1. Working as a Project Manager [NOC 1221]
Project managers are responsible for planning and overseeing projects to make sure they are completed on time and within budget.
You may perform the following duties:
- plan and designate project resources
- co-ordinate activities and tasks among internal departments and/or subcontractor organizations
- prepare budgets
- develop and maintain schedules and forecasting plans
- monitor progress
- write reports and other planning documents
- use project management tools such as tracking charts and project scheduling software
- keep stakeholders informed throughout the project
According to a report by the Project Management Institute, demand for project managers is growing faster than demand for workers in other occupations. Skilled project managers are in high demand across many sectors in Canada. Most medium to large size organizations are likely to have special projects that require management and coordination and, therefore, the need for project managers.
WorkBC provides job openings for Administrative Officers in BC regions, 2019-2029:
|Region||Employment in 2019||Average Annual Employment
of Job Openings
|Lower Mainland / Southwest||22,560||1.0%||9,770|
|North Coast & Nechako||490||0.4%||150|
You can learn more about working as a project manager from:
Types of Employers
Project managers are employed in a wide variety of sectors. Opportunities are available in most medium to large sized companies including:
- Retail & Wholesale
- Transportation & Distribution
- Resources (mining, agriculture, oil and gas, etc)
- Telecommunications & IT
- Construction & Engineering
Other project management opportunities can be found in the government, education, and not-for-profit sectors.
The Project Management Institute’s Salary Survey for 2020 shows a median salary of $100,000 for project managers in Canada.
Salaries range from $51,500 for individuals entering this profession to over $150,000 for those with a high level of experience. Your salary depends on a variety of factors including years of experience, area of specialization and size and type of organization.
Project managers generally work a regular 40-hour week. However, you may be required to work overtime to complete projects and meet deadlines, often without advance notice.
Skills, Education and Experience
- Excellent communication skills
- Detail oriented and organized
- Able to multi-task and manage various project elements at the same time
- Leadership skills
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Conflict resolution
- “Big picture” thinking and vision
- Good proficiency in English language
Education and Experience
- To work as a project manager, you generally require:
- post-secondary education, usually with a Bachelor’s degree in management, business, computer sciences or related field as a minimum
- several years’ experience in the relevant line of work, with increasing responsibility
- certification as a Project Management professional may be required
This occupation is not regulated in British Columbia
There are no mandatory requirements to work as a project manager in BC. However, you may find better employment opportunities if you gain certification as a Project Management Professional, or similar qualification.
There are two organizations whose certifications of project managers are widely recognized in Canada.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers various levels of certification, including the internationally recognized Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. In order to be certified as a PMP you require:
- 4-year degree, 3 years of experience leading projects, AND 35 hours project management education/training
- High school diploma, associate’s degree or the global equivalent, 5 years of experience leading projects, AND 35 hours project management education/training
- Successful completion of the PMP Exam
For more details about the certification process see:
The Project Management Association of Canada (PMAC) offers the Project Management Competence Certification, as well as a series of advanced specialty certifications for project managers. This certification provides independent third party assessments of your project, program and project portfolio management competence.
For more details see:
3. Finding Jobs
You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations’ publications.
You can look at the Vancouver Sun and The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.
Job White Pages
- JOB Freeway.com
Access at VPL locations only
Online Job Postings
Professional Associations’ Career Resources
Identifying the Right Position
When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a range of different job titles that are relevant.
For project managers, look for these related job titles:
- projects officer
- project coordinator
- project leader
- administrative planning officer
- non-technical project manager
- management planning officer
- planning officer
Creating a List of Potential Employers
You can use directories to produce lists of employers in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.
- Business in Vancouver. Book of Lists.
Biggest Companies in British Columbia in a variety of industries
Also available at the Central Library 338.9711 B97b
Directory of municipalities, associations and government agencies in BC
- Reference Canada
Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
In the top search box enter the type of industry of interest to you, ie: “insurance” and click SEARCH.
Select the appropriate headings.
Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).
4. Applying for a Job
In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume or curriculum vitae and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.
Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.
To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, use the following guides:
5. Getting Help from Industry Sources
Associations for project managers in BC and Canada provide information & assistance. Registration and fees are required for membership.
Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession. Examples include:
- PM Net Work
Available electronically at the Library through Business Source Ultimate