For many, project coordinator and project manager are synonymous titles. The truth, however, is that these roles are different from one another and a project coordinator cannot work without a project manager.
If you’re thinking of getting into project coordination, it’s important to understand what the role actually is — from the typical project coordinator salary to common responsibilities — before you take the leap. Fortunately, you’re in the right place to learn all the ins and outs of this position and more.
An Overview of the Project Coordinator
The difference between a project manager and a project coordinator really depends on scale. To fully understand one position, you have to understand the other.
The project manager is in charge of defining budgets as well as deadlines, resources, procurement, and goals. The project coordinator, on the other hand, is responsible for organizing the details of these larger categories and then reporting back to management.
In short, the project manager works on the project at a macro level (or as a whole), while the project coordinator focuses on the micro level (or the different stages that make up the larger endeavor). A project coordinator can’t really do their job without a project manager on board, and vice versa!
Project Coordinator Job Description
At its most basic level, the job description for the project coordinator is to track every stage of a project’s life cycle.
As the unofficial “player two” for the project manager, project coordinator responsibilities can vary. This includes ensuring that important information is shared with relevant people and team members, so the project runs smoothly and makes it to completion without significant problems.
Most responsibilities include the following:
- Scheduling and organizing meetings
- Organizing the project schedule and budget
- Organizing logistics
- Keeping detailed records of the project at every stage that may include summary reports to be presented to the manager
- Catching and assessing any issues or risks that may arise and reporting them to the project manager
- Effectively communicating with team members across the organization
- Keeping morale of the team up and helping to build strong working relationships for the good of the project
- Working with team members in the field and on site
Certain skills and a specific level of education may be required to be eligible for the position. Some degrees and necessary abilities include:
- A bachelor’s degree in business administration or similar field
- Ability to work and make decisions without excessive managerial input
- Current PMP® certification by the Project Management Institute®
- Understanding of project management tools and software
- Knowing of the concepts related to project management and coordination
In general, a project coordinator must be someone who communicates well and is detail-oriented, dependable, and highly productive. If you’re able to get things done (and done well) on time, you already fulfill one of the most crucial responsibilities of this role.
Project Coordinator Salaries
So, just how lucrative is the position? The potential salary for this role falls on a considerably wide spectrum.
On average, the most common salary for a project coordinator in the United States is $105, 880 (according to Salary.com as of November 2020). The range for this and related positions, however, spans from $45,104 to $166,656 annually. With such a wide range between possible salaries, you must keep in mind that a number of factors will decide just how much you can earn, and these factors include:
- Position type
- Experience level and number of years in the field/profession
- Additional skills and abilities
Top Industries that have a Demand for Project Coordinators
One of the most attractive parts of a this career is how many industries the position cuts across. Those in the project management and coordination profession should be able to break into some of the top industries in the world, all while enjoying immense flexibility in choosing which company they want to work for.
Demand is so high that there’s no shortage of positions waiting across several professional industries, including:
Construction is one of the top industries that requires the expertise of project coordinators. Both large and small construction firms tackle hundreds of complex projects throughout the year, and a coordinator is needed to ensure every project goes according to plan. If you’re a project coordinator in the construction industry, your duties may include firming plans, executing construction jobs, and ensuring there’s a steady supply of resources and materials to see projects to completion.
Information technology (IT) is a market that’s always growing, so there are plenty of project coordinator jobs to be found here. Small, large, and multinational companies are often expanding their breadth of operations to accommodate a competitive market and customer demand. As a result, project managers and coordinators are needed to oversee and evaluate the latest IT systems.
Some of the largest projects in the world come from the energy industry. In this field you might focus on policy and program development, as well as finding ways to stabilize energy use and project the market potential of energy firms and trends.
The financial industry is constantly growing, which means project coordinators are always in high demand to keep up. Due to the nature of the work, this field requires professionals who also have risk identification skills. Such coordinators will help handle mergers, acquisitions, stock underwritings, and more.
Another industry that continues to grow is healthcare, and this field is constantly looking for better ways to manage and handle processes for increased efficiency. Project coordinators who can handle significant multitasking are a great fit for this industry as they’ll likely be dealing with chain networks, material supply, recruitment, technology, and resources.
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Train to Become a Project Coordinator Today
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The course focuses on managing quality and risk, delivering results, understanding strategy, and implementing best practices.