How much does a project manager make? (With duties and skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 9 June 2022

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.

Project managers plan, execute, monitor and control projects in businesses, organisations or firms. They collaborate with other team members and ensure the completion of projects within the stipulated deadlines. If you're considering pursuing a career path in project management, then knowing a project manager's basic salary can help you make a more informed decision. In this article, we answer the question 'how much does a project manager make?', describe the certifications needed to become a project manager and their duties and relevant skills.

Related: How to become a project manager

What is a project manager?

A project manager is a professional who plans, procures, organises and executes projects within an allocated budget. They're responsible for the day-to-day management of the project using the six aspects of a project, including; scope, schedule, quality, risk, finance and resources. Project managers are rarely involved directly in activities that yield the results. Rather, they delegate roles to teams in a way that minimises risks and costs and maximises profits. They're responsible for the success or failure of the entire project from start to finish.

Related: Project manager vs resource manager: what's the difference?

How much does a project manager make?

The national average salary of a project manager is £45,085 per year. Salaries for project managers can vary for several reasons, such as education, experience and location. The certifications you have and the hiring organisation can also influence how much you take home.

Project manager certifications

Gaining certification in project management can help you to increase the amount of money you make. It can also improve your knowledge, skill set and expertise as a project manager. Below are some project management certifications:

1. Project Management Professional (PMP)

PMP is an international certification issued by Project Management Institute(PMI). This certification is recognised as the gold standard of project management certification. The acquisition of PMP validates your competence and expertise to carry out the roles of a project manager, which involves leading and directing projects. Organisations highly demand candidates with the PMP and so they can virtually work in any organisation and location. Project managers with this certification enjoy a salary advantage over project managers without a PMP certification.

Requirements: You require a secondary school degree or its equivalent, plus 7,500 hours of work and 35 hours of project management education. If you have a university degree, it's necessary you have a record showing 4,500 hours of working as a project manager and 35 hours of project management education. Most of the exam questions reference the Project Management Body of Knowledge.

2. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

The PMI also issues CAPM. If you're a candidate with less experience in project management and are looking for additional ways to improve yourself, the CAPM certification can help you achieve this. This certificate is an entry-level certification for project practitioners and shows your understanding of the rudimentary knowledge, terminology and processes of potent project management. CAPM certification is valid for five years.

Requirements: You require a high school degree or its equivalent and a record of 1,500 hours of work experience or 23 hours of project management education.

Related: How to write a project manager CV (plus essential skills)

3. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

The CSM is an entry-level certification obtained through Scrum Alliance and is a great way to build a solid foundation for budding project managers. This certification provides you with various values and methodologies of scrum such as accountability, iterative progress and team performance. It teaches you Scrum theory, how to develop practical applications and rules and likewise, how to carry stakeholders and teams along through the development process.

Requirements: It's necessary that you're familiar with Scrum and attend the two-day CSM course (16 hours) in person.

4. CompTIA Project+

CompTIA Project+ is an entry-level certification that's scaled to be roughly on par with PMI's CAPM. CompTIA Project+ solicits and aggregates feedback from respondents like academicians or independent experts, research institutes, industries and government representatives. This certification is versatile and covers various methodologies and frameworks. It's intended for project managers who have one year of project management experience and are handling small-to-medium-sized or less complex projects. The acquisition of CompTIA Project+ validates your expertise in project basics, tools, documentation, constraints and change management.

Requirements: One year's worth of experience in managing, taking part in and directing less complex projects. Project documentation experience is highly recommended.

5. Projects in Controlled Environments (PRINCE2)

PRINCE2 is a top-tier degree in project management certification. It's one of two major types, including PRINCE2 Foundation and PRINCE2 Practitioner. The ILX Group issues PRINCE2 certifications. The PRINCE2 Foundation is an entry-level certification that tests the elementary project management method and terminology, while the PRINCE2 practitioner credential tests the knowledge of project managers who have already acquired the PRINCE2 Foundation. These certifications are globally recognised and are in high demand by reputable organisations. Their primary focus is on management and project delivery across all phases, from the initiation to the delivery.

Requirements: To obtain PRINCE2 Foundation certification, it's necessary you have at least one of these certifications first: PMP, Certified Project Management Associate certification (CPMA), or any of the IPMA Level A to B Certifications. To acquire PRINCE2 Practitioner, you would have first obtained your PRINCE2 Foundation certification.

Related: How to become a management consultant

Duties of a project manager

Below are the duties a project manager encounters and handles daily:

Planning

It's the role of a project manager to carry out a strategic plan for a project by making a list of what he or she intends to achieve and creating a blueprint that will help bring the project to completion. After mapping out a plan, they define the scope and develop the project schedule with a time frame. The project manager then takes the full plan to the board, client and stakeholders for approval.

Execution

Upon approval, the project manager communicates the plan and vision to the various teams on a project. They allocate duties to them according to their specialisations. The project manager takes part in the project and also supervises the various teams at each stage.

Time management

It's the responsibility of a project manager to stay on schedule and work within the time frame stipulated for a project. They're able to do this as most excellent project managers are experts at contingency planning and risk management.

Budgeting

Project managers are individuals who have mastered the art of cost-efficiency. It's a project manager's duty to devise the budget of a project and work closely within it. In situations where some materials or parts of the project cost more than expected, it's their responsibility to reallocate funds when necessary.

Evaluating project performance

When the project has reached its completion, it's the duty of a project manager to go back and reevaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the project from the planning stage to the end. During this period, they take note of their shortcomings and make corrections for future purposes.

Related: Project management skills and how to improve them

Skills needed to become a project manager

Below are some of the essential skills needed to become a project manager:

  • Planning skills: These are important to project managers, helping them to ascertain whether a project is worth pursuing. Efficient planning ensures your project is a reality and a success.

  • Budgeting skills: Budgeting skills help project managers to be accurate when budgeting, helping to avoid incorrect allocation of funds to projects. Knowing how to budget properly also helps you to maintain good relationships with your client(s) or stakeholders.

  • Risk management skills: Both big and small projects encounter risks during execution. As a project manager, it's your duty to be proactive and identify those potential issues before they become a problem or a hazard.

  • Leadership skills: As a project manager, it's necessary to have leadership skills as most projects involve managing people, tasks and other contingencies. Gaining this skill can help you carry out your projects more efficiently.

  • Adaptability skills: As a manager, you can plan and organise a project and upon presentation to the board, clients or stakeholders may decide to make corrections or changes. Your ability to adapt to new developments and coordinate the project to fruition makes you a master in your field.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidates experiences, academic background and location. This article is based on information available at the time of writing, which may change at any time. Indeed does not guarantee that this information is always up-to-date. Please seek out a local resource for the latest on this topic.

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