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How to Become a Project Manager in Canada in 4 Steps

Here are the proven 4 steps to become a project manager in Canada and land your first job.

If you want to know how to become a project manager in Canada, then you are in the best place. We will be detailing all you need to know about becoming a project manager in 4 steps.

Project managers play the lead role in planning, executing, monitoring, controlling and closing projects.

Unlike most people think, project management career is one of repute and requires a level of literacy. In this article, we intend to outline everything you need to get into this line of work.

In Canada, anyone can be a project manager. However, he needs to understand the responsibilities of a project manager and the requirements for becoming a project manager in Canada.

This article covers the necessary steps you need to take to become a project manager in Canada.

Who is a Project Manager?
Passionate, organized and goal-oriented are the basic terms used to describe a project manager.

A project manager is a business expert in the field of project management. He is a professional who plans, organizes and executes projects while working within restraints like budgets and schedules.

Furthermore, project managers are in charge of initiating leading teams, defining goals, communicating with stakeholders and seeing a project through to its closure.

By overseeing projects from commencement to completion, project managers have the potential to reduce the costs of project, maximize company efficiencies and increase revenue while ensuring these projects are on time and within scope.

Responsibilities of a project manager
If you are considering a career in project management, you’re likely curious about the various roles and responsibilities you’ll have after earning your degree or certification.

The exact duties of a project manager will depend on the industry, organization and the types of projects involved.

However, let’s take a closer look at what project managers do including key responsibilities so you can decide if it is the right career for you.

Project managers plans what work needs to be done, when and who’s going to do it.
They look at the risks involved in a particular project and providing techniques in managing these risks.
Project managers motivate and coordinate the team of involved in the project.
During the course of any project, resource allocation and other miscellaneous expenses do arise.
Hence, it is the role of the project manager to ensure that these issues are resolved effectively in order to keep the project on track.

Project managers also manage their team in order to keep them productive and happy.
For example, a project manager can include team-building exercises to boost morale particularly after challenging weeks or phases of the project.

For small-scale projects, cost evaluation may be a weekly task, but for larger projects, project managers spends time reviewing budgets each day to ensure the project does not exceed the amount planned for the execution of the project.
Top skills needed to become a project manager in Canada
As a project manager, you will be responsible for ensuring that projects are completed on time, within budget and to the required quality standards.

To be effective as a project manager, you need to possess a certain set of skills and personality traits, as these skills will allow you to perform your job duties with competence.

The following are top skills needed to become a project manager in Canada.

Strong analytical and leadership skills
Project manager must possess strong leadership skills when managing a team or project.

As a project manager, you’re responsible not only for project success, but you also need to be a leader that applies leadership skills to guide and motivate team members to achieve their goals.

Hence, strong leaders foster a productive work environment by communicating regularly with their team members and helping their employees develop important project management skills themselves.

Communication skills
Project Management is all about communication, whether through emails, calls, daily check-ins or team meetings. Regardless of the medium, getting comfortable communicating with data is an essential skill.

Project managers need to ensure that team members and stakeholders are aware of the project plan, timeline and budget to determine the status of various projects.

Time management skills
Time management is one of the most important technical skills every project manager must have.

Every project manager will have numerous demands placed on their time since they’re acting as the point of contact for so many departments and team members.

Most importantly, project managers have to be experts in managing their time, their team’s time and the overall time of the project.

Task management skills
Tasks are jobs that make up the execution phase of a project. Task need to be created, organized, assigned to team members and tracked to make sure they meet the project constraints.

However, this mostly done with task management. Project management software helps you manage tasks and fosters collaboration among your project team.

Networking skills
A highly sought after project manager will be engaged with both their industry and their profession through project management networking.

By attending connecting with other project managers could result in your next client or contract, which is the perfect way to keep you up to date on what is happening in your industry and profession.

Problem solving skills
Problem solving is another useful skill every project manager must possess. The most successful professionals in this field dedicate time to tackle challenges and figure out how to overcome difficulties.

An obstacle or problem must not discourage project managers. Instead, they need to develop solutions to keep the project moving forward even when the best-laid plans fall apart.

What are the benefits of becoming a project manager in Canada?
As a project manager, you can work in any industry or organization. For example, manufacturing companies might need someone to lead a research team coming up with new product.

More so, finance and insurance companies might need a professional to revamp reporting methods to bring them into compliance with new standards.

Even the health care industry needs project managers when changing regulations, giving you a chance to save patients money while improving their care.

Another benefit of a career in project management comes down to the increase in demand of project manager in Canada.

