Project assistants provide administrative support to complete projects. Project assistants are respected members of the project team and participate during all phases of the project life cycle. Under the direction of project directors or program/project managers, project assistants help move projects towards completion by performing project and office administration tasks, which typically include production and distribution of collateral, file management, data collection, report creation, proofreading, research, and team collaboration.
Project assistants coordinate and complete activities related to the program and project management disciplines. Project assistants perform a variety of project administrative duties, including disseminating project information to project stakeholders, monitoring the achievement of project activities on behalf of the project manager, developing and maintaining project deliverables under the direction of the project director, and gathering and inputting data into databases.
Project assistants also arrange logistics for meetings, conferences, trainings, and other project-related events. They organise project committee meetings and prepare the necessary materials, including reports, presentations, agendas and other meeting collateral. Project assistants are excellent transcribers, and accurately record key decisions and action items resulting from meetings.
The objective of the project assistant position is to help project managers complete projects. Their duties are analytical, evaluative, interpretive and dynamic in nature. Project assistants work under the direction of the project director or project manager, but perform the work independently. They seek assistance from more senior project team members to understand and solve complex project problems.
Skills and Experience
Candidates must have a bachelor's degree, one to two years of experience in an administrative support role, and demonstrated competence in using office productivity applications, such as Microsoft Office tools. The project assistant position suits highly organised and detail-oriented individuals. Discretion, good judgment, personal motivation and the ability to work independently are particularly useful attributes for project assistants.
The median annual wages of a project assistant in the United States is £25,350, as of May 2010. The average annual salaries of project assistants are 40 per cent lower than average salaries for all job postings nationwide, as of May 2010. According to Indeed.com, factors such as employer size, industry, credentials and years of experience can dramatically affect the compensation of a project assistant. In general, the salary range for a typical project assistant in the United States is £19,175 to £25,025.
Project assistants are usually given more responsibilities as they gain more project management-related experience. Advancement is easier in large organisations that employ different levels of project management personnel. Depending on their employer, some project assistants may find it easier to move to another company when seeking increased responsibility or advancement. Project Management Professional (PMP) certification can increase the career growth opportunities available to project assistants.