About Remote Project Manager Jobs
No matter what field you are in, there is a huge possibility that you’ll encounter and work with project managers. Companies have started to see the worth of having a skilled professional dedicated to making sure projects run smoothly from start to end. Remote project managers have similar core responsibilities, although there may be some challenges to working remotely than working in a traditional setting.
However, since the COVID-19 pandemic happened, a lot of companies have shifted to remote project manager jobs and remote work in general. This trend is likely going to continue even after the pandemic as more people realize the advantages and find ways to overcome the disadvantages of working remotely.
What Do Project Managers Do?
Project managers are at the forefront of a successful project. They oversee a project from start to finish and deliver the end goal in a timely manner without going over the company’s budget. They’re also important in making sure the team works as efficiently and as seamlessly as possible.
Core Duties and Responsibilities of a Project Manager Job
Carefully planning a project ensures that it runs smoothly and in line with the goals and budget of the company. Project managers go through each task, the financial and human resources needed to complete the tasks, and the deadline for each task. They also define the scope of the project to avoid potential scope creep.
After careful planning and organization, proper implementation comes next. When implementing a project, a project manager ensures that the structure that his team follows is in line with the company’s existing structures and procedures.
This is where remote project manager jobs get challenging. Project managers are tasked with monitoring resources so that they are used as efficiently as possible. Since remote workers don’t see their team face to face, communication is vital. Project managers also ensure that the project is well within the pre-planned timeline, and if it’s lagging behind, it’s their job to evaluate the situation and figure out what actions have to be taken to get the project back on track.
Risks are an inevitable occurrence in project or program manager jobs, which is why it’s critical for a project manager to master how to manage them. Risk management entails identifying potential risks, such as the probability of team members resigning or sponsors backing out of the project. It is also the project manager’s job to come up with a contingency plan and estimate the cost for other solutions.
Effective communication is vital in making a project successful. This is especially true for virtual project manager jobs since they don’t see their clients and team members face to face. In fact, a large number of surveys show that project managers allot 90% of their time in communication.
Communication channels have to be effective and reliable since project managers not only speak with their team members but with stakeholders, clients, sponsors, and other decision-makers as well.
Common Types of Remote Project Manager Jobs
1. Information Technology Remote Project Manager
Information technology is one of the most common fields where project managers can work remotely. Since projects in the IT industry are commonly elaborate and dynamic, the right combination of critical and quick thinking and a deep understanding of the subject matter is vital.
Duties and Responsibilities
- App and software development projects
- Network upgrades
- Data management projects
- Business analytics
- Cloud computing projects
- Virtualization rollouts
Skills and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree, or preferably a master’s degree in IT
- Related fields include information technology, computer science, and IT project management
- Several years of experience in IT or IT project management
2. Remote Project Coordinator Jobs
Remote project coordinators handle specific administrative tasks for projects to ensure that they run smoothly. They help project managers achieve the goals of the project and allow project managers to focus on bigger tasks. This position is a great stepping stone to one day becoming a project manager.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Budget monitoring
- Calendar management
- Purchasing materials and supplies
- New staff training
- Regular filing of paperwork
Skills and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree in the related field
- At least one to four years of experience in the field
- Advanced organization and problem-solving skills
- Excellent communication skills
- Knowledge of common project management software and programs
3. Healthcare Home Based Project Manager
The healthcare industry has one of the highest-paying jobs in project management. A healthcare project manager oversees projects in hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare facilities. Since it’s a remote position, you will have to regularly communicate with hospital administrators and staff via email, telephone, and teleconferencing platforms.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Budget management
- Improvement in quality and efficiency of healthcare services
- Ensuring the facility’s compliance with laws and regulations
- Creating work schedules
- Communicating with department heads and medical staff
Skills and Experience
- Bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration, healthcare administration, or any related field
- Several years of experience in remote PM jobs or healthcare administration
- Familiarization with healthcare laws and regulations
- Excellent problem-solving and communication skills
Working from home certainly has its advantages. Zero commuting, no office distractions, making your own meals, custom environment, and working in your home clothes are only some of the advantages.
However, working from home has its challenges as well, such as lack of productivity and motivation, communication challenges, and difficulty in separating work and personal life. At the end of the day, it’s entirely up to you which work environment you’ll be most productive in — a home office or a traditional office.
