This blog post will address the issue of whether or not a felon can become a project manager.
- What is a Project Manager?
- What Education/Training Does a Project Manager Need?
- How Much Does a Project Manager Earn?
- An Opportunity for Felons?
- Recommended Action
What is a Project Manager?
Project managers are in charge of a specific project or projects within a company. His or her goal for a specific project is to:
Typically, he or she is in charge of a team to complete a given assignment. A project manager works closely with upper management to make sure the scope and direction of each project is on schedule. He or she also relies on other departments for support.
A project manager works in a variety of fields, from technical/IT to human resources, to advertising/marketing to construction. Someone who works under a project manager as an assistant is known as a project coordinator.
Among the necessary skills to be successful as a project manager are:
- Time management
- Math and budgeting
- Analytical skills
- Problem-solving skills
What Education/Training Does a Project Manager Need?
Formal training is typically required for project managers. Depending on the field, a project manager may need an engineering, computer science, or a business degree, or a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Some colleges and universities offer degrees or concentrations in project management.
Training depends on the field, but on-the-job experience in that line of work is essential. In most instances, someone will need a bachelor’s degree in a related field In more technical fields, a master’s degree may be necessary.
Certification as a project management professional (PMP) is also available through organizations like the Project Management Institute or the International Project management Association. This credential is for project managers with experience and who pass an exam.
Since project management is a trade, there are many trade schools and universities that offer a course of study and a degree.
How Much Does a Project Manager Earn?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were over 8 million project managers in 2017 with an average annual salary of $102,590 in 2017. This amount ranges from $46,890 to $139,220 in the various fields.
The amount that can be earned as a project manager also varies based on experience and location.
This occupation is expected to show an 8% growth, which is about average. This is due to a continued need for people to manage projects within a company.
An Opportunity for Felons?
State guidelines through the Department of Licensing and Regulation in an individual state outline the process for determining whether a criminal conviction makes an applicant unsuitable for a license or certification. It will also determine whether a conviction will revoke or suspend a license.
The following factors will be considered in determining whether a criminal conviction should be grounds to deny a license:
- Nature and seriousness of the crime
- Relationship of the crime to the purposes for requiring a license
- Extent to which a license might offer an opportunity to engage in further criminal activity
- Relationship of a crime to the ability, capacity, or fitness to perform the duties
Further information will be considered regarding the applicant’s fitness to perform the duties of a project manager:
- Extent and nature of the applicant’s past criminal activity
- Age of the person when the crime was committed
- Amount of time that has elapsed since the last criminal activity
- Work activity of the applicant before and after the criminal conviction
- Evidence of the person’s rehabilitation while incarcerated and after release
- Other evidence of the person’s fitness, including letters of recommendation from prosecutors, law enforcement, correctional officers, and any other person with knowledge of the applicant
Whether a felon is allowed to work as a project manager in a particular field will also depend on the area. It may be easier for a felon to work as a project manager in information technology or construction as it’s easier to find employment as a computer programmer, web designer, electrician, or plumber among other positions.
However, it’s essential to be honest when filling out an application for certification as a project manager. If a felony isn’t disclosed but found on a background check, this is fraud which is a punishable crime. It could even result in being sent back to prison.
Having their felony expunged can give a felon the chance needed to begin with a clean record and succeed in becoming a project manager. Expunging a criminal record allows anyone to honestly state on an application that he or she has not been convicted of a crime.
It’s a big challenge, but it might be worth it for a felon wanting to become a project manager. To give him or herself the best chance for success, he or she should have his or her record expunged and document any programs, education, or training completed.
Having support from family, friends, counselors, or previous employers can make a huge difference. A felon doesn’t have to be defined by his or her crime. We are defined by how we recover from our mistakes, not in the mistakes themselves. He or she can begin again and live an honest life no matter how difficult it might seem.
What do you think about this blog post? Have you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to become a project manager with a felony? What was that like for him or her, and how did he or she achieve success? Please tell us in the comments below.