A project manager discussing project management frameworks

How to Become a Project Manager in Canada

6 min read | Mar 4, 2024
 Ad Culture Admin- Ad Culture By Ad Culture Admin

From planning tasks and managing resources to ensuring processes are streamlined and effective, the work of a project manager may seem never-ending—which is why they will always be in demand.

No matter what industry you’re in, there’s a project manager role for you, and we’re here to help you find your footing! In this article, we’ll provide a clear roadmap on how you can become a project manager in Canada and a successful one at that!

Let’s dive right in!

What Is a Project Manager?

A project manager is responsible for creating company-wide projects and leading them to success. They create projects, schedule them on a calendar and delegate tasks to members to ensure efficient project execution and timely completion. They ensure smooth communication across departments to streamline processes and prevent any mistakes.

They update stakeholders on how a project is coming along and if it’s within schedule. If any roadblock arises, they solve it within their means—all to finish the project and meet the goal.

It’s a managerial role covering teams and possibly other departments. So, aside from technical project management skills, you must possess leadership skills that allow you to provide moral support and drive your team to success.

Following a project management career path can also take you to almost every job industry and sector, such as construction, IT, and digital marketing, meaning you won’t have a shortage of job opportunities.

A project manager leading a team meeting
Image source: Canva

Project Manager Requirements: Education

To become a project manager in Canada, you must have at least a secondary school diploma. Some companies require a college diploma or a university degree in business administration while others accept related degree programs, especially if they’re in a specific job sector, such as engineering or web design.

Most project managers go even further and obtain a Master’s Degree in business or a related field to study project management specific to that job category. In addition to education, there are some more project manager requirements that employers look for in candidates, such as:

Project Manager Certifications

If you want to know how to become a project manager in Canada, it’s good to know that employers require or credit a project management certification besides a degree. This certification validates your knowledge in project management and proves your dedication to your project manager career path, making you more of an attractive candidate.

For entry-level certificates, Google Project Management Certification would suffice. It only takes six months, but teaches the basic skills you’ll need in the role.

One of the more formal certificates you can get is the Project Management Professional (PMP). It’s a globally recognized certification process where you must pass a 180-question exam and meet the requirements set by the Project Management Institute, the organization behind the PMP certificate.

Another certificate you can obtain is the Project Management Competence Certification, from the Project Management Association of Canada. It’s recognized by the Canadian government as compliant with its international certification regulations and standards, which makes you globally competitive.

Relevant Skills/Interests

Degrees and certifications are only half of the project management requirements—you must also have skills that will help you lead your team to success without any hiccups. As this role involves working with multiple teams and stakeholders, just having all the right project manager qualifications won’t help—one must also possess some personal skills to shine in this role.

An employee working on their project management schedule
Image source: Canva

Leadership Skills

An effective project manager leads teams to success. To do that, you need to inspire and motivate them with your leadership skills. This involves setting clear expectations, providing directions, and fostering a collaborative environment that’ll keep your team’s morale high until the project’s completion.

Negotiation Skills

Conflict and tension can arise when working with different people and disagreement occurs. It’s exactly why project managers must have impeccable negotiation skills. Being able to de-escalate situations, reach compromises and resolve conflicts lets you fix issues and continue working towards the goal.

Organizational Skills

Being a project manager means supervising several tasks from a managerial position. You’ll need exceptional organizational skills to ensure that tasks are done on time, all while tracking expenses and keeping tabs on the project’s overall progress using project management software.

Considering all these responsibilities, multitasking skills are also a must.

Communication Skills

Clients, stakeholders, and team members—you’ll be working with several people in this position. Clients and stakeholders will rely on you for clear, honest and accurate project status updates, while team members need your clear, timely directions.

All these make having strong communication skills—verbal and nonverbal—all the more important. More than that, being transparent and diligent with your updates will take you far in this career.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Project Manager?

It takes four to five years to become a project manager in Canada with education, certification and project management experience requirements. Some employers need their project managers to obtain a bachelor’s degree before getting hired which takes around four years.

Meanwhile, others won’t ask for a degree but will only hire project management professionals with certifications, which often require three to five years of mixed experience.

Connect With the Right Employer With Ad Culture

Competing against project managers is only going to be more challenging, with more and more industries demanding this role. That’s why learning and implementing the steps on how to become a project manager in Canada simply won’t cut it—partner with an agency with the right resources and secure a spot as a project manager in Canada!

If you have all the project manager qualifications needed, Ad Culture can help. We’re a premier Toronto-based recruitment agency that specializes in matching candidates with employers looking to hire talent in advertising, marketing, web design, and IT.

Don’t delay—submit your resume now and start your journey as a project manager today!

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