pmp-salary-and-compensation

pmp-salary-and-compensationThe average PMP salary in the United States is $80,000 – $110,000. However, this range varies based on experience, position, location, and certification status.

Everybody knows that salaries may be variable, even for similar work positions. How much one will be paid depends on several factors. Firstly, if you are an apprentice, you cannot expect the income of a master. Furthermore, living in an industrialized country will most probably give you more in terms of earnings.

Another factor that heavily influences your salary is your employer and the responsibilities they give you. Ultimately, all this is true for anyone, and of course, project managers are no exception. From the top professionals to less experienced ones, in every corner of the world, salaries may be hugely variable.

Does that mean we can’t make a reasonable estimate of a typical PMP salary? Of course not!

We’ve investigated the salary ranges that you can expect as a Project Management Professional considering the main variables. There are also many other advantages to being a certified PMP; let’s check them out!


How Much Do PMPs Make?


Factors That Affect PMP Salaries

According to the PMI’s Project Management Salary Survey 10th edition, the average annualized salary of a project manager in the US is between $80,000 and $112,000. Additionally, these salaries vary widely based on the experience and the role covered by the project manager inside a company among other things.

Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the factors that will affect the average annualized salary for a project manager worldwide.

  • Number of years of experience in project management
  • Position covered and responsibilities
  • Country of employment
  • Certification status

PMP Salary Based on Experience

According to the mentioned PMI salary survey, the average salaries of project managers vary widely based on their experience levels. Ultimately, here’s what you can expect to make in the US based on your experience level as a PM:

  • Less than 3 years of experience project manager: $75,000
  • 5-10 years experienced project manager: $100,000
  • 10 years+ top experienced project manager: $130,000

PMP Salaries Based on Job Position

Work experience and job position go hand in hand. As you accumulate more experience, you will naturally get promoted to a higher position in the company. Hence, here are several different PM position salaries for companies in the US.

  • Director of Project Management/Project Management Office: $130,000 – $150,000
  • Portfolio Manager: $130,000
  • Program Manager: $120,000
  • Project manager III: $100,000 – $110,000
  • Project Manager II: $90,000 – $100,000
  • Project Manager I: $70,000 – $90,000

PMO Salaries

Directors of Project Management/ Project Management Office (PMO) are senior professionals who are typically responsible for shaping the project management process for the whole organization. Basically, they do this by giving common standards, tools, and in some cases, operative governance.


Portfolio Manager Salary

Portfolio Managers are also senior figures who are responsible for portfolios. They may be in charge of the entire portfolio of one organization and are often highly strategic figures. Ultimately, portfolio managers are responsible for coordinating the work of the project managers, program managers, and other portfolio managers.


Program Manager’s Salary

Program Managers are responsible for programs and of coordinating the project managers working at the projects inside them. Furthermore, the program managers are also typically senior figures inside a company.


Project Managers III Salary

Project Managers III are project managers with usually 5-10 years of experience who are given responsibility for the most urgent and critical projects inside the company.

They typically work in tight contact with portfolio managers and are involved in aspects in which the project managers I and II usually are not, like e.g. the first concept of a project or some final part of the product lifecycle.


Project Managers II Salary

Project Managers II are project managers with typically 3-5 years of experience who can deal with several projects at a time or one big project. They are typically directed by a program or portfolio manager.


Project Managers I Salary

Project Managers I are the entry-level project managers, who usually work under the direction of a project manager II or III and are typically focusing on smaller projects.

PMP Job PositionAverage PMP Salaries
Project Management Office (PMO)$130,000 - $150,000
Portfolio Manager$130,000
Program Manager$120,000
Project manager III$100,000 - $110,000
Project Manager II$90,000 - $100,000
Project Manager I$70,000 - $90,000

PMP Responsibilities that Influence Salary

It may be difficult to understand the different roles of a project manager in a company. Hence, in order do this, you should know the difference between projects, programs, and portfolios. Additionally, you need to know what a PMO is.

A project is a temporary endeavor. Also, this endeavor brings innovation and has objectives, which must be met inside precise constraints of Time, Cost, Scope, and Quality.

A cluster of related projects, which make sense as a whole, is a Program. Essentially, an example of a program may be the revamping of a manufacturing site, which is composed of several projects focusing each on the revamping of a different section of the site.

Therefore, if we put together projects and/or programs, which are unrelated to each other but have in common serving the strategic objective of a company, we have a portfolio.

A portfolio may be smaller or larger and also other portfolios called sub-portfolios.

Finally, a Project Management Office or PMO is a company-wide reference point for project management. Additionally, they may have different levels of authority, from simple consultation-mentoring about standards & tools, to the project’s overall direction.

After having explained more about projects, programs, portfolio, and PMO, it should be easy to better understand the different professional figures that may be covered by a project manager. Let’s see them in detail.


How Quickly Does PMP Salaries Increase from Raises and Promotions?

Basically, companies can offer different career paths depending on their frameworks, culture and current situation. Furthermore, growing inside the different project management roles is a matter of efforts, results, experience and also situation.

Normally, if a project manager I is doing a good job, he/she can expect to become a project manager II in a maximum of five years and a project manager III in a maximum of 10 years. However, accessing even higher roles may simply be a matter of time, effort and opportunity.

No matter which is the role, the project manager can expect the salary to grow fast: according to the PMI salary survey, 70% of the project managers interviewed have had a salary increase in the last year.

For a quarter of them, the increase was at least 5%.


International PMP Salaries Across the World

Whichever role and experience, the salary of a project manager may vary tremendously between different countries worldwide.

According to PMI’s salary survey, the highest average salaries are given in Switzerland, US, and Australia. The lowest salaries are given to China, India, Nigeria, Egypt. Other countries that participated in the survey, like UAE, Germany Sweden, Canada, stay in the middle salary ranges.

Here is a list of PM salaries in different countries around the world.

PMP Job Location CountryInternational Average PMP Salaries
Switzerland$130,000
United States$112,000
Australia$108,000
UAE$70,000 – $80,000
Germany$70,000 – $80,000
Sweden$70,000 – $80,000
Canada$70,000 – $80,000
France$40,000 – $60,000
South Korea$40,000 – $60,000
Italy$40,000 – $60,000
Chile$40,000 – $60,000
China$10,000 – $30,000
India$10,000 – $30,000
Nigeria$10,000 – $30,000
Egypt$10,000 – $30,000

As a note, it can be observed that in most cases, the salary difference between a fresh project manager and a top experienced one is almost double.


Does having a PMP Certification make a Difference in Compensation?

According to the PMI survey, 80% of the PMP certified earn 20% more than their non-certified counterparts. Furthermore, this survey focused on the differences in pay between both PMP certified and non-certified project managers to measure how much of an impact the certification has.

Needless to say, it makes a HUGE difference. Combine this with the fact that holding a PMP certification can increase the possibility of being hired by employers worldwide, it’s undoubtedly worth the effort to gain the PMP certification for any project manager.

What are you waiting for? Take your career to the next level.

Kenneth W. Boyd is a former Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and the author of several of the popular "For Dummies" books published by John Wiley & Sons including 'CPA Exam for Dummies' and 'Cost Accounting for Dummies'.

Ken has gained a wealth of business experience through his previous employment as a CPA, Auditor, Tax Preparer and College Professor. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher.