What does a technical project manager do? (Role and salary)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 11 October 2022
Published 7 December 2021
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.
Technical project managers are technology professionals who lead their teams in planning, executing and completing a technical project. To effectively manage a technical project, these professionals require various skills and technical expertise in project management. If you want to learn about what a technical project manager job is like, you may want to explore several things. In this article, we answer 'what does a technical project manager do?', what are the types, how much they earn, explore the educational qualifications and certification and discuss the skills required for this career.
What does a technical project manager do?
A technical project manager is a project manager with expertise in the technical aspect of the project management process. Usually, these managers oversee the technical or IT projects and ensure their team completes tasks on time and within budget by following all applicable laws. They oversee and manage a project from inception to completion. Often, a technical project manager manages products containing a lot of software or other specialised expertise. Using their management skills and technical knowledge, these professionals optimise resource management, project planning and delivery. A technical project manager performs the following duties:
creates project plans with the team
analyses, plans and develops project requirements that translate into specific tasks and deliverables
oversees phases of a project to understand requirements and implement solutions
maintains project budget
ensures timely project completion
delegates tasks to team members
trains IT staff members for a project
explores software and hardware options for a technical project
maintains balance in the sustainability and performance of each project
plans and researches solutions to both new and existing projects
provides process improvement recommendations based on industry best practices and standards
evaluates complex information received from various sources
creates and maintain comprehensive project documentation
measures project performance using appropriate tools and technologies
Related: How to become a project manager
Types of projects for technical project managers
As a technical project manager, you can work on two types of projects:
Software projects: A software project requires a technical project manager with knowledge and experience in software development. These managers require an in-depth understanding of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) to manage a project effectively.
Infrastructure projects: For such projects, employers hire project managers with experience and expertise in hardware. They have knowledge about servers, storage, networking, replacing and updating these machines.
Average salary of a technical project manager
The average salary of a technical project manager is £47,497 per year. Their exact salary depends upon many factors. One factor is location, as some cities pay a higher salary than others. The average salary in Nottingham is £81,111 per year and the average salary in Leeds is £40,762 per year. Your level of experience can significantly affect the salary you earn because a technical project manager with some years of experience may make more money than those who join as entry-level professionals.
Skills of a technical project manager
To successfully manage various IT projects, a candidate requires mastery over different hard and soft skills. Some of the important skills required for this position are:
Technical project managers have expertise in software and hardware installation, upgrades, site maintenance and the latest technologies. They need technical expertise to determine the feasibility of a project. They require an understanding of architecture and infrastructure to oversee technical processes in the workplace.
Every project manager requires strategic planning skills to break projects into small tasks achievable within a time frame. Using their planning skills, these professionals create overall goals for project completion. This skill set helps them support and guide their team to achieve desirable results.
To manage a technical project, employers prefer candidates who can effectively lead a project team. Strong leadership skills can help you motivate and inspire team members to excel in their work. Leadership skills can help coach team members and delegate tasks based on the team member's skill set.
A technical project manager relies on active listening, written communication and verbal communication skills to manage a project. These professionals may communicate technical information in writing for their team members and clients to read. They use communication and active listening skills to explain goals, understand where the team is facing issues, discuss business strategies and allocate responsibilities.
Employers expect a technical manager to showcase a high level of organisation when completing technical projects. They can use organisational skills to maintain project budgets, create technical documents and ensure timely completion of the project. As they direct and supervise every project stage, a great organisation can reduce confusion.
During a technical project, difficulties may arise at any point. Employers prefer technical project managers to can use their strong problem-solving skills to find quick solutions. To find solutions to potential technical problems, these professionals often use risk-mitigation strategies, creativity and analytical thinking.
During the technical project, a project manager negotiates both priorities and people. They might negotiate contracts with suppliers, vendors, employees or even the clients to ensure timely completion of a project. Because of changes in project requirements, they can negotiate payment terms with their clients. The ability to negotiate can help reduce project costs and solve technical issues.
Another essential skill required for this position is time management. These professionals use time management skills to design project schedules, create a project timeline and ensure the project timeline is achievable. As a technical project manager may have multiple projects to look after, time management skills can help them manage deadlines. This skill set also helps in prioritising tasks and completing projects on time.
The educational requirement for a technical project manager
Most technical project managers have a university degree in project management, information technology or business management. Typically, you require two to three A-levels to pursue this level of study. The qualification for a university programme may vary, so research about the specific requirement of each university and course of study. As an entry-level professional, you join as a project officer or coordinator. You can move up after gaining experience or completing your master's degree in a relevant field.
You can pursue a graduate training scheme or choose the apprenticeship route for becoming a technical project manager. Regardless of the route you choose, fulfil the eligibility criteria and know the requirement of each programme.
Read More: What are the benefits of a graduate scheme?
Certifications for a technical project manager
Often, technical managers further their technical skills and gain in-depth industry knowledge by completing various certification programmes. This helps a technical manager learn practical project management strategies. One widely accepted project management certification is Projects IN Controlled Environment (PRINCE2) certification. Based on your interest, duration and certification cost, you can consider completing other project management certifications. Certification gives you an edge over competitors because it proves your technical expertise and knowledge.
How can technical project managers enhance their skills?
Use the following approaches to develop new skills and enhance your existing ones:
Stay up-to-date on technology trends: Knowing new advances and innovations in your industry is essential for this role. This helps streamline your project management process because new technologies can positively affect your organisation's success.
Practice adaptability: Project scope, deadlines and priorities may change at any time during a technical project. The ability to adapt to the changing project requirement is essential for refining project management strategies.
Set specific goals: Setting clear, measurable, actionable and achievable goals for every technical project is necessary for improving the team's efficiency and productivity.
Take additional project management courses: You can further your education by completing a master's or doctorate programme to enhance your skills. Apply to online technical project management courses to gain in-depth knowledge about managing a project.
Work environment of a technical project manager
Technical project managers work in an office environment, though they may sometimes visit the client site to present the project. They spend most of their day sitting at their workstation placing business calls, interacting with the team and using project management software. Depending upon the project deadlines, these professionals may work at irregular hours. Though they work 40 hours per week, they may work overtime depending on their project requirement. They work in various industries, including engineering and manufacturing and may occasionally travel to meet clients and understand their business requirements.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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