Project Manager Salary – How Can I Increase My PM Salary?

In this article, we will talk about project manager salary. So if you are looking forward to pursuing your career as a project manager this article is a good read for you. In this read, you will find details of project manager salary.

Hence we will discuss the main factors that influence project manager salary. Furthermore, we will discuss how can you increase your salary if you are a project manager.

Project management is one of the complex fields in this technological era. Dynamic market trends bring many challenges to the organizations which are complex in nature. Therefore project managers who need to handle these challenges have to be well equipped. When they are ready to take up on these challenges, they become successful. However, these well-equipped professionals have their associated costs.

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Many organizations take initiatives to introduce new products and services in order to be trending market leaders because it brings them more market share. These organizations look for educated, certified, experienced domain experts so that the tendency to achieve success at higher rate increases. Project managers have the ability to lead the project teams throughout all the project phases from initiation to closing as the projects play a key role to meet the organization’s sustainability in the dynamic environment.

So if you are a project manager you must prepare yourself to be the best fit for these organizations. You need to be the best in what they are looking for. There are certain aspects to assess yourself. The following questions can act as the measuring yardstick for you: Does your education meet the minimum criteria set by these organizations? Are you an experienced project manager? Do you hold any project management credentials? Do you have the required industry domain knowledge?

Project Manager Salary

Top 5 Factors Affecting Project Manager Salary

In this section, we will highlight the significant factors that affect project manager salary.

1- Industry Aspect of Project Manager Salary

There is not only a single industry that needs project management discipline. All industries focus to empower their project management skills in order to make their portfolios, programs and projects highly successful. Whether you are working for pharmaceutical, energy, aerospace, manufacturing, finance, information technology, all of these industries require project managers and project teams to ensure successful projects. So the project manager must have associated with an industry.

Education plays a vital role in the expertise of the domain. Therefore the organizations with different domains have their specific need for project managers. A construction-based organization will look for the candidates who have civil engineering or equivalent degree. Likewise, financial firms will be on the lookout for candidates who have a financial degree. So that the industry-specific foundation is already part of the knowledge and skills of the project management candidates. The good part is that such companies may also look for candidates who have knowledge of relevant functions. Like if these companies are filling in for the positions of information technology project managers they will look for project managers with IT background and prefer the industry-specific experience. Similarly, if the Oil and Gas sector company is looking to hire project managers they may focus on chemical engineers.

If you are planning to pursue your career as a project manager your degree will play a vital role. Therefore you should plan your education with respect to the industry. This will set your foundation step for the specific industry and as we’ve already mentioned the project manager salary will depend on the industry. For instance, the average salary in the IT industry is more than that of a project manager in the entertainment industry.

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2- Experience Aspect of Project Manager Salary

Organizations hire experienced project managers. Because the experienced project managers are the ones who have gone through many challenging situations and have transformed them into success. This is a big plus for the organization. If you are working for a consulting organization, your experience will be a big plus for the organization as your profile is more sellable by the client organizations. It means that your profile is more sellable for your organization.

The salary of the fresh candidate is on the lower ranges and with the passage of time while you gain experience your PM salary will increase accordingly. In other words, we can say that your project manager salary is directly proportional to your experience. But only to a certain level! When you achieve higher grades and salary ranges this proportion will not remain the same. So having more experience will not bring more PM salary in correlation with your further experience after some years.

If you want to advance your project manager salary through experience, the only way is to acquire it. Experience comes with the passage of time but you can enhance your skillset inline with your future endeavors while you are experiencing the challenges within the current projects. Each step you take to handle such challenges adds to your experience whether it is a success or a failure for a specific activity.

At the end of the day, you have applied tools and techniques to handle the projects and learned out of it. Also, you have gone through various challenges and handled them to bring clarity from vagueness. Some of the challenges include poorly defined goals, unrealistic deadlines, scope creep, insufficient team skills, improper communication, geographically dispersed teams, risks and threats, diverse culture management.

3- Skills Aspect of Project Manager Salary

Another most important factor to advance project manager salary is the skillset they obtain with time. Soft skills required by project managers to lead the project teams and manage stakeholders are vital factors. On top of this, the technical skills are the influencing factors too. For example, if the job is related to construction project management, having drawing skills or planning tools knowledge will bring additional value to your resume.

