Becoming a project manager can be a great career move, whether you’re looking to advance in your current organization or make a difference in a new one.
However, it’s important to consider the salary trends for project managers before making any major career decisions. The field of project management is expected to grow by 33 percent through 2027, creating nearly 22 million jobs.
This growth is a positive sign for project managers, indicating that the demand for their skills and expertise is on the rise.
Whether you’re considering starting a career as an entry-level project manager or looking to advance to a senior role, the salary information available can help you make an informed decision and plan your career path accordingly.
How Much Do Project Managers Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a project manager is $93,000, with the top 10 percent earning more than $139,000.
The road ahead looks promising for project management in terms of growth. As the field is anticipated to increase by 33 percent through 2027, relating to nearly 22 million jobs.
This is much faster than average for all occupations, and is driven by the increasing need for professionals to oversee the planning, implementation, and tracking of projects in various fields.
If you’re exploring the possibility of becoming an entry level project manager or looking to develop your skills and move up as a senior project manager.
The salary information available is a good starting point to plan your career path accordingly. Project management is a highly sought-after profession, with many opportunities for growth, career advancement, and high earning potential.
Factors that impact project manager salary
Your cash compensation in this field ultimately depends on a variety of factors. If you’re looking to maximize your paycheck, consider these components of the pay equation.
Bachelors Degree: $102,588
Master’s Degree: $114,821
Doctoral Degree: $121,387.
Higher education often leads to higher pay in various industries, and project management is no exception. The majority of project managers, 68%, have a bachelor’s degree and 14% hold a master’s degree.
According to a study, there is a positive correlation between degree level and salary in project management. The average salary for those with a four-year college degree is $102,588, for those with a master’s degree is $114,821, and for those with a doctoral degree is $121,387.
In addition to increasing earning potential, earning a higher degree can also make you more competitive in the job market.
A business-related degree, such as a Master of Business Administration, can help you develop the leadership skills that companies are seeking and open up the possibility of moving into executive management in the future.
Earning a project management certification can help demonstrate your skills and experience to potential employers, which can often result in a higher salary.
According to a survey by the Project Management Institute, professionals in the United States holding a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification earn a median salary of $25,000 more than those without the certification.
The PMP certification is highly respected, but it is not the only option available. Other certifications in project management methodologies such as Agile, Scrum, or PRINCE2 can also be earned.
Additionally, there are industry-specific certifications like the CompTIA Project+ for information technology (IT) project managers.
These certifications can help demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in a specific area and increase your earning potential.
In the United States, the average salary for a project manager is $75,524 per year, but this can vary depending on the region.
Switzerland has the highest compensation for project managers, with an average salary of 130,000 CHF (or $130,966 USD) annually. The United States is a close second with an average of $112,000 per year.
Other countries such as Australia, Canada, and India also have competitive salaries for project managers.
Your project manager salary can vary greatly depending on the amount of experience you have gained over the years. Entry-level project managers, with no more than two years of experience, are considered beginners in the United States.
Their salary is based on their location, with entry-level project managers in New York earning over $98,000 annually and those in Hawaii earning $88,000.
As you gain more experience, your salary will increase. Once you have acquired at least six years of work experience, you can reach the senior project manager level.
Senior project managers in the United States earn an average of $123,000 per year, which is one of the highest project manager salaries worldwide. It’s important to note that salaries can vary depending on the location and the industry you work in.
Project Managers Careerpaths
Becoming a project manager also has career stages that can be passed. Check career projections to the salary range of the latest PM below.
1. Project Coordinator
Avg Salaries: USD $53,927
A project coordinator is responsible for ensuring the daily activities of each division. This task helps a project manager to make sure details are correctly done.
2. Associate Project Manager
Avg Salaries: USD $72,103
If you are starting a career, try to find an associate project manager job vacancy. An assistant project manager’s job is mainly to handle specific teams with job descriptions almost the same as project managers in general or less than the duties of a project manager. The team’s scope handled by an associate is smaller than that of a PM.
3. Project Manager
Avg Salaries: USD $$102,221
Several companies open job vacancies directly to become project managers without going through the associate stage. Of course, the level and specifications are higher than being an associate.
Examples of specifications that are mainly applied, namely a minimum of education or work experience. A project manager has the whole duty to control and ensure that the project is booming according to the targets conveyed by stakeholders.
4. Project Director
Avg Salaries: USD $108,885
The following project manager’s career path is project director. The difference with a project manager at the previous level is the number of projects handled.
The project director will be responsible for several projects at once. Apart from that, it is undoubtedly seen from their work experience he has longer than a novice PM.
Project Manager Salaries Around the World
As mentioned above, where you work plays a major role into what you earn as a project manager, entry-level project manager salary, or otherwise. Here’s a list of some of the project manager salaries around the globe:
- Australia – AUD$142K per year
- Switzerland – CHF130K per year
- The Netherlands – €66,321 per year
- Germany – €63K per year
- New Zealand – NZ$100K per year
- Belgium – €3,748 per month
- Sweden – SEK47K per month
Remember, you must crunch the cost-of-living numbers before making any drastic career moves based on project manager salaries alone.