There’s little transparency when it comes to salary. Money makes people uncomfortable. But as a project manager you know that it’s crucial to have insight in all aspects of the job you’re working on, and that means what you’re getting paid for it in relation to other project mangers doing similar work throughout the country. The following offers you some important statistics on how you stack up to the competition.
UPDATE: Check out our study on Project Manager Salary Statistics in the US for 2019
How Does Your Salary Compare?
As a project manager, your job title, role, location, and project-size all influence your salary. To help you understand how you compete with your colleagues, we’ve researched industry salary trends to create this infographic on the state of project manager salaries.
Your title counts
Your job title makes a huge difference to how much you are paid. As you’d expect, Project Management Directors and PMO Directors top the list with the ‘serious money’, while first-grade project managers come in at the bottom. The bottom is still very respectable, with project managers in the United States earning an average of around $89,000.
The US list of average salaries for various job roles according to the PMI Salary Survey 8th Edition looks like this:
- Director of PM/PMO $134,791
- Portfolio Manager $131,512
- Program Manager $122,175
- Project Management Consultant $120,287
- Project Manager III $108,028
- Project Manager II $96,735
- Project Management Specialist $90,531
- Project Manager I $89,286.
Employers are prepared to pay for people with the skills to manage large projects. If your project budget exceeds US$10 million, you are likely to make 40% more than if you are managing a project budget of under $100K.
Top industries for project managers
According to GlassDoor, the type of projects you manage matters as well.
The national median salary for project managers in the US is $96,425. That rises by around $3,500 if you work in IT. Engineering project managers are paid an even greater premium: they can expect to earn a median salary of $107,472.
Location, location, location
Just like in real estate, where you work affects your pay. Australia, Switzerland and the United States pay their project managers the most. The Netherlands and Germany make up the top five best-paying countries for project managers.
Globally, project managers in Egypt earn the least with an average salary of US $24,201. India and China also fall at the bottom of the international table. While salaries might not be high, there are other opportunities available for project managers in emerging economies. PMI is predicting more than 12% growth in the positions available for project managers between 2010 and 2020, resulting in 6.2 million jobs in 2020.
Back to the United States to illustrate the fact that even the city you live in makes a difference to your earning potential as a project manager.
If you want to bring home above-average wages, San Francisco is the place to work, with project managers there earning a median salary of $99,748. New York’s project managers aren’t that far behind, but if you are based in Miami expect to earn around $15,000 less.
It might be worth looking at opportunities in other cities or even internationally. However, the cost of living varies from country to country and between cities, take that into account if you are looking to relocate.
Get certified, get rewarded
Want the big bucks? Get a qualification. PMP certified individuals earn around 16% more than their non-certified counterparts. That works out about US$14,500 in real money.
MBAs also have a positive impact on salary, more so than a project management Master’s degree. You can see how the short term challenge of gaining a qualification will pay off over the course of your career. Time to hit the books!
Stay at the top of your game
Looking for additional ways to get noticed… and increase your salary? Make sure you:
- Stay connected with your peers. Networking is a fast and effective way to a new job. Join the largest PM-curated community on LinkedIn and build your professional network.
- Boost your knowledge with any of the articles, blogs and videos in our free project management resources.
- Subscribe to our weekly email to get the latest project management insights delivered right to your inbox.
- Harness the power of project management software. Create plans today with your 30 day free trial.
Figures from GlassDoor were retrieved on October 24, 2014.