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Similarly, if the job is pertaining to infrastructure project management, having skills of networking, designing networks, setting up data centers, managing infrastructure equipment will be a major plus for your job consideration.

If you want to pursue your career as an IT infrastructure project manager the skills related to the data center, virtualization, IT Service Management, Networking, and Wireless may be a value-added to your project manager salary. If you are part of an IT Team you can aim to obtain Business Skills, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Application Development, DevOps.

This means that skills are an important aspect of the project manager selection and PMP salary. Your project manager salary depends on the soft skills and technical skills you have. If you want to enhance your project manager salary, it definitely requires you to focus on your soft as well as technical skills.

If you want to advance your salary and career, you must attain education in the domain that you are pursuing your career. Education is the must-have and best to have to get the required skill set. You can earn new skills by attending project management courses.

Project management is one of the most complicated fields of work. Be prepared for a true adventure you’ll never get bored of! There is no space for dullness in this profession. A project manager (PM) is responsible for leading an entire project through initiation, planning, execution, control, and completion.

Project Manager Salary

4- Project Management Certification

There is a vital distinguishing factor in project manager salary advancement. This factor is the project management certification. It is globally accepted that PMP certified professionals have the project management skills to complete projects on time, within scope and budget.

Project Management Institute (PMI) offers the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. PMP is a globally recognized professional certification. It is an approval of project management knowledge and experience. PMP carries the reputation of being the best option for project management aspirants.

The market positions the PMI certifications in a very conscious way. PMI is much well-known for its Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate. PMI has more than 470,000 members in 207 countries, which make them the world’s largest project management association, and it has globally certified more than 740,000 PMPs. This is the mere fact to grasp the importance of PMP and it is also an indicator of PMP certified professional induction trends in the market.

PMP Certification and Project Manager Salary

The best thing you can do to take advantage of this value-adding factor is to obtain the PMP credentials. As if you are interested to advance your career in the field of project management, there is no best way other than earning the PMP Certification.

PMP certification requires you to have relevant knowledge and experience of the project management processes. Undoubtedly, a serious effort is needed to obtain the PMP credentials. A PMP certification means that you have a passion for attaining your targets. The PMP certification displays your skills, efforts, knowledge, experience, and reliability. It is also helpful for you to earn respect from your peers and team members. When you compare its benefits you will realize that all the effort is worth to attend a PMP training and obtain PMP certification.

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One of the lucrative advantages PMP brings to the project managers is an advancement in the project manager salary. According to an independent survey, PMP holders are drawing more than 20 percent salary as compared to their non-certified counterparts. However, this is an average and it can vary depending on your experience, skills, and industry. PMP certification brings a great return on investment you spend on the certification activities. In other words, the investment you make on the PMP certification takes you to the next level with tangible benefits throughout your career span.

According to the PMI salary survey 11th edition, the majority of survey respondents (82%) have the PMP certification. PMP certification holders report higher median salaries in most countries included in this study; however, this varies widely from country to country. PMP tenure also plays a role. Among survey respondents in most countries, the median salary steadily increases with the length of time one holds a PMP certification.

You must attend in a 35 contact hours project management education to be eligible to sit for the PMP exam. Read about PMP certification requirements. If you are in the early steps of your project management career, you can consider sitting for CAPM exam and getting CAPM certification first, which is the entry level project management certification of PMI.

5- Urgency for Vacancy

Another aspect is the urgency of the organization to fill in the vacancy. This can be a good opportunity to get a good salary range. As in this case, they can offer up to 20% more than the defined salary range for the position. If you are the right fit that the employer is seeking for a long time or wants to employ asap, you can get more salary than you expect.

Though the urgency for a vacancy within an organization is beyond the applicant’s control, however, the best an applicant can do is ensure the readiness with the value-adding factors on the profile like education, certification, skills and technologies, and domain expertise. If you have these factors you can bag the upcoming opportunities being the right fit for the job. This is the best you can do to find and capture such opportunities.

Project Manager Salary

There are various sources from where the information about the project manager salary can be acquired. These data sources include professional bodies, survey agencies, and recruiting agencies. These sources of data provide project management practitioners a greater awareness of their earning potential. Hence they are very beneficial for employers, candidates, human resource departments, compensation committees, and executive recruiters for determining the market trends and salary ranges.

