what is a project coordinator?

A project coordinator uses tools and skills to keep projects on track. Unlike project managers, who plan projects, create schedules, oversee your work and hire employees, project coordinators work directly with teammates. Essentially, you're a leader who still answers to management.

Your project coordinator responsibilities may include:

• delegating tasks

• ordering office supplies

• passing along information from managers

• sending letters and emails and answering phone calls

• helping teammates with their tasks

• using software to complete projects

• maintaining office rules and boundaries

• goal tracking

• sticking to a budget

• recording expenses

• calling IT if software doesn't work

You regularly meet with management to show them your progress, discuss issues, hear back from clients and receive feedback. The meetings may involve slide presentations with charts and note-taking. During the meeting, management could highlight your accomplishments, offer constructive criticism and talk about your client's needs.

You might not speak directly to clients. However, you'll work with teammates every day, so you need to encourage trust, professionalism and honest communication. Sometimes, teammates bring conflicts to discuss with you. When this happens, you need to decide whether you can handle the situation or need to refer the team member to human resources (HR).

Would working as a project coordinator suit your administrative and leadership skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a project coordinator role.

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average project coordinator salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes project coordinators along with other project specialists. In 2021, the average salary was $98,420 a year or $47.32 an hour. The highest annual salary was $159,140, while the lowest was $49,750.

Generally, project coordinators work full time for 40 hours a week with the possibility of overtime. Each state's labor laws are different, but many states require employers to pay 1.5 times your wages for each overtime hour. You may find part-time positions that average 20 hours a week and help you earn project coordination experience.

Each industry offers a different salary. The oil and gas extraction, financial investment and federal industries offer some of the biggest paychecks. If you want to advance, look for a position in a high-paying industry that requires similar skills. You'll have an advantage over other applicants because you come with experience.

Project coordinators typically work in offices, so you can expect regular 9 to 5 hours. Your manager could ask you to work overtime on nights and weekends when you have a tight deadline. They could offer holiday bonuses as well as quarterly bonuses when you help the team meet sales targets.

Wondering what you can earn as a project coordinator? Find out immediately with the Randstad salary checker! You can quickly and easily see what the average salary of a project coordinator is.

group of employees having a meeting
group of employees having a meeting

types of project coordinators

Project coordinators can specialize in an industry so that they have a strong knowledge base. Each industry requires different skills. For example, if you work in finance, you bring knowledge about the economy, stock markets and financial products to your work.

Project coordinators also take on different responsibilities. If you work with a large team, you could be the lead project coordinator with assistants who help you succeed. Your job description could refer to you as an assistant project manager who completes tasks without talking to clients or overseeing the whole group.


working as a project coordinator

Project coordinators use a variety of skills on the job, including leadership, communication and attention to detail. Here's what to expect when you are hired.


project coordinator skills and education

Maryville University reports that project coordinators need at least a high school diploma, but companies prefer employees with a bachelor's degree. Northeastern University notes that you can earn master's and doctorate degrees in the project management field. Higher degrees can mean higher salaries, but avoid positions whose hiring managers might consider you overqualified.

Your education may include classes in:

  • time management
  • leadership and teamwork
  • business math
  • project management
  • note-taking
  • problem-solving
  • risk avoidance
  • using charts and software
  • business writing

The internet provides hundreds of free and affordable project coordinator classes. You won't leave with a degree, but you'll have even more knowledge to bring to work and add to your resume. Plus, you'll track industry news on the latest techniques and software. Employers want coordinators who quickly adapt to trends.

Likewise, attend events and conferences for more growth opportunities. Check out events in your field even if they're not directly related to project management. You'll still use that knowledge in the workplace. Online, you can follow blogs and business social media profiles.

Finally, ask experts for tips. What do they need from project coordinators? What makes someone a good fit? Companies want to hire you when they see that you've done your research.

skills and competencies

Project coordinators are team role models. Whether they realize it or not, your team members look up to you. When you enter the office in a cheerful mood, they'll replicate your attitude because they subconsciously follow your example. Likewise, if you're in a somber mood, you'll have a quiet, low-energy group.

Show your employees that you're cheerful, energetic and motivated, keeping them motivated, too. Project coordinators also make themselves available when employees need help. You won't do their job for them, but they'll feel comfortable discussing issues, such as concerns that they won't meet the deadline. You distribute tasks without ordering them around.

As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics points out, project coordinators stay calm in stressful times. Talking to people often relieves tensions. Similarly, you'll set boundaries and expectations for your group without giving them too much to handle.

Finally, project coordinators are detail-oriented. Many clients are detail-oriented, too, and have strict requirements, so you check projects for mistakes, review project outlines and ask for help without making assumptions. Project coordinators also listen to performance reviews so that their next review will be even better.

female and male having a conversation
female and male having a conversation

FAQs about working as a project coordinator

Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about project coordinators.

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