How Much Do Project Managers Make?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 12, 2022 | Published April 14, 2020

Updated July 12, 2022

Published April 14, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Video: A Day in the Life of a Project Manager

In this video, we follow Gillian, a project manager for an agency in New York, as she shows you what a day in the life of a project manager is actually like, including work hours, work environment and job duties.

Companies large and small rely on the efforts of their employees to produce successful results. While every employee plays an important role in helping achieve specific business goals, one position, in particular, involves big responsibility. Project managers are highly valued in the workforce due to their extensive knowledge of systems and organizational processes. In this article, we discuss what the nationwide average salary is for project managers and ways project managers can increase their annual income.

What is a project manager?

Project managers guide their teams through the key phases of company projects from start to finish. Heading a team of professionals, project managers use their knowledge and expertise of project management to ensure that individual projects stay within a specified budget and time constraint that follows the necessary steps to final completion.

Related: The Importance of Project Management

How much do project managers make?

The average salary for a project manager in the United States is $82,795 per year. A senior project manager typically earns $108,861 per year. Annual salaries can be much higher depending on location. The level of experience and area of the industry also affect the annual income of project managers.

Project manager salaries by state

The average salary of a project manager may differ considerably depending on where they work. Following are the average annual salaries for project managers by state. The salaries below were populated using state-specific data from Indeed. For the most up-to-date information from Indeed, please check Indeed Salaries.

  • Alaska: $86,392 per year

  • Alabama: $66,360 per year

  • Arizona: $77,267 per year

  • Arkansas: $66,947 per year

  • California: $97,896 per year

  • Colorado: $79,535 per year

  • Connecticut: $78,919 per year

  • Delaware: $67,405 per year

  • District of Columbia: $100,251 per year

  • Florida: $74,805 per year

  • Georgia: $79,187 per year

  • Hawaii: $93,781 per year

  • Idaho: $62,866 per year

  • Illinois: $82,542 per year

  • Indiana: $68,888 per year

  • Iowa: $71,353 per year

  • Kansas: $65,027 per year

  • Kentucky: $68,311 per year

  • Louisiana: $78,814 per year

  • Maine: $65,383 per year

  • Maryland: $87,687 per year

  • Massachusetts: $91,216 per year

  • Michigan: $87,321 per year

  • Minnesota: $82,877 per year

  • Mississippi: $66,928 per year

  • Missouri: $83,781 per year

  • Montana: $82,190 per year

  • Nebraska: $67,772 per year

  • Nevada: $85,144 per year

  • New Hampshire: $73,920 per year

  • New Jersey: $82,543 per year

  • New Mexico: $71,139 per year

  • New York: $85,191 per year

  • North Carolina: $78,858 per year

  • North Dakota: $63,065 per year

  • Ohio: $72,204 per year

  • Oklahoma: $68,478 per year

  • Oregon: $80,323 per year

  • Pennsylvania: $77,305 per year

  • Rhode Island: $74,582 per year

  • South Carolina: $82,044 per year

  • South Dakota: $61,932 per year

  • Tennessee: $72,029 per year

  • Texas: $85,651 per year

  • Utah: $69,724 per year

  • Vermont: $69,639 per year

  • Virginia: $88,920 per year

  • Washington: $83,000 per year

  • West Virginia: $75,411 per year

  • Wisconsin: $71,774 per year

  • Wyoming: $60,075 per year

How to increase a project manager's salary

Because project managers play a vital role in any company, this career path is considered to be a lucrative one. Businesses hire project managers to ensure the organization and management of teams and projects, which means higher revenue for a company in the end. Besides the generous baseline pay, there are additional measures a project manager can take to increase their income further.

Just like a project manager pays special attention to the strategies implemented within a company project, they can implement strategic thinking to plan out a successful future. Here are six factors that influence pay:

  1. Earn a certification or an advanced degree.

  2. Gain years of experience.

  3. Choose an area of specialty.

  4. Manage a large team.

  5. Work in a high-paying industry.

  6. Consider location.

1. Earn a certification or an advanced degree

Those who looking the earn the most in a project management career should strive to receive additional education beyond the bachelor's degree. There are two options that allow for the chance of higher pay in the future:

  • Receive a Project Management Professional certification. Getting the PMP certification beyond your undergraduate degree shows employers that you've taken additional steps to increase your level of expertise. Many companies prefer job candidates who have this designation over those who don't. To become certified, project managers must fulfill specific prerequisites through the appropriate organization.

  • Earn a master's degree in project management. Job applicants in highly competitive fields can rise above the competition simply by having a master's degree. Several companies require project managers with master's degrees because they recognize the additional effort put forth to obtain a higher degree. Motivating professionals often transfers to achieving a company's project goals. Master's programs teach advanced skills and hands-on experience that top companies seek.

2. Gain years of experience

Just like many professions, the number of years spent in the workforce can contribute to a person's annual salary. Experience amounts to savings for employers because experienced professionals typically work in a more efficient manner based on lessons learned in the past. Throughout the years, project managers have overcome many problems and find the best solutions. As a result, they can focus on implementing proven strategies as opposed to learning processes.

3. Choose an area of specialty

Just like doctors, writers, teachers and other professionals who earn a degree in a semi-broad field, project managers can choose a specific area of interest to pursue. Here are three examples of different specializations that can affect salary:

  • Project managers. This role incorporates the main elements of project management, such as planning, directing and closing projects through the assistance of a designated team and collaboration with a company's other departments. They focus on time-sensitive projects and must work with a predetermined budget, time allocation, limited resources and other variables. Once a project is completed, they move onto the next one.

  • Portfolio managers. This role has a focus on developing and implementing investment strategies. Portfolio managers may also be called financial advisors, wealth managers or investment managers due to the nature of their job responsibilities. However, their monetary focus is more on analyzing the investment process and less on the actual sales aspect.

  • Program managers. This role concentrates on long-term programs. Program managers work to ensure that the projects within a program benefit a company as intended. They oversee the collaborative process across multiple teams and follow the return on investment. Program managers focus on the big picture of a company, while project managers concentrate on the individual projects themselves.

Related: 5 Phases of the Project Management Life Cycle

4. Manage a large team

A project manager's annual salary is often determined by the number of people they are expected to manage. While some project managers oversee a team of less than four people, others are expected to manage teams of more than 10 or 20 people. Each person involved in a project presents additional communication and a new set of responsibilities. That's why managing a large team typically results in better pay. Asking about the project team size during an interview is a great way to get a feel for what's ahead.

Related: 11 Common Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers

5. Work in a high-paying industry

Some industries pay more than others. Project managers employed in science, technology, engineering and math fields consistently earn more than those employed in other industries because of the high demand and job growth associated with these fields. Taking jobs with government agencies further increases the chance for better pay due to the confidential and complex nature of specific subject matter.

6. Consider location

As previously mentioned, location matters for those looking to earn a higher wage. The difference between a project manager employed in a rural community versus a large metropolitan area can vary drastically. You can do some research before applying to jobs to get a better idea of income potential. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be ready for a cross-country move that allows you to make double the income.

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