Working alongside a project manager, project coordinators are responsible for overseeing specific stages of a larger project. The project manager oversees the project as a whole. Project coordinators may work on more than one aspect of a project, depending on its nature and scope.
The project coordinator tracks each applicable stage throughout its lifecycle and makes sure that critical information is shared among the various team members.
Project Coordinator Duties & Responsibilities
Project coordinators need to be able to handle the following tasks to be as efficient as possible:
- Monitoring progress
- Tracking paperwork
- Updating team members and partners
- Managing information flow
Project coordinators must be adept at multitasking, as they are generally required to perform a wide variety of tasks on a daily basis. While the specific role varies from company to company, project coordinators are generally expected to develop a schedule designed to meet necessary deadlines, communicate with team members about that schedule, and track work to make sure it is on pace to make deadlines.
When problems arise or if work is falling behind schedule, the project coordinator’s responsibility is to make necessary adjustments and communicate with the project manager and team members about the issue.
Project Coordinator Salary
Earnings for project coordinators are tied largely to experience. The more that project coordinators prove they can handle projects successfully, the greater the demand for their services will be.
- Median Annual Salary: $48,595 ($23.36/hour)
- Top 10% Annual Salary: $69,000 ($33.17/hour)
- Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $35,000 ($16.82/hour)
Source: Payscale.com, March 2019
Education, Training, & Certification
A formal degree in project management is not generally required. However, most employers look for several years of experience in their specific industry, and preferably a degree or certification in that field.
- Education: Though there often are no specific degree requirements, a bachelor’s degree makes it a lot easier for job candidates to get a foot in the door. A degree in communications, business, business management, or other similar fields can provide the necessary skills.
- Certification: Employers look for expertise in the software used by professionals in the field, so certifications in PRINCE2, Microsoft Office, or Primavera can be beneficial.
Project Coordinator Skills & Competencies
Project coordinators need to be organized, efficient, good at multitasking, and driven to succeed. Some specific skills necessary for this line of work include:
- Communication: To develop and maintain schedules, project coordinators need to be aware of the challenges or obstacles that team members may be facing, and team members need to be aware of the expectations of the project coordinator.
- Problem-solving: Projects rarely go exactly as planned, and the best project managers incorporate contingencies into their planning. Before problems arise, they have plans ready to be implemented and strategies for circumventing those obstacles. When a completely unexpected problem arises, project coordinators need to be adept at addressing it as quickly as possible.
- Time management: One stage of a project often relies on another stage meeting its deadline or maintaining its schedule. This kind of coordination makes it vital that project coordinators keep tight schedules.
- Budgeting: Projects cost money, and project coordinators need to know how to best allocate resources in order to accomplish goals.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track information for project coordinators, but project managers are projected to see 8 percent job growth for the decade ending in 2026. This is slightly better than the national average of 7 percent for all jobs.
Work environments can vary significantly depending on the industry in question. Whether it is construction, information technology (IT), or some other field, project coordinators spend significant amounts of time meeting with team members, assessing work, and reporting back to the project manager. Some fields, like construction, involve spending a lot of hours outside, while other projects might be strictly office-related.
Work schedules generally are consistent with standard business hours, but the closer projects are to reaching their deadlines, project coordinators may need to work evenings or weekends. The nature of the industry also can impact hours. A project coordinator working in an industry that involves evening or weekend hours, as a rule, might also have to work nontraditional hours to be in touch with team members.
How to Get the Job
Gaining knowledge in business and finance is beneficial.
Project coordinators usually are hired from among candidates with experience in the field.
SEEK GREATER RESPONSIBILITIES
Opportunities can come from succeeding at larger and larger tasks until getting an opportunity as a project coordinator.
Comparing Similar Jobs
Project coordinators work in a variety of fields, but information technology and construction are among the most common. Other similar jobs in those fields include:
- Computer Systems Analyst: $88,270
- Information Security Analyst: $95,510
- Construction Manager: $91,370
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics