9 common project management industries to consider

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 7 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Project management is an exciting career path that can offer individuals a wide range of opportunities to develop their skills while working in several different industries. Many organisations benefit from project management professionals, as these individuals help their employers to work towards success and meet various goals by using their expertise in effectively managing projects. Knowing about the different industries that depend on project management can help you determine whether this is a suitable career path for you. In this article, we look at nine common project management industries where you can find work as a project manager.

9 common project management industries

Below are nine common project management industries to consider working in as a project manager:

1. Construction and engineering

One common industry where you can work as a project manager is the construction and engineering industry. In this industry, engineers establish a project's design principles and outline its construction plans, while those in the construction industry actualise this process. Both sides of this industry use construction project managers to facilitate the work and meet the needs and goals of key stakeholders. Project managers in this industry can work on projects that involve building residential properties, commercial buildings or industrial sites.

Construction project managers work alongside different industry professionals, such as architects, planners and building contractors, to outline their duties, establish timelines and allocate resources for the project. Here, project managers focus on ensuring that building materials are available while also overseeing quality control and the project's overall timeline.

Related: 10 great jobs in project management and their salaries

2. Finance

One of the most common industries where you can work as a project manager includes the finance industry. Project management professionals in this industry look for ways to keep project costs down while optimising productivity. Finance project managers tend to provide a more focused approach to how they work and may prioritise certain tasks, such as projecting cash flow or earned value management for projects. Much of their work involves establishing goals, objectives, metrics and plans for financial projects. Some of their core responsibilities include cash flow management for projects and paying staff.

Their work may focus on finding new ways to generate or enhance revenue for an organisation. Another key area of work for finance project managers involves financial reporting, where they work closely with senior leaders to inspect and analyse a business's finances.

Related: What is corporate finance? (Including 11 jobs to consider)

3. Insurance

Insurance firms hire project managers to assist with implementing company-wide initiatives, such as more technical processes that are beyond the internal team's skill set. To successfully guide these projects, project managers in this industry have an excellent understanding of risk management principles. Although many insurers understand the fundamentals of risk management, project managers tend to have more advanced knowledge in this area, which they use to identify risks and find solutions to mitigate them.

Project managers in this industry also help insurance firms to use technology more to solve the company's problems. They have a strong understanding of the latest tools that can help them to track a project's progress and consistently achieve positive results. This also helps the company to make more sound business decisions, particularly when it factors in various regulations, compliance considerations and client demands.

Related: How to become a project planner (with steps and skills)

4. Health care

The health care industry greatly benefits from project managers who understand how to handle cost and compliance issues, which are two of the biggest challenges for projects in this industry. Project managers in this industry work for a variety of health care organisations, ranging from GP practices to large hospitals. It's also common for these project managers to work with suppliers for the health care industry or even pharmaceutical organisations.

For these project managers, their work can vary but they largely focus on supporting clinical and administrative staff by overseeing projects. Some of the common projects for this industry include establishing new communication channels, such as online platforms for patients and clinicians. They also integrate new departments into a hospital's existing infrastructure and roll out new accessibility systems.

Related: What are health care manager responsibilities? (Plus FAQs)

5. Technology

The information technology (IT) industry is constantly evolving and improving with new technological innovations, but it often requires a professional project manager to roll out these new changes effectively. Many of these changes are challenging to incorporate into existing systems and processes. One of the core issues for project managers in this industry is budget management, as new tools tend to be expensive and IT project managers play a key role in keeping these costs as low as possible.

Most IT project managers focus their efforts on return on investment for a company so that they can benefit from new tools and technology without compromising other business areas. Project managers in this industry preserve existing systems while bringing in new technology and handling budget concerns. These professionals can work on a variety of projects, including performing needs assessments, assigning team members based on their skills and creating workflows for teams to use.

Related: How to measure project success (with steps and tips)

6. Advertising

The advertising industry depends on key performance indicators (KPIs) and other metrics to meet client and stakeholder needs. To meet these KPIs while remaining within a tight budget, advertising agencies employ project managers to assist. Their work ensures that advertising campaigns avoid going over budget, meet their deadlines and produce positive results. These types of project managers often work directly with marketing and advertising departments within a company to help develop campaigns and meet rigorous client requirements.

Project managers in the advertising industry have a wide range of responsibilities depending on their employer and a campaign's overall scope. They tend to work across multiple campaigns at once and look at establishing clear goals for a project while managing budget constraints. This allows the advertising team to focus on the day-to-day assignments for a project, such as optimising content. Project managers in this industry also focus on guiding projects to success by ensuring that the team meets its targets while remaining under budget.

Related: Project management skills and how to improve them

7. Law

The legal industry often relies on project managers to effectively manage and handle large caseloads. Legal project management is a specialism that's evolved dramatically due to technological advances and project managers help law firms adjust to these changes. Project managers in the legal industry can come from any background, so there's no need for them to have legal experience. Despite this, a background in the legal industry is a big advantage when it comes to securing a project management position in this sector.

Project managers in the legal industry typically set budgets for specific legal projects and cases. They work closely with legal professionals, including solicitors, barristers and other specialists to help facilitate the effective delivery of legal services and solutions. Due to the complex nature of law, project managers provide a valuable service by helping legal teams carry work forward by establishing clear directions for law firms and in-house legal teams in other organisations.

Related: Project management vs. programme management: what's the difference?

8. Energy

As society looks to use more energy than ever before while growing more aware of the global impact of energy extraction, finding ways to create energy more sustainably is paramount for this industry. Here, project managers help by establishing new types of energy projects that focus on renewable energy like tidal or solar energy solutions.

In this industry, project managers often work on projects that are still in the development process. Many large-scale projects, such as renewable dams or hydroelectric plants are still in the construction phase, with years to go before they're ready. Here, project managers ensure that these projects meet their goals and deadlines. To do this, they establish clear targets and find ways to streamline projects so that they're ready as soon as possible to help lower society's reliance on fossil fuels.

Related: 8 renewable energy careers (descriptions and salaries)

9. Defence

The defence industry is undergoing a period of mass staff turnover. Due to this, project managers in this area focus on assisting the process of bringing in new talent to support the industry. Moreover, project managers in the defence industry look to lower the costs of large-scale projects while meeting tight deadlines.

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