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Project Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Project Manager, or Lead Project Supervisor, works to ensure that a given job meets its deliverables on schedule and on budget. Their primary job duties are to supervise staff involved with the project, coordinate with other departments and clients, and oversee scheduling and task assignments to ensure that all deliverables are achieved on schedule and on budget.

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What does a Project Manager do?

A Project Manager works directly with clients and various departments within the company to ensure that project deliverables are completed within the budget and defined scope. They coordinate with all teams working on the project to ensure that goals are met on time and that each team’s deliverables are compatible with all others, and they oversee a staff of supervisors and managers to aid them in this goal. When necessary, they work overtime and may need to hire new staff.

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Project Manager duties and responsibilities

The Project Manager position requires a great deal of commitment and in many cases is the linchpin of a project, as their performance can make or break the success of a deliverable. Their daily duties and responsibilities include:

  • Working with clients to detail specific project deliverables
  • Creating a timeline of goals to be met
  • Developing project plans for clients and staff
  • Delegating project tasks to teams best suited to complete them
  • Tracking project performance and analyzing deliverables against requirements
  • Ensuring that all budgetary objectives are met, making adjustments as needed
  • Overseeing junior staff and teams to ensure that work continues on budget and schedule

Project Manager skills and qualifications

A Project Manager requires a great many specialized skills and qualifications to meet the needs of the position. These skills include:

  • Familiarity with specific software packages and management tools
  • Advanced analytical and time management skills
  • Budgeting and financial knowledge
  • Working knowledge of spreadsheet software
  • Management and leadership skills
  • Communications skills, both written and verbal

Project Manager experience requirements

Because a Project Manager requires such specialized knowledge and skills, it takes time to build the necessary qualifications. To become a Project Manager, the applicant will generally need five years of experience with smaller projects, often as a junior team member. Experience with inventory control and process management is also essential and should have been built up over several years of work in a lesser capacity.

Project Manager education and training requirements

At a minimum, a Project Manager should have a bachelor’s degree to ensure that they have developed the basic training and skills required. The most common degrees are in business and management. In addition, certification is often required. The most common, industry-standard certification for a Project Manager is PMP, or Project Management Professional.

Project Manager salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Project Manager is $80,037. Salary may be dependent on experience, location and company.

Job description samples for similar positions

If the job description here doesn’t suit your needs, there are other positions with similar duties and responsibilities that may be a better fit. These include:

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Project Manager job description FAQs

Who does a Project Manager report to?

A Project Manager’s superior can vary widely based on the company they work for or the task on which they are working. In general, the Project Manager will report to a department manager, business administrator, departmental director, or even the vice president of project management for a company. They can, however, report to almost any manager within their corporation’s hierarchy.

Is Project Manager a good career?

Becoming a Project Manager can be an outstanding career choice if you have the right qualifications for the job. Every company has projects to push forward, almost always more than one at a time, and it’s essential that they have someone to act as a centrepiece for those projects, coordinating diverse tasks to make sure everyone gets the work done on time and within budget. It’s an in-demand career that is only going to become more needed as time goes on.

Does a Project Manager work unusual hours?

Project Managers do sometimes work unusual hours. This is a job that can be stressful, and as delivery dates approach, it could involve long hours far outside the normal 40-hour week. This could mean signing into work early, staying late, and even working hours on the weekends to ensure that all aspects of the project are completed. If your position has an expectation of such unusual hours, you should be certain to include them in your job description so your applicants are aware of this requirement from the beginning of the application process.

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Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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