Project manager

Administration, business and management

Career outlook for project manager

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You'd plan and organise people and resources so a project achieves its aims.

You’d get everyone working well together and to finish the project on time and on budget. You’d spot potential problems that might come up and work out how to solve them.

You could work in almost any industry on many different types of project. You could oversee the introduction of a new computer system, a large building development or a mission to space!

Whatever the project, you’d need to have relevant technical knowledge.

What you might do

  • find out what the client or company wants to achieve
  • agree timescales, costs and resources needed
  • create a detailed plan and schedule for each stage of the project
  • select and lead a project team
  • negotiate with contractors and suppliers for materials and services
  • make sure each stage progresses according to the plan
  • report regularly on progress to senior managers and the client
  • manage risks to avoid delays

Part of your work would involve using particular project management methods such as 'PRINCE2' (Projects in Controlled Environments) or 'agile'. to break down the project into stages and check its progress.

You'd also use specialised software to help with scheduling, costing, and risk analysis.

Working conditions


You'd work standard office hours Monday to Friday, although this can vary according to the industry. You might need to work longer to meet deadlines.


You might spend some of your time travelling for meetings and to visit contractors and suppliers. If working on building projects, you'd visit construction sites on a regular basis. Some jobs may involve overnight stays away from home.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Compromising
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Time management
  • Coaching
  • Motivating others
  • Taking responsibility

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Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


You'd need a degree (SCQF level 9/10). Some entrants hold postgraduate level qualifications (SCQF level 11).

To enter a business or management degree, you need either:

  • Nationals and three to five Highers
  • a relevant Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND)

Postgraduate level qualifications in Project Management (SCQF level 11) are available following a degree.

A Business Management degree or a degree relevant to the industry you are applying is helpful. For example, in Construction, Engineering, Finance, IT or Manufacturing.

Useful subjects

  • maths (required by most courses and employers) 
  • English (required by most courses and employers)
  • business
  • ICT
  • science
  • numerate subjects

Helpful to have

Skills and experience in project management and using related ICT such as 'PRINCE2' software, and specialist project management software like Microsoft Project and Workbench.