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Career Definition for a Technical Project Manager
Depending on the needs of the employer, technical project managers can find themselves employed either for the duration of a specific project or in a full-time position for a company in regular need of a technical project manager. The specific tasks a technical project manager is expected to perform will vary depending on the needs of the employer and can include overseeing the development and implementation of new technological programs, facilitating communication between relevant departments and ensuring other project workers' adherence to guidelines. Because technical project managers may be expected to simultaneously act as IT (information technology) professionals and managers, those who pursue this career will need to be adept at performing both functions.
|Education||Bachelor's degree in relevant technology field recommended, associate degree and experience may be acceptable, graduate degrees also available|
|Job Skills||Management skills, communication, time management, attention to detail|
|Salary Range (2016)*||$71,373 to $113,650 for technical project managers|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)**||3% for other computer occupations|
Source: *Payscale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Many employers expect potential technical project managers to hold at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant technological field. Some employers may find an associate's degree plus relevant experience sufficient, while others would prefer to hire technical project managers with relevant graduate degrees. Additionally, some employers may require that technical project managers be certified by a project management organization such as the Project Management Institute.
Technical project managers must have the knowledge and technical skills necessary to play an integral role in the conception, planning and execution of IT projects. Additionally, technical project managers may need to have managerial skills, such as the ability to oversee a team and ensure that projects stay on schedule and within a budget. These managerial responsibilities require skills such as attention to detail, clear communication, analytical and abstract thinking abilities, time management, organizational skills, and the ability to interact well with others.
Career and Economic Outlook
Employment prospects for technical project managers can be expected to grow as businesses increasingly rely on technology to solve problems and create opportunities. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the growth for employment in this field will be slower than the national average from 2014 to 2024, with 3% growth anticipated. According to 2016 data from PayScale.com, most IT project managers earned an annual salary between $71,373 and $113,650.
Alternate Career Options
Look into these other choices for careers in technology management:
Computer and Information Systems Manager
Computer and information systems managers plan and direct the activities in organizations that are related to computers.These positions usually require at least a bachelor's degree in information science or computer science, in addition to related work experience. Faster than average employment growth of 15% during the decade ending in 2022 was projected by the BLS for these managers. In 2015, the BLS reported an annual median wage of $131,600 for computer and information systems managers.
Computer Systems Analyst
A bachelor's degree is a normal requirement for this job and may be in information science or liberal arts with extensive coursework in computer programming or information technology. These analysts study organizations' procedures and computer systems, checking for efficiency. Much faster than average growth in available positions was projected by the BLS, with a 21% increase expected from 2014-2024. In 2015, computer systems analysts earned an annual median salary of $85,800 per the BLS.