Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey Results

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About the Report

The ninth edition of the PMI Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey builds on features added for the eighth edition. The PMI Market Research Department continues to evolve this valuable offering to best serve the global project management community. The ninth edition report is based on self-reported salary information from more than 26,000 project management professionals, bringing accuracy to the salary figures. The stratified random sampling methodology used for this study results in the ability to report meaningful compensation data for 34 countries.

Introduction

Knowing the value of project management certifications, experience and skills can be a great advantage for organizations seeking to fill project management roles, as well as for individuals competing to qualify for those roles. To offer informed insight into this area, PMI publishes its biennial salary survey. For 15 years, this comprehensive report has been an industry-leading source of data, helping employers to better determine salary ranges, and giving project management practitioners a greater awareness of their earning potential.

With information from more than 26,000 respondents in 34 countries, and salary data reported in local currency, this ninth edition of the survey, Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, is a significant resource for project management practitioners and their employers, as well as compensation committees, human resource departments and executive recruiters.

Survey Highlights:

  • Certifications such as PMI’s globally-recognized Project Management Professional® (PMP) provide a significant advantage when it comes to salary and earning potential. Among survey respondents, those with a PMP certification garner a higher salary (20% higher on average) than those without a PMP certification.
  • The median annual salary, across all countries, roles and experience levels, is $81,000 (USD).
  • Twenty-seven percent of participants reported salary increases of at least 5% in the year before they completed the survey.
  • Number of years of project management experience continues to have an impressive impact on salaries across the globe. In Singapore, for example, the median salary ranges from $47,657 (USD) for those just starting out in the project management field to $131,972 (USD) for those who have been in the field for 20 years or more. This represents an increase of 177% from low to high experience in the field.

General Overview

Most participants, (72%) report that their total compensation (including salary, bonus and other forms of compensation) increased over the 12 months prior to completing the salary survey, with over one-fourth (27%) of respondents reporting increases of at least 5% over that time period. This is impressive given the impact the sluggish global economy has had on overall employment figures. The median annualized salary recorded in this survey, across all countries, roles and experience levels is $81,000 (USD). Approximately 75% of respondents earned at least $53,689 (USD), and the upper 25% earned at least $110,000 (USD). However, as one would expect, median salary varied greatly depending on a number of key demographic factors, the greatest of which are the following:

  • Country of employment
  • Number of years of experience in project management
  • PMP® Certification Status
  • Position/role
  • Average size of projects managed, including average project budget and average project team size

Country of Employment

The median salary (when converted to U.S. dollars using normal exchange rates) for someone in the project management profession varies widely from country to country. The country with the highest median salary ($130,000 USD) is Switzerland, whereas the country with the lowest median salary is Egypt ($19,602 USD).

Annualized Salary (in USD) by Country

  1. Switzerland . . .  $130,000
  2. Australia . . . $108,546
  3. United States . . . $108,200
  4. United Kingdom . . . $92,221
  5. New Zealand . . . $90,442
  6. Netherlands . . . $89,482
  7. Belgium . . . $88,364
  8. Germany . . . $87,245
  9. Qatar . . . $82,314
  10. United Arab Emirates . . . $81,663
  11. Egypt . . . $19,602

Number of Years of Experience in Project Management

Although the total number of years of work experience does appear to impact salary, the stronger correlation is with the number of years a person has actually worked within the project management profession. Not surprisingly, the difference in median salary varies by country. The most dramatic increase is seen in Singapore. The median salary ranges from $47,657 (USD) for those just starting out in the project management field to $131,972 (USD) for those who have been in the field for 20 years or more. This represents an increase of 177% from low to high experience in the field. The difference in median salary is not as striking in China. For those with less than three years experience, the median salary is $21,073 compared with $29,178 (USD) for those practicing project management for 20 years or more.

PMP® Certification Status

The majority of participants in this study have the PMP® certification. As the table below shows, those with the certification earn more than those without in virtually all of the countries, though differences do vary by country. The largest differential is noted in South Africa where PMP® holders have a median salary 47% higher than those who do not hold the certification. Another telling factor is the length of time a person has held the designation of PMP® . In nearly all countries, median salary steadily increases with PMP® tenure. In Taiwan and Saudi Arabia, the median salary of those who have been certified for 10 or more years is more than double those who have been certified for 5 years or fewer.

Position

Within the various levels of project managers, salary appears to increase with added responsibility. The rate of increase again varies by country. In Belgium, the median salary increases from $55,927 (USD) for a project manager I to $77,738 for a project manager II to $89,482 for a project manager III. In Saudi Arabia, program managers earn a median salary of $79,962 (USD), and portfolio managers earn upwards of $11,500 (USD) more than program managers and over $23,500 (USD) more than the highest-level project managers.

Project Size

The size of projects managed, in terms of average number of team members and average project budget, also appears to have a positive correlation with annual salary. For instance, in South Africa, those managing projects with larger teams (20 or more people) have a median salary that is 72% higher than those managing teams of one to four people. Likewise, in Hong Kong, those managing projects with budgets of $10 million or more earn 81% more than those with projects under $100,000 and 54% more than those with projects with budgets between $100,000 and $499,999.

James L. Haner

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