Read on to find out what factors impacts salary and how to research the typical salary you can expect!
Factors that determine Project Manager's SalariesProject Management Salaries differ widely depending on industry, experience level and geographical location.
Geographical locationThis is one of the biggest elements that affect incomes in the professional field. The 9th edition of the PMI Salary Survey reports that the project managers in Switzerland have the highest salary of $130,000 compared to Egypt where the median is $19,602.
Top 5 countries with the highest Project Manager Salary
Bar chart showing the top 5 countries with the highest project manager salaries.
Salaries within countries vary depending on the area you work or how challenging it is to work in that region. For instance, if you work in big cities such as New York, London or even Berlin, as a rule of thumb your salary is going to be higher than those working in rural localities.
For example in the United Kingdom the average salary in Plymouth a city of around 264 thousand people is 36,773 the average in London is 48,689.
Project Manager Salaries by City
Bar chart showing UK Project Manager salaries by city. Data from Glassdoor.co.uk.
EducationIf you are in search for a well-paying career, you have to keep in mind that education still pays. Statistics in the project management sector show that at every education level an employee achieves, and this impacts their earnings positively. The more you pursue your education besides earning more, you also have higher changes of landing into better job positions. To become a project manager, you usually have to be a holder at least a bachelor's degree in business management. Or else a bachelor's degree in other fields like marketing, computers science and engineering.
ExperienceTypically, more exposure in a certain field guarantees higher pay. To be a top project manager, you should have worked as an intern in the project management sector, or served as a project assistant, project coordinator or a junior project manager in a number of companies. Your exposure in the field should speak for itself.
The PMI have found that the number of years of experience that you have as a Project Manager is more important than work experience generally.
US Project managers with less than 3 years' experience earn an average yearly wage of $74,900 compared with $125,000 for those with 20 plus years.Project Management Institute (PMI)
Your performance reportPerformance reviews are widely used in medium to large companies. They are typically held quartely, six monthly or yearly and in the private sector they are often linked to bonus payments. The review will often include a rating scale of some kind for example: improving, satisfactory, outstanding or exceptional and good performance review will add considerable weight to a request for salary a increase.
Using Salary Checker Websites to research project manager's pay in your area
Average UK Project Management salary reported by salary checker website
Average UK salary reported by salary checker websites: Glassdoor, totaljobs, CW Jobs, PayScale, Reed.
TIP: treat salary checker website results with caution. These sites appear to show average project manager salaries that are on the low side. We don't have anything more than ancedotal evidence for this, but these sites rely on people volunteering their salary information so even if the salaries aren't low the averages that these sites return are likely to be based on a small amount of data.
Don't undersell yourself! How to ask for the right salaryWhen you are asked 'what is your pay expection?' how do you make sure you aren't underselling yourself?
Follow this simple process to make sure you get the salary you deserve:
Follow these steps to decide what salary you should ask for
- Search the web and make sure you drill down by job title, industry and by the company you are applying to
- Check the company's career pages - some do still advertise a salary band
- Check recruitment agency websites for similar roles and even better give them a call and ask them the typical pay for the role and company that you are targeting.
- If you are lucky enough to have a contact in the company you are applying to (or you know an ex-employee), ask them if they can give an indication of the pay or payscale.
- Finally if you are already a Project Manager take your current salary and add 20%. To some of you this is going to sound like a lot and to others too little! But if nothing else it will help you to make sure you take your well earned and value experience into account when negotiatng your salary.
The Top 10 ways to research Project Management Salaries
1. Search the web for 'salary checker'.This will bring up global salary checking sites and local recruitment sites that provide salary information.
2. totaljobs salary checkerhttps://www.totaljobs.com/salary-checker/salary-calculator
3. Glassdoorhttps://www.glassdoor.com this site will redirect to your country so you can check local salaries
5. Reed Average Salary - UKhttps://www.reed.co.uk/average-salary
6. Ask your local recruitment agents– this is probably the best way to get an indication of salary as recruiters will know what people they have placed are actually paid and what salaries certain companies are prepared to pay.
7. Ask your colleagues and friends. You don't have to ask them their salary, but you could ask what they would level of pay they would suggest you ask for.
8. Visit the specific job page on the a company's website– often adverts on linkedin and other job sites don't show salary band whereas the company's website does.
9. Ask people in your Linkedin network– private message people who work at the company and ask. Don't be bashful about this, they can always say they don't know or would prefer not to say.
10. PMI Project Management Salary Surveyhttps://www.pmi.org/learning/careers/project-management-salary-survey - this was completed in 2015, but still relevant and hopefully they will run another survey soon.
Further reading on Project Management CareersExample Job Descriptions for Project Management Roles
Why we need Project Managers!
Advantages of Project and Programs
How to guides on key Project Management topics
Project Management: A Beginner's Guide for the first time Project Manager, start hassle-free career to project management
Project Management Step by Step: How to Plan and Manage a Highly Successful Project
Dennis Lock. 2013. Project Management - The Bible for Project Managers!