Project Manager Salary Guide

What’s a typical project manager salary and how much should digital project managers earn? And while we’re asking, what are average salaries for a senior project manager, project co-ordinator and project director too? These are the questions our project manager salary survey addresses. We’re taking a global view to get insights on project manager salary information around the world.

If you’re looking for the most up to date information your project manager salary — fill out our 2017 survey and we’ll send you the results as soon as they’re in.

It’s important because as organizations around the world further embrace the power of digital products/services, the digital project management field continues to grow. With more talent joining this career path, the questions of earning potential and career trajectory is inevitable. For individuals currently in this field, the question becomes, “am I being paid what I’m worth?’ and for the ambitious ones, looking ahead in their project management career — “How can I expect my salary to change as I progress?”

Our 2017 digital project manager salary survey aims to give you a better idea of what the landscape looks like for digital project managers and how compensation changes as you become increasingly senior. Tools like Payscale, Salary.com, Glass Door and Monster can provide a lot of general salary information for digital project managers, but you’ll find the estimates for salaries that they provide to be wildly different, so this article is intended as a more informed summary of salary information specifically for digital project managers.

2016 Digital Project Manager Salary Survey Results

Contract vs. Permanent PM’s

There are pros and cons of being a contractor versus a full-time employee. The major advantage of contracting being that you will likely get paid more. The disadvantage is that you may be thrown onto projects that are temporary and may provide very little growth to your professional development. In addition, sure you may have a neat list of agencies that you’ve worked for here and there, but the projects need to be substantial enough to bring you to your next career move.

Generalist vs. Specialist project managers

If you have gathered significant experience under a certain skillset (e.g. understanding a particular CMS really well), this can set you apart from other digital project managers. With this under your belt, it may allow you to work on more projects pertaining to your skill set and potentially drawing a more premium salary within your industry. However, this is subject to supply and demand, so be sure to evaluate whether the skillset you have will continue to be in-demand!

Industry — IT and banking PM’s are always on the money

A big part of determining a digital project manager’s salary is the industry in which they work. A large bank or software company would provide a much higher salary compared to a non-profit organization or a smaller local company. Of course, at the end of the day, it’s about understanding your needs and what is the best fit.

Location — city slickers get the big bucks

The location factor will always be a salary influencer. Based on our 2015 salary results, major cities that are bigger economic markets have been known to offer higher salaries. This of course comes with higher expectations and slightly more pressure in performance. Spoiler alert: this year’s salary survey results are no different.

Digital Project Manager Salary Survey Results for 2016

This year’s salary survey data is derived from over 300 respondents as well as 3rd party sources and includes data from 30 countries that include: Canada, USA, United Kingdom, Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, France, India, Italy, México, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE, Ukraine! Here is a breakdown of our survey participants with digital project managers contributing their salary information from various countries:

It’s truly amazing to have received global input on the salary survey and we hope to continue this growth. The largest responses came from countries such as USA, United Kingdom, and Canada. With that being said, the statistics below will focus on these markets due to a healthy sample size.

What best describes your digital project management related job title?

We had most responses from digital project managers — you’ll find this corresponds with most job postings in the market. Senior project managers, project coordinators, project directors and other job titles were also represented in the 2016 digital project manager salary survey.

Salary highlights from USA digital project managers

We received 84 responses from digital project managers in the USA spanning 53 cities. The DPM salaries collected ranged from $35,000 to $120,000. Similar to last year, the state of New York experienced higher salaries with states such as Florida, Massachusetts, California, and North Carolina rounding the top 5.

The average freelance digital project manager contractor rate varied from $100 to $700 a day. Again, this is highly dependent on industry, location, and experience.

Career trajectory and overall average salaries for various roles in the USA are shown below:

Compared to last year’s salary survey results, this year’s survey results are seeing salary increases for all listed digital project manager positions. Some notable increases are for Project Managers and Senior Project Managers, which saw their salary increase from roughly $60,000 to $70,000 and $77,000 to $87,000 respectively. Overall, the salary increases range from 10–20% depending on the position. These sudden increases from last year may be attributed to the increasing demand for project management personnel, increasing participants (leading to a better representation), and the continuous growth of digital projects in various industries.

We won’t discount the idea that project manager salaries will continue to grow as we continue diving into a digital-first world!

Salary highlights from UK digital project managers

We received 58 responses from digital project managers in the United Kingdom spanning 21 cities. The digital project manager salaries collected ranged from £22,000 to £65,000. The highest salary coming from Farnborough, followed closely by Winchester, London, Nottingham, and Cardiff, which completes the top 5.

The average freelance digital project manager contractor rate varied from £250 to £400 a day.

Career trajectory and overall average salaries for various roles in the United Kingdom are shown below:

The 2016 salary results from the UK is also seeing salary increases across the board for all PMO roles. Increases are not substantial, but does show that the project management landscape in the UK is promising and demand isn’t slowing down anytime soon. The most intriguing increase came from the Project Coordinator position, going from £21,000 in 2015 to £29,000 this year. One thing to note is that the Project Coordinator position is typically perceived as an entry-level position, but depending on the organization, the role may be extremely demanding, thus leading to higher compensation.

Salary highlights from Canadian digital project managers

We received 23 responses from digital project managers in Canada across 4 provinces with equal distribution between West coast and East coast responses. The digital project manager salaries collected ranged from $45,000 to $110,000. The highest salary came from Toronto, Ontario, which is the largest city in Canada. Other cities that we received responses from include Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver, London, and Ottawa.

Career trajectory and overall average salaries for various digital project management roles in Canada are shown below:

Unlike the USA and UK, survey results for Canada are looking to be fairly leveled. There are not a lot of changes for Project Coordinator and Senior Project Manager roles, however, the Project Manager role saw the biggest impact with a salary drop from approximately $70,000 last year to about $62,000 this year. Despite the drop, we must take into account that there is a fairly large range within the Project Manager role that may span from 2–3 years of experience to 5–6 depending on the individual and industry. The number of years can make a substantial impact on salary. With that being said, although the average is seeing a drop this year, we believe that the results represent a younger group of project managers.

Ultimately, it looks like project managers in Canada can be assured that their career path is looking bright and there will be steady increases in salary as they gather more experience under their belt. Beyond that, we’re all hoping for the Loonie to slowly climb its way back up.

Digital Project Manager Salary overview 3rd party sources

This article originally appeared on The Digital Project Manager.