How Much Do Project Managers Make?

How Much Do Project Managers Make?The year 2020 was a difficult year for commerce. An unprecedented number of business owners, corporations, professionals, and workers were at the receiving end of the various effects of the pandemic. Interestingly, the need for professionals in the field of project management grew and continues to do so. Project managers found that the career path they chose came with semi-immunity to things such as pandemics. In fact, companies are actively looking for project managers to help them cope with the repercussions.  

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Project manager role and responsibility adjustments

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The pandemic provided an opportunity where the skills, expertise, and experience of the project professional enable organizations to assess, adjust, and create the right response to the crisis. The roles and responsibilities have changed, focusing more on managing remote teams and crafting new approaches in communicating with organization leaders and project stakeholders. Today, every project manager is a distributed project manager. Aside from keeping themselves busy and constructive, they also have to keep their team productive, deliver for their customers, and ensure stakeholders remain informed with the status and progress of projects.

Read also: Project Manager Roles and Responsibilities for Software Projects

Project management salary by location

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As the world moves forward, companies are taking one step at a time with the help of project managers. In particular, project-driven organizations involved in product development and change initiatives are willing to pay a premium price for project managers who will help them survive and thrive in the new normal. The project manager salary depends on country of employment, number of years of experience, position, and size of projects managed, whether by team size or project budget. And according to the 2020 PMI Salary Survey, the top 8 countries where project managers have the highest yearly median salaries are:

  1. Switzerland = $132,086
  2. United States = $116,000
  3. Australia = $101,381
  4. Germany = $96,987
  5. Netherlands = $93,839
  6. Belgium = $92,352
  7. Ireland = $85,829
  8. United Kingdom = $83,410

According to Indeed, the the top 8 US cities that pay the highest yearly project manager salary are:

  1. Los Angeles, CA = $93,070
  2. New York, NY = $85,066
  3. Chicago, IL = $82,923
  4. Atlanta, GA = $82,541
  5. Dallas, TX = 81,402
  6. Houston, TX = $80,834
  7. Austin, TX = $80,299
  8. Phoenix, AZ = $77,324

Project manager salary by number of years of experience

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As expected, the salary of project managers increase with the associated increase in the number of years of experience. In the US, project managers receive the following annual median salary relative to their experience:

  • Less than 3 years = $83,000
  • 3 to 4 years = $90,000
  • 5 to 9 years = $103,407
  • 10 to 14 years = $120,000
  • 15 to 19 years = $126,690
  • 20 or more years = $135,000

Project manager salary by role or position

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Salary increases along with added responsibility. So a project manager who can help deliver projects that reduce company costs, increase organizational efficiencies, and help generate higher revenue receives higher salary compared to peers. In the US, the top 8 companies that pay higher project manager salaries are:

  1. ExxonMobil – American multinational oil and gas corporation
  2. Worley – or WorleyParsons Limited, an engineering company that provides project delivery and consulting services
  3. HCL Technologies – multinational IT services and consulting company
  4. Boeing – American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells aircraft and other products
  5. Citi – American multinational investment bank and financial services corporation
  6. Southern California Edison – electricity supply company for Southern California
  7. Lockheed Martin – aerospace, arms, defense, security, and advanced technologies company
  8. Aetna – a managed health care company

Construction project manager position

The construction project manager plans, coordinates, and supervises residential, commercial, or industrial construction projects. They oversee employees, owners, contractors, vendors, regulators, and other stakeholders, while they complete projects on time, within budget, design, and quality standards. Much of the work is administrative, with duties on estimating, design review, proposals, quality control, and project and employee scheduling, The annual construction project manager salary can range between $49k and $120k, with an average of $75k.

IT project manager position

The IT project manager maintains the organization’s effectiveness and efficiency, directs research, recommends strategy, completes projects, manages applications and staff, and maintains quality service. They are responsible for planning certain types of projects and ensures execution of every stage according to standards. To achieve particular goals, they show leadership, provide motivation, and perform employee evaluations. The annual IT project manager salary ranges between $57k and $128k, and averages at $89k.

Senior project manager position

The senior project manager takes on more responsibilities either by managing multiple project teams simultaneously, by managing complex projects with high budgets, or by taking more strategic roles such as program management, portfolio management, or directorship of the project management office. Senior project managers have at least 5 years of related experience and are experts in several project management techniques such as waterfall, agile, process based, event chain, earned value, lean, critical chain, risk management, and/or change management. The annual senior project manager salary ranges between $72k and $142k, with an average of $104k.

Read also: Senior Project Manager Roles & Responsibilities

Engineering project manager position

The engineering project manager is responsible for leading and directing specialized engineers to produce detailed product development plans. They translate customer requirements into product strategy, prepare cost proposals, maintain financial records, and ensure conformity to safety regulations and best practices. They have strong communication skills and think quickly to resolve problems in real time. The annual engineering project manager salary ranges between $64k and $137k, and averages at $96k.

Assistant project manager position

Assistant project managers are responsible for communicating with people involved in a project. They help review plans, prepare estimates according to budgets, hold meetings, and set and oversee schedules. The annual assistant project manager salary can fall between $53k and $81k, with an average of $63k.

Read also: 21 Career Opportunities in Project Management

Entry level project manager position

Entry level project managers can have different titles and have project management industry experience that ranges between zero and two years. Other titles are junior project manager, project assistant, project coordinator, or associate project manager. The average annual entry level project manager salary is about $49k.

Certified PMP salary

Certified project management professionals receive higher median salaries than their non-certified peers, all else being equal. Salary also steadily increases the longer in time they hold the PMP certification. The annual median certified PMP salary is $120k compared to $95k for non-PMP. Also, the salary of a PMP of less than five years is about $106k compared to $126k for a PMP holder of five to nine years.

Ready to stay at the forefront?

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As a project professional, you can exert some control on your earning potential. Although location matters, a professional holding a certification will always earn more. Aside from certification, getting an MBA can also impact your salary. The other avenues and approaches are getting into the right industry and specialization.

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.

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