Generally speaking, many companies need project managers although the supply hasn’t kept up with the demand. This is in part due to an aging work force. Other factors include changing technology and expansion into global markets.

Lastly, project management salaries offer a strong motivation to enter the field. Project managers in Canada had an average income of $70,000 in 2021.

By choosing a project management career, you can affect change by working with politicians or nonprofits who want to make a difference in the world.

4 Steps to become a project manager in Canada
If you want to become a project manager in Canada, you should follow the steps below

Get bachelor’s degree in management or business
Certification in project management
Gain work experience
Choose your niche
Step 1: Get bachelor’s degree in management or business
The initial step to becoming a project manager is to get a relevant degree.

While most degree holders go into project management, earning a degree in business or project management gives you an advantage in the job market.

In addition, you can pursue other relevant degree programs, including engineering, construction, IT or marketing and use this expertise to prepare you for managing projects related to those roles.

More so, you can complement a degree in another field with a short online course or another certification in project management.

Step 2: Begin your certification in project management
Successful project managers need a certificate. Certification helps you improve your skills and employability, and shows your commitment to the profession.

Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification is a globally recognized Project Management certification, which is useful for those who have extensive experience in managing and delivering projects.

It provides such managers with industry-accepted certification, which helps in attaining higher salary and recognition.

In addition, the Project Management Association of Canada also offers the Project Management Competence Certification and several specialty certifications such as Certified Agile Project Manager and the Advanced Certificate in Critical and Structured Thinking.

Step 3: Gain work experience
Project managers need the experience to excel in their chosen fields. You can gain experience by looking for internship positions with companies that manage projects.

In addition, you can also volunteer to take on extra responsibilities that would expose you to project management roles, such as scheduling tasks, budgeting and stakeholder meeting.

Gaining relevant experience enables you to stand out to recruiters.

Step 4: Choose your niche
Many industries require project managers. It is important for aspiring project managers to decide which field they are likely to specialize before deciding on the next steps.

For instance, if you are looking to become an IT project manager, you may need to pursue an IT related degree to give you a firm foundation.

Other areas of specialization for project managers include construction, energy, product development and engineering.

Top universities in Canada to study Project Management
Project Management is a highly sought discipline that involves the application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently.

A degree in project management is a good start to starting a career as a project manager. Here are top universities in Canada to study project management.

University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC)
University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) offers a degree program in project management to prepare students to identify, analyze and address uncertainty throughout the project life-cycle and industry best practices related to risk management.

The University of Winnipeg
The University of Winnipeg offers a degree program in project management to help students plan, execute, monitor and control a project to ensure its success.

The program gives you a comprehensive foundation in project management and organizational management that applies to not-for-profit, for-profit and government organizations.

The activities, cases and projects are focused on small medium-sized projects and are uniquely non-technical in their objectives and learning outcomes.

Simon Fraser University
Simon Fraser University is another major Canadian university offering degrees in project management.

SFU prepares students for this rewarding managerial career in the field of project management. Students will acquire the creative, practical and advanced expertise that contributes to the effective management of the critical elements required to ensure project success.

University of Calgary
The project management course is designed for university students to enhance their education and acquire the skills to meet the growing demand for project managers in the global economy.

Program courses are designed to guide students in the development of technical project management, leadership, organizational, interpersonal, meeting and presentation skills.

University of New Brunswick
In this program, students learn to combine the operational aspects of managing a project with the leadership qualities required to inspire the project team and to interact with project stakeholders.

The program helps students develop top and mid-level leadership in project management. The university also provides flexible programs in key areas critical to the growing need for project management.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How much does a qualified project manager earn in Canada?

The average salary for a project manager is $80,000 per year in Canada. However, the exact income of a project manager depends on several key factors including the manager’s education, experience and industry.

Are project manager in demand in Canada?

Project managers are in demand in Canada and the reason why they are in high demand is that Canadian universities provide extraordinarily good programs that prepare graduates to gain their professional qualification.

How many years does it take to become a project manager in Canada?

For most people, it takes between 2 and 4 years to become a qualified project manager in Canada.

Can I be a project manager with no experience?

You may find that many project manager positions require experience.

However, it’s possible to get a job in project management without experience, especially if you’re able to show your commitment to the industry and that you have the skills project management requires.

Conclusion
In conclusion, becoming a project manager in Canada could be interesting and rewarding. It takes foresight to achieve a greater height in such profession.

Aspiring project managers need to take things slow, educate themselves about the profession and connect with people.

Therefore, this article provides a useful guide that would be very helpful to you as a project manager in Canada.

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