Challenges of Work From Home Project Manager Jobs and How To Overcome Them
1. Time Zone Differences
A key feature in remote work is having coworkers from different countries, hence different time zones. It is a great way to diversify a company’s workforce. However, it does have its drawbacks, especially when setting up meetings.
How to fix time differences: If possible, set up meetings during work hours to avoid inconvenience. However, if that’s not entirely possible, especially if you have members from opposing timezones, it helps to rotate meeting times so as not to inconvenience the same group of people in your team every time you have a meeting.
2. Communication Challenges
Unlike traditional office jobs, remote jobs can be challenging communication-wise since you can’t go to someone’s desk or office to speak with them right away. Seamless communication plays a huge role in delivering positive outcomes in projects, which is why a vital part of project management is communicating with members, clients, and stockholders, among others.
How to fix communication challenges: Using one general platform, such as Slack, will help streamline communication in your team and company. G Suite applications, such as Drive, Docs, and Sheets, can also be used for seamless collaboration and sharing of files. Other tools used in virtual project manager jobs include Trello, ClickMeeting, Zoom, and PukkaTeam.
3. Employee Monitoring
Successfully tracking your team members’ performance and the success rate is necessary to stay on top of deadlines and ensure timely delivery of tasks. This can be a bit of a challenge for remote project managers but not impossible when you have the right tools.
How to fix employee monitoring challenges: Check in daily with team members to ensure that they are finishing tasks in a timely manner. Checking in with them will also help you identify areas for improvement so you can help them work through it. Utilize tools for project manager remote jobs, such as Asana, Basecamp, and Scoro, among others.
Project managers typically work the same hours and schedules as any other office job. Let’s take IT project managers as an example. They usually work 40 hours a week, which is the standard, but whenever there are urgent problems that need to be fixed or when deadlines are coming up and more work needs to be done, it is not uncommon in remote IT project manager jobs to go beyond 40 hours. Sometimes, they even work weekends if they have to.
However, nowadays, a lot of employers and companies are moving into flexible work schedules for project management jobs, which can be highly beneficial if done right. It allows them to be more open to changes and manage their workflow more independently.
On the other hand, if you want to provide independent project management services on a contractual basis, then looking into freelance project manager jobs might be a great option for you.
How to Become a Remote Project Manager
A project manager wears many hats, so flexibility is important. They are also responsible and accountable for a lot of things in a project, so it’s definitely not something to be taken lightly. This is why before deciding if project management is the right career path for you, you need to know what it takes to become a successful work from home project manager.
A common and popular degree for project management is a Bachelor’s or a Master’s in Project Management. Like any other degree, it takes four years or eight semesters to complete. Other degrees also offer majors in project management, such as Business Management and Business Administration. A Master’s degree is not always necessary, but it is definitely preferred by some employers.
There will also be positions that may require you to have a Bachelor’s degree in the specific field you’ll be working in. For example, work from home IT project manager jobs may require you to have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a related field, such as information technology, computer science, computer programming, and software development, among others.
On some occasions, an employer will prefer someone in the company who has several years of experience in the field in spite of not having a Bachelor’s degree. Some employers may not be as strict as others when it comes to education requirements. However, keep in mind that they may ask you to be certified in the long run.
Project Management Certifications
There are two generally in-demand certifications for project manager positions. Both certifications are accredited by the Project Management Institute or PMI.
Although getting certified is not mandatory, it is a great way to showcase your experience and passion for the field. Additionally, certified project managers are more likely to get hired and even earn more than those without certification.
1. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
This entry-level certification is great for those with lesser experience or for newbies to project management. You would only need a high school diploma and 1,500 hours of experience in project manager jobs, remote or not, to qualify for CAPM.
Getting a CAPM will help you familiarize yourself with various project management processes and terms, and ultimately, get a PMP Certification in the long run.
2. Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification
This is one of the most highly valued and sought after project management certifications. To qualify, you would need a 4-year degree in any field, attend 35 hours of project management courses, and have 4,500 hours of project management experience.
Another way is to have either a high school diploma or associate’s degree in any field, have completed at least 7,500 hours of experience in traditional or remote project management jobs, and have attended 35 hours of project management courses.
