Project Manager Salary Statistics in US [2021] by Industry, Location, Experience


Project Manager Salary

Project managers are capable of increasing organizational efficiency, reducing company costs, and raising revenues by overseeing strategic projects from their start to completion. Almost all organizations across the world agree that effective project management has a significant influence on their success. For this reason, they are willing and prepared to pay for it.

The job of project managers is intricately complex and the difficulty of their work makes organizations to pay them well. Regardless of the company, the location, or type of project, a project manager’s role demands a great deal of foresight, planning, attention to detail, and access to relevant tools. But like any other profession, the type of company, location, and experience can substantially influence your earnings.

Here we analyze the annual salary of a project manager by position, years of work experience, type of project, and PMP status. Also included is the annual salary by location for various cities in the US.

Annual Salary by Position

Senior Project Manager (Project Manager III)

The average salary for a Senior Project Manager in the United States is $ 115,735. However, the exact salary earned depends on the certifications an individual has obtained, experience, and geographical location. The type of industry and organization are also critical in determining the manager’s salary. In most cases, Senior Project Manager works under the general direction of a Program Manager or in certain cases, a Portfolio Manager.

One of the primary responsibilities of this role is the oversight of high-priority projects. These projects often demand high standard functional integration and considerable resources.

Annual Salary by Position Description

POSITION

25TH PERCENTILE

(USD)

MEDIAN

(USD)

75TH PERCENTILE

(USD)

AVERAGE

(USD)

Director of Project Management Office (PMO)

120,000

144,000

175,000

148,262

Portfolio Manager

115,000

138,000

160,000

140,784

Program Manager

104,000

125,000

148,400

127,517

Project Manager III

95,000

115,000

133,000

115,735

Project Manager II

82,000

100,000

120,000

102,173

Project Manager I

70,000

87,360

109,000

91,245

Project Management Specialist

74,250

92,221

114,750

96,131

Project Management Consultant

92,000

120,000

150,000

122,606

Source: Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey—Eleventh Edition (2020) by Project Management Institute

 

Project Manager (Project Manager II)

On the other hand, Project Manager’s salary averages at $ 102,173. This translates to a percentage difference of 13.3% when compared to the Senior Project Manager average salary.

A Project Manager works under the supervision of either a Senior Project Manager or a Program Manager. This role oversees one huge project or multiple projects. In particular, it involves creating schedules to ensure timely project completion, identifying the right resources, assigning of responsibility to subordinates, and assembling a project team whenever needed. Moreover, a Project Manager may communicate with Senior Project Manager or Functional Manager concerning the status of particular projects.

Junior Project Manager (Project Manager I)

When it comes to Junior Project Manager, the national average salary is $91,245. This means a percentage difference of 12% in comparison to that of a Project Manager. A Junior Project Manager is normally supervised by a Senior Project Manager or a Program Manager. The position is charged with overseeing small projects or some phases of a huge project. Their responsibility spans throughout a project life, from the initial to the final phase. This role requires familiarity with project objectives and system scope, and the function and role of every team member in order to effectively coordinate team activities.

Project Manager, Program Manager, Portfolio Manager: What’s the Difference?

Project Manager

Notably, a project fits within a program and programs fit in portfolios. Thus a Project Manager takes charge of a specific project and balances deliverables or scope of work to meet the objectives of the project using available resources and allocated budget, within the schedule.

Program Manager

Program Managers, on the other hand, manage multiple projects. While a Program Manager is not involved in micromanaging those projects, he helps to ensure the right work is undertaken between the correct projects at the appropriate time.

Throughout a program, a Program Manager focuses on the benefits that an organization can realize and then works towards making that happen. The program manager realigns or removes any project that doesn’t provide value to the organization. Program managers align different projects to business strategy and communicate any strategy changes to project teams to familiarize themselves with the changes and what should be done.

