare, project managers might have to get certified in compliance and regulations or follow industry-specific guidelines.

Where Would I Work?

There are many different industries and areas where project managers can find work, including the public and private sectors, as well as companies of all sizes. In the commercial sector, project managers are frequently hired by big businesses, such as multinational organizations, to supervise intricate projects involving several divisions or geographical areas. These companies may be involved in the manufacturing, construction, healthcare, finance, and technology sectors. Furthermore, project managers are essential to the functioning of small and medium-sized businesses. In these settings, they may oversee projects with fewer teams and budgets, but they nonetheless play a critical role in accomplishing organizational goals. Project managers work for government agencies, nonprofits, and educational institutions in the public sector. They oversee a variety of activities, such as community outreach efforts, educational reforms, infrastructure development projects, and public health projects.

How Do I Find a Job?

Finding a job as a project manager involves a combination of networking, leveraging online resources, and targeting specific industries or companies that align with your skills and career goals. Here are some strategies to help you secure a project management position:

  • Online Job Boards: Look through and apply for project manager jobs on well-known job search websites like Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Monster. You may use these platforms to filter employment opportunities according to various parameters, such as experience level, industry, and geography.
  • Company Websites: Look through the career sections of businesses you're considering joining. Many companies list job vacancies directly on their websites, providing applicants with the chance to apply for team project management positions.
  • Professional Networking: Use websites like LinkedIn, industry events, and professional organizations to connect with people in your field. You may make connections with possible employers and find out about undiscovered career prospects by participating in project management organizations or going to networking events.
  • Direct Applications: Take a proactive approach by reaching out directly to hiring managers or project leads in companies you're interested in. Sending a personalized email expressing your interest and highlighting your relevant experience can sometimes lead to job opportunities that are not yet advertised.
  • Referrals: Leverage your professional network to seek referrals from colleagues, mentors, or former supervisors. Referrals can often give you a foot in the door and increase your chances of being considered for job openings.
  • Freelancing/Consulting: Consider freelancing or consulting opportunities through platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, or Toptal, especially if you're open to project-based work or contract positions.

Applying for a Job

When applying for a project management position, your resume and CV play a crucial role in showcasing your skills, experience, and qualifications. Here are some tips to help you create a compelling resume and CV that will impress hiring managers:

  • Tailor Your Resume: Highlight relevant skills and experiences that align with the specific requirements of the job description.
  • Emphasize Significant Achievements: Instead of merely stating work responsibilities, concentrate on measurable accomplishments and outcomes from prior initiatives. To show your influence, use indicators like successful project completions, time savings, and cost savings.
  • Highlight Certifications: Make sure your resume highlights any professional credentials you hold, such as PMP, CAPM, or PRINCE2. A certification shows that you understand the fundamentals of project management and are dedicated to your professional growth.

Where Can This Job Lead Me?

Project management offers a versatile career path with opportunities for advancement and specialization. Here's a glimpse into the potential career progression for project managers:

  • Project Coordinator/Assistant: Entry-level positions like these offer practical experience helping project managers with scheduling, coordination, and administrative duties. This position is a stepping stone to more senior roles.
  • Senior Project Manager: You might advance to the position of senior project manager if you have years of experience and a proven track record of completing projects successfully. Senior project managers often take on more complicated and large-scale projects, lead many project teams, and strategically influence organizational project management standards and procedures.
  • Program Manager: Within an organization, program management entails managing a portfolio of connected projects or activities. Program managers oversee the interdependencies between projects, coordinate programs with strategic business objectives, and maximize resources to meet program objectives.

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