What Does a Technical Project Manager Do? (With Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 22 September 2022 | Published 15 November 2021

Updated 22 September 2022

Published 15 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're looking for a job that allows you to use management and technical skills, you might consider becoming a technical project manager. These computer science professionals have an important role in ensuring software development teams create quality products on schedule. Learning more about what they do can help you decide if this role would allow you to reach your career goals. In this article, we answer 'what does a technical project manager do?', explain how to become one, explore their average salary, requirements, skills, work environment and related careers and share a technical project manager job description example.

What does a technical project manager do?

To answer 'what does a technical project manager do?' it's important to understand that they're computer science professional with software development experience who leads development teams through the phases of projects. They combine project management skills with computer science expertise to ensure teams follow protocol, adhere to standards and complete projects on time. Duties of a technical project manager may include:

  • developing and updating project schedules, milestones and goals

  • creating tools and procedures software development teams use

  • implementing frameworks for creating and releasing products

  • enforcing quality assurance methods and standards

  • applying their development experience at specific stages

  • tracking and reporting technical risks for development teams to resolve

  • establishing and monitoring budgets throughout each project

Average technical project manager salary

The salary of a technical project manager depends on their level of education, years of experience in the field and their employer. The national average salary for a technical project manager is $7,435 per month. Some professionals in this role, particularly those with extensive experience or advanced degrees, may earn more than the average salary.

Related: What Is Net Salary: Definition and Guide to Calculating Net Salary

Technical project manager requirements

Here are some general requirements for becoming a technical project manager:

Education

Employers typically require technical project managers to have at least a bachelor's degree. Many candidates pursue a degree in management information systems, but some study computer science, software engineering or a related field. Earning a master's degree may also improve your job opportunities, as the role requires a comprehensive understanding of both management and technical systems.

Training

Technical project managers usually receive training credentials by gaining experience working on software development teams. Some companies also offer apprenticeship programmes. These allow candidates to work as trainees with experienced technical project managers, often in exchange for a permanent position with the company when they complete their apprenticeship. Companies may offer on-the-job training to recently hired technical project managers so they can learn about the company's products and services.

Certifications

Technical project managers might consider earning both IT and project management certifications. IT certifications demonstrate their competency in managing systems, while project management certifications demonstrate their competency in managing teams. Two globally recognised certifications for technical project managers are Project Management Professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute (PMI) and Certified Data Professional (CDP) through the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP).

Related: What IT Certifications Should I Get?

Technical project manager skills

Here are some essential skills for technical project managers:

Project management

Project management skills are critical for technical project managers because they allow them to implement project timelines, monitor their progress and make updates as needed. Project managers check schedules and work progress regularly to ensure the team completes each project and its deliverables as planned. If they notice discrepancies in the plan, they meet with clients and the team to resolve the issue and move forward with the project.

Technology knowledge

As project managers in software development, technical project managers understand in-depth aspects of technology, particularly as it relates to their field. They have a thorough understanding of computer hardware and functions, and they stay updated on current processes for coding, programming and developing software. They may also have the skills to troubleshoot a wide range of complex issues, identify and fix bugs and create entire software programs.

Related: What Are Technical Skills?

Communication skills

As managers, technical project managers have the responsibility of supervising and supporting software development teams. They communicate regularly with team members in meetings and individually to provide resources, discuss concerns and resolve issues. They also correspond with clients to answer their questions and give them status updates on their projects.

Time management

One of the primary roles of a technical project manager is scheduling and monitoring projects. To develop accurate timelines, they consider how they can maximise their resources to complete tasks efficiently. They use their experience to determine how to manage the time spent on each phase of the project and help teams work productively to reach their goals.

Technical project manager work environment

Technical project managers usually work in office settings, although some may manage teams remotely or visit their clients to meet with them in person. They may work in a company's IT department or manage projects for a technology company that serves many clients. Common elements of a technical project manager work environment include:

  • spending many hours working on a computer

  • conducting virtual or in-person meetings

  • working evening and weekend hours as needed

Related: What Is a Good Work Environment? (Plus Other FAQs)

How to become a technical project manager

The process for becoming a technical project manager may vary, but following these few steps can help you begin your career in this field. Here are five steps you can take to become a technical project manager:

Related: How to Become a Technical Program Manager (With Skills)

1. Earn a bachelor's degree

If you're considering becoming a technical project manager, you can start by earning a bachelor's degree. Research universities to learn more about programmes they offer for IT professionals, particularly those that offer technical management degrees. You might also choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as software engineering, and take additional coursework in subject areas such as business, which can help you learn quality management skills.

Related: How to Become a Technical Manager (Plus Common Skills)

2. Gain experience in the field

Employers have varying qualifications for technical project managers, but many require candidates to have experience in IT or software engineering teams before pursuing a management role. Some companies prefer candidates who have a background in software development, as it may help them manage development teams effectively. You might also pursue an internship programme to learn more about the role while getting an allowance.

3. Consider certifications

Certifications can provide you with important resources, skills and credentials that can allow you to work efficiently as a technical project manager. While certifications for technical project managers are often voluntary, they may improve your chances of getting a job. If you're seeking career advancement, they may also make it easier to find higher-paying positions.

4. Update your CV

Before applying for a job as a technical project manager, add new educational or professional credentials you've received to your CV. Be sure to include university degrees, professional certificates, training or continuing education programmes and relevant work experience. When writing a cover letter to include in your applications, consider highlighting aspects of your resume that show hiring managers why you'd be a good fit for the position.

5. Consult your network

When you're ready to look for a job as a technical project manager, you might consider asking your current employer if the company has any openings. Even if they have all roles filled, they may consider you the next time one becomes available. You can also contact people in your professional network, such as connections on professional social media pages, to enquire about potential job opportunities.

Technical project manager job description example

Here's an example of a technical project manager job description:

CKM Technologies Pte Ltd is seeking an experienced technical project manager to lead our app development team. Our company creates data management applications that make it easy for business owners to store and manage their data in one place. The technical project manager would be responsible for assuming ownership of our flagship app, CKM Money Matters, and leading the team in creating a data management software program intended for large corporations.

The ideal candidate will have at least 5 years of experience as a technical project manager and a background in software development, IT systems management and customer service. Candidates with a bachelor's degree in information technology or management information systems will be considered, but a master's degree is preferred. The candidate must have excellent communication skills and proven success in managing projects efficiently.

Related careers

If you're interested in becoming a technical project manager but want to explore your options, there are many technical career paths for you to consider. Learning about them can help you choose a career path that suits your interests and goals. Here are some careers related to technical project management:

  • Software engineer

  • IT systems manager

  • Project manager

  • Data analyst

  • Technology consultant

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies or certifications mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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