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How to Become a Project Coordinator

Do you like a good challenge? Do you perform well under pressure and consistently meet deadlines? Then a job as a project coordinator may be the right choice for your career. 

Project coordinators use their strong organizational and problem-solving skills to oversee various projects. They are the ones in charge of the different tasks that are involved in a project, including scheduling, organizing, record-keeping, and communicating with other members of the team. They will make sure the employees are finishing their parts and will be in constant communication with the project manager to discuss how the project is going. Project coordinators need to be able to lead and direct their team efficiently while communicating their expectations of each employee.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is searching for an experienced project coordinator to join our team. The ideal candidate would be able to work within a budget to solve various problems, communicate well with other employees to set proper expectations of what needs to get done, and keep a record of everything that is going on while frequently updating the project manager of the current situation on the project. They need to be organized and attentive to their work in order to record and make sure everything is going according to plan. While the job can sometimes get stressful, it can also be exciting as you work on various different projects each day. 

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Maintain and oversee project plans, schedules, and work hours 
  • Keep track of budgeting and expenditures 
  • Making sure project deadlines are reached 
  • Talk with clients to determine requirements, scope, and objectives
  • Taking notes and following up on the important steps and decisions discussed during meetings 
  • Prepare the necessary materials for presentations in important meetings
  • Offer additional administrative help as needed
  • Define project changes and create an additional plan to go about that change
  • Determine project risks and present solutions where applicable 
  • Organize and participate in team meetings
  • Create a project calendar that reveals when goals and objectives need to be reached 
  • Take care of the appropriate legal paperwork i.e. contracts and terms of the agreement 
  • Regularly update the project manager on each department’s progress 
  • Undergo routine quality assurance tests
  • Act as the main point of contact and communication for project status for all employees

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in business or another related field
  • 2+ years of experience in related field
  • PMP/PRINCE2 certification is preferred

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent multitasking and time-management skills
  • Ability to lead and direct a team
  • Strong communication skills 
  • Understands risk management and quality assurance control 
  • Ability to set up and interpret flowcharts
  • Ability to make schedules and create step-by-step action plans
  • Competent in using Microsoft applications, such as Word, Excel, and Outlook
  • Ability to work under pressure while ensuring project quality and efficiency 
  • Advanced computer skills and up-to-date knowledge on the technology used in various projects
  • Can perform various administrative procedures
  • Comprehend various contracts and terms of agreements
  • Ability to quickly recognize problems and come up with solutions to solve them

Preferred qualifications

  • Willingness to celebrate the success of your team and project
  • Experience working with a group of other project coordinators
  • Strong background and experience in business operations

Typical work environment

Project coordinators typically work in offices, however, their working environment can vary based on the industry. They might be required to travel to visit project clients or job sites depending on the scope of the project. This position generally works under project managers, so they are in frequent contact with managers discussing the details and plans of the project.

Typical hours

Project coordinators are typically full-time employees with a normal 40 hour week, however they might have to work overtime the closer projects are to reaching their deadlines. This might mean long work evenings or weekends.

Available certifications

As project coordinators work on various different projects, there are many different institutions that offer certifications that help them succeed in their position. Here are some of the top certifications:

  • Project Management Professional (PMP). The PMP is the world’s most recognized project management certification due to its predictive, agile, or hybrid approach that allows students to learn to become strong leaders in project management. This certification allows students to prove that they have learned the proper skills it takes to develop a strong team through effective communication, reinforce the technical aspects of properly managing projects, and take note of the connection between projects and organizational strategy.
  • Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP). The PMI-RMP certification allows students to specialize in assessing and identifying project risks along with coming up with plans to minimize threats and take advantage of opportunities. This certificate is useful for project coordinators since it is vital for them to recognize the potential risks of the projects and be able to mitigate the problem. Through this course, people will be able to understand the needs of a project environment and be able to meet the expectations of their supervisors by knowing how to minimize potential threats.
  • PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP). The PMI-SP certification is a great advantage for anyone looking to enter the project management field. This certification teaches students to develop and maintain project schedules. One of the most important aspects of becoming a project coordinator is being able to execute a project correctly while staying on top of fast deadlines. The PMI-SP will help professionals learn to manage activities, resources, dependencies, and project outcomes by teaching them how to strategically plan for every project they take on.

Career path

Most employers require a bachelor’s degree in business or another related field. Depending on the job market, some companies may expect certain certifications to be completed, like the PMP, to prove additional knowledge and skills have been learned. Project coordinators typically learn the skills needed for the job over years time as they attend school, different training, and work environments. From there, they will be able to gain the relevant experience that will help them succeed. Project coordinators can work in various industries, including engineering, healthcare, technology, construction, and finance.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-9041

2020 Employment197,800
Projected Employment in 2030205,900
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 4% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift8,100 increase

Positions for project coordinators are expected to increase over the next few years, however this is highly concentrated in the information systems and technology industries. With the increased use of technology in our day and age, we are constantly looking for ways to better our technology and increase cybersecurity, so project coordinators are needed to oversee those various projects.