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How to become a senior project manager

Blog: Monday Project Management Blog

Not everyone progresses through the career ladder and moves to senior roles. And it’s the same for project managers. Only the most passionate and skilled workers bag the role of a senior project manager.

Whether you’re looking to get promoted into a senior role in your current company or want to apply for a senior project manager role somewhere else, this blog will help you get there.

We’ll also show you how you can take your projects beyond the limits of spreadsheets and become a more efficient project manager with

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Project manager vs. Senior project manager

Let’s look at what the requirements, experience, and salary of a senior project manager are as compared to junior roles.

Requirements of a senior project manager

Requirements vary according to each organization. Here are some of the common requirements for senior project managers:

Educational background and certifications: Although most jobs don’t require a specific degree in project management, having a graduate-level degree in project management or business management is a huge plus. Certifications like PMP will also be an advantage.

Experience: Most senior project manager job descriptions specify at least five years of experience in project management or related experience.

Technical skills: Expertise in project management methodologies, understanding of full project/product lifecycle, problem-solving, data analysis, and proficiency with project management tools (like

Soft skills: Similar to any other senior role, skills such as leadership, team building, mentoring, and communication are major requirements.

As you can see, the major role difference between senior and junior project manager is that the latter has more organizational level tasks while the former only has execution level.

Senior project manager example job description

We are looking for a senior project manager to join our team.

Roles and responsibilities:

Education & experience requirements:

Salary and compensation

According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a senior project manager in the US is $112,161 per year. It can go as high as $200k.

How to become a senior project manager

Source: Glassdoor

This is almost 30% higher than average junior project manager salaries. Compensation may vary based on industry, company size, and qualification.

How to become a senior project manager: 4 steps to take

Work on your skills

From technical skills to soft skills and everything in between, there are lots of areas you need to upgrade in to get your foot in the door as a senior project manager.

Increase your knowledge on industry best practices and standards. Brush up on the basics of project management like methodologies. This will bring you space to build new skills or improve existing ones.

Catch up with the latest industry news and understand how it may impact your niche. For this, read industry publications and follow industry leaders on Twitter or LinkedIn.

You also need to keep up with the latest technology in order to scale up your efficiency as a project manager. Explore tools and software that makes managing and collaborating easier and help you manage your time better. A good example of such a tool is, a project management software.

To get your up-skilling on paper, complete a training course or get certified. A well-known certification is PMP certification: The Project Management Professional (PMP)®. It validates project leadership experience and is only given to experienced project managers, making it a good certification to have when applying to senior roles of project management.

Improve your leadership qualities and other soft skills. To be noticed for a senior role, you’ll need to become a leader who encourages growth in others. You also need to exhibit good communication skills, people skills, and business acumen.

Take up more responsibility

In your existing role, take on more responsibilities that are related to senior-level roles. Prove that you have mastered all aspects of being a junior project manager and have the ability to handle more complex tasks. This will mark you as an expert in your field.

You can take up planning new projects, communicating with stakeholders, and helping plan reports, which are normally done by senior project managers.

Another way you can prove your expertise is by training interns or new employees in your team. This would also be a great addition to your resume.

Build your network

The best way to get noticed in any industry is to have a strong network. You can learn from them, gain mentors, and even get references to senior roles.

Get on a platform like LinkedIn or Twitter and post content around project management — your learnings and experiences. Build a network of project managers and professionals in other similar roles. This is a great way to showcase your expertise and accomplishments. Having a good presence on professional networks may also attract the attention of recruiters looking to hire senior project managers.

Upgrade your resume

Once you work on your skills and get the relevant experience, it’s time to edit your resume to fit the role of a senior project manager.

Get started by reading job descriptions of project managers, either from your current company or at other companies you’re interested in. Update your resume highlighting these skills (if you have them).

It’s good to have an executive summary in your resume — a few bullet points that highlight your value proposition as a senior project manager. Like most senior-level positions, the impact you bring is more important than the tasks you can perform. So, try to show quantitative results as your key highlights. For example, instead of writing “coordinated high-priority projects”, you can write “coordinated client projects worth $100k”. This will give your resume more strength.

Pro tip: Make sure you customize your resume for each job you apply for based on their requirements.

How helps you become an efficient project manager is a tool that helps you plan, manage, and collaborate projects efficiently in a single place. It gives you all the functionality you need — from pre-built templates, to workflow automation, and integrations.

More than 150k project managers like you use to coordinate their products. Here’s what you can do with

How to become a senior project manager

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How many years does it take to become a senior project manager?

You will need at least five years of experience in project management or a similar role to become a senior project manager. Some important skills needed for this role are excellent communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills.

How much does a senior project manager make?

A senior project manager in the US makes anywhere between $79k and $200k. This varies according to skills, qualifications, years of experience, and industry.

What does a senior project manager do?

The major role of senior project managers is planning, developing, and executing projects in an organization. They are also responsible for managing team members, compiling reports, cross-team coordination, and other executive-level tasks.

Take the first step to a senior project management role

Becoming a successful senior project manager requires the right combination of education, experience, technical skills, and personal traits. Needless to say, these are often skills that are not acquired overnight. The rewards associated with such a position can be great though, so it’s definitely worth pursuing this career path!

If you’re looking to develop your knowledge of project management software, start with With our advanced Work OS, you can optimize your project management process better as compared to traditional project management software. Once you get familiar with, it’s definitely worth adding to your resume!

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