PMI Project Manager Salary Survey

One of the most prominent is the Project Management Institute (PMI) itself. PMI releases project manager salary surveys and publishes them biennially. The latest they have released is the 11th edition “Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey”. This survey highlights a significant advantage in earning potential for project management professionals. According to the survey, respondents with a PMP certification reported higher median salaries than those without a PMP certification – 22% higher on average across the 42 countries surveyed.

One interesting factor of the survey is the expansion of the horizon. As in this edition, PMI includes project manager salary information from five countries that were not previously covered. These countries include Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Portugal, and the Russian Federation.

Furthermore, the survey spans across the globe with a huge number of participants. So more professionals and aspirants can get the idea of their relevant countries. In this survey, PMI incorporates information from more than 32,000 project management practitioners in 42 countries across the globe. This makes the survey quite comprehensive offering insight into the value of project management skills, experience, and certifications.

When converted to U.S. dollars using normal exchange rates, the median project manager salary varies considerably among project practitioners from country to country. Switzerland (US$132,086), the U.S. ($116,000) and Australia (US$101,381) are the countries where project practitioners report the highest median salaries.

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Similar to median salary variations, the rate of project manager salary increase varies extensively from country to country. However, in virtually all countries included in the survey, project manager salary increases when practitioners are tasked with more responsibility. The most significant increase is in the Philippines. There, the median salary increases from US$17,247 for a project manager I to US$24,524 for a project manager II and US$36,167 for a project manager III.

Recruiting Agencies

There are various other surveys and data available on the recruiting agencies websites like Indeed and Glassdoor. One of them is Indeed which calculates the average project manager salary based on data submitted anonymously to Indeed by Project Managers, users, and collected from past and present job advertisements in the last three years. The level of experience for project management typically is 1 –  3 years. So the salary ranges are much higher for senior project managers.

Project Manager Salary

Project Manager Salary by Countries

In this section, we will share with you the salaries from the aforementioned data sources for different countries. The purpose of sharing this data is not the compare the different counties and locations. It is also important to keep in consideration that each country and location have its own cost of livings and other economic factors.

United States

Based on the data collected from 8,967 respondents from the United States who participated in the PMI survey, the median project manager salary in the United States is $$116,000. Like other countries, the project manager salary increases with more years of experience.

The professionals with less than 3 years of experience get $83,000 average whereas the professionals with experience ranging from 3 to 5 years get average project manager salary of $90,000. The ones with the experience from 5 to 10 years get $103,407. Professionals with the experience of 10 to 15 years get $120,000 on average. The ones with experience ranging from 15 to 20 years get $126,690. Finally, the professionals with more than 20 years of experience get $135,000.

Likewise, according to Indeed, the average salary for an IT Project Manager is $92,862 per year in the United States. These project manager salary estimates are based on 1,431 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed.

Australia

According to the PMI project manager salary survey, there were 818 respondents from Australia who participated in the survey. According to the results, the median PM salary in Australia is $101,381. The project manager salary varies with years of experience. The professionals less than 3 years of experience get a median salary of $68,763. The ones with experience ranging from 3 to 5 years get $71,231 on average. And the ones with the experience from 5 to 10 years get $91,684. Professionals with the experience of 10 to 15 years get $101,205 on average. The ones with experience ranging from  15 to 20 years get $117,778. Lastly, professionals with more than 20 years get $126,946.

And according to indeed.com, the average salary for a Project Manager is $127,888 per year in Australia. Project manager salary estimates are based on 3,525 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed.

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Canada

The data is collected based on 2,869 respondents from Canada who participated in the PMI survey. According to the survey, the median project manager salary in Canada is $73,355. Like other countries, the project manager salary varies with years of experience.

The professionals less than 3 years of experience get a median salary of $55,016. The ones with experience ranging from 3 to 5 years get $58,684 on average. And the ones with the experience from 5 to 10 years get $67,487 Professionals with 10 – 15 years of experience get $77,023 on average. The ones with experience ranging from  15 to 20 years get  $84,358. The professionals with more than 20 years get $90,000.

According to indeed.com, the average PM salary is $77,974 per year in Canada. Project manager salary estimates are based on 1,683 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed.