Portfolio Manager

According to the PMBOK Guide, a portfolio constitutes programs, projects, operations, and other portfolios that are managed together to realize strategic objectives. So a portfolio manager is responsible for managing programs and projects within a portfolio to attain strategic objectives. Portfolio managers look at programs and projects holistically to understand how they align with business goals. They prioritize portfolios based on available resources, whether its equipment, space, people, or money. That helps to achieve a balance by selecting and implementing certain programs and projects. At their level of operation, they monitor and control portfolios to ensure they are aligned with strategic objectives.

Annual Salary by Years of Work Experience

This involves experience acquired in project management as well as from non-project management industries. Thus, it is the totality of a person’s experience regardless of the industry.

More experience translates to a higher pay. Those new and with an experience of less than three years can anticipate to earn $76,218.After two years, that salary will have an 8.62 percent increase. If you spend five to nine years in the profession, your average pay stands at $92,470, a percent increase of 11.7 from those with an experience level of between three and four years.

Annual Salary by Years of Work Experience

YEARS

25TH PERCENTILE

(USD)

MEDIAN

(USD)

75TH PERCENTILE

(USD)

AVERAGE

(USD)

Less than 3 years

55,000

65,000

85,600

76,218

3 < 5 years

65,750

80,000

93,118

82,781

5 < 10 years

75,000

91,000

107,000

92,470

10 < 15 years

85,000

104,000

125,000

106,773

15 < 20 years

91,750

112,000

135,000

115,047

20 years or more

100,961

124,000

149,000

126,696

Source: Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey—Eleventh Edition (2020) by Project Management Institute

 

Professionals who break the ten-year mark can expect big bucks. With 10 to almost 15 years of experience, you can expect average earnings of $ 106,773. That means an individual realizes a 13.4% pay increase from the previous level’s salary. The longer one spends in the industry, the more one should expect to earn.

An individual with an experience of 15 years should anticipate an annual average salary of $ 115, 047. After five years, one can expect an average salary increment of about 10.12%. This means that an experience of 20 years or more attracts an average salary of $ 126,696. Many organizations offer bonuses at different levels of experience based on the importance of an employee to them and their skill-sets. After passing the ten-year mark, it is common for outstanding employees to assume management as well as executive positions. These positions come with more and extra earnings.

Experienced Project Managers have the ability to align projects with strategic goals in order to deliver value. This is achieved by leveraging their expertise and experience to manage projects effectively. With a good reputation, a business can easily earn the trust of customers and in the end achieve its goals. Thus, individuals with many years of experience in project management qualify for better salaries.

Annual Salary by Years of Work Experience in Project Management

Like other industries, the salary of professionals in project management is determined by their level of experience in the profession. This means your experience as a Project Manager will have a considerable effect on the amount of money you take home. A project manager with an experience level of less than 3 years takes home $ 87,459.

This pay reflects the skillset of junior project managers that consists of basic knowledge and skills in application development methodologies, risk management, and scrum. They are also considered to have less experience in the management of project scope. But after acquiring an experience of between three to nearly five years, the annual salary in project management industry rises to $ 94,816. This pay translates to 8.41 percent increase from the entry level pay.

Annual Salary by Years of Work Experience in Project Management

YEARS

25TH PERCENTILE

(USD)

MEDIAN

(USD)

75TH PERCENTILE

(USD)

AVERAGE

(USD)

Less than 3 years

65,000

83,000

103,000

87,459

3 < 5 years

75,000

90,000

110,000

94,816

5 < 10 years

85,606

103,407

125,000

107,668

10 < 15 years

100,000

120,000

140,000

122,461

15 < 20 years

107,705

126,690

150,000

131,102

20 years or more

112,500

135,000

160,000

138,128

Source: Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey—Eleventh Edition (2020) by Project Management Institute

 

After five years of experience in project management, one can expect an average annualized salary of $ 107,668. This means a project manager can anticipate a pay increase of 23.11% after spending five years in the profession.

Once reaching the 10-years mark and all the way to 14 years of experience, you should expect earnings of $ 122,461. This is a difference of $ 14,793 from individuals at a five-year experience level.

