Want to make bank? Get a PMP, get into consulting, and move to Australia.
Project managers are the goal-setters of the business world. Their job is full-time planning—what part of a larger project should who be working on for how long? Questions like how much money to budget for a project, estimating how much time will be dedicated to working out setbacks, and making sure team communication is on point is all part of the job.
Thankfully, project managers are amply awarded for their work. But by how much?
For example, project managers earn the most in Australia, Switzerland, and the United States, averaging a salary of $134,658, $133,605, and $108,000, respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, project managers can only expect to earn $24,201, $27,052, and $27,156 in China, India, and Egypt.
Wages vary in the United States as well. For example, the national median salary for entry-level project managers is $89,286, for established project managers is $96,425, for IT project managers is $100,000, and for engineering project managers is $107,472. Directors of PMOs make the most, raking in a solid $134,791 on average a year. Note that project size also has a substantial impact on salary as well—the Project Management Institute found that project managers make 40% more if they are managing projects that surpass $10 million.
Location in the United States also affects overall income. For example, project managers in Miami make $83,615 a year on average, whereas San Franciscan project managers rake in close to $100,000 ($99,748). (That said, because of cost of living differences, project managers in Miami are still “better off.”)
This data also holds some implications for the future of project management. For example, the field is expected to grow 12% between 2010 and 2020, and PMPs are currently making up to 16% more than non-certified professionals. This means three things:
- Project management will become a more popular profession, especially among new grads who would not have otherwise considered project management as a profession.
- There will be an increased emphasis on hard project management skills. Project managers will be expected to work with project management software and demonstrate competency in formal project management methods.
- Certification will hold more weight at the point-of-hire; project managers with MBAs and PMPs will be given more priority than they already have now.
Finally, industry greatly affects who makes the most as a project manager. According to CIO, project managers in consulting (median salary of $120,000), natural resources ($116,000), and pharmaceuticals ($113,909) rake in the highest base salary. IT, notoriously a hub for high project manager salaries, came in seventh with a median base salary of $104,000.
There are obviously a number of other factors affecting a project manager’s salary, like work experience, education level, time spent in the industry, and even basic likeability. Was there anything else I missed? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
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