Project Management Career and Degree Guide

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Project Manager Salaries


Smart senior managers know that "you get what you pay for." Especially with large, complex projects, good project managers are worth every penny they are paid. Successful projects reflect tangibly on the bottom line, improve customer satisfaction, and aid employee productivity and job satisfaction. Consequently, project manager salaries tend to be lucrative, whether in the financial, IT, construction or software development industry.

Project managers are highly valued professionals who work under tremendous pressure and against unexpected obstacles and tight deadlines. Salaries vary between an entry-level project manager and one who has reached senior project manager status, or who has attained certification to become a project management professional (PMP). Of note is the PMI changed their exam and updated the content. You can learn what's changed by clicking here.

Project Management Career Outlook

Project management jobs can be cyclical, depending upon the state of the economy and the specific industry, but the biotech and technology industries currently offer the best prospects and job growth for project managers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts faster than average growth in general for the profession over the coming decade. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Project Manager Salaries

Many project managers work in the field of computers and information systems. This is a specialized field for project managers, and you may be well-paid for your expertise, whether you bring your own projects to completion or are at the managerial level in your technology department. Computer and information systems managers make an average annual salary of $156,390, and project management specialists earned an average annual salary of $80,220 according to the BLS.

"Where do they work?" you might ask. The following industries have the highest levels of employment:

  • Information Technology
  • Computer Systems Design
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Manufacturing
  • Company Management

Project Manager Education

If you're looking to increase your salary or enter the job market with competitive training and skills, a master's degree or higher is a great option. While bachelor's degrees provide a great foundation in your area of interest, a master's degree will allow you to specialize and elevate your experience in project management. Get your advanced training by considering one of the following:

  • Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Science in Management (MSM)
  • Master of Science (MS) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with a project management concentration

So, if you want a challenging profession where your knowledge and skills will truly be appreciated and which pays a good salary, find a school to get the project management education you need to enter the field.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, Computer Occupations, Computer and Information Systems Managers

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.