If you’re considering a career change and have the traits of a leader, you might want to think about becoming a project management professional. These professionals keep jobs running smoothly and reduce risks associated with poor decision making. You can achieve your certification with either a high school diploma or college degree, and you can work as an independent contractor or directly with corporations. Before you make a decision though, you should explore all your options to determine whether this in-demand, goal-driven field might be right for you.
What Do Project Management Professionals (PMPs) Do?
Project managers lead and direct work teams, so those who choose this field should have assertive and confident personalities. They supervise all the aspects of an assigned project, coordinating with the workers involved to keep everything on track and within budget limits. They create schedules with built-in milestones to keep the workflow moving steadily toward goals, and they manage all deadlines to ensure everyone completes their tasks on time. Due to all the moving parts of typical projects, these flexible professionals help prevent gold plating, or adding unnecessary extras onto projects in progress, and they handle change well, adapting and overcoming as new challenges arise.
What Are the Benefits of a Career in Project Management?
Flexibility remains one of the top benefits of project management careers. As a project manager, you can work in virtually any industry. For instance, manufacturing plants might need someone to lead a research and development team coming up with new product prototypes, while finance and insurance companies might need a professional to revamp reporting methods to bring them into compliance with new standards. Even the health care industry needs project managers due to changing regulations, giving you a chance to save patients money while improving their care.
Another benefit of a career in project management comes down to the demand. While many companies need project managers, the supply hasn’t kept up with the demand. This is in part due to an aging work force. Other factors include changing technology and expansion into global markets. The lack of available professionals also means you have an excellent chance of advancing quickly once you prove your value.
Lastly, project management salaries offer a strong motivation to enter the field. Project managers in Canada had an average median income of $82,978 in 2018. And though this great salary doesn’t hurt, it’s a secondary consideration to many people who want to make an impact. By choosing a project management career, you can affect change by working with politicians or nonprofits who want to make a difference in the world.
How Do You Become a Project Management Professional?
The Project Management Institute offers certifications to those who successfully complete its requirements and pass its exam. Recognized worldwide, this certification shows that you have a proven track record for competency and experience. The steps for getting this certification include:
- If you have a high school diploma, you must have at least 7,500 hours of experience in leading projects.
- If you completed a four-year university degree, you must have at least 4,500 hours of experience in leading projects.
- Complete at least 35 contact hours of formal project management education.
- Pass the PMP certification exam offered by the PMI. This four-hour exam contains 200 multiple-choice questions.
- Register for a PMI account.
- Submit your online application and fee.
If you want to make a career change to a rewarding, exciting field, project management might be right for you. This growing field offers flexibility and encourages creativity. If you choose a project management career path as an independent contractor, consider using QuickBooks Self-Employed to manage your revenue and expense. This app helps freelancers, contractors, and sole proprietors track and manage business on the go. Download the app today to see how it can help you.