It can seem daunting to try to figure out how to become an electrical project manager on one’s own. Fortunately, there are many online resources for those that want to make the career jump or start their career as an electrical project manager. Just as there are many resources, there are similarly many ways to learn how to become an electrical project manager. Some companies prefer for their project managers to have formal education in it as well as experience in the field. In contrast, other companies want someone with years of experience. These skills and more will help one learn how to become an electrical project manager.
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Skills Needed to Become an Electrical Project Manager
To become an electrical project manager, an interested candidate must learn, use, and exhibit specific skills. These skills are necessary for becoming an electrical project manager and will help the manager throughout their career.
- Problem Solving – Problem-solving skills refers to one’s ability to handle unexpected situations in the workplace and business challenges. As an electrical project manager, this is essential. But problem-solving is a rather broad topic; typically it includes active listening, analysis, research, creativity, decision making, and team-building. These skills are how to become an electrical project manager.
- Communication– Communication is a crucial element in problem-solving, but it’s also a vital skill to become an electrical project manager. Project managers must communicate with their peers, supervisors, and workers to ensure they complete the project satisfactorily.
- Scheduling– Project managers are responsible for a lot of the scheduling for a project. That’s why people who wish to become electrical project managers must have scheduling skills. Scheduling is more than just putting tasks into a calendar; electrical project managers must work with all managers to ensure that the project’s needs fit into the company’s resources.
- Research and Resource Planning – An electrical project manager should feel confident in their research and resource planning skills. They should feel comfortable looking at other project plans and using them to create better project plans. They should feel confident in their resource planning skills as well.
These skills are how to become an electrical project manager. They’re listed on many electrical project manager job posts and can aid in making the career jump.
What an Electrical Project Manager Does
Electrical project managers are responsible for organizing and completing electrical projects for their companies. So an electrical project manager will use their scheduling, communication, problem-solving, and resource planning skills to complete a project.
- Planning for the Project – The first significant part of an electrical project manager’s job is planning. This involves collaborating with designers, engineers, architects, other subcontractors, and the general contractors to complete the project. This will include gathering necessary and correct information to build a project plan and schedule. And using estimating takeoffs and their expertise, they will create a budget for their part of the project.
- Overseeing and Directing – The next major part of an electrical project manager is supervising and directing the project. Depending on the size of the company, this could include the day to day operations on a site. Regardless of company size though, the electrical pm is responsible for sharing project information, monitoring the progress, and maintaining a budget.
- Reviewing and Documenting – Electrical project managers also review the project and prepare documentation. By reviewing the project at the end, they can prepare documentation about the success. This documentation makes it easier for the electrical pm and the rest of the office to learn from past mistakes.
These tasks and phases are part of learning how to become an electrical project manager. By watching, discussing, and doing, people can learn how to do these tasks themselves so that they too can prove their electrical project management skills.
How to Become an Electrical Project Manager
After reading about the tasks and skills necessary to become an electrical project manager, here is how to become an electrical project manager. The qualifications and path needed to become an electrical pm is dependent upon the company that one applies to. Larger firms often want their electrical project manager to have experience in construction or in project management as well as some sort of education. While smaller firms usually will accept experience without formal education.
As more colleges institute construction engineering and similar construction focused majors, more project managers have college degrees. Construction engineering and construction science majors take classes in contract administration, design, construction methods, engineering, building codes and more. This gives students a solid academic foundation for the work they will end up doing. Students in these programs also have access to project management internships that prepare them for their careers.
Furthermore, not every student has access to these majors or can go to a four-year college. Many two year colleges offer programs in construction management or construction technology. The classes provided often teach students about building codes and standards, documentation, and other necessary skills they need to become electrical project managers.
As stated earlier, not every firm requires electrical project managers to have a degree or certification. Some firms just want years of construction experience at various levels of a company. Sometimes having someone who has labored in the field, and worked their way up to management, can be an advantage. Because of their labor knowledge they can use that to the advantage of the company they work for.
Those that are interested in how to become an electrical project manager can see that there isn’t one set path. The importance is in the skills and responsibilities and past execution of those skills and responsibilities. Because one applicant has a four-year degree and another doesn’t, doesn’t mean that they are necessarily more qualified. However, that is usually a well known fact within the construction industry. Above all a candidates qualities and experience are important.