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 would plan and organise people and resources so a project achieves its aims.

You’d get everyone working together effectively so the project is completed on time and on budget. You’d spot problems that could arise in the project and work out how to solve them.

You could work in almost any industry on many different types of project. For example, you could oversee the introduction of a new computer system or a large building development. You’d need to have technical knowledge relevant to the project.

Whatever the project, you would:

  • Find out what the client or company wants to achieve
  • Agree the 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 that 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 or Agile to break down the project into stages and check its progress.

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

Working conditions


You would often work standard office hours Monday to Friday, although this can vary according to the industry, and you may need to work longer in order to meet deadlines.


You may spend some of your time travelling for meetings and to visit contractors and suppliers. If working on building projects, you would 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.

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

To enter a business / management degree requires Nationals and three to five Highers or a relevant Higher National Certificate / Higher National Diploma.

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

Although you can apply with any degree a business management degree or a degree relevant to the industry you are applying to such as construction, engineering, finance, IT or manufacturing will be helpful.

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 (Projects in Controlled Environments) software, and specialist project management software like Microsoft Project and Workbench.