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How to become a senior project manager

Hibathu Naseer 8 min read
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The road to becoming a senior project manager is paved with skill sharpening, certifications, best practices, and a deepened passion for effective process management — but where can you start?

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 explore the senior project manager job description in depth, and point out how work management software like is made to match the core responsibilities you’ll tackle.

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What is a senior project manager?

A senior project manager is an experienced project manager who manages multiple projects and teams simultaneously. Their roles may be directly tied to the organization and its revenue.

Let’s look at what the requirements, experience, and salary of a senior project manager are.

Requirements of a senior project manager

When we crawled sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor for senior project management job postings, we saw that there is no completely cut-and-dry description of what it means to be senior. However, most recruiters will be evaluating you based on these common requirements:

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 — more on those later.

Experience: Most senior project manager job descriptions specify at least 5 years of experience in project management or related experience.

Technical skills: Expertise in project management methodologies such as Kanban, Scrum, and Agile 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.

In the next section, we’ll provide an example of a job description you might see for a senior project manager. This can be especially useful when crafting your own CV or resume for this role.

Senior project manager example job description

Here’s what you could see on a senior project manager job listing.

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

Roles and responsibilities:

  • Full project life cycle ownership: Plan and develop project plans and lead it to completion

  • Manage a cross-functional team and provide feedback and advice

  • Report on project success with key performance indicators

  • Communicate and coordinate with different teams including vendors and suppliers

  • Mentoring, coaching, and supervising project team

  • Hiring, training, and performance reviews

Education & experience requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in project management, business management, or related area

  • 4-7 years of experience as a project manager or similar position

  • Experience in managing project scope and profitability

  • Intermediate to advanced proficiency with project management software

How much does a senior project manager make?

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 — the number of years of relevant experience, certifications and specializations, and more.

4 tips for working towards a senior project management role

1. 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: Learn about industry best practices and standards. Brush up on the basics like project management methodologies. This will bring you space to build new skills or improve existing ones.

Stay updated: Catch up with the latest industry news and understand how it may impact your niche. Read industry publications and follow industry leaders on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Keep up with the latest tech: Get familiar with project management tools and software that makes managing and collaborating easier. A good example of such a tool is, a project management software.

Take a certification: 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. Another one is getting certified for agile project management.

Improve your soft skills: To be noticed for a senior role, you’ll need to become a leader. You also need to exhibit good communication skills, people skills, and business acumen.

2. Take on more responsibility

In your existing role, taking on more responsibilities that are related to senior-level roles can prepare you for the next level. 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 on 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.

3. 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 for 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.

4. 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 supports efficient project management 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 152K project managers like you use to coordinate their projects and teams. Here’s what you can do with

  • Centralize and collaborate: Easily manage multiple projects. Document project details and speed up framework adoption. Bridge communication gaps and update changes in real-time — bringing all teams together over one shared platform.

  • Actionable insights: Get the most out of your data with time tracking, and customizable statuses, among other features

  • Automate: Speed up your workflow by automating repetitive tasks.

  • Build awesome workflows with templates: Build your project workflow with pre-built templates and customize them to accommodate different project methodologies, incorporate different views, and more.

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.

What is the next position after senior project manager?

A highly experienced senior project manager with lots of achievements under their portfolio can move on to a C-suite role like COO (Chief Operating Officer) or CCO (Chief Compliance Officer).

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. The rewards associated with such a position can be great though, so it’s definitely worth pursuing this career path!

If you’re looking for project management software that streamlines your work as a project manager, 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!

Hibathu is a content marketer for B2B SaaS brands (marketing and eCommerce niches). When not writing, you can find her with her cats or working in her garden.
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