Associate project managers work in tandem with program managers and project directors and perform project management duties to support the completion of projects. Project management associates participate during all phases of the project management process. Under the guidance of the project director or program manger, associate project managers schedule and conduct project meetings, communicate assignments and expectations to project team members and track completion of project deliverables to ensure quality and integrity of all project-related products.
Project management associates perform a myriad of administrative tasks. They communicate project information to stakeholders, design templates, create presentations, review and edit project deliverables and maintain the project information repository. Associate project managers also help resolve project conflicts, identify resource requirements and align the project team on project scope. They observe existing project management practices and propose improvements for process efficiency. Essentially, project management associates ensure that projects are effectively planned and well-organized.
Associate project managers use their organization and planning skills to manage tasks effectively and complete projects as expected. Their analytical abilities, team building and motivation skills help them organize resources, work under tight deadlines, manage simultaneously occurring tasks and shifting priorities, control project change and generate maximum team performance. The best project management associates are credible, reliable, well-respected members of the collective project management team and believe that leadership and people skills are key elements for successful project delivery.
A typical way of obtaining the knowledge required for a project management career is graduation from a four-year college or university with a major in finance, business administration or public administration and at least two years of progressively responsible work experience in the stewardship projects or programs. Some employers may consider professional recognition through accreditation, such as Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute, as a sign of competence in this field. Associate project managers may find such designations especially advantageous in a competitive job market.
Associate project managers who demonstrate that they can handle more demanding projects are usually promoted to supervisory jobs. Advancement is generally easier in large organizations that employ different levels of project management personnel. In large corporations, entry-level workers may start with project assistant jobs and get promoted to project lead, project manager, project director, and eventually, vice president over the course of their career. Other project management associates may find more opportunities for advancement with a different employer.
According to national income trends from Indeed.com, the median annual wage of a associate project managers in the United States is $61,000, although salaries vary widely from less than $35,000 to over $100,00 a year.