With regard to project management professionals with 15 to 19 years of experience, their pay rises to $ 131,102 which is a 7.06 percent increase from the previous pay level. On the other hand, a professional worker with 20 or more years of experience in project management takes home $138,128 thereby receiving an increment of 5.34% from the previous level.

Therefore, the industry-explicit experience a project manager has will have a direct effect on their annual earnings. Managers who have worked in the project management industry for more than 20 years will definitely be paid more. The rise of earnings with years is a clear indication that experience is highly regarded in project management. While the earnings of Junior Project Managers may be little compared to senior and experienced project managers, they should expect to earn more as they gain more experience in the industry.

Annual Salary by Type of Project

As a Project Manager, the industry you work in has a considerable influence on your annual earnings. Companies that are within the thriving industries offer high salaries. Top-paying industries have complex projects that often need specialized knowledge of some software and related tools. Besides, the skillset for one project may be different from that of other projects. Some projects will require specialized skills that may be rare. This means the few individuals will the required skills will be offered high pay as organizations compete to have them manage their projects.

Annual Salary by Type of Project

PROJECT TYPE

25TH PERCENTILE

(USD)

MEDIAN

(USD)

75TH PERCENTILE

(USD)

AVERAGE

(USD)

Business Transformation

96,993

120,000

145,000

123,546

Construction

92,000

114,000

139,360

118,678

Engineering

100,000

123,369

150,000

127,908

Information Technology

97,000

120,000

140,000

121,322

Manufacturing

94,500

118,000

140,000

121,182

Operations

90,000

115,000

140,000

117,529

Quality Management

86,000

110,000

135,000

114,850

Regulatory Compliance

94,000

117,000

140,000

119,122

Research & Development

90,000

119,000

146,000

121,625

Supply Chain Management/ Logistics

95,000

120,000

140,000

120,730

Other

88,500

110,000

135,000

113,165

Source: Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey—Eleventh Edition (2020) by Project Management Institute

Quality management project managers get an average pay of $ 114,850. Projects in this industry appear to attract less pay compared to those in other popular industries.

The annual salary for those working on operations projects is $ 117,529. This means operations projects attract a better pay than quality management projects.

Slightly above the operations projects in terms of remuneration are the construction projects. A Project Manager working in the construction industry can anticipate a salary of $ 118,678.

On the other hand, those managing projects on regulatory compliance and supply chain/logistics management receive a pay of $ 119,122 and $ 120,730 respectively. So between these two projects, you will earn $ 1,608 more if you go by a supply chain project.

While certain projects may relate to different industries or fields, they attract a pay that is more or less the same. Such include research and development, manufacturing, and information technology projects with a mean salary of $ 121,625; $ 121, 182; and 121,322 respectively. The minimal variation between salaries in these projects suggests that their level of complexity is almost equal. Besides, most of the skillset required to execute these projects successfully may be regarded to be at the same level.

On the other hand, business transformation projects attract a higher salary compared to all the above projects. A Project Manager overseeing a business transformation project can anticipate to part with an annual salary of $ 123,546. This indicates that business transformation is among the thriving industries and organizations in that sector are willing to pay more in order to have their projects executed successfully.

One of the top-paying industries is engineering. This is clearly indicated by the annual salary of engineering project, which is $ 127,908. Engineering projects are highly complex and might take a longer period to complete than those in other industries. Besides, they demand project managers with specialized skills. The complexity of engineering projects coupled with the level of special skills needed translates to a hefty annual salary for project managers.

Annual Salary by PMP Status

Project management professional (PMP) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). In the project management industry, it is recognised as a credential for project managers. Regardless of the stage at which you are in your profession, the PMP certification shows employers and peers that you are a qualified professional who is well-versed in all aspects of project management. Besides, the certification is a recognition of your ability to effectively manage projects. It is also issued to appreciate the hard work that a project manager has demonstrated previously.  

