Project Manager Job Description: Roles & Responsibilities

Project Management Institute (PMI) states employers will need approximately 88 million candidates for project management roles by 2027. At the same time, the lack of talented individuals for the relevant role is expected to pose an approximate risk of $208 billion in GDP across the period of 10 years in a study run over 11 countries. Perceiving the requirement for project managers across nations, the demand is more likely to increase in the near future, which makes it the right time for aspirants to learn and dive deeper into the coveted profession of project management. 

This article will go through the core project manager roles and responsibilities to understand the in-demand skill set. Besides that, we’ll also look at the wage distribution for project manager job descriptions in different parts of the US. 

Who is a Project Manager?

A project manager or PM is a person responsible for planning, organizing, and executing the project systematically. They are the managers that supervise different projects any company undertakes. A project manager is a position of responsibility and dedication. They are accountable for a project from start to finish till the stakeholder is satisfied with the results. 

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Project Manager Roles 

Let’s explore some of the major duties that a project manager job description involves.

  • They are responsible for delivering the project within the deadline
  • They lead their team and assign tasks to the team members based on their skills and experience
  • They supervise the project daily
  • They are the connecting link between stakeholders and team members
  • They combine soft skills with hard skills to make the process streamlined
  • They also present the success of the project with the help of tools (such as Gantt Chart, Data visualization, etc.)

Project Manager Key Responsibilities

Here are the key project manager responsibilities:

  1. Planning and Executing Project Ideas
    Project managers map out the ideas needed to run any project, which requires discussion with the stakeholders and the team members. Considering the set of client deliverables and requirements, project managers define expectations, details, project scope, and tasks for the team members.
  2. Leading the Team
    Most of the time, the team members require training to execute the task if they don’t have expertise. In this situation, the PM’s responsibility is to coach the team and communicate with them from every possible perspective to make them learn about the project and the demanded skill to drive the project toward successful completion.
  3. Supervising the Success and Deadlines
    Once the project has started successfully, the next big thing is to supervise the team and help them from every angle. Sometimes, PMs collaborate with other team members depending on the type of project. They also pass on the changes to the team that might come from the client’s side.
  4. Solving the obstacles
    There is a low possibility of having zero issues when the project starts. There’s always room for additions and alterations required between the projects. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of a PM to eliminate any such scope creeps and illustrate the tasks and milestones within the scope.
  5. Managing Capital
    Handling budgets and accounts also comes under the key responsibilities of a project manager. They have to execute a cost-efficient plan while being realistic about the budget. An efficient project manager runs a project keeping the processes within the confines of the allotted budget.
  6. Delivering the Project to Stakeholders with Satisfaction
    Once the team members complete their tasks, project managers hand them over to the clients within the deadline. After delivery, ensuring their satisfaction is equally crucial because it helps PM with the feedback on the project. 

Project manager roles and responsibilities call for proficiency in different skills and approaches to execute any project, such as blockchain, lean six sigma, etc. Now, let’s move on to the skills required for a project manager. 

Project Manager Skills

1. Technical Skills

Here are the technical skills that should be imbibed in project managers:

  • Planning and Forecasting
  • HTML
  • Software architecture
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Machine Learning
  • IT security and Infrastructure
  • Risk Management
  • Budgeting
  • Embedded/ Real-time/ RTOS
  • Tracking and Monitoring
  • Data Visualization
  • Data Analysis
  • Project Management Methodologies
  • Meeting Facilitation
  • Subject Matter Expertise
  • Project Managemen Software

2. Non-Technical Skills

Here are the soft skills that should be imbibed in project managers:

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Time Management
  • Organization
  • Problem Solving
  • Adaptability

Project Manager vs. Program Manager vs. Portfolio Manager

Both program and portfolio management fall under the umbrella term project management. The purpose of all these three profiles is similar, but their execution sets them apart. The role of project managers has already been described previously. Now let’s take a look at the other two to grasp the differences. 

  • Program Management: This profile handles projects to achieve the client’s objective. All the projects are interrelated, so it would be impossible to achieve the milestone if any of the projects were missing. Program managers collaborate with other teams to get the desired results.
  • Portfolio Management: This profile handles all the programs, projects, and operational work to ensure it aligns with the primary objective. The managers must identify, prioritize, evaluate, authorize, and balance different projects towards a balanced implementation.

