The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that over the next decade, technical project managers will be in high demand across the country, with more than 50,000 jobs projected to be created between 2012 and 2022. With such a large number of job openings available for this position, it’s no wonder people are wondering what exactly a technical project manager does?
In this article, we’ll take a deeper look into what makes up the role of a technical project manager and how much they can earn on average per year!
What Is a Technical Project Manager?
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A Technical Project Manager is responsible for the development and execution of technical projects. They are usually in charge of project planning, resource management, timelines, budgets, etc.
A key part of their job responsibility is to use their technical expertise to determine if a proposed solution will be able to meet the company’s business needs. They also oversee all aspects of the project to make sure that everything is completed on time.
The ideal candidates should have exceptional problem-solving abilities and at least three years of management expertise in development work with customers. They must be able to keep up with industry changes by engaging with clients and staying up to date on current trends.
Why Are Technical Project Managers In Demand?
The internet has revolutionized how businesses interact with customers. It’s allowed us to connect people, reduce the distance between them, and boost productivity in every industry imaginable. They’ve also taken on some of the responsibilities that come with running a company over time. The software business is at the center of the tech boom, which has fueled our smart gadgets’ rise.
Some of the early software companies from the 1980s are among the most valuable brands in the world today (ie. Apple, Microsoft, Intuit, Adobe, Autodesk),. Software startups of all kinds continue to adapt to changing needs today, just as they did back then. Because of the race to outdo each other with iteration after iteration of their best products, there is a lot of competition. Technical project managers have been an important element in these businesses’ success in terms of keeping up with each other and remaining relevant.
Responsibilities for Technical Project Manager
Here are responsibilities that every Technical Project Manager would have to carry out:
- Ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget, with top-down management of the entire execution to guarantee success as defined by scope, budget, and timeline compliance.
- Create comprehensive project plans that integrate client needs with corporate goals and manage various managers and technical staff throughout the project phases, from inception to completion.
- The Project Manager is responsible for communicating project updates and accomplishments to the Client, as well as executing the deliverables that have been defined in contrast with expectations. The Project Manager also maintains project schedules, keeps track of progress on initiatives, and makes comprehensive scheduled reports on measurable items such as milestones and outcomes.
- Provide encouragement, identify issues, develop solutions, and put in place efficiency improvements proactively with all concerned personnel.
- Analyze project plans from an economic standpoint, offer meaningful feedback on cost-benefit and return-on-investment criteria, and provide insight into the viability of a given plan.
- Prepare and present project plans to the board for approval and implementation of helpful modifications. Prepare and deliver a briefing to management on the proposed improvements. Prepare and submit a presentation to the board detailing the proposed changes, along with suggested modifications if any, in order to get their approval.
- Before and during projects, oversee the acquisition of resources and materials as needed, consult with clients, team members, managers, and in-house accountants, negotiate price and payment agreements with suppliers.
- Communicate directly with customers and stay up to speed on important trends and industry news by anticipating future projects.
10 Qualifications Technical Project Manager Must Have
Here are qualifications a Technical Project Manager must have:
- A bachelor’s degree in a business-related field or an IT certification is usually required. Most technical project managers have at least three years of experience as tech pros, but those with five to seven years under their belts will be more competitive for openings.
- Demonstrated competence in project management processes, techniques, and methods as verified by a Project Management Certification from an authorized intuition preferred provider.
- Mentoring, coaching, and developing rising talent in the technology department
- Strong writing and communication skills, as well as experience establishing standards for others in these areas. Personal responsibility for making decisions and supervising department teams
- Ability to forecast difficulties and seek out proactive ways of dealing with them.
- Ability to communicate effectively with all levels of an organization. Knowledge about business processes and how they affect the bigger picture as a whole.
- The ability to lead multiple projects at once, while still being able to keep up with ever-changing schedules and deadlines. Understanding that there is no “typical day” for someone in this role; instead, it varies by project/client needs and changes every week (or even more frequently). The ability to adapt quickly and come out ahead during these fast-paced shifts is crucial!
- Having strong technical skills is critical here – whether or not you have hands-on experience building software yourself, having extensive knowledge on current trends helps tremendously since you will be dealing directly with IT departments (and other project managers, too). You must be able to prioritize your tasks and communicate effectively with all teams involved – including the client.
- As a technical project manager, you will likely work on several projects at once – so strong organizational skills are also essential here. Being proactive is key as well; anticipating issues before they arise can often prevent them from occurring in the first place!
- In these roles, it’s important that you take initiative when needed but also stay open to feedback since many people across various industries may have different perspectives about what constitutes an effective solution or product.
How Much Does a Technical Project Manager Make in The United States?
The average Technical Project Manager salary in the United States is $109,985 as of September 27, 2021, but the range usually falls between $96,224 and $124,021.
Salary ranges can differ considerably depending on a variety of criteria such as education, certifications, extra abilities, and the number of years you have worked in your field.
According to recent job postings on ZipRecruiter, the Technical Project Manager job market in both Los Angeles, CA and the surrounding areas is extremely competitive. The average yearly salary of a Technical Project Manager in this region is $104,611, or $2,719 (3%) less than the national average annual wage of $107,330. Technical Project Managers earn an average of $104,611 per year in California. Source
10 Highest Paying Cities for Technical Project Manager Jobs
Here are the 10 cities where a Technical Project Manager’s salary is higher than the national average.
The top spot goes to San Francisco, CA, with Fremont, CA, and San Jose, CA coming in second and third places. San Jose beats the national average by $17,924 (16.7%), while San Francisco pulls ahead even more with an additional $26,564 (24.8%) above the $107,330 median.
Another point to consider is that the average salary for these top 10 cities varies little, with 10% differences between San Francisco, CA, and Norwalk, CT. When comparing location and salary as a Technical Project Manager position, the possibility of a lower cost of living may be the most important consideration.
With average salaries in these 10 cities being greater than the national average, becoming a Technical Project Manager appears to be a very lucrative option for economic advancement.
Being a Technical Project Manager entails a lot of juggling. It necessitates mastery of a wide range of hard and soft abilities to negotiate the challenges and difficulties that can crop up while managing big projects. It’s the ultimate test of leadership skills, as it’s one of today’s most demanding and challenging occupations.
Whether you are hiring a Technical Project Manager or looking to change your career path, there are numerous opportunities to be found in this role. While it is important to note that the specific responsibilities of a Technical Project Manager vary from company to company and depend heavily on the experience level. Do your research to determine the best fit for your company.