Project Manager Salaries: What You Need To Know

Project Manager Salaries: What You Need To Know

Looking to benchmark potential project manager salaries? You’ve come to right place. We’ll highlight the key findings of the 10th edition of the Project Management Institute’s “Earning Power” report. Please know that this article focuses only on U.S. project manager salaries for the sake of simplicity.

First the good news: In general, being a project manager in the U.S. is quite lucrative with the overall median annual salary for a professional without PMP (Project Management Professional) certification is a very respectable $92,000. That is also up $1,000 from the previous year’s PMI salary survey.

Good Pay Gets Better with PMP Certification

But project manager salaries see a substantial bump – some 25% – when PMP certification is earned. The median salary for a project manager with PMP certification in the U.S. is $115,000. That figure goes up even more as more years of experience are factored in on top of PMP certification. Either way, it’s clear that certification puts you on a path to a higher salary and better job prospects. Learn more about PMP certification.

Project Manager Salaries By Job Title

Not surprisingly, project management professionals with more responsibilities tend to earn more pay. One obvious reason for this Is because the bigger the project/s managed, the greater the impact on a company and its bottom like.

For the United States, project manager salaries broke out like this (all figures annual median):

Still not exactly sure what project management really entails? Learn more about what a project manager does.

Project Manager Salaries by Industry

The industry you work in has a lot to do with the size of your paycheck. It all depends on the type and size of projects managed and the overall perceived value of the project manager role.

The Top 6 Industries, by Median Pay:

  1. Resources (agriculture, mining etc.): $130,000
  2. Pharmaceuticals: $129,000
  3. Consulting: $125,000
  4. Aerospace: $118,000
  5. Utility: $117,875
  6. Engineering: $117,500

Don’t base your career decisions simply on this kind of salary, as market forces can play a large role in whether your experience turmoil in you career. For example, oil/gas and mining companies are renowned for their high pay but are quick to layoff employees when commodities prices fall to low.

PMI Salary Data v. Online Sources

These figures may be different from what you’ve seen at your organization or what you’ve found online with sources like Glassdoor and Payscale. We prefer to use the PMI data over online sources because it comes from a much larger data set, some 10,900 respondents for this year’s latest salary report, and a third party carries out the research.