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Project Manager Salary Guide 2021

Project Manager Salary

The Project Management Institute (PMI) regularly runs a salary survey to find out the kind of salary project managers draw across industries and across geographies. Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey—Eleventh Edition (2020) is the latest salary survey from the Project Management Institute (PMI) that provides the most comprehensive view of earnings of about 32000+ project managers from 42 different countries. This survey extensively gives data on PMP salary and a Non-PMP salary in various countries and industries. This critical data can help recruiters, human resources and compensation professionals establish fair and equitable salaries for project management roles within their organizations. In this article, we can discuss all the important findings of the PMI Salary Survey 11th edition.

How much data is gathered as part of the PMI Salary Survey?

The scale of the PMI salary survey is vast. Data is collected from about 32,000+ project managers spread across 42 countries, and across different industries and verticals.

Further, information is collected by PMI’s team regarding different salary variables such as – Position Description, Years of work experience, Years worked in key techniques, Years worked in Project Management, Highest Formal Education level, Degree in Project Management, PMP® status, Training per year, Gender, Department/Function, Industry, Type of project, Number of employees in the organization, Average Project Team size, Typical project budget, and many more.

The huge sample size and the large number of variables on which data is collected are a testimony to the efforts by the PMI to obtain the survey results meaningful and as close to real world as possible.

The report is of about 360 pages long, with quite a detailed information segregated by countries. One can thus slice and dice the figures to extract an amazing amount of insights into how project management in general and PMP certification can impact the salary of employees across industries, verticals, positions, and geographies.

PMP Salary – Top 5 Countries

The top 3 countries on median salary figures were:

  1. Switzerland ($132,086)
  2. United States ($116,000)
  3. Australia ($101,381)
  4. Germany ($96,987)
  5. Netherlands ($93,839)

Project Manager salary ranges

Candidates with a PMP certification are prioritized over non-certified candidates. They are also more likely to get better compensation. However, the median salary depends on several factors such as their country of residence, years of experience, position or role and the average size of projects managed, including average project budget and average project team size.

PMP salaries by country

Countries Median Salary
Switzerland $132,086
USA $116,000
Australia $101,381
Germany $96,987
Netherlands $93,839
Belgium $92,352
Ireland $85,829
United Kingdom $83,410
Qatar $81,668
United Arab Emirates $81,665
New Zealand $81,196
Hong Kong $76,607
Canada $73,355
Sweden $72,759
Singapore $71,279
India $28,750

PMP salaries by years of experience

Years USA India Singapore Hong Kong United Arab Emirates
<3 years $83,000 $21,563 $21,563 $51,855 $48,999
3–<5 years $90,000 $22,389 $54,559 $57,456 $65,332
5–<10 years $103,407 $25,875 $65,999 $69,968 $70,776
10–<15 years $120,000 $32,894 $77,366 $96,490 $94,972
15–<20 years $126,690 $35,938 $91,666 $99,590 $114,330
20+ years $135,000 $51,750 $100,466 $98,568 $133,658

PMP salaries by position or role

Roles USA India Singapore Hong Kong United Arab Emirates
Director of PM/PMO $144,000 $46,000 $108,899 $127,679 $130,663
Portfolio Manager $138,000 $37,375 $114,399 $109,896 $130,663
Program Manager $125,000 $33,063 $87,999 $95,759 $99,543
Project Manager III $115,000 $28,750 $76,727 $89,375 $97,997
Project Manager II $100,000 $25,875 $67,268 $76,607 $72,001
Project Manager I $87,360 $20,772 $52,799 $57,073 $60,910
Project Manager Specialist $92,221 $17,250 $45,613 $63,201 $65,332
Project Manager Consultant $120,000 $21,563 $67,466 $68,947 $81,665

Project Management – Highest paying industries

According to the PMI report, the highest paying industries for project management are:

  • Aerospace
  • Business services
  • Construction
  • Consulting
  • Engineering
  • Financial services
  • Food and beverage
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Information technology
  • Insurance
  • Legal
  • Manufacturing
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Real estate

Top skills for a Project Manager to earn more

According to the survey, here are the key skills that you should develop to boost your project management earning power:


Even though this is not the latest skill, it is one of the most important ones for becoming a program project manager. As you will be overseeing several people throughout the project, you must be able to manage them for ensuring that the project completes on time and budget.

Strategic Project Management

One of the main parts of Project Management is to manage a project strategically. It is more than just getting a project done. A project manager should have the planning and foresight to complete the project efficiently.

Budget Management

When a company creates new products or implements new strategies, it comes with a cost. It is the responsibility of the project manager to manage the budget.

Program Management

This includes managing multiple projects at the same time with the goal of improving the overall performance and efficiency of the company.

The Final Verdict of the PMI Salary Survey

“There’s never been a better time to be a project manager”, states the PMI Salary Survey, Eleventh Edition (2020). But what the report truly indicates is that there has never been a better time to be a PMP® certified project manager.

The final verdict? Here it is:

Respondents with PMP® certification report 22% higher median salaries than those without PMP® certification. 

What all this boils down to is that if you are not already PMP® certified, you are loosing 22% more salary that you can possibly earn.

How much is 22% ?? In layman language, Whatever your CTC is (cost to the company) currently, remove the last zero and double the amount – that is how much you are losing now by NOT being PMP certified. 

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