Salary Distribution of Project Managers Across the United States

Project Manager’s annual salaries might differ depending on their skills, experience, work location, and company. The average annual salary of project managers in the US is estimated to be around $91,124 per year. Let’s take a look at varying factors that influence project manager salary figures.

Based on Experience

Project Managers with more than ten years of experience get an average salary of $86,743 in the US, whereas those with less than one year of experience can earn approximately $80,765. The package is likely to increase based on the companies you’re working with. 

Based on Companies

Here are the companies that provide good packages to project managers in the US:-

Company Salary Package (Average Salary, INR)
ExxonMobil $252,974
Bluesky Restoration Contractors, LLC $170,218
Worley $142,497
Apple $140,908
SAIC $133,713
Exelon $132,968
Pavilion Construction $129,279
Jacobs $128,304
General Dynamics Information Technology $127,168
Cisco System $125,402

*These salary packages are based on the number of experience you have in project management. 

Based on Location

Different states or localities have different salary packages for project managers. Here is a list of some of the states with the average annual salary of project managers:-

State Salary (Annual)
Atlanta $97,328
Los Angeles $96,065
New York $93,855
Washington $88,494
Dallas $87,712
Austin $87,022
Chicago $86,882

Future Scope 

Perceiving the growing demand for talented project management personnel, project managers are bound to enjoy exceptional opportunities across globally famed organizations. Moreover, if you earn a good number of years of experience in the related field, you have excellent career opportunities. Here are all the reasons why project management’s future scope seems bright.

  • According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’s going to be an 11% increase in the role of computer and information systems managers by 2020 to 2030– one of the fields for project managers.
  • The project management role spans a variety of industries, such as marketing, advertising, IT, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, e-commerce, and IT, which are rapidly experiencing growth.
  • The average salary of IT project managers is high– $159,010 in 2021, and is expected to rise even more!

Project Manager: Work Opportunities

Project manager roles and responsibilities align with other job profiles that might interest you. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Project Management Office Managers (PMO managers): They carry out meetings with other project managers, clients, CEO of the company and are considered the leader of different projects.
    Average Salary = $139,490.
  • Team Leaders: They are responsible for executing, maintaining, and managing projects. They work with their team members at all times.
    Average Salary = $50,322.
  • Project Quality and Performance Managers: They assure the quality and performance of managers. They are the key person for decision-making.
    Average Salary = $124,370.
  • Retail Managers: They are the connecting link between buyers and sellers. They ensure maximum profit for both parties.
    Average Salary = $51,128.
  • Operations Manager: They oversee business activities related to government agencies, NGOs, etc. They hire, supervise, and train employees for the company.
    Average Salary = $69,098.
  • Construction Managers: They use specialized techniques to oversee the role of project managers. This profile requires good technical knowledge of the related domain.

Average Salary = $83,639

Fuel your Resume with upGrad

Aspiring project managers looking to enhance their resume or upskill can opt for upGrad’s Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management course, offered under San Francisco’s leading institute, the Golden Gate University.

The course comprises a detailed curriculum containing topics such as project Risk Management, Agile Management, Digital Transformation, and Project Planning and Control, among others, to familiarize learners with in-demand concepts. The program is specifically designed to assist working professionals in upskilling and obtaining better opportunities in their relevant fields. 


Project management is slowly gaining momentum around the globe following its contribution to driving any project toward success. Project managers are required in almost every company and thus make it one of the most flexible career opportunities. Project managers also receive a high salary package in the US, making it one of the best professions to look out for in the coming future!

Q. How to become a project manager?

Ans. Start by obtaining a graduate degree from any recognized institute in business-related subjects. Build management experience and skills by applying for certification courses and working internships in your field of interest. The project manager job role requires experience and proficiency in technical skills more than any other trait, so ensure you have significant experience to justify that.

Q. What are the qualifications required for project management?

Ans. This profile requires three years of experience in the related field, formal training, and a PMP certification.

Q. Is project management a good career?

Ans. Project management is one of the most demanded career options. According to PMI, 88 million new project management-oriented roles will be rolled out in 2027, reflecting its growth and market demand.

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