How Much Does A Project Manager Make (Including Steps)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 29 November 2022

Published 8 November 2021

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.

Businesses typically rely on project managers to help teams concentrate on their tasks and help them avoid concerns like budgetary control. By hiring a project manager, the company can make effective strategic decisions, save time and money and scale the amount of work it does while keeping work quality consistently good. If you have strong communication, time management and negotiation skills, you can earn an impressive salary in this role. In this article, we explain how much project managers make, what influences their salaries and how you can apply for this role.

How much does a project manager make?

To help answer the question, "how much does a project manager make?", you can review their salary. The average base salary of a project manager is ₹33,354 per month. Many factors influence how much you can make in this role. Some of these can include your experience, the company's industry sector, your seniority within the company and the company's location.

Related: 9 Project Management Types for a Project Manager

What factors influence a project manager's salary?

To earn a good salary as a project manager, it's essential to understand the factors that affect how much a company pays you. These factors can include:

1. Industry sector and company

Companies operating in various sectors need qualified professionals to plan, manage and improve their ongoing projects. You can find project manager opportunities in fields like construction, information technology (IT), healthcare, manufacturing, banking and finance, each offering different salaries. For example, the average base salary for a construction project manager is ₹44,102 per month, while the average base salary for an IT project manager is ₹31,153 per month. If you work for a leading company in a particular industry, they may pay you much more than one of their smaller competitors.

2. Experience and seniority

When you start as a project manager at any company, you can earn an impressive wage for an entry-level professional. Once you gain a few years of experience, the company may promote you to senior-level roles with more complex job responsibilities and higher pay. For example, the average salary for a senior project manager is ₹71,048 per month. You may have a greater chance of receiving a promotion if your supervisor is confident that you understand the various inner workings of its working style, employees, budget, vendors and other significant components of its projects.

3. Job title

As you progress through your career as a project manager, you may assume many job titles. You can work as an assistant project manager, a product manager, a coordinator, a project analyst, a junior or senior project manager or a director of project management. Each of these may come with different responsibilities and daily tasks, and your compensation varies as well. For example, the average salary for a head of project management is ₹6,08,515 per year and the average salary for a project analyst is ₹4,49,460 per year.

Related: What Is a Project Manager? (Duties and Qualification)

4. Location

Two project managers working with the same set of responsibilities at similar companies may earn different salaries simply because of their employer's location. For example, the average salary for a construction project manager in Panchkula, Haryana (₹75,750 per month) is considerably higher than the average salary for a construction project manager in Pune, Maharashtra (₹39,122 per month). Although both jobs are in the same industry, the salaries vary by a significant amount. Note that the cost of living in a city that pays a higher salary may be accordingly higher.

5. Skillset

As a project manager, it's beneficial to be skilled at managing time, budgets, people, deals, problems and risks. The skills you possess influence how well you can do your job, which defines your earning potential. Aside from these soft skills, your knowledge of technology is also important. For instance, it might be beneficial to understand project management concepts like agile software, scrum management and kanban boards. Other salary-defining skills include financial modelling, budget planning and performance tracking.

Related: 19 Essential Project Management Skills To Master

How to earn a project manager's salary

Here are six steps you can take to apply for project manager jobs:

1. Complete class XII

All project manager jobs might require that you have at least an undergraduate degree. This means that it's best to clear class XII first. It helps to pick subjects like finance, accounts, maths and entrepreneurship if available, as these help you develop the fundamental knowledge project management requires. However, any subject group in class XII still qualifies you to enter a three-year undergraduate course, which is usually the minimum educational qualification companies require.

2. Earn an undergraduate degree

Any three-year college course like a B.Sc, a BA or a BBA can qualify you for a job in project management. Pick an undergraduate course based on your preferred job environment. For example, if you want to work in the construction industry, you can pursue a BE in Civil Engineering. While studying for your undergraduate course, use any spare time to prepare for PG entrance exams like CAT or MAT. Alternatively, you can use this time to earn a project management certificate. Note that courses like the popular PMP (Project Management Professional) certification require a four-year degree.

3. Attend a course or earn a certificate

The following certifications teach you the basics of project management and qualify you for most positions in this discipline:

  • PMP certification: Offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the PMP course covers new trends, emerging practices, tailoring considerations and core competencies required of a project management professional. The institute expects you to have a four-year degree with 4500 hours of experience and 35 hours of project management training to start the course.

  • CAPM (certified associate in project management): This is a vendor-neutral, entry-level certification offered by the PMI for individuals. Candidates take a three-hour exam with 150 multiple-choice questions based on PMI's project management framework described in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide.

  • Certified Scrum Master: In this course, you learn the Scrum framework and gain an understanding of team accountabilities, events, and artifacts to guide your team to apply Scrum. Some may consider this the gold standard of certification, and the most experienced and passionate agile trainers are available to teach you during its two-day duration.

  • MPM (Master Project Manager): The AAPM (American Academy of Project Management) is a globally recognised board of standards and accreditation council for project management. Its MPM certification accredits qualified professionals to this certification on completion of set criteria and examinations.

  • PMITS (Project Management in IT Security): Organised by the EC-Council, this five-day course is especially for project managers working in IT security. It focuses on the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) identified within the areas of risk management, software development and systems development.

  • CPMP (Certified Project Management Practitioner): The EC-Council offers this course as well. It trains you on leading project teams, directing project processes and delivering project results within the constraints of schedule, budget, resources and management expectations. Topics include project management basics, technology, project sourcing, vendor management, quality assurance and risk management.

4. Earn a postgraduate degree

One of the most popular options is an MBA in Project Management. This is a two-year course that teaches you leadership skills, decision-making, strategic planning and how to coordinate people and teams. You can enrol in a top MBA college by clearing entrance exams like CAT (Common Admission Test), MAT (Management Aptitude Test), XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) and SNAP (Symbiosis National Aptitude Test). Admission criteria include scoring 55-60% in your undergraduate degree.

An alternative to the MBA in Project Management is a PG diploma in project management. People with an undergraduate degree and a few years of experience can apply for this one-year course. You will learn the practical aspects of project execution, including initiation, planning, control, coordination, execution and termination of projects.

5. Gain some experience

Project managers often start their careers in a non-managerial role. To qualify for the role of an IT project manager, for example, you can start at an entry-level position like IT associate or a business analyst within an IT project team. Once you learn about how projects work, your industry and how to lead a team, you can start earning promotions and work towards your desired project management role. Let your manager know you are interested in developing project management experience. If possible, mentor under an experienced project management professional.

6. Start applying for project management roles

Once you have the required qualifications, certification, skills and experience, you can start applying for open project manager positions. Make sure your CV reflects all of this. Watch advertisements for job openings and write to companies in the industry you prefer to see if they have any role that suits you. Your connections from prior jobs can help you connect with people and companies that are looking for a project manager.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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