Assistant project manager jobs are found wherever project managers are found. Usually, a set of work tasks that have a clear beginning and end is called a project. A project manager might see a particular customer’s order through the assembly line, while the plant manager oversees the entire assembly line. This crucial difference often makes a project manager responsible indirectly for the service or the product, called the deliverables, without authority over the resources necessary to create the goods. If the project manager has not created a good working relationship with the various departments that must work together, assistant project manager jobs become even more difficult.
The scope of assistant project manager jobs varies widely, depending on the complexity of the work involved and the size, typically measured in value of the project or labor hours required to complete the project. In very large projects, several assistants may report to one project manager, and each may be responsible for one aspect or functional department of the project. Assistant project management jobs may entail responsibility for procurement, manufacturing, quality assurance, vendor certification, and even public relations. This position will have responsibility, but only limited authority.
The keys to all assistant project manager jobs are to define the scope of work, understand the quantity and quality of the deliverables, and evaluate the resources required to meet project schedules and budgets. The education required to fulfill these duties depends on the project itself. Many of these job skills are acquired on the job, althuogh seminars or workshops may help increase competencies. Other assistant project manager jobs require associate, bachelor's, or advanced degrees. Assistant project manager jobs are available in construction, manufacturing, industries of all types, and in communications and development work.
Not everyone will benefit from assistant project management jobs. These jobs are often staff rather than line positions. This means that the project management team often reports to a higher management function but is considered overhead, not revenue centers. Human resources, for example, is an overhead department, while production is a revenue center. Being placed outside of the money-earning departments can sidetrack advancements, and such positions are often the first eliminated if business conditions turn down.
On the positive side, project managers get exposed to upper management, learn all aspects of the business, and often develop superior team skills. Project managers are often in the spotlight, communicating with the customer as well as internal management. Assistant project management jobs require the same dedication to the project, bear the same responsibilities, and provide excellent ways to develop into higher managerial positions. In some companies, managers and assistants are pulled from the production or support departments to lend their on-the-line level of experience to management.