5 Strategies to Increase Your Salary for Project Management
There are many advantages to a career as a project manager.
You can expect job security, flexibility, and upward mobility to name a few.
There are many other lucrative career options that one could pursue, but if the driving force is to get rich (NBA basketball player), CEO of a Fortune 100 business? YouTube star? The average salary for project managers is not to be sniffed at.
My career began in print journalism. To me, a good income means being able pay rent and have enough money to buy gas. I felt like I was living the high-life if I could also buy Hungry-Man meals for my freezer.
According to Project Management Institute, the average annual salary for project managers in the United States is more than $108,000.
What if you don’t make that amount? What if you make more than $100,000 per annum but still want to make more? It’s okay to try to get paid! That’s what I get from millionaire musicians.
There are no magic tricks or “hacks” to increase your project manager salary. However, there are proven strategies that will make you a better project manger and add a few more gas to each paycheck.
1. Study a specific industry-specific degree
It shouldn’t surprise that a solid education is essential for a successful career. Although there may be exceptions, such as YouTube stars, this is especially true for project managers.
In 2015, the U.S. had 99% of project managers who were surveyed in PMI’s annual salary survey. Nearly 90% of respondents had a four-year college diploma, while nearly half had a master’s or higher degree. Project managers with a doctoral degree earn about $16,000 more annually than those with only a four year degree.
It is interesting to note that a project management degree seems to have little impact on your salary. Only 11% of survey respondents had such a degree and the salary difference was negligible. Project managers who did not have a PM degree earned about $2,000 more annually.
This data shows that a degree is better than a project management degree. It is more important to study the area you are interested in, such as engineering, finance, IT, and then apply your project management skills to that area.
How can you improve your project management skills if you don’t study it in school? We’ll get there.
2. Continue to build your experience
The best way to increase your salary as a project manager is to continue being one. Your career should not be treated like an episode of The Three Stooges.
The Three Stooges are not a good role model for project management experience.
According to the PMI survey, project managers’ salaries increase with experience. The largest jump, more than $20,000 per annum, is between project managers with three to five years experience ($67,590), and those with five or ten years experience ($87,867).
On average, project managers with over 20 years of experience earned $120,196 per annum. This is more than twice the average salary for project managers with less than three year’s experience (56,222).
If you are already a project manager, keep abreast of industry trends, be flexible, and use project management software to your advantage. Your salary should rise year after year.
3. Get certifications to enhance your CV
Let’s say you have a master’s in project management and ten years of experience. At this point, you probably have a respectable salary but you might want to improve your skills.