Project Manager Salaries on the Rise

New PMI research shows that project management is one of the hottest professions in the world.

This article was originally published on 19 December in PMI Community Post.

PMI members have complimentary access to the survey as a downloadable PDF, as well as online Salary Survey query, which allows you to compare salary data by position and location. Log in with your username and password to access it.

Despite turbulent times with fluctuating job stability in an uncertain global economy, there is a silver lining for those in our profession.

New PMI research confirms what businesses, job boards and the media have been proclaiming for the past two years: project management is one of the hottest professions in the world.

According to the PMI Project Management Salary Survey — Seventh Edition, the salaries of project managers around the world continue to climb.

This research indicates not only that project management practitioners are in strong demand, but also that organizations are increasingly recognizing the value of trained project managers to their overall business goals.

Location and Certification Increase Salaries

This year, more than 30,000 project management practitioners in 29 countries responded to the survey. The data was reported across all roles and experience levels.

  • The median global annualized salary is US$92,000; in the United States, it is US$105,000.
  • 71 percent of respondents reported that their total compensation (including salary, bonus and other benefits) had increased over the previous 12 months.
  • Nearly 33 percent reported increases of at least 5 percent of total compensation in the last year.

Countries including the United States, Germany and Australia posted average salaries well above the median, each exceeding US$100,000. The highest project management salaries in 2011 are reported from Switzerland, where respondents averaged more than US$160,000.

The 10 countries reporting the highest median salaries (reported below in U.S. dollars) are:

  • Switzerland, $160,409
  • Australia, $139,497
  • Germany, $110,347
  • The Netherlands, $109,775
  • Belgium, $108,750
  • United States, $105,000
  • Ireland, $101,635
  • Canada, $98,517
  • United Kingdom, $96,384
  • New Zealand, $91,109

The survey shows that certification as well as geography positively affected salaries. Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential holders in the United States earned an average of 16 percent more (approximately US$14,500) than their non-credentialed peers in 2011.

Project Management is Increasingly Important to Organizations

“These numbers are great news for project managers who are looking to expand their careers with new skills, individuals who may be interested in a career change and those who are coming out of school or military service and considering what job would best suit their future goals,” said PMI President and CEO Mark A. Langley. “There is a very real benefit for those with the experience and training to pursue certification. In today’s volatile economy, organizations are increasingly recognizing project management as a professional competency that provides distinct competitive advantages — and they are willing to pay for top project management talent.”

Created and conducted by PMI’s market research team, the PMI Project Management Salary Survey — Seventh Edition provides a comprehensive look at compensation in the global project management field, measuring salaries across eight major position description levels in 29 countries.