Survey Shows Opportunity for Increased Earning Power for PMP Certification Holders Across the Globe as the Demand for Project Managers Remains High

PMP Certification Holders Earn 16 Percent Higher Median Salary than Non-Certified Professionals, According to PMI Salary Survey

Project Management Institute (PMI) released the 12th edition of its “Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey,” which reveals the power of continuous education and skill-building in the project management field as it can increase professionals’ earning potential. According to the survey fielded between March and June 2021, respondents holding the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification reported higher median salaries than those without a PMP® certification  16 percent higher on average across the 40 countries surveyed.

“This pressing demand—coupled with organizations’ desire to leverage future-proof talent—is producing a wide range of competitive compensation opportunities across sectors and geographies. Our Salary Survey is a valuable resource for professionals applying for these emerging project management roles and organizations seeking to fill them.”

The latest edition of the survey provides insights from more than 30,000 respondents, 79 percent holding the PMP certification. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, an increase in total compensation (including salary, bonus, and other cash incentives) was reported by half of survey participants over the 12 months prior to completing the survey. Nearly one-quarter (22 percent) reported total compensation increases of at least 5 percent over that period.

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“According to our Talent Gap report, the global economy will need 25 million new project professionals by 2030,” said Mike DePrisco, Chief Operating Officer, PMI. “This pressing demand—coupled with organizations’ desire to leverage future-proof talent—is producing a wide range of competitive compensation opportunities across sectors and geographies. Our Salary Survey is a valuable resource for professionals applying for these emerging project management roles and organizations seeking to fill them.”

The biennial survey offers insight into the monetary value of project management skills, experience, and certifications, giving project management practitioners a greater awareness of their earning potential in a dynamic job market. This critical data can also help employers, compensation committees, human resource departments, and executive recruiters better determine competitive and equitable salary ranges for project management roles within their organizations.

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When converted to U.S. dollars using normal exchange rates, median salary varies considerably among project practitioners from country to country.

  • The countries where project practitioners report the highest median salaries are Switzerland (US$140,983), the United States (US$115,000), and Australia (US$113,664).
  • Salary tends to increase with higher positions in virtually all countries, but the rate of increase varies significantly by country. The most dramatic increases are seen in Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and New Zealand, where respondents demonstrated increases of more than 60 percent in median salary from project manager I to project manager III. For example, as seen in New Zealand, the median salary increases ranged from US$56,937 for a project manager I to US$80,353 for a project manager II, and US$92,441 for a project manager III. Practitioners in the United States also see a medium salary jump with an increase from US$83,000 for a project manager I to US$96,063 for a project manager II, and US$115,000 for a project manager III.

“As indicated by the Salary Survey report, project managers who are committed to their ongoing professional development and upskilling are in a strong position to seize new opportunities,” said DePrisco. “The data shows strong financial benefits for project managers who are well-equipped to drive change for their organizations.”

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