In this sense, this certification has some influence on your salary. Individuals without a PMP certification are likely to be termed as unqualified. Some employers will argue that you will have difficulties in bringing a project to completion. Others will show uncertainty in your ability to deliver value.

Annual Salary by PMP Status

STATUS

25TH PERCENTILE

(USD)

MEDIAN

(USD)

75TH PERCENTILE

(USD)

AVERAGE

(USD)

Have a PMP certification

99,000

120,000

143,000

123,314

PMP for less than 1 year

79,000

96,000

119,500

98,679

PMP for 1 < 5 years

87,567

106,000

128,000

110,157

PMP for 5 < 10 years

105,000

126,000

148,500

129,644

PMP for 10 < 20 years

115,000

134,000

160,000

138,171

PMP for 20+ years

120,000

140,000

167,500

145,350

Do not have a PMP certification

75,000

95,000

120,000

100,247

Source: Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey—Eleventh Edition (2020) by Project Management Institute

 

As a result, employers offer managers without a PMP certification should expect an annual remuneration of $ 100,247. But with a PMP certification, you can expect earnings of $ 123, 314 and if you have had it for less than a year, then your annual salary averages at $ 98,679. Project Managers who have been having the certification for more than a year can expect a higher pay and this also varies with the number of years you have been having the PMP certification.

In particular, project managers who have been having the certification for less than five years but not below one year qualify for a salary of $ 110,157. If you have held your PMP certificate for at least five years and up to nine years, you can expect to take home $ 129, 644. This is a 17.7 percent increase from the previous level.

Project managers who have been certified for 10 years can expect big bucks because together with those who have been certified for less than 20 years, their earnings average at $ 138,171.

Organizations across the world demonstrate a higher regard not just for project managers with many years of experience but also those that have been certified for more than 20 years. This is evidenced by an annual salary of $ 145,350 for project managers with such status. This pay is influenced by the fact that a PMP certification is regarded as the most valuable in the project management industry. When employers are hiring project managers, they usually prioritize individuals with this certification. Being a universally recognized certification, it greatly improves your resume and employers consider project managers who have had the certification for many years to be better than others. So after acquiring the certification, a project manager can expect to realize some salary increases as years go by. With this certification and years of experience in the industry, a project manager is likely to qualify for more projects with hefty earnings.

Annual Salary by Location

This is a general overview of Project Manager salaries from different cities in the US. Each city is identified alongside the state it is located.

Salary information by location is gathered in various ways. In this case, Glassdoor receives salary estimates from project managers on voluntary basis from different companies and locations. These salary data does not include benefits.

 

State

City

Average Salary

(USD)

