Project Coordinator Careers: Salary Information & Job Description

About this article
What are the pros and cons of becoming a project coordinator? Get real job descriptions, career prospects and salary info to see if becoming a project coordinator is for you.
View available schools

Pros and Cons of Becoming a Project Coordinator

The field of project coordination is closely related to project management, a career found in a variety of industries. Project coordinators often perform work for project managers and other supervisors. Check out some of the pros and cons below to determine if becoming a project coordinator is the right decision for you.

Pros of Being a Project Coordinator
Job growth available in project management careers (15% growth for IT field from 2012-2022)
Project coordinators are found in a variety of industries (construction, transportation and technology)***
Flexible schedules may be available****
Industry experience might result in higher pay***

Cons of Being a Project Coordinator
Fact-paced, stressful work environment****
4-year degree is necessary for most jobs****
In-state travel may be required****

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com, ***The International Association of Administrative Professionals, ****Online job postings.

Job Description and Duties

While the terms of project 'manager' and project 'coordinator' are sometimes used interchangeably, the project coordinator generally supports the project manager, engineer or other project supervisor as they plan and implement a project. Job duties for project coordinators may include scheduling work activities, working with vendors to order materials and coordinate services, attending meeting, preparing status reports, corresponding with subcontractors and tracking the timeline of a project.

Often, job duties may overlap with project managers who create project objectives, plan budgets, motivate and oversee workers and manage expenditures, typically all the tasks that ensure the project is completed on-time and within budget. Project coordinators work within tight deadlines and a variety of vendors and workers who may not perform up to standards. You might encounter stressful situations and may have to work beyond a normal workweek to get the job done. You also must be responsible for ensuring the project doesn't get behind or money is not allocated to the wrong people.

Career Prospects and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not state specific job growth numbers for project coordinators, but the fields of construction and information technology (IT) project management are predicted to experience fast-as-average growth (15%) during the 2012-2022 decade. Many of these project managers will need assistants to coordinate project details. According to PayScale.com, as of 2015, general project coordinators in the 10th-90th percentile range earned about $31,000-$60,000 per year.

Education and Job Requirements

Although specific educational requirements will vary by industry and job function, as seen in a variety of job postings, employers are often seeking project coordinators who hold 4-year degrees in business or other industry specific areas such as construction management, engineering or IT. Computer skills and work experience are highly desired, as well as interpersonal skills. You may be required to possess skills in database management and computer programming. Because you will play an important role in the implementation of a project, you must be able to make quick decisions, adapt to change and possess a professional demeanor when reporting a project status to superiors.

What Employers Are Looking For

Employers generally seek candidates who are well organized and can enter and track data on the computer. A college degree and relevant work experience are generally necessary if you want to be considered for hire. Project coordinators work with personnel and vendors, so you should be personable and have excellent skills in communicating project objectives clearly and accurately. Listed below are several job postings from March 2012 that provide a snapshot of the skills and education employers are looking for:

  • A construction company in North Dakota wants to hire an entry-level project coordinator to assist project managers with plan submission, material requisition, vendor billing and crew scheduling. A 4-year degree in construction management, business or engineering is preferred, but a combination of work experience and education can be substituted in place of a degree.
  • A medical college in New York is seeking a project coordinator with a bachelor's degree and 3+ years of related experience to prepare educational materials, create student clerkship schedules and maintain accurate records. Applicants must be able to communicate effectively, possess strong Microsoft Office skills and be detail-oriented.
  • A data management company in Pennsylvania posted a job advertisement for an IT project coordinator who has earned a bachelor's degree in computer science, business or IT, as well as 1-3 years of experience. Knowledge of various programming software in addition to Microsoft Project is a plus and strong written and verbal communication skills are desired. Candidates must be able to work in a fast-paced environment and overtime may be required.

How Can I Stand Out?

Gaining project management skills while working as a project coordinator can be beneficial if you seek career advancement. Learning how to use tracking software and taking on more duties for the supervising project manager will give you an advantage over other coordinators with only record keeping and supply ordering experience.

Get Certified

Although there are not many optional certification choices for project coordinators, you could obtain the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) designation, a voluntary certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The CAPM is designed for lower-level project administrators who want to express their dedication to and expertise in the profession. To qualify for certification, you must have a high school diploma and pass an exam, in addition to 1,500 hours of work related experience or 24 hours of education in project management. If you already have some project management experience, you might have satisfied some of the requirements for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, also offered by the PMI.

