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What is the best way to become a Project Manager?

Veteran

Josh Lehmann Jacksonville, FL

I want to be in the construction field as a Project Manager, but I’m not going to college for it. Instead taking the PMP certificate and going that route. I’m seeing if I’m wasting my time doing it this way or if school is the only option for me to be successful.

12 June 2019 5 replies Career Exploration

Answers

Advisor

Richard Ervine Katy, TX

Hi Josh,

I think your goal of becoming a Project Manager is a great one. For context I have been a Project Manager, Construction Manager (and even the Construction Director) at major oil Companies and also have my PMP.

You may want to keep your eyes open for the intermediate jobs that will help you earn your way to become a Project Manager.

In my industry, you become a Project Manager by working your way up through larger and more complicated tasks. Typically, you start as an Engineer/Technician [someone who does their own work] then Project "Engineer" [someone who organizes a small team of workers dedicated to a specific scope of work] then progress to a Project Manager [someone who manages the entire project] I use the term Engineer loosely as most industries do not require degreed Engineers. The PMP cert is a useful credential but certainly does not guarantee you a managerial position.

Other companies may have a different structure, so understanding the requirements of the jobs you are applying for is key.

Advisor

Stephanie Leta San Francisco, CA

Hi Josh,

My first question would be why do you want to be a construction Project Manager? (What is your passion? What inside you is driving this goal?)

My second question is what is your life - personal and professional - experience till now that could lend itself to and be relevant to entering this career? This will help me connect dots on how to help you do this. I have 25 years in the commercial/corporate real estate management industry and may have valuable insights for you. Do you have a resume you can share?

Stephanie

Advisor

Stephanie Leta San Francisco, CA

Hi Josh,

My first question would be why do you want to be a construction Project Manager? (What is your passion? What inside you is driving this goal?)

My second question is what is your life - personal and professional - experience till now that could lend itself to and be relevant to entering this career? This will help me connect dots on how to help you do this. I have 25 years in the commercial/corporate real estate management industry and may have valuable insights for you. Do you have a resume you can share?

Stephanie

Advisor

Deborah Carter Owens Cross Roads, AL

Hi Josh,

You may want to look at this from a slightly different angle - when you search for jobs that describe the role that you want, what are the qualifications, education and skills required for the role?

If all the roles you want require college, then you may need to consider a degree program. The goal is to compare your qualifications with the role description and close any gaps you may have so that when you apply you are included in the potential pool of candidates. Good luck!

Deb

Advisor

Scott Agnoli Clifton, NJ

Hello Josh,

Thank you for your service.

To answer you about education: education is never wasted. Like boot camp, it teaches you discipline and demonstrates commitment and goal achievement. Also, in today's world, it is the ticket to a higher start of a career. Similar to having a degree when entering the military can put you on the fast track to being an officer.

With a certification for project management, you certainly can enter the job market and have a successful career. You will have to find the industry and company who will give you a shot to prove your skills. Hopefully, there is a career path from that entry position to a higher one.

My advice is to get the certification then work and utilize any college benefits you have from the military and get your degree while working. It won't be an easy path, but in the end, you will have certification plus a degree and experience which will make you a highly marketable person. And have the clout to command a higher salary.

I hope this helps.
Scott

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