How to Be a Project Coordinator: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn how to become a project coordinator. Research the education, training, and experience required for starting a career as a project coordinator in one of several fields. View article »

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  • 0:04 Should I Become a…
  • 1:48 Step 1: Earn a Degree
  • 2:40 Step 2: Gain Experience
  • 3:06 Step 3: Advance With…

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Video Transcript

Should I Become a Project Coordinator?

Project coordinators can work in a variety of fields and industries, including information technology, healthcare, human resources, production, and consultation. The position falls under the general category of administrative services and management. Project coordinators are typically responsible for overseeing the execution of a particular project or coordinating several projects at once. They might need to plan and design aspects of a project, oversee employees, monitor a project's development, input data, track schedules, and generate reports.

Project coordinators, similar to other types of administrative services managers, work full-time, generally during regular business hours. Some overtime may be required, depending on the projects. They work primarily in an office setting, although some travel to sites could be necessary. The job may carry some stress as deadlines approach, but is otherwise minimally physically demanding and includes few risks of injury or illness.

Degree Level High school diploma minimum; bachelor's degree may be required by some employers
Degree Field Related field, such as facility management or business
Certification Voluntary professional certification is available
Experience Varies; at least 2-3 years of related professional experience
Key Skills Leadership, analytical, and communication skills; familiarity with various business computer software
Salary (2015) $86,110 per year (Median salary for administrative services managers, which includes project coordinators)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2015), Job postings from employers (April 2013)

Step 1: Earn a Degree

According to O*Net OnLine in 2016, about 19% of those in the administrative services management field have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, while 29% have some college education and 28% have a bachelor's degree. Educational requirements vary by position, although earning a degree can help job seekers stand out in the field. In addition to taking basic business and management courses, it can be important to take courses related to a specific career field, such as information technology or human resources.

It might also be useful to complete an internship. For some employers, applicants with experience can be just as important as those with a degree when it comes to securing a project coordinator position. Completing an internship while in school can provide students with valuable experience for their resumes.

Step 2: Gain Experience

Project coordinators work in a variety of industries. In order to secure such a position, it can be important to concentrate on just one field. Many employers require candidates to have at least a couple of years' experience working at either the administrative or managerial level. Workers may look for entry-level employment in a related area, such as construction, engineering, or IT, to develop this experience.

Step 3: Advance With Certification

Although not all jobs will require candidates to be certified, this extra step can also help coordinators stand out. The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers several certifications, including the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), Project Management Professional (PMP), and PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) credentials. Eligibility requirements for these certifications vary, but primarily include meeting educational and project experience requirements.

Project coordinators need at least a high school diploma, though some positions may require a college degree. In some cases, experience may be just as or more important than education.

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