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Project Management Salaries

PMI-Salary-GuideThe Project Management Institute (PMI) have just released their latest Project Management Salary Survey report called “Earning Power”. The top level average salary of all the respondents from across the world (26,000 took part) is $81,000 (£53,088).

The survey however includes respondents from all levels of the project management industry from Chief Executive Officers; Directors of Project Management, Portfolio Managers; Programme/Project Managers and supporting roles like PMO.

If we take a look at just the project managers from across the world, first we need to understand which level of Project Manager. The survey splits Project Managers into three categories:

  • Project Manager I
    “is under direct supervision of a more senior project manager, oversees a small project or phase of a larger project. Responsibility for all aspects of the project over the entire project life (initiate, plan, execute, control, close). Must be familiar with system scope and project objectives, as well as the role and function of each team member, to effectively coordinate the activities of the team.”
  • Project Manager II
    “is under general supervision of either a Portfolio Manager or a Program Manager, oversees multiple projects or one larger project. In addition to duties of Project Manager I, responsible for assembling project team, assigning individual responsibilities, identifying appropriate resources needed, and developing schedule to ensure timely completion of project. May communicate with a Senior Project Manager, Functional Area Manager, or Program Manager regarding status of specific projects.”
  • Project Manager III
    “Under general direction of either a Portfolio Manager or in some cases a Program Manager, oversees high-priority projects, which often require considerable resources and high levels of functional integration. In addition to duties of a Project Manager II, takes projects from original concept through final implementation. Interfaces with all areas affected by the project including end users, distributors, and vendors. Ensures adherence to quality standards and reviews project deliverables. May communicate with a company executive regarding the status of specific projects.”

The average salaries for each of these across the world is:

  • Project Manager I – $50,014 (£32,762)
  • Project Manager II – $58,069 (£38,051)
  • Project Manager III – $66,452 (£43, 544)

It stands to reason that there will be some countries that pay Project Managers less than others so let’s see how the UK figures compared to the best and the worse paid:


In the UK Project Management salary survey equivalent from Arras People, the average salary for Project Managers (just one level) is £47,180.

Expanding the countries further we can see where the UK currently stands:


Does Being Certified Mean You Earn More?

The PMI Salary Survey also takes into account other variables that affect the salary level of project practitioners. Here I have highlighted, for instance, how the salaries differ at the three stages in the UK if the Project Manager is PMP certified (bearing in mind that there will be more Project Managers with the PMP as the survey is from PMI). At Level 1, Project Managers with a PMP earn on average 18% more than those that don’t have the PMP. For Level II it’s 17% more and for Level III it’s 10%.

The report also shows that salaries in the UK are mostly stagnant with 29% stating their salaries have not changed in the past 12 months. 27% are seeing an increase of between 1% and 2.9%.

Do You Earn More if You Learn More?

Another unusual statisitic is the average salary based on the number of training days per year.The average salary across all the roles – not just the Project Managers – in the UK is £63,563.

When undertaking less than 5 days training in a year, the average salary increases to £65,112. Yet, the more training hours the respondents carried out didn’t equate to a further increase in salary. In fact the salary levels were lower. I think this figure highlights that the more experienced – and higher salaried – project practitioners carried out less than 5 days a year training, which probably feels about right if you’ve been working in project management for over 15, 20 years.

Do We Work the Longest Hours?

It was great to see this question and perhaps it might finally give us the answer to who works the longest and most hours in project management. Here’s the league table for just the Project Managers at Level III. It’s the number of actual hours worked per week:


Click to increase the size


If you enjoy picking through the details and are a member of PMI, download the report, you can also do some simple comparison analysis with salaries over the last few years too.









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About Lindsay Scott

Lindsay Scott
Lindsay Scott is Director of PMO Learning, the PMO training specialist and Arras People the programme and project management recruitment specialists. Lindsay is the project management careers columnist for PMI's Network magazine and co-editor of the Gower Handbook of People in Project Management. Lindsay created and hosts The PMO Conference and hosts the monthly PMO Flashmobs

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