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How Much Do Project Managers Make?

If you're asking, "what is the salary of a project manager?" You'll probably receive the best answer from someone who is a current project manager. But even then, the answers will vary greatly. Project managers work in a wide variety of industries, and salaries pretty much depend on the following factors: location, industry, role, certification, years of experience, and average size of projects managed/project team managed/budget managed.

What is the Average Salary for a Project Manager?

There are several sources for finding out about project manager salaries. The first is the U.S. government's Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Other sources would include official associations such as Project Management Institute (PMI) as well as employment websites where users self-report their salaries.

Project Manager Median Wages from BLS

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) does not classify project managers as a separate occupation but considers them construction managers when in the construction industry, or computer and information systems managers when in IT, even architectural and engineering managers when in engineering. (Project managers working in other areas are categorized as unclassified managers.) We can get a general idea about salary information from these three industries.

Computer and IT (Information Systems) Project Managers

As of May 2015, the median annual wage of IT managers (including IT project managers) was $131,600 (USD) per year or $63.27 per hour. Note that median annual wage means 50% of workers in that industry earn more than that amount and 50% earn less than that amount.

Construction Project Managers

As of May 2015, the median annual wage of construction managers (AKA general contractors, project managers) was $87,400 (USD) per year or $42.02 per hour.

Architectural and Engineering Project Managers

As of May 2015, the median annual wage of architectural and engineering managers was $132,800 (USD) per year or $63.85 per hour.

PMI's Project Manager Salary Survey

In September 2015, Project Management Institute (PMI) released Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, Ninth Edition, based on survey data gathered from 26,000 project management professionals in 34 countries.

In the report, the median annual salary across all countries, roles, and experience levels was $81,000 (USD). Approximately 75% of respondents earned at least $53,689 (USD), and the upper 25% earned at least $110,000 (USD). The single biggest determining factor for a salary being number of years of experience.

Glassdoor's Project Manager Salaries National Average

As of December 27, 2016, employment website Glassdoor shows that the national average for project manager salaries is $91,440 (USD), averaging from 34,971 salaries in its database.

PayScale's Average Salaries for PMP-Certified Project Managers

As of December 23, 2016, salary information website PayScale shows average salaries for those with the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification as:

  • IT project managers: $64,308 - $125,523 USD (calculated from 1,967 salaries)
  • Senior IT project managers: $87,502 - $139,781 USD (calculated from 1,325 salaries)
  • Project manager (general): $56,046 - $122,611 (calculated from 1,042 salaries)

What Do Project Managers Do to Justify Those Salaries?

Wondering what it is that Project Managers actually do? Then read this: What is project management?