Workers who have always enjoyed using project management software to see projects to completion and those who are good at communicating with people, keeping organized, and leading teams can thrive in the top project management job positions. Project management can be a financially and mentally rewarding career. It is even more lucrative for graduate students who have pursued an online MBA in project management and have earned their project management professional certification.
But in which industry should you search for project management jobs?
If you find the technology, pharmacy, construction, or healthcare industries attractive, or if you wonder in which industry a PMP-certified project manager has the most earning potential, you’ve come to the right place. This article reports the top ten best project management jobs for professionals in the field.
A chief operating officer (COO) is the second-highest-ranking executive in an organization. Chief operating officers oversee executing daily operations for a firm and answer only to the chief executive officer (CEO). They are experts in helping set standards for a company and working with middle managers and directors to ensure that training, processes, and output quality of services and goods reflect these standards. COOs may process constant data-based reports and overviews, including snapshots of revenues, efficiency, and waste that can be adjusted to improve the organization’s performance.
As second-in-command, COOs are also responsible for performing the firm’s overall vision by upholding the CEO’s mission statement and coordinating directors and operations managers to make that vision a reality. This top project management job focuses on productivity and revenue generation data while making performance assessments based on data. These assessments are then compared to prior weeks and months. Chief operating officers work with operations managers to ensure optimal staffing levels throughout the organization and that all departments have sufficient procedures and resources for optimal employee training. COOs may work with analysts within a company to assess physical assets and how they are maintained, repaired, and upgraded.
A vice president of operations assists their organizations’ president with day-to-day activities. These executives help develop and implement various strategies to maximize profits while maintaining acceptable levels of quality. They also improve supply chains to impact variables like cost, delivery time, and value. Vice presidents of operations provide guidance and oversight to subordinates, follow up on staff projects, and stay updated on their firm’s research and development. They also provide timely feedback to fellow executives on operations-related issues and guidance for subordinates.
Successful vice presidents of operations have a thorough knowledge of their organization’s products, services, competition, and industry. At this level, one must understand and operate within relevant industry best practices and government rules and regulations. They often travel to visit clients, regional offices, and their vendors. Typically, vice presidents of operations have at least an undergraduate degree in a relevant field like business, finance, or marketing, and a graduate degree may be required or preferred. Additionally, these executives must have excellent interpersonal, leadership, and communication skills and be proficient in essential computer software.
A project management director leads a project delivery team of project management professionals. This professional manages a project’s scope, schedule, and budget to ensure it meets an organization’s needs. Project management directors work closely with development and systems analysts to ensure organizational cohesiveness. They develop staffing strategies and implement collaborative relationships across an organization. They are accountable for the performance and health of existing business and production demands.
Project management directors are responsible for identifying changes in forecast process accuracy and balancing resources for producing and completing project deliverables. They also define and communicate the team’s objectives and eliminate productivity barriers. PM directors plan and coordinate human resource management among internal shareholders to assess cooperation and satisfaction. Also, they work to determine their group’s skills, train where needed and play a role in recruiting and making decisions on employee compensation. Many project management directors work in an office during regular business hours. Some are required to work long hours based on a project’s needs and deadlines. Successful project management directors have solid leadership skills, excellent communication skills and are highly motivated.
Senior construction project managers perform general oversight of the duties and tasks performed in constructing, restructuring, or renovating a property. These professionals must be organized as they are required to delegate responsibilities and tasks to subordinate laborers, contractors, and project managers. Senior construction project managers’ responsibilities include design, permitting, programming, and construction. Because they are responsible for a project’s end product, they must understand each building process phase, including architectural design and blueprinting.
Additionally, senior construction project managers often communicate with clients, architects, product vendors, and subordinate staff. They will, in turn, report a project or task’s progress to their boss. Senior construction project managers typically have extensive experience in all construction areas and must also be comfortable managing staff and the business side of a construction job.
Among the top project management jobs is a logistics director. They are responsible for maintaining and approving logistics for an organization. They oversee managing logistics-related tasks and lead groups of individuals to reduce costs and increase profitability. These directors evaluate previous logistics data to adjust current logistics processes and provide input into developing, implementing, and executing strategies that control labor scheduling. Besides keeping track of all transportation methods and writing detailed logistics reports, these directors report their progress to the logistics vice president.
Logistics directors audit operations to ensure standards are being met. They actively participate in training efforts and coach junior logistics staff. They must follow strict safety and privacy regulations based on project requirements. Besides taking part in the hiring process of employees, logistics directors also develop strategies that increase client satisfaction, negotiate contracts, and oversee transactions with mutually beneficial results. Logistics directors utilize analytical skills to reduce organizational downtime due to a lack of logistics proficiency. These professionals should be organized, work well in fast-paced environments, and possess outstanding communication skills.
A director of operations is responsible for employee management, ensuring that working individuals are productive. Directors of operations also may oversee making purchases related to production. The professional will maintain an organization’s research and development. This position requires a worker to possess high-quality negotiation skills, as negotiation is critical regarding vendors and sellers.
