The Big Project Management Salary Comparison [Infographic]

Linh Tran, Wednesday 21 September 2016 | Reading time: unknown

Are you thinking about becoming a project manager or are considering getting a project management certification? Are you wondering about the average salary of a project manager? 

First of all, good news: Project managers are in great demand. PMI’s Industry Growth Forecast shows that by 2020, there will be a demand of 15.7 million new project management roles globally. The project management industry in the US will create about 700,000 new jobs, expanding the PM job market to 6.5 million in 2020. A growing demand also means rising salaries for project-oriented jobs, particularly in the seven project-intensive industries manufacturing, business services, finance & insurance, oil & gas, information services, construction, and utilities. Thus, right now is the perfect time to choose a career in project management.

Earning power: What do project managers earn?

The median salary of a project manager in the US is $108,200. We’re using the median because the mean salary is often skewed by very high earners. Of course, the average salary can differ widely, depending on various factors such as the industry and location.

The Big Project Management Salary Comparison INFOGRAPHIC

By position

The higher your job position, the higher your salary will be. This can be explained by the fact that a director of PMO or portfolio and program manager have to manage not just one project but have to coordinate a number of very complex projects. The median salary of a director of PMO is $135,000 year. A portfolio manager earns $128,000 and a program manager earns $120,000. Project managers I-III earn $70,000 to $90,000 a year. Project management specialists earn the least with only $65,000, while project management consultants can expect a median annual salary of $92,000.

By years of work experience

There is a positive correlation between the years of work experience and your salary. People with less than 3 years of work experience can expect a significantly lower salary than someone who has 10+ years of experience ($52,000 compared to $100,000+). However, the growth rate of salaries is pretty steep, though it levels off with increasing work experience.

By years worked in PM

While work experience has an impact on a project manager’s salary, what’s more important is the years they have actually worked in project management. The more experience someone has in project management, the higher the salary. New project managers with less than 3 years of experience earn about $75,000. Project managers with more than 5 years can already increase their salary to $100,000.

By PMP status

If you want to deepen your project management knowledge and also boost your salary, you might want to consider getting a PMP certification. PMP certified project managers earn on average 20% more than their counterparts without the certification ($111,000 with a PMP vs. $91,000 without).

By industry

How much a project manager earns also depends on the industry they’re working in. Here are the industries in which the median salary is the highest:

Pharmaceuticals  $125,500
Resources (agriculture, mining etc.)  $120,640
Consulting $120,000
Aerospace $115,000
Engineering  $112,000
Utility $110,425
Government  $110,000
Information technology  $110,000 
Legal  $109,000
Financial Services  $108,000




1. PMI Project Management Salary Survey

2. PMI Industry Growth Forecast - Project Management Between 2010 + 2020

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