 Alabama

Montgomery

55,803

 Alabama

Birmingham

59,187

 Alaska

Juneau

70,982

 Alaska

Anchorage

74,281

 Arizona

Phoenix

62,045

 Arkansas

Little Rock

58,193

 California

Sacramento

67,455

 California

Los Angeles

69,878

 Colorado

Denver

64,216

 Connecticut

Hartford

63,858

 Connecticut

Bridgeport

70,422

 Delaware

Dover

56,178

 Delaware

Wilmington

62,272

 Florida

Tallahassee

53,807

 Florida

Jacksonville

60,109

 Georgia

Atlanta

64,881

 Hawaii

Honolulu

66,391

 Idaho

Boise

54,482

 Illinois

Springfield

53,749

 Illinois

Chicago

65,680

 Indiana

Indianapolis

60,158

 Iowa

Des Moines

61,462

 Kansas

Topeka

62,699

 Kansas

Wichita

54,378

 Kentucky

Frankfort

53,882

 Kentucky

Louisville

58,473

 Louisiana

Baton Rouge

62,959

 Louisiana

New Orleans

58,703

 Maine

Augusta

55,901

 Maine

Portland

58,928

 Maryland

Annapolis

65,435

 Maryland

Baltimore

65,435

 Massachusetts

Boston

68,067

 Michigan

Lansing

56,903

 Michigan

Detroit

60,667

 Minnesota

St. Paul

64,480

 Minnesota

Minneapolis

64,480

 Mississippi

Jackson

56,285

 Missouri

Jefferson City

52,901

 Missouri

Kansas City

60,456

 Montana

Helena

57,883

 Montana

Billings

56,760

 Nebraska

Lincoln

51,845

 Nebraska

Omaha

57,433

 Nevada

Carson City

59,957

 Nevada

Las Vegas

59,924

 New Hampshire

Concord

62,623

 New Hampshire

Manchester

60,817

 New Jersey

Trenton

69,932

 New Jersey

Newark

70,400

 New Mexico

Santa Fe

63,463

 New Mexico

Albuquerque

62,498

 New York

Albany

64,444

 New York

New York

70,400

 North Carolina

Raleigh

62,905

 North Carolina

Charlotte

63,112

 North Dakota

Bismarck

58,116

 North Dakota

Fargo

57,721

 Ohio

Columbus

61,981

 Oklahoma

Oklahoma City

56,549

 Oregon

Salem

60,814

 Oregon

Portland

64,411

 Pennsylvania

Harrisburg

62,366

 Pennsylvania

Philadelphia

63,375

 Rhode Island

Providence

62,634

 South Carolina

Columbia

57,650

 South Carolina

Charleston

58,578

 South Dakota

Pierre

54,465

 South Dakota

Sioux Falls

55,024

 Tennessee

Nashville

60,370

 Texas

Austin

64,327

 Texas

Houston

68,775

 Utah

Salt Lake City

60,668

 Vermont

Montpelier

56,029

 Vermont

Burlington

60,766 

 Virginia

Richmond

63,281 

 Virginia

Virginia Beach

59,635 

 Washington

Olympia

63,444 

 Washington

Seattle

 71,148

 West Virginia

Charleston

52,563 

 Wisconsin

Madison

70,906 

 Wisconsin

Milwaukee

61,091 

 Wyoming

Cheyenne

58,905 

Source: Glassdoor https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/project-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,15.htm (data taken on April 1, 2020)

 

Notably, Lincoln is the city with the lowest average annual salary for a Project Manager which is at $ 51,845. On the other hand, Anchorage stands out with the highest annual salary of $ 74,281.

Majority of the towns (51.81 percent) have an average salary of between $ 60,000 and $ 69,999. Seven cities have an average salary of above $ 70,000 which is 8.43 percent. The other 33 cities in this list make up 39.76 percent and have an average Project Manager salary of less than $ 60,000.

The top 5 cities with the highest pay are:

  1. Anchorage – 74,281 
  2. Seattle – 71,148
  3. Juneau – 70,982
  4. Madison – 70,906
  5. Bridgeport – 70,422 

The reason that contributes to their high average pay for project managers is a high cost of living. These cities have a higher cost of living than most of the other cities in the US. The cost of food as well as utilities is relatively higher than elsewhere in the US. For instance, Anchorage’s average monthly bill for utility is $ 238. This figure is expected to rise during winter. Thus, most companies in these five cities respond to the high cost of living by paying their project managers relatively higher in comparison with cities in other states. This way, they ensure that the productivity of project managers is not reduced due lack of satisfaction.

Conclusion

The annual salary of project managers is determined by various parameters including the position, years of experience, and PMP certification. The kind of project that project managers are involved in is also a key factor that influences their annual salary. Employers are willing to pay hefty salaries to experienced project managers. This is because expertise comes with experience and every organization wants its project to be managed by an experienced professional to be guaranteed of successful completion.

A project manager with a combination of many years of experience and PMP certification is highly likely to win many projects and in the end take home a hefty pay. In fact, during interviews for project managers, most employers prioritize people with the required skillset, experience, and certification. That is aimed at hiring the best project manager who will help a business achieve its goals.

Source 1: Project Management Institute. Website:https://www.pmi.org/

Source 2: Glassdoor: Website: https://www.glassdoor.com/

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