Many directors have earned advanced college degrees and several years of experience within their industries. An advanced degree like the online MBA is a good education for directors as they acquire the knowledge and skills needed for business leadership. In some cases, a director of operations will have a professional certification that will focus on defining goals and establishing improvements for an organization. Directors often work closely with chief financial officers and the board of directors, so directors of operations must possess excellent communication skills.
Business process managers ensure optimal productivity for their employers by developing, maintaining, and regulating various work procedures. These professionals may supervise individuals and manage networking strategies, quantity-control measures, or computer systems. Business process managers may divide their working days between home offices and local, regional, or global satellite offices. Many of these managers can expect to change locations on short notice and remain on-site for an undetermined amount of time. They can also expect to, at times, work independently or execute specific organizational tasks with employees, both in-person and virtually.
Typically, business process managers have at least an undergraduate degree in business, computer science, marketing, or a related field. Some employers prefer potential hires to have earned an online MBA or master’s degree in business. Since a business process manager’s work is multifaceted and fast-paced, they usually require extensive travel and long hours. They must possess basic computer skills and excellent communication, conflict resolution, problem-solving, and negotiation skills. Business process managers may begin their careers at the junior level under the supervision of senior business process managers. Internal promotion opportunities and senior-level opportunities at other firms are open to junior managers who exhibit business process management skills.
A construction project manager plans, coordinates, and oversees various projects involving constructing and maintaining buildings, facilities, roadways, and building systems. They lead the construction process from concept to completion. Responsibilities include managing construction supervisors, contractors, and trade workers. Construction project managers typically report on the progress of projects to owners and local officials. Project managers must possess excellent planning and organizational skills to schedule tasks, follow a budget, and meet deadlines effectively. They are also responsible for managing contractors and vendors, monitoring the quality of work performance, and ensuring tasks are successful while remaining within time and budgetary restrictions.
Construction project managers must read blueprints and schematics, stay updated on building codes, and understand relevant laws to ensure projects follow construction standards and regulations. Much of a construction project manager’s work is completed at a project site, which often involves some level of physical activity. Even though most work occurs during regular business hours, construction project managers must remain available in case of emergency. They have extensive knowledge of the materials, tools, and processes involved in general construction. Formal education is not required for this position, but a degree like an MBA in building science, civil engineering, or project management can be beneficial.
A general/operations manager is responsible for maintaining the many processes of a business or organization. These professionals work with local staff and upper management to ensure a business’s functions and service delivery. General managers oversee everything from the cleanliness of a retail business to the process, sale, and delivered inventory. They are also responsible for cash deposits and resource maintenance. General managers control their stores’ budget, manage personnel in supervisory duties, and control hiring, wages, and promotions. They also maintain supervisory staff and initiate training procedures for new hires.
General managers report to regional and corporate managers and develop strategies for a firm’s future. Since they regularly communicate with customers and clients, customer service and communication skills are essential to this position. General managers typically possess some level of higher education and experience. While an undergraduate degree in business management is often the minimum for general managers, many have earned an advanced degree like the online MBA.
Senior project managers in IT are organized, responsible, and capable of working with a wide variety of other professionals. Senior IT project managers work within a fast-paced and frequently evolving industry. They must work hard to keep up with their responsibilities. They must also be effective at working with relevant technologies and keeping up with the field of information technology. Senior project managers in IT are well-educated, generally holding at least an undergraduate degree in an IT-related area and an advanced degree like an MBA or master’s in business leadership.
These managers work in environments with other employees, ensuring that all organizations’ technological functions operate effectively. Operations include IT projects, customer service, and client relations. Senior project managers oversee junior project managers and other staff members. They must set goals for their team and assign work to employees most suited for specific jobs. Further, when conflict arises, they must resolve these situations. In terms of IT duties, senior project managers manage server functioning and implementation, databases, and operating service upgrades.
1. Evaluate Your Skills
Knowledge of project management is not enough to become a successful project manager. These professionals need to hone soft skills just as much as they need to acquire quality education. While good communicators and open leaders can thrive in this industry, tackling daily project management issues requires adaptability, accountability, and strategic and analytical thinking. You should find some professional skills aptitude tests to discover what it takes to work in project management.
2. Lean in on Your Weaknesses
Discovering where your blind spots are in business leadership allows you to choose elective coursework which can remedy shortcomings. Business leadership degrees feature curriculums that help professionals sharpen their soft and hard skills.
3. Find a Business School with a Reputation for Solid Project Management Training
Leading a project requires ensuring that team members have the information or resources necessary to finish a task or deliver the final project successfully. A business school with an impressive MBA in project management will provide a solid curriculum, excellent networking abilities, and resources to further graduates’ futures in business.
Properly trained project managers will continue to be needed in the workforce worldwide. There has never been a better time to pursue this exciting field of business.