A guide to contracting as a project manager

If you are thinking about exploring a new career, contracting as a project manager could be perfect! Contracting is an appealing prospect with a number of benefits, most notably the ability to earn twice as much as a permanent employee in the same position, sometimes even more.

We have worked with a number of project management contractors and that is exactly why we have decided to put this guide together. In the following paragraphs we will cover:

  • The benefits of contracting as a project manager
  • How to get started as a project management contractor
  • Finding work

At Contractor Accountants Online, we are experts in helping people just like you get to grips with life as a contractor. Our fully qualified accountants can take care of all of your accountancy needs for an all-inclusive fixe-fee of just £55 per month. To find out more, call us on 020 7481 4743.

The benefits of contracting as a project manager

Whilst there are risks to becoming a contractor and leaving behind the world of employment can be a daunting prospect, there are an abundance of benefits that can far outweigh the risk.

The first thing potential contractors always want to know about is the financial aspects of a being a contractor. Can you really earn more than a permanent employee in the same role?

Here is a breakdown of the key financial benefits of contracting:

  • The average rate of a contractor can easily be double that of a permanent employee in the exact same position.
  • If you choose to work through a limited company, you will be able to take home as much as 80% of your earnings.
  • If you have specialist skills in a niche that is deprived of experts, you could command extremely high rates of pay.
  • You can offset any business expenses against your revenue to further reduce your tax bill.

As you can see, there is quite a comprehensive list of financial benefits and in addition to potentially earning a greater amount of money; there are certain lifestyle benefits that contractors can enjoy.

You get to choose which contracts you undertake and can work with the client to establish a convenient set of working hours. Furthermore, you are officially your own boss; you work for clients, not managers. So gone are the days where you have to worry about asking your boss for a last minute holiday.

How to get started as a project manager

Project management contractors are coveted for their specialist skills and experience, therefore, for you to be able to work effectively as a contractor you will need to ensure that you have the necessary qualifications and experience.

Once you feel confident that you have the appropriate level of experience, you can start thinking about leaving behind the life of a permanent employee and becoming a contractor. Be sure to have a look online at current project management contract roles to accurately determine whether or not you will be able to meet the needs of clients in the industry.

Finding work

Many new contractors, especially those who have been working primarily in isolation, may be worried about the prospect of having to go and seek work on a regular basis. Well there are a number of things you can do and you don’t need to be a sales and marketing expert to do them!

Recruitment agencies.

Just as with when you were looking for a permanent position, recruitment agencies will have most of the vacancies listed on their website. There are specialist contractor focused recruitment agencies so it is always worth starting with these.

You’ll be able to search through the available positions and send off your CV to the ones that appear to be of interest to you. Before you even think about applying for positions you’ll need to make sure that you have a concrete contractor CV. To help you out, we have produced a comprehensive guide to writing a contractor CV that you may find useful.

Once you have sent your CV off for the relevant jobs, if the recruiters think you are the right fit, they’ll either call you to discuss things further or invite you in for an interview.

Remember that recruiters will have thousands of CVs to sift through for the various roles they are working on, so it could be useful to find the name of the person who is recruiting for the role and give them a call directly after you have sent in your CV. You’ll be able to introduce yourself and just make sure you stand out further from the crowd.


LinkedIn is a fantastic resource for building up your network of contacts, so if you haven’t got one already, make sure you get one as soon as possible. You’ll be able to form the basis of your profile by using your CV as a template, so it shouldn’t eat up too much time.

Once your profile is complete, you can start connecting with people who you know and make them aware that you are looking for contract work, they might just know someone who could be able to help.

Contacting companies directly

Another method of finding work that is greatly under utilised is contacting firms directly. If you think that there are specific companies that would benefit from your project management expertise, send them an email and make them aware of your services.

Ideally you want to be able to contact the person who would be in charge of recruitment, so search for an HR Manager or look at the careers section of their website to see if there is a list of useful contacts.

We are experts in contractor accountancy and offer a comprehensive fixed-fee package for just £55 per month. Call our qualified accountants today to find out more about how we can take a weight off your shoulders and manage all of your accountancy needs.

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