Your Guide to a Career in Project Management

by: Samantha SnellingsSeptember 05, 2018

Colorado project managers received some of the highest salaries in the industry last year according to a list published by Zippia.

The list — which reported the 10 states with the highest project manager salaries for 2017 — ranked the Centennial State No. 6.

“We took the average annual salary data for project managers from the 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically their ‘Occupational Employment Statistics.’ To make the comparison of salaries apples to apples across states, we also took into account the cost of living in each state,” reported Chris Kolmar, author of the Zippia article.

For those interested in project management, Colorado offers a range of opportunities in different industries — from tech to biotech to aerospace to communication.

Day-to-day responsibilities may look different in each sector, but there are some traits that are consistent among project managers.

“Good project managers all have some balance of hard and soft skills — hard skills being tool and technique expertise and soft skills being communication and interpersonal,” said Johnathan Deckert, Director of Meetups at PMI Mile Hi.

“There is a recent push to break project manager skills into technical, leadership and strategic business. While it is understood that different jobs will require different ratios, it is important to at least be adequate in these three areas.”

Project managers don’t just make current processes more efficient. They are experts at developing entirely new processes, approaching complex problems in a structured way and bringing value to the team.

“A skilled project manager has tools, techniques and structure that bring a team together and leverage their efforts. A common feeling about project managers is that they somehow figure out a way to get things done. But more specifically, the things they do are new or unique to their group,” Deckert told PeerSource.

Individuals who are considering a career in project management should become familiar with the different certifications offered.

“The Project Management Professional — PMP — is a common and broadly accepted industry certification. There are other certifications for less experienced individuals like CAPM or those with specific areas of expertise including PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP and others,” said Deckert.

In every industry, it is also important to develop a community. For project management professionals living in Colorado, PMI Mile Hi provides a unique opportunity. The group has an impressive 4,500 practitioners — the largest community of project managers in the Rocky Mountain West.

“Talking with attendees about similarities and differences at their respective companies is always interesting,” said Deckert.

“The project management meetup includes a great mix of seasoned professionals, industry newcomers, people looking for jobs and sometimes recruiters looking for people. There is plenty of work talk but also plenty of personal connections made.”

PMI Mile Hi has four groups — Denver Downtown, Denver Tech Center, Boulder and Fort Collins. The groups enjoy meeting at restaurants and breweries once a month, but they continue to discuss more unique events for future meetups.

If you are interested in joining a community like this one, check out PMI Mile Hi on or add one of their events to your calendar.