Important Skills of a Remote Project Manager
It’s not uncommon for problems or issues to arise in projects, which is why an efficient project manager has to be able to think critically and come up with viable solutions to problems. Contingency planning is important to keep projects afloat.
2. Excellent Communication Skills
A huge chunk of a project manager’s job is communicating with people — team members, clients, and stockholders. It is especially important for those who work in remote manager jobs since all communication is done virtually. Project managers have to be able to efficiently communicate instructions and the mission and goals of the project in the simplest and most direct way.
An efficient project manager has great organizational skills. They have to know how to properly delegate tasks, prioritize tasks according to difficulty, and finish them smoothly in a timely manner. There are a lot of things to stay on top of in a remote project manager job, so proper documentation and organization will help. A simple to-do list can be your best friend.
4. Tech Savvy
Technology plays a huge role in project management so it only makes sense that project managers have to be tech-savvy to be efficient and successful in their role. They also need working knowledge of various project management and employee monitor tools, such as ProofHub, Scoro, Workzone, and more. These tools help make task delegation easier and collaboration within the team a lot faster.
Remote Project Manager Salary
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2019, the annual median wage for management occupations is $105,660. On the other hand, the annual average base salary for remote project managers stood at $66,137, with an additional compensation of $5,757 per year. As of July 2020, the average annual income for remote project managers in the United States is $91,899.
However, keep in mind that the following factors affect the salary rate of work from home project manager positions:
- The field that you’re working in
- Number of years of experience
- Location of your client or employer
- Educational level
- The budget of the project
More employers and clients are seeing the value of remote work, so it’s not expected to decline in job openings anytime soon. In addition, the “new normal” has opened up opportunities in specific fields in project management.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) predicts that there will be a steady increase in demand for project management. There is a positive outlook for professionals in this field, especially the skilled ones.
The PMI estimates that by 2027, there will be an additional 87.7 million job openings in traditional or remote program manager jobs and other closely relevant positions. This is largely attributed to the increased demand in combination with a large chunk of the existing talent pool going into retirement.
The following industries are expected to have high levels of job growth in project management over the next decade:
- Information services
- Finance and insurance
- Management and professional services
- Construction and manufacturing
- Oil and gas
Remote project manager jobs are a great option for individuals who are dynamic and don’t shy away from change. If you want to put your organizational skills to good use, then this career path would be a viable option for you. To top it off, the pay is not too shabby and the demand for it is certainly not going to decrease anytime soon.
Hopefully, you’ll find the information here useful and assist you to land your dream remote job.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
It may seem like a daunting task, but project management can be done remotely nowadays. Some projects require managers to be physically present, such as health care, construction, and engineering, but outside of these industries, more and more companies are moving into remote work, especially under the “new normal.”
To succeed in remote project management, you would need to be well-versed in important and commonly used tools. These include communication platforms, such as Skype, Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts, and more, and staff monitoring software, such as Hubstaff and ActivTrak. Moreover, having excellent communication skills will help bridge the communication gap commonly seen in remote work.
Before you can become a virtual project manager, you must first start in entry-level positions, such as project coordinators, project assistants, and office administrators. These entry-level positions will help you hone your skills to help you become an effective virtual project manager in the future.
Taking entry-level positions is also a great way to make your CV and portfolio look good when you apply for virtual project management positions. You can also take online courses specific to your chosen niche to further expand your skills and get certified.
Yes. The PMI or Project Management Institute expects it to grow by 22 million new job openings until 2027. There is no indication of the demand going down in the near future.
They are highly in demand because their skills are applicable and needed in a lot of industries around the world, such as oil and gas, insurance, marketing, finance, construction, manufacturing, and utilities. They are, however, pretty common in the IT industry.
Additionally, companies have also seen the importance of having a professional whose work is dedicated to overseeing projects from start to end.
Like any other job, salaries of project managers vary with their skills, experience, and positions. However, some industries pay more than others. According to the PMI survey, the top-paying project management industries include engineering, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, consulting, and resources project management.
Additionally, working as a project manager in IT, construction, and marketing can be lucrative as well. To give you a better picture, remote project manager jobs currently have an average yearly salary of $91,899. If you want to have a higher salary, you may want to get certified as a project management professional (PMP), which can reportedly increase your annual salary by at least 20%.