Other Careers to Consider

Construction Manager

If you think you would enjoy working in the construction industry, but want to earn more than a project coordinator, you should consider becoming a construction manager. The construction manager coordinates activities and plans the timeline and budget of a construction project. The BLS projected that employment of construction managers should grow by 17% from 2010-2020 because of business expansion, population growth and the need to repair and restore existing infrastructure. In May 2011, construction managers earned an average annual salary close to $94,000, with the top ten percent earning median wages of approximately $149,000.

Employers prefer candidates who have experience in the construction industry and a degree in construction management or civil engineering. Construction workers often work their way up into management positions through experience. The Construction Management Association of America and the American Institute of Constructors provides optional certification for construction managers who want to earn more and advance to executive positions in the construction field.

Computer and Information Systems (IS) Manager

Often called IT project managers, computer and IS managers earn significantly more than a project coordinator in the same industry and may have similar education requirements. IS and computer managers generally need to graduate from a bachelor's degree program in an information science or a computer related field, but some employers prefer candidates with master's degrees. However, acquisition of this job typically requires 5-10 years of experience.

IS and computer managers decide what software and hardware are needed in an organization and plan the scope and budget of implementing the projects. These managers must be knowledgeable of new technological developments and have the ability to negotiate the best prices for services provided. The BLS estimated that computer and IS managers earned an average wage of over $125,000 annually in 2011.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Admin: Management
      • Master of Business Admin: Operations Management
      • Master of Business Admin: Project Management
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Business Admin: Management
      • Bachelor of Business Administration - Generalist
      • Bachelor of Business Admin: Operations Management
      • Bachelor of Business Admin: Project Management
    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts in Business Administration
  • Campus and Online Programs
    2. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.S. - Entertainment Business
      • M.S. - Internet Marketing
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Music Business
      • B.S. - Sports Marketing and Media
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Georgetown University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
      • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Management (DM) - General Concentration (Executive Format)
      • Doctor of Management - Global Leadership (Executive Format)
      • Doctor of Management - Leadership
      • Doctor of Management - Project Management
      • Doctor - Management - Nonprofit Leadership
      • Doctorate: Management - Organizational Development and Change
    Master's
      • Master: Management - Project Management
      • Master: Management
      • Master of Business Admin - Entrepreneurship
      • MBA: Operations Management
      • MBA: Project Management
      • M.S. - Management: Organization Leadership and Change
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Business Administration - Management
      • Bachelor: Project Management
      • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Organizational Behavior
      • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Business Development
      • BS - Business Administration - General
      • BS - Business Administration - Project Management
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science in Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA
      • MBA Dual Concentration: HR & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA Dual Concentration: BS Mgmt. & HR
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Business Mgmt & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Accounting and Project Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Business Management and Public Safety Leadership
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Business Management
      • Associate of Science - Business Studies
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration - Management (Spanish)
    Bachelor's
      • B.A. - Business Admin: Management
      • Business Administration, BA - Management
      • B.A. - Business Admin: Marketing
      • B.A. - Business Admin: Finance
    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts - Accounting
    Certificate
      • Grad Business Certificate - Management and Leadership
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Seton Hall University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration
    Certificate
      • Certificate: Post Conflict State Reconstruction and Sustainability
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Saint John's University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • PhD in Business Admin - Management
      • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Management
      • PhD in Business Admin - Health Care Admin
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Project Management
      • PhD in Business Admin - Project Management
    Master's
      • Master of Business Admin - General Business
      • Master of Business Admin - Accelerated General MBA
      • Master of Business Administration - Strategic Management
      • MBA - Management
      • MBA - Project Management
      • Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Project Management
      • Accelerated Master of Business Administration

Featured Schools

American InterContinental University

  • Master of Business Admin: Management
  • Bachelor of Business Admin: Management
  • Associate of Arts in Business Administration

Are you a US citizen?

Full Sail University

  • M.S. - Entertainment Business
  • M.S. - Internet Marketing
  • B.S. - Music Business
  • B.S. - Sports Marketing and Media

What is your highest level of education?

Georgetown University

  • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
  • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Colorado Technical University

  • Doctor of Management (DM) - General Concentration (Executive Format)
  • Master: Management - Project Management
  • BS - Business Administration - Management
  • Associate of Science in Business Administration

Are you a US citizen?

Herzing University

  • MBA
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management

What is your highest level of education?

Keiser University

  • Master of Business Administration - Management (Spanish)
  • B.A. - Business Admin: Management
  • Associate of Arts - Accounting
  • Grad Business Certificate - Management and Leadership

What is your highest level of education?

Seton Hall University

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Certificate: Post Conflict State Reconstruction and Sustainability

What is your highest level of education?

Saint John's University

  • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business

What is your highest level of education?