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How to Start a Career in Project Controls in the Life Science Industry

Iain Bonner our consultant managing the role
Posted by Iain Bonner
Published on 28 May 2024

Starting a career in Project Controls can be a rewarding and strategic move for those interested in ensuring the successful planning, execution, and completion of projects. According to IQVIA the global pharmaceutical market is expected to reach a staggering $1.6 trillion by 2025. Project Controls is an essential discipline within project management that involves the application of various tools, techniques, and methodologies to monitor and control project performance.


What are Project Controls in the Pharmaceutical World?

Project Controls encompasses the processes and tools used to manage and control project cost, schedule, and performance.

Project Controls involves several key functions to ensure successful project execution. Cost management focuses on budgeting, forecasting, and tracking project expenses to keep the project within financial constraints. Schedule management entails developing, updating, and monitoring project schedules to ensure timely completion of activities. Risk management involves identifying, analysing, and mitigating project risks to minimise their impact on project objectives. Performance measurement uses metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess project progress and performance. Lastly, change management handles changes to the project scope, schedule, and budget in a controlled manner to avoid disruptions. Together, these functions ensure that projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the desired quality standards.


What Experience do I Need to Work in Project Controls

To pursue a career in Project Controls, you need a combination of education, skills, certifications, and experience. Here’s a detailed breakdown:


  • A bachelor’s degree in engineering, construction management, business administration, finance, or a related field is typically required.
  • A master's degree (optional). Advanced degrees in project management, business administration (MBA), or engineering can be beneficial.


To excel in Project Controls, several essential skills are required. Analytical skills are crucial for analysing data and trends to make informed decisions. Attention to detail ensures accuracy in financial reports, schedules, and project documentation. Strong communication skills are necessary for clear and concise interaction with project stakeholders. Technical proficiency in project management software such as Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project, as well as tools like Excel, is important. Additionally, problem-solving skills are vital for identifying issues and developing effective solutions. These combined skills enable Project Controls professionals to effectively manage and control project performance.




Entry-Level Positions: Start in roles such as project coordinator, cost analyst, or scheduler to gain foundational experience.

On-the-Job Training: Learn from experienced Project Controls professionals and gradually take on more responsibilities.

Internships and Co-op Programs: Participate in internships or cooperative education programs to gain practical experience.


Find your Next Project Controls Job with Quanta part of QCS Staffing

At Quanta, we are specialists in uniting people with life-changing industries like Life Sciences, Renewable Energy, and Data Centres and IT. All these industries require project controls, so if this is a role that interests you, get in touch with us today! Take the next step in your career and browse our latest vacancies for Life Science Roles. If you can't find the role you're looking for, submit your CV and take advantage of our latest opportunities.