Open and close mobile menu


Insights What's the typical career path for a project manager?

Project management is an important discipline in any business. The importance of project management lies in its ability to facilitate the completion of different projects to achieve client satisfaction. The demand for project managers has been high across various industries. According to research, the project management software market is set to reach a valuation of $9.81 billion by 2026. There’s now a greater demand for project management jobs, as well as for relevant digital tools. To succeed as a project manager, you must be highly organised, and take responsibility for the planning and delivery of a project, while identifying and solving any issues.

At AtkinsRéalis , we work on some of the most challenging projects, from transportation to engineering. Our brands, Atkins, Faithful+Gould and Acuity help us achieve our clients’ goals. It’s our breadth of experience and knowledge that sets us apart from the competition. We have a deep understanding of project management careers and the skills required. So with that in mind, how do you make progress in a project management career path?

Entry-level positions

Many professionals start their project management careers in positions such as project assistant, associate project manager or junior project manager. These positions help set the foundation for a successful career in project management and they give credible experience to entry-level professionals in areas such as planning. Working in a junior position will help you learn about the role of a project manager and give you the experience to progress into more challenging roles. These entry-level project management jobs will allow you to learn how to communicate with others, track projects and solve different issues that affect delivery. However, you will still need to make a lasting impression at the interview stage.

Mid-level project management

When you’ve spent a few years in junior positions, you’ll be able to start applying for project manager roles or associated roles, such as implementation manager. Alternatively, you might be rewarded with a promotion and be able to take on more demanding projects, especially if you have a project management qualification. As you step away from junior positions, your role will largely be more autonomous and less focused on supporting senior managers with the completion of projects. You’ll need to have an overview of the whole project, understand the budget and lead a team to success. As a project manager, you’ll be responsible for streamlining processes to meet objectives, as well as delegating specialist tasks to others. 

Senior and executive-level roles

The next step in the project management career path is moving into senior roles, such as senior project manager or head of projects. At this level, professionals will be responsible for highly complex projects with larger scopes and longer timelines. Professionals will need to develop products and scale teams. Also, senior project managers are often in charge of multiple projects simultaneously and serve as a mentor to more junior members of the team. There are also executive-level roles such as director of projects or associate director that specialise in project management and planning applications. Like any career path, progressing in project management requires planning and foresight, which can give fuel to your career growth.

What are the benefits of a career in project management?

There’s a variety of reasons why it’s well worth becoming a project manager. It offers lots of variety and constant change, from planning to execution and closing a project. There’s also the chance to meet lots of different people as you’ll be communicating at various levels. Also, due to the fact you’ll be managing various projects, you will always be learning about new processes and different ways of working, which can expand your skill set. Above all, there’s a clear career path for growth in project management and it’s no doubt a rewarding career.

Develop your project management career with AtkinsRéalis

At AtkinsRéalis , we’re dedicated to delivering global projects and improving communities, using data and technology to achieve our clients’ goals. We provide engineering, procurement and construction services to companies in various industries and we’re passionate about developing the people that work for us. AtkinsRéalis is always seeking growth-oriented and ambitious professionals who care about sustainable solutions and the path to Net-zero With our innovation and technology, we’re striving to pave the way for a better future for our planet and its people. If you want to find out more about our roles, browse our project management jobs and contact our team.