Are you interested in starting a career as a Project Controller but not sure where to start or what it’s all about?
Project Controllers are an important part of any project team, they assume a lot of the risk and responsibilities when it comes to making sure a project has a successful outcome.
They oversee the project’s revenues and expenses to make sure the project meets its budget and completion time. If you want to start your career as a Project Controller, below is what you need to know to jump start your career.
What is a Project Controller?
A Project Controllers is vital to a project team. The project controller is the project managers right hand man.
A project controller assists in defining the projects goals, objectives, creating and maintain the projects budget and schedule, examining the project progress reported against the work schedules, as well a provide recommendations to improve the projects progress.
The project controller and the project manager are both there to make sure the project is being accurately documented as well and is consistent for a successful outcome.
Project Controllers are often required to have a graduate level training in Project Management or a finance related degree, but that’s not always the case. Holding a degree in finance, economics, business administration, or accounting (i.e. CIMA, CCA, ACCA, CGA, CMA, or CA designation) is always an asset.
Like any other job positions, candidates who have “Industry experience” or on-the-job training would be considered a pre-requisite to attain a Project Controller position. (Wikipedia)
On the other hand, acquiring advanced or continued training with accounting and related software’s, budget tools and hands-on training in Project Management could also offer a career boost.
To check out some schools that offer these programs, click here.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth from 2016-2026 is 7% for financial mangers and in 2018 the median pay was $127,990 per year or $61.53 per hour. (bls.gov)
There are various roads to attain a career as a Project Controller and they all vary based on industry, project type, etc. To help you find employment for a Project Controller position, below is a list of employment websites that can help:
For more information about the industry and Project Controls, check out some Project Controller resources below:
- Project Controls Online
- Project Engineer
- Planning Planet
- APM – association for Project Management
- List of Top Construction Magazines
Roles and Responsibilities
Each Project Controller’s position may vary but there is an established list of skills and techniques that each would require.
You may not have to performance all these roles/responsibilities, but the list below are elements that are relevant to the position.
- Analysis and Reporting – Analyze and report data that can be used to develop an accurate projection of the project that will be used as a recommendation tool to make decisions about management, quality, budget, timing and controls.
- Performance Management – Identifying trends and forecasting abnormalities from the original project plans to recommend corrective actions.
- Baseline Management – Developing and managing baselines.
- Schedule Control – Identifying, applying and assessing the schedule controls to assist the projects progress compared to the timetable, as well as resources and estimating uncertainty.
- Cost Control – Identifying, applying and assessing the cost controls to help manage the reporting of the project’s costs.
- Quality Control – Identifying, applying and assessing quality controls to support the management of project quality.
- Risk Control – Identifying, applying and assessing the risks the support the risk management processes of the project.
- Change Control – Identifying and putting in place procedures when the scope of a project needs to be changed, knowing how and when to implement the protocols when needed so it doesn’t cause disruptions, as well as updating documentations such as contracts and quality management processes for the project.
- And more
For more details on Project Controllers roles and responsibilities, check out this article “What does a Project Controller do anyway?“.
According to PayScale, the average salary for a Project Controller position is $70,141.00 usd per year, with the hourly average salary being $22.94 usd.
When to comes to bonuses and compensation, the average bonus for Project Controllers is $4,835 usd and profit sharing $1,994.00 usd.
(Image from PayScale.com)
If you’re in the middle of a career change or new to the project controls industry, hopefully this outline about will help you decide the path you should consider.
There is never really a cookie cutter way to do things, so just find a path that’s suitable for you, and take it one step at a time.
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For the Project Controllers out there, what path did you take, how did you pass some of the hurdles to get to where you are now in your career?
What resources did you use?
Leave a comment below to help out other fellow aspiring Project Controllers.