Technical Project Manager: Meaning And Ways To Become One

Project management is a skill that is needed in every company. In business, the project manager is the person who leads the team and ensures that every member of the team is aware of his/her objectives and goals of the team, the roles they play, and the project outcome.

Technical Project Managers primarily work with the IT (Information Technology) or the additional technical support teams and lead projects from beginning to end. Technical Project Managers have to be skilled in time management and basic organizational skills that a project manager possesses, along with a technical insight of IT.

Below you will get clarity about the technical project manager and how you can become one.

Technical Project Manager: Meaning
Technical Project Manager means a person who possesses technical expertise in the field of IT, manages projects in IT, and leads the technical teams within the company. Since it needs both management and technical skills, you can consider a technical project manager just as the hybrid role as well.

If you are very much interested in technology, willing to view projects through the completion, enjoy encouraging and motivating others, and will be able to work under pressure, choosing technical project management as a career path might be the right choice for you.

Difference Between Technical Project Manager And Project Manager

Technical Project Manager Non-technical Project Manager
Project management certification is required Project management certification is not required
Has experience and also expertise in the field that is related to technology Might not possess experience and expertise in technology
Has the ability to lead teams and assure that projects reach completion Has the ability to lead teams and assure that projects reach completion
Might require a degree in the stream of technology along with the project management certification A degree in the field of technology is not required
Will manage projects that are associated with technology and need technical expertise Will manage projects that may not need sufficient technical expertise

Jobs for Technical Project Managers

As of 2022, Glassdoor lists 88,000 jobs related to technical project managers in the US. A few of these jobs are with organizations like Wells Fargo, Pearson Education, Liberty Mutual Insurance, IBM, and American Express. According to the United States BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), an industry that designs computer systems will include business, architecture, engineering, and financial occupations, and employs maximum project managers.

In your search for a job, you might come across various levels of seniority of technical project manager roles comprising entry-level, junior-level, senior-level, and even principal roles. You might also notice more specialized positions that need technical expertise like DevOps project manager, Agile project manager, and Scrum Master.

While there is some crossover among the above roles, there might be specific dissimilarities that you have to understand when you choose your career in the technical project management field. For instance, the DevOps project manager adjusts linear or waterfall Project Management methodology (highlighting one final product) into Agile methodology (all iterative cycles, each of them with a deliverable), thus issues in software can be set right throughout the process of project development.

Salary of Technical Project Managers

How much will you be able to earn in the technical project manager job? According to Glassdoor, in the US, the technical project manager earns a base salary of an average of $111,037. Someone who is at an entry-level can expect a base salary average of $69,241, while a technical project manager at a senior level can expect around $124,430.

What are the Roles of Technical Project Managers?

Professionals who are in this position specifically manage those projects which involve solid technical expertise and function as principal subject matter experts within their organization when it’s related to technology. Being the technical project manager, one might also take responsibility for:
● Hiring and training the technical staff
● Improving how projects are designed and also resources are managed
● Budget management
● Researching the new technologies required for the projects and then maintaining them

Ways to Become the Technical Project Manager

1. Get professional credentials.
At a minimum, technical project managers must have a bachelor’s degree ideally in the field of technology like computer science, IT, management information systems, cyber security, or software engineering. Some positions might need a master’s degree.

You might have to consider getting the Project Management certification as well, as this credential has been globally recognized, and demonstrates your complete understanding of the project management concepts, methodologies, and terms, and also your commitment to the systematic methods.

2. Sharpen your skills
Don’t forget that the technical project managers will have both project management and technological expertise. That implies that you will have to sharpen your talents in both fields.

As the project manager, you should have general skills such as recruiting and training fresh talents, managing the team and company, and precise talents in schedule planning by using the project management software, Kanban boards, and Gantt charts and implementing various strategies.

With regards to your technological expertise, watch into the types of projects that you are willing to manage, also what employers have been looking for to understand what skills you require. For instance, suppose you are working in a gaming enterprise as the technical project manager, then you will likely require experience in gaming, experience with LEAN or Agile software development, familiarity with cloud services such as Amazon Web Services, and more.

3. Gain project management and technical experience
Your next move has to be to apply your skills and credentials to actual projects to gain the relevant experience required in the field of technical project management. Catch up with everyone in your network to get contract or volunteer opportunities to perform as the project manager. You will be able to design and then run your project.

4. Create the technical project manager’s CV.
Obtain credentials and then build the skills required for being a technical project manager as you acquire experience. It’s a reasonable thought to build a strong CV that you can acclimate for various job applications.

Begin by researching technical project manager jobs on job sites such as Glassdoor to obtain a sense of the professional geography and opportunities that are obtainable to you indeed. Align all your qualifications to every technical project manager JD (Job Description) and then compellingly describe them on your CV.

5. Practice answering the interview questions related to technical project managers.
Practice answering the common interview questions related to technical project managers even before applying for employment and land interviewers. This way you will be able to gain an insight into what is required by the employers, make a habit of illustrating your qualifications completely, and then orate the technical edge of the project management.

Below are the example questions that you might come across with:

● What motivates you to manage the projects when you look at it from a technical viewpoint?
● What is the experience you have in the field of technical project management?
● In what way have you utilized your technical expertise in the past to manage projects?

6. Apply for jobs related to Technical Project Management.
Once you are ready with a solid CV template and practice with a variety of questions for the interview, go back to the career sites and carry out another search for listings of technical project managers. Your objective has to be to draw upon the insights that you have assembled from steps one over four so that you can narrow down the roles that best suit your career objectives.

Ask yourself the below queries:
● What are the qualifications required, and how are they lined up with my credentials, skills, and experience?
● What kind of tasks and projects would I finish in each role, and how are they aligned with my passions and interests?
As you start applying for employment and garner the interest of potential employers, make sure that you prepare totally for each interview. Further, revise your interview skills.

Commence your journey in Project Management
Taking online courses is an amazing way to learn more related to technical project management, discover career opportunities, and build skills.

A PMP (Project Management Professional) certificate will help you to gain the skills required to achieve success by becoming a project manager, like project planning, strategic thinking, and risk management.