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Business project manager Commercial project lead

Business project managers plan and co-ordinate tasks, people and resources to complete a project on time and on budget.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £25,000 to £60,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You could get into this career through a graduate traineeship. You could also take a degree or postgraduate qualification in business or project management.

You'll need experience of working on major projects.

You can also work your way up from a project support role.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent organisational, planning and time management skills
  • leadership, communication and negotiation skills
  • budgeting skills
  • IT skills to use project management software
  • project management skills

3. What you'll do

You could work on different types of project in almost any industry, from introducing a new computer system to overseeing a large building development.

You'll be:

  • finding out what the client or business wants to achieve
  • choosing and leading a project team
  • agreeing timescales, costs and resources
  • drawing up a plan for each project stage
  • negotiating with contractors and suppliers
  • monitoring progress, quality and costs
  • reporting regularly to senior managers and the client
  • using specialised software and spreadsheets for planning, costing and analysing risks

4. Salary

Starter: £25,000 to £30,000

Experienced: £30,000 to £50,000

Highly Experienced: £40,000 to £60,000

Your salary will depend on your experience, the industry and the size and type of project. You could get bonuses for meeting deadlines. Freelance contracts are common. Freelance project managers negotiate a daily rate.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll work standard office hours, Monday to Friday.

You'll usually work in an office. You may spend time travelling to meetings and visiting contractors and suppliers.

6. Career path and progression

You could study for a project management degree or postgraduate qualification while you're working.

If you're involved in project management in the IT industry, you could get a certificate in project management through the Chartered Institute for IT.

With experience, you could move into senior management or become a freelance consultant.

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Last updated: 11 April 2017