United Kingdom

Based on the data collected from 739 respondents from the United Kingdom who participated in the PMI survey, the median PM salary in the United Kingdom is $83,410. But it depends on the years of experience.

The professionals with less than 3 years of experience get $57,305 average. Whereas the professionals with experience ranging from 3 to 5 years get an average salary of $64,945. The ones with the experience from 5 to 10 years get $77,145. Professionals with less 10-15 years of experience, on average, get $82,773. The ones with experience ranging from  15 to 20 years get $92,961. And the professionals with more than 20 years of experience get 101,875.

Likewise, according to Indeed, the average salary for a Project Manager is £43,940 per year in the United Kingdom. Project manager salary estimates are based on 26,702 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed.

Europe (Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands)

France

The data is collected based on 792 respondents from France who participated in the survey. According to the survey, the median salary in France is $68,663.

The professionals less than 3 years of experience get a median salary of $46,920. The ones with experience ranging from 3 to 5 years get $56,647 on average. And the ones with the experience from 5 to 10 years get $64,658. Professionals with less than 10-15 years of experience get $72,096. The ones with experience ranging from  15 to 20 years get  $75,300. And the professionals with more than 20 years get $88,118.

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Germany

Based on the data collected from 988 respondents from Germany who participated in the survey, the median project manager salary in Germany is $96,987. The same pattern of experience applies here, the project manager salary varies with the years of experience.

The professionals less than 3 years of experience get median salary of $69,464. The ones with experience ranging from 3 to 5 years get $74,385 on average. And the ones with the experience from 5 to 10 years get $89,834. Professionals with less who are experienced for 10-15 years get $98,417. The ones with experience ranging from 15 to 20 years get $109,289. And the professionals with more than 20 years get $114,438.

Italy

The data is collected based on 1,131 respondents from Italy who participated in the survey. According to the survey, the median PM salary in Italy is $57,219 but it varies with the years of experience.

The professionals less than 3 years of experience get a median salary of $45,775. The ones with experience ranging from 3 to 5 years get $48,064 on average. And the ones with the experience from 5 to 10 years get $51,497. Professionals with experience ranging from  15 to 20 years get $57,219. The ones with experience ranging from  15 to 20 years get $62,941. The professionals with more than 20 years get $69,807.

Spain

The data is collected based on 1,308 respondents from Spain who participated in the survey. According to the survey, the median project manager salary in Spain is $52,642.

Let’s look at how the salary changes according to experience. The professionals less than 3 years of experience get a median salary of $40,053. The ones with experience ranging from 3 to 5 years get $43,487 on average. And the ones with the experience from 5 to 10 years get $49,781. Professionals with 10 – 15 years of experience 57,219 on average. The ones with experience ranging from 15 to 20 years get  $61,797. And the professionals with more than 20 years get $67,519.

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Netherlands

Based on the data collected from 347 respondents from the Netherlands who participated in the survey, the median salary in the Netherlands is $93,839.

The professionals with less than 3 years of experience get $63,22 on average. Whereas the professionals with experience ranging from 3 to 5 years get an average salary of $77,646. And the ones with the experience from 5 to 10 years get $86,401. Professionals with 10 – 15 years of experience get $101,166. The ones with experience ranging from  15 to 20 years get $108,716. And the professionals with more than 20 years of experience get $102,995.

Gulf Region (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar)

Qatar

Based on the data collected from 283 respondents from Qatar who participated in the PMI survey, the median salary in Qatar is $81,6681. The same pattern of experience applies here, the project manager salary varies with the years of experience.

The professionals less than 3 years of experience get a median salary of $$61,904. The ones with experience ranging from 3 to 5 years get $76,767 on average. And the ones with the experience from 5 to 10 years get $65,334. Professionals who worked for 10 to 15 years get $$88,201. The ones with experience ranging from  15 to 20 years get $100,043. And the professionals with more than 20 years get $122,501

According to Indeed, the average salary for a Project Manager is QAR 17,067 per month in Qatar.

Saudi Arabia

The data is collected based on 542 respondents from Saudi Arabia who participated in the PMI survey. According to the survey, the median PM salary in Saudi Arabia is $63,944. 

