Have you ever wondered how CEOs of big development companies oversee all of the apps their companies produce? Well, they don't. That's what Project Managers (PMs) are for.
Without Project Managers, all you have are high-level ideas and programmers trying to make them happen. Project Managers form the bridge between ideas and apps. Read on to learn how much Project Managers make, how their salaries vary by location and experience, and their daily responsibilities.
How much do Project Managers make?
In the U.S., a Project Manager makes around $88,907 on average. But, your salary will vary greatly depending on the company you're with and the area in which you work.
There are also different kinds of Project Managers, and their salaries vary considerably. For instance, people with the title "IT Project Manager" earn significantly more, with salaries averaging $104,126 a year. This is likely because IT Project Managers may have more technical responsibilities, and the value of the products they create justifies a higher salary.
How much do Project Managers make at different companies?
As mentioned, your salary may also rise or drop based on the company you work for. The responsibilities involved and budget constraints vary greatly from one company to the next, so it makes sense that Project Managers' salaries vary with them.
For example, a manager at Wipro makes a little less than average — around $80,443. Meanwhile, a Project Manager at Cisco Systems brings home a salary of $134,065. It's important to remember that because each company's projects are so different, what they pay their Project Managers will vary just as much.
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How much do Project Managers make in the Northeast?
Project Managers tend to make a little more in the Northeast than they do in much of the country. This is because the Northeast is home to many big-name companies who reward their employees handsomely for their work.
For example, in Boston, you can expect to earn an average of $93,500 a year. A few hours south, in New York City, you can expect to earn $95,250 as a Project Manager.
How much do Project Managers make on the West Coast?
Your pay as a Project Manager goes up even more if you work for companies on the West Coast. The competitive nature of Silicon Valley and other tech epicenters likely accounts for the boost in pay.
How much do Project Managers make in the Midwest?
While the salaries for Project Managers drop a little in the Midwest, you can still earn around the national average. For instance, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you can expect to bring in around $85,862 a year. And in Indianapolis, Indiana, Project Managers average $84,200.
Keep in mind that the cost of living in the Midwest is typically lower than on the Coasts. So, while salary expectations in the region might be slightly lower, there's a good chance that the money will stretch just as far.
Project Manager salaries by experience level
Like many other professions, Project Managers make more the longer they've been in the field. The Project Management Institute recently released a report revealing the potential for significant earnings increases according to experience. For example:
- Project Managers in the industry for less than three years earn an average of $83,000.
- Between three and five years of experience earns you over 8% more, with an average of $90,000.
- The jump is even more significant when you have between five and 10 years under your belt — 14.9%, or $103,407.
- The climb is even steeper when you progress into the 10- to 15-year range: $120,000, which is 16% higher than the 5- to 10-year range.
What does a Project Manager do?
A Project Manager's job comes with a diverse set of responsibilities. Depending on the company and situation, the most pivotal tasks tend to be focused around:
- Developing new business solutions
- Monitoring and measuring the success of projects
- Leading teams
Developing new business solutions
A Project Manager doesn't only guide existing ideas to success — they're also responsible for coming up with the ideas themselves. For example, a Project Manager may meet with a company's executives to figure out what kind of app will most appeal to a certain target market. In this way, as a Project Manager, you're involved in every stage of a project's life cycle, including the birth of the idea.
Monitoring and measuring the success of projects
Ensuring that projects proceed to a desirable outcome is central to a Project Manager's job. To measure the success of the project you're working on, you have to collect data along the way. This requires:
- Quantifying success at different phases
- Setting goals for team members
- Designating time to evaluate progress
- Finding ways to improve processes to meet goals
Strategy is a huge element of project management because it's involved in everything, including deciding which projects to pursue, who should take on which responsibilities, and how to mitigate issues that pop up.
Strategy is also a key component of making sure individual team members stay motivated and driven to succeed. This may involve customizing schedules, setting different goals for certain individuals, or making allowances such as flexible hours or work-from-home arrangements.
As a Project Manager, your leadership ability will be one of your most important assets. Along with delegating tasks, you'll need to find ways to keep people focused as well as hold them accountable for successes and failures. At the same time, regardless of whether a project is thriving or just surviving, you have to figure out how to keep your team motivated and invested.
How to start your Project Manager career
Our courses are a great way to start building the skills you'll need as a Project Manager. To lead teams of programmers, you'll first want to learn the basics of coding, and our Learn How to Code course will help you do just that.
Then, once you get a couple of programming languages under your belt, start building projects to familiarize yourself with the development process. Plus, expanding on your technical knowledge will make it easier to communicate with your dev teams and other stakeholders throughout your career. To get started, visit our project library.