Within the project coordinator job description lie elements of a professional who keeps projects progressing in an orderly fashion. While project coordinators are found in many fields, contractors, architects, engineers, government agencies and information technology firms and departments are prominent employers. These organizations rely on project coordinators to handle many of the details required for projects to have a successful completion.
Job Overview: What Does a Project Coordinator Do?
The project coordinator job description entails organization, communication, administration of details and direction of long-term project goals. To fulfill their duties, project coordinators use computer applications to help plan and track budgets, meetings, work and billing. Depending on the employer, coordinators also assist in filing necessary documents for issuance of various licenses and permits.
Project Coordinator Job Duties
- Develop documents for presenting contract or project specifications and inviting bids from contractors or suppliers.
- Track budgets, deadlines, dates for meetings and other events in project, and expenses on spreadsheets or databases.
- Group contracts, invoices, files and other documents for ready access.
- Assemble applications, reports, exhibits and other documents for submission or filing.
- Schedule and set-up meetings.
- Locate contractors and subcontractors for specific work.
- Assign work orders.
- Monitor performance of contractors and subcontractors.
- Perform administrative functions, such as billing, bookkeeping and ordering office or construction supplies.
Project Coordinator Job Essential Skills
Organization. The project coordinator job description involves a significant amount of organization. This skill is essential for ready access to information. With organizational skills, project coordinators are able to schedule meetings and track deadlines and other phases or milestones in a project.
Communication. Project coordinators must listen to various people involved in a project for directions, questions and proposed solutions. As part of communications, the coordinator must convey project information, such as deadlines, specifications and schedules for work.
Computer. To schedule and track various components of the project, the coordinator relies on spreadsheets, databases, bookkeeping or billing software, and other applications. Computer skills also involve word processing, emails and scanning documents to send or store.
Becoming a Project Coordinator Professional
Prospective employers seek project coordinators with exposure in their particular industry. Aspiring project coordinators can achieve the needed experience and background through education and work in the specific sectors. Becoming a project coordinator also involves experience in clerical and administrative duties.
Qualifications and Training
Typically, project coordinators can qualify for these jobs with a high school diploma. However, depending on the employer and especially the industry, applicants may need a bachelor’s degree or associates degree. Classes in the industry are also necessary. For instance, the typical curriculum for information technology project coordinators should feature computer science, information technology, data communications, computer or digital networks, and software design.
For project coordinators in construction, education may involve at least background courses in construction or particular phases thereof, such as electrical, plumbing and framing. However, certain educational institutions offer courses in construction-related subjects such as reading blueprints, laws governing occupational safety, building codes and permitting of projects; and construction.
The experience set forth in a project coordinator job description will depend on the employer’s industry. In construction, candidates for these jobs likely should have a prior work history in aspects of the construction industry. Those who have worked for builders, general and specialty contractors, engineering or architectural firms or building inspection agencies can be attractive to employers.
Within the information technology field, project coordinators should have experience working for software developers or designers, computer systems firms or in information technology firms.
Generally, project coordinators work full-time hours. In most settings, the work day lasts normal business hours. What constitutes normal hours depends on the employer. In educational institutions, for example, work may start around 7:30 am and end around 4:30 pm.
In construction-related sectors, project coordinators may have some evening or weekend hours. Contractors, especially in public infrastructure projects such as highway construction, may work nights to avoid peak traffic flows. Coordinators may need to be available to respond to issues such as personnel shortages or problems arising on the job site.
While project coordinators normally work in offices, some travel may be necessary to work sites or offices controlled by an employer.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports approximately 934,000 jobs in the “Business Operations Specialists, All Others” category in 2014. Within this group includes project coordinators. In 2015, the number of positions was reported at 926,610.
Job prospects for project coordinators depend on the strength of the industry in which they work. In the construction industry, demand for building projects will determine the need for project coordinators. For example, Electrical Contractor Magazine reported projections of $505 billion dollars in needed upgrades and construction of oil and gas infrastructure by 2024. During this period, demand for apartments and other multi-family unit residences could average 440,000 annually through 2024. Project coordinators might find job opportunities with increases in residential and office construction.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, business operation specialists earned on average $73,480 as of May 2015. Moreover, those in the top ten percent of earners made above $115,990 per year. One in four business operation specialists had salaries above $90,580 per year, as of May 2015.
To sum up, project coordinators summon computer, math, organization and communication skills to keep projects running as smoothly as possible. Various contractors and professionals rely on coordinators to accomplish the details of a project such as billing, payment of invoices, submissions of documents to contractors, vendors and permitting authorities and scheduling of meetings and work.
Prospects for finding project coordinator jobs, especially in the construction sector depend on demand for upgrades and new construction. Certain industries such as oil and gas anticipate needs for improved infrastructure. With an improving economy should come more opportunities to work on housing and other projects. If you are interested in the field, you can also read a complete overview of the project manager job description.