How to Become a Project Supervisor

How to Become a Project Supervisor: Career Path Guide

A career as a project supervisor could be a great fit for you if you enjoy supervising the work of others, and you’re willing to take accountability for the results of a project.


This field can offer a chance to work with different types of professionals, an opportunity to showcase your project management abilities, while also offering plenty of room for potential career advancement.


So, if you'd like to know more about the ins and outs of working as a project supervisor, then read on; we’ll fill you in on what you would be doing for a living, and what you’ll need to break into this profession!



Education Needed to Become a Project Supervisor

The education you’ll need to become a project supervisor can vary widely from job to job. For example, some employers may only require that you have a high school diploma, while others will require that you have an MBA or a professional degree, such as an engineering degree.


It all depends on the industry you will be working in, and the type of project you will be supervising.







Experience You’ll Need

Most employers will require that you have a few years worth of relevant work experience in the field of your employer’s operations in order to supervise projects. Some may also require (or at prefer) that you have supervisory experience in some capacity. 


Having in-field or supervisory work experience is especially important if you don’t have any relevant post-secondary education.



Project Supervisor: General Job Description

As a project supervisor, you would be responsible for the coordination of activities related to a project as assigned by senior management and the project manager. 


Such activities could include coordinating the duties of employment teams, creating lines of communication about the project from lower level to senior level tiers within the company, and ensuring the timely delivery of materials needed to complete the project.



General Job Duties

Although your responsibilities may vary, depending on factors such as the industry you might be working in, you would generally be responsible for performing the following duties:


• Conferring with internal customer service representatives and account managers

• Managing and evaluating project needs, timeframes, and costs

• Interviewing, selecting, and maintaining project employees

• Liaising with designers, marketers, engineers, senior management, clients, sales representatives, architects and others (depending on the type of project)

• Overseeing and evaluating the efforts of the project team

• Ensuring project activities are being conducted according to schedule and budgetary constrictions




Personal Traits Needed to Become a Project Supervisor

In order to enjoy performing the duties of a project supervisor, you need to have certain personality traits. These characteristics will help keep you interested in your job, and will help you maintain a positive attitude towards your duties.


• Leadership and initiative

• A willingness to take responsibility and ownership

• A willingness to be accountable for project outcomes

• Customer service focus to work activities

• Enjoy directing the work of others

• Enjoy making important decisions

• Able to handle stressful situations and frequent deadlines



Who Creates Jobs for Project Supervisors?

Project supervisors can be found in virtually every sector of industry, including marketing, telecommunications, construction, software development, real estate development, manufacturing and many others. 


They may be hired as employees of an organization, or they can be self-employed as contractors for that organization. Different types of organizations may employ them, including:



Career Advancement Possibilities  

There will be many opportunities to move into other roles or to otherwise advance your career, as there is such a wide range of positions related to project supervision and management. Some forms of career advancement may include, for example:


• Getting a raise in pay or bonuses

• Earning a more senior position, such as Project Manager or Operations Manager

• Becoming self-employed as a consultant or freelancer

• Moving into executive management with your organization, or an outside organization



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Careers Similar to ‘Project Supervisor’

Listed below are occupations in our database that have similar responsibilities, and/or require similar skills, or are in the same sector of industry, as Project Supervisor:



Management Consultant

Operations Manager

Project Analyst

Project Assistant

• Project Manager




Please consult the following resources to learn more about what it takes to become a project supervisor:


Occupations in Alberta:Project Management Professional.” (March 28, 2013). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 9, 2020.

You’re a What?:Project coordinator.” Kathleen Green (October, 2015). Bureau of Labor Statistics - United States Government website. Retrieved January 9, 2020.

Business Management:What Is a Construction Project Supervisor?.” Clayton Browne (n.d.). Houston Chronicle website. Retrieved January 9, 2020.



Scholarships for Becoming a Project Supervisor

The Applicable Majors section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as a project supervisor. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study on our All Scholarships by Major page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming a Project Supervisor: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the college/university majors listed below can be helpful (or necessary) for becoming a project supervisor. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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