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Contents

1. Working as a Project Manager [NOC 1221]

Job Description

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

Industry Overview

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.

Project managers (non-technical) are included in NOC 1221, Administrative Officers. There are currently 33,400 people employed as Administrative Officers in BC.
forecasted average employment growth rate, job openings, composition of job openings
Chart from WorkBC

WorkBC provides job openings for Administrative Officers in BC regions, 2019-2029:

Region Employment in 2019 Average Annual Employment
Growth
Expected Number
of Job Openings
Vancouver Island 6,310 0.8% 3,080
Lower Mainland / Southwest 22,560 1.0% 9,770
Thompson-Okanagan 3,860 1.1% 2,100
Kootenay 940 0.8% 480
Cariboo 1,080 0.6% 370
Northeast 620 2.4% 360
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:

  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Consulting
  • Manufacturing
  • Finance
  • 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.

Salary

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.

Full report:

Working Hours

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

Skills

  • 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

Source: Robert Half Project Manager Job Description

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

Qualifications

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

OR

  • 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.

Local Newspapers

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

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.

  • CivicInfoBC
    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

Industry Associations

Associations for project managers in BC and Canada provide information & assistance. Registration and fees are required for membership.

Industry Journals

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