How Much Do Project Managers Earn on Average?

Filed under Becoming a PM | Posted by PMStudent
How much does a project manager earn

If you have a knack for executing complex projects and leading teams, you may want to consider a career in project management.

Project management is lucrative. And even more, compensating if the job is complex and involves leading a large team. While the project manager’s salary depends on many factors such as the level of certification and nature of the industry, you never work for pennies.

And this brings us down to the topic of the day: How much do project managers earn on average?

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at project managers’ salaries, taking into account the many factors that come into play. But first, a primer on the project manager’s duties.

Roles & Responsibilities of a Project Manager

As a project manager, you’re tasked with the overall responsibility for the successful initiation, planning, organizing, execution, monitoring, controlling, and completion of a project. The role of the project manager encompasses many activities, including:

  • Planning project resources
  • Organizing and motivating a project team
  • Cost estimation and control
  • Time management control
  • Analyzing and managing project risk
  • Quality control
  • Monitoring progress
  • Reporting and documentation.

While these duties apply to project managers in general, the nature of the roles may vary from one industry to another.

How Much Do Project Managers Earn on Average?

The average project manager salary in the United States is $112,000. In comparison to accountants, who earn an average of $50,000, project managers’ figures are quite high but that’s because their roles are supervisory in nature.

However, as mentioned earlier, many factors affect a project manager’s salary. We’ll look at each of them and give you salary estimates, taking each factor into account.

1. Years of Experience

Just like many other jobs, your experience level will determine how much you’ll earn as a project manager.

For example, project managers with over 15 years of solid experience in project management enjoy an average annual salary of $122,000 as compared to $75,000 for those with less than 3 years of experience.

2. Academic Qualifications

Earning a certification in project management or an advanced degree can greatly increase your salary as a project manager.

A recent global survey found that project managers with a PMP certification earn up to 23% more on average than those without one. In the US, a project manager with PMP certification rakes in $119, 235 annually, while those without it earn an average of $99,070.

3. Industry

Project managers’ salaries vary from one industry to the other. Some industries will pay higher, owing to the demand and complexity of the job while others will pay low depending on the nature of the roles.

Project managers earn the highest in the following industries, as reported by the Project Management Institute.

                 INDUSTRY AVERAGE PROJECT MANAGEMENT SALARY (US)
Information Technology               $110,000
Government               $110,000
Oil, gas, utilities               $110,425
Engineering               $112,000
Aerospace               $115,000
Consulting               $120,000
Agriculture, mining, & natural resources               $120,40
Pharmaceuticals               $125,500

Project management salaries in the IT and engineering sectors are especially high due to the demand for project managers in these industries.

4. Project Team Size

Team size also significantly affects your pay as a project manager. The larger the size of your team, the higher you’re going to earn. Following are the ranges, according to the estimates from the Project Management Institute.

TEAM SIZE AVERAGE PROJECT MANAGEMENT SALARY (US)
     1 – 4  people           $100,000
    5 – 9  people           $107, 070
   10 – 14 people           $111,000
   15 – 19 people           $115,823
   20+ people            $120,000

Project managers are also likely to earn more if they are managing a project with a budget of over $10 million.

Other factors that impact a project manager’s pay include specialization and the location within the U.S. For example, a project manager in San Francisco can pocket up to $20,000 more than one in the same industry in Miami, Florida.

About the Author:

Bryce Welker is an active speaker, blogger, and tutor on accounting and finance. As the Founder of Crush The CPA Exam, he has helped thousands of candidates pass the CPA exam on their first attempt

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