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Everything You Need To Know About How To Become A Project Manager

Introduction To Project Management Apprenticeships

Are you an organised person who can work under pressure, lead people and is able to multitask? If so, then a project manager career might be ideal for you.

How to Get Into Project Management
There are different routes you can take to get into project management. For many project managers, they have done a project management degree or other type of degree and then entered the profession from there and worked upwards.

But what happens if you don’t want to go to university or if your circumstances prevent you from going to university? How to get into project management without getting a degree beforehand? Well, the good news is it is now possible to do Project Management Apprenticeships.

Royal Mail

London

2 Year Project Management Level 4 Apprenticeship

Royal Mail operates in one of the fastest-changing, most exciting industries in the UK and Europe.

We rely on our projects to be on budget, on time and – ultimately – successful. On this two-year programme you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of how we operate. It’s the ideal head start to become a project professional and with the right motivation and capability, a future leader of Royal Mail.

2 A-levels and 5 GCSE's graded C or above, including maths, English and science, are required for the apprenticeship which leads to an Associate Project Management L4 Apprenticeship Standard and membership with the Association of Project Managers (APM).

What Does It Take To Become A Project Manager?

But what does it take to become a project manager? What type of person do you need to be to succeed in project management jobs? It’s certainly not a career for everyone but if you have all the right attributes, you could be on the path to a varied and rewarding career.

Careers for project managers could suit you if:

  • You are a good team leader with excellent communication skills so that everyone knows what is expected of them.
  • You can work under pressure to meet, sometimes, tight deadlines.
  • You can think on your feet and make last minute decisions to ensure the project is on track when things go wrong.
  • You don’t mind travelling around. Many project management jobs are office-based but others could require you to visit sites or have meetings with clients elsewhere.
  • You are prepared to work extra hours on occasion to ensure on time completion of a project.
  • You are organised and can prioritise some tasks over others.
  • Can create a budget and work within that budget.

If you think you can tick some or all of those boxes then all you need now are your accredited project management qualifications and some work experience. After that, you will be well on your way to a successful project management career.

And how do you get those qualifications and work experience? By doing Project Management Apprenticeships. 

How Do Project Management Apprenticeships Work?

Project Management Apprenticeships are valuable because they give you accredited project management qualifications on successful completion of your programme. Crucially, you will be learning on the job so you will also be building up some valuable work experience as well as earning a wage.

The great thing about Apprenticeship Standards is that they have been drawn up by those who are specialists in their field. Project Management Apprenticeships are no different. You will be learning knowledge, skills and behaviours that these specialists know you will need to build a successful project management career in the future.

There are two levels of Project Management Apprenticeships that you can do. The Apprenticeship you will choose will depend on your previous work experience or qualifications.

Wherever you do your Project Management Apprenticeship, your experience will differ, depending on your employer. For example, if you are doing Apprentice project manager jobs in an IT setting, your experience is going to differ to that of someone doing Apprentice project manager jobs in transport.

But, although your experience will differ, all people doing Project Management Apprenticeships will learn the same skills, knowledge and behaviours. You will also be awarded with the same nationally recognised qualification at the end of your programme.

Associate Project Manager Apprenticeship
Associate project managers are also sometimes known as the junior project manager or the project leader.

During your Associate Project Manager apprenticeship programme you will learn the skills and knowledge that will give you the ability to lead projects within your industry to ensure they are completed successfully, on time and within budget. You will know what needs to be achieved, how it will be achieved, how long it will take and how much it will cost.

As an associate project manager, you will also learn the behaviours necessary to keep your project team on task and motivated using your communication skills.

Project Manager Degree Apprenticeship
The Project Manager Degree Apprenticeship is for those of you who want a broader knowledge and understanding of the profession as a whole. This Apprenticeship will see you on your way to a successful project management career where will take on more responsibility.

As a project manager, it is your job to improve processes or implement change so that the company you are working for becomes more efficient and effective. This will involve managing teams from different departments and organisations.

Project Management Apprenticeships - Qualifications And Requirements

Which level of Project Management apprenticeship will be the best for you?

Associate Project Manager Apprenticeship Standard

  • The associate Project Manager Apprenticeship is a Level 4 Apprenticeship. This is the equivalent of an HNC.
  • The duration of the Apprenticeship is typically 24 months.
  • Individual employers will set their own requirements when advertising Apprentice project manager jobs at Associate level but you can expect to be asked for 5 GCSEs at levels 4-9, including Maths and English. You might also be asked for 48 UCAS points or equivalent.
  • During your Apprenticeship, you will be expected to gain a level of knowledge that you achieve an IPMA (International Project Management Association) Level D qualification or an APM (Association For Project Management) qualification.
  • When you begin your Project Management Apprenticeship, you will be eligible for registration as a student with the Association for Project Management. Once you have successfully completed your Apprenticeship programme, you will be eligible to register as an associate member.
  • You can gain full membership of the Association For Project Management by doing further project management courses and gaining more experience.

Project Management Degree Apprenticeship Standard

  • The Project Management Degree Apprenticeship is a Level 6 Apprenticeship. This is the equivalent of a BS or BSc Honours Degree.
  • The duration of the Apprenticeship is approximately 4 years.
  • Individual employers will set their own entry requirements when advertising their Apprentice project manager jobs but you can expect to be asked for 5 GCSEs at levels 4-9, including Maths and English. You will also be asked for 3 A-Levels at grades A-C or equivalent.
  • Whilst doing your Project Management Degree Apprenticeship, you will be expected to gain an IPMA (International Project Management Association) Level D qualification.
  • On successful completion of your Apprenticeship, you will achieve a BA or BSc Honours Project Management Degree.
  • You will be eligible for full membership of the Association For Project Management. This is the Chartered Body for the project management profession.
Further Career Development After Project Management Apprenticeships

Is Project Management A Good Career?
Before you take the plunge and apply for Project Management Apprenticeships, you might be asking yourself “Is project management a good career?” Well, the good news is, yes it is and your skills will be in demand across a variety of sectors such as construction, engineering, IT, utilities, and advertising and marketing.

The demand for project managers is currently high and this demand is only expected to grow in the future. This means Project Manager Apprenticeships, whether at Associate Project Manager level or at Degree level could be a great choice.

Once you have become a project manager, you can build your experience by doing further study and project management course with an accredited provider. This could help you get into more senior positions, work on bigger projects and, for those of you with an entrepreneurial streak, you could also do freelance project management jobs once you have built up some contacts.

How Much Does A Project Manager Make?
The early career project manager salary compares well to that of other jobs. Your salary will vary depending on the sector you are working in. For example, whether you are doing junior project manager jobs (also known as associate project manager) or you are a fully qualified project manager, your salary will be higher in engineering and IT industries than in marketing.

As you become highly experienced in your project management career, you should be rewarded with a generous project manager salary. Likewise, with freelance project management jobs, you can command a generous hourly rate, especially if you have particular skills in a specialised area.

Apply For Project Management Apprenticeships In The UK

So, is a project management career the way forward for you? Whether you are considering Associate Project Manager Apprenticeships or you want to do Project Management Degree Apprenticeships, that a look to see if there are any Apprenticeship jobs out there to suit you.

You could soon have your project management qualifications under your belt and be building a highly successful career.

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