The professionals less than 3 years of experience get the median salary of 38,366. The ones with experience ranging from 3 to 5 years get $53,286 on average. And the ones with the experience from 5 to 10 years get $57,549. Professionals with 10 to 15 years of experience get $76,999. The ones with experience ranging from  15 to 20 years get $95,916. And the professionals with more than 20 years get $88,242.

United Arab Emirates

The data is collected based on 602 respondents from the United Arab Emirates who participated in the PMI survey. According to the survey, the median PM salary in the United Arab Emirates is $81,665. But the project manager salary depends on the years of experience.

The professionals less than 3 years of experience get a median salary of $48,999. The ones with experience ranging from 3 to 5 years get $65,332 on average. And the ones with the experience from 5 to 10 years get 70,776. Professionals with 10 – 15 years of experience get $94,972. The ones with experience ranging from  15 to 20 years get  $114,330. And the professionals with more than 20 years get $133,658.

India

The data is collected based on 885 respondents from India who participated in the survey. According to the survey, the median PM salary in India is $28,750. 

The professionals less than 3 years of experience get a median salary of $21,563. The ones with experience ranging from 3 to 5 years get $22,389 on average. And the ones with the experience from 5 to 10 years get $25,875. Professionals who have 10-15 years of experience, on average, get $32,894. The ones with experience ranging from  15 to 20 years get $35,938. And the professionals with more than 20 years get $51,750.

And according to Indeed, the average salary for a Project Manager is ₹ 31,516 per month in India. Salary estimates are based on 1,839 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed.

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Singapore

Based on the data collected from 783 respondents from Singapore who participated in the PMI survey, the median salary in Singapore is $71,279. The same pattern of experience applies here, the salary varies with the years of experience.

The professionals with less than 3 years of experience get $50,233 on average. Whereas the professionals with experience ranging from 3 to 5 years get an average salary of $54,559. And the ones with the experience from 5 to 10 years get $65,999. Professionals experience ranging from 10 to 15 years on average get $77,366. The ones with experience ranging from  15 to 20 years get $91,666. And the professionals with more than 20 years of experience get $100,466.

According to indeed.com, the average salary for a Project Manager is $6,238 per month in Singapore. Salary estimates are based on 1,594 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed.

Russian Federation

Based on the data collected from 240 Respondents from the Russian Federation who participated in the survey, the median salary in the Russian Federation is 34,541. The same pattern of experience applies here, the project manager salary varies with the years of experience.

The professionals with experience ranging from 3 to 5 years get average project manager salary of $$29,120. And the ones with the experience from 5 to 10 years get $34,512. Professionals with 10-15 years of experience get $41,702. The ones with experience ranging from  15 to 20 years get $36,238.

Project Manager Salary

Project Manager Salary by Industries

Similar to experience, the industry in which an individual pursues their project management career has an influence on the project manager salary range. The following table depicts the average project manager salary of some of the industries. So you can get an idea about the variation in salaries based on different industries within different countries.

The below data depicts salaries of 25 percentile based on respondents of the PMI survey within different countries. The salaries are mentioned in the country-wise currency so the aim is again not the compare the salaries but to give you an idea of the salaries within the countries.

 Australia
(Australian Dollar)
Canada
(Canadian Dollar)
France
(European Union Euros)
Germany
(European Union Euros)
Unites States
(United States Dollars)
United Kingdom
(British Pounds)
Netherlands
(European Union Euros)
Indian
(Indian Rupee)
Information Technology140,000105,00062,00080,000120,00068,17685,0002,000,000
Financial Services153,000103,00065,50085,000117,00085,19180,0002,025,000
Construction125,00095,00054,00090,000107,65960,0001,450,000
Aerospace104,00056,09799,800127,25055,0001,800,000
Pharmaceuticals100,00058,00082,603130,00067,75090,0001,900,000

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed the project manager salary and the five main factors which can influence the project manager salary. Then we discussed each of the factors that include industry, experience, skills, education, certification. The organizations look for educated, certified, experienced domain experts because these experts have the tendency to achieve success at a higher rate.

The article also highlights project manager salary trends based on the data from different sources so you can plan your career considering the available facts. The salaries vary based on countries, experience, skillset requirement and industry in which you are working.

We hope you found this article helpful to get the overall idea of project manager salary and you found patterns that can help set your goals and pursue a project management career.

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