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job descriptions

What Does a Project Manager Do?

As a Project Manager you are in charge of seeing projects through from start to finish. This starts with an assessment of the problem and goes through various stages of project planning and design. Then come the different phases of execution…all the way to final completion. Your project could be the construction of a hydro dam, upgrades to a power monitoring system, an environmental study, building transmission lines or the development of a new way to conserve electricity. You are given a job to do and it’s up to you to use your skills, creativity and expertise to get it done. It’s your baby!

Timing is everything, especially when the project clock is ticking. It’s important to be able to handle several priorities at once. As the project manager you have to set project milestones and allocate people and money to each step of your project. Getting everyone (including yourself!) to stick to the schedule can be tricky. Good communication and teamwork is the key to making it happen.

On very large projects, you might even be in charge of other Project Managers who are each overseeing their own piece of the puzzle. Knowing where, when and how to apply each team member’s expertise is a real art. To be good at your job, you must be great at managing people, money, time, risk, contracts and, of course, expectations.


What’s the commitment?

Depending on how far you go into your area of specialization, your university degree could take four years to five or more. Experience counts for a lot in project management and your employer will help you build your skills. Generally, you start by being part of a team on a project, then leading portions of a project to managing smaller, less complex projects and progressing to larger more important ones as you advance in career level.

Professional accreditation in Project Management from a recognized institution is strong asset. There is usually a requirement for previous work experience which is followed with training courses an evaluation process.


What do I need to apply?

A university degree in a relevant field of study, typically engineering.
Good knowledge of power generation, transmission and distribution systems.
An ability to work your way up and gain knowledge of the industry as well as a proven track record in leading projects.
Resumes with a cover letter and a copy of your school transcripts can be sent directly to potential employers.

For employer website links click on

electricity council Trade Up Programs Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources BC HYDRO IBEW 258 Columbia power Fortis BC Copy Right 2008