One of the best parts of being a Project Manager is that your role is important in nearly every industry, including tech. Within tech, there are even subtypes of Project Managers that offer unique career paths. If you’re looking to specialize in project management, you can consider joining an information technology (IT) team.
Here, we’ll walk you through what an IT Project Manager does and what the average salary is based on a few factors.
What an IT Project Manager does
So what makes an IT Project Manager unique? While a Technology Project Manager works on development (like the development of an app, a piece of software, an API, a database, or some other computing-related technology), an IT Project Manager is specifically dedicated to implementing IT infrastructure or software for an organization. That can include planning and implementing technical projects and allocating resources. On a daily basis, an IT Project Manager’s job can require:
- Managing day-to-day operations
- Creating IT budgets
- Recruiting IT staff and supervising IT teams
- Evaluating IT staff performance
- Enforcing policies for how to use computers
- Ensuring information security and privacy
- Keeping stakeholders updated
- Keeping IT systems regularly updated
- Establishing maintenance and troubleshooting methods
While it may seem like IT Project Managers have a narrow scope of responsibilities since they focus solely on IT systems, they’re actually in charge of a broad range of tasks within their domain. They also have the unique duty of deploying IT solutions, as well as maintaining and securing them.
IT Project Manager salary and qualifications
Because the role can involve management and high-level responsibilities, IT Project Managers are among the top tech jobs with 6-figure salaries. Someone in this role can report directly to the organization’s CIO and must be able to communicate well, both on an executive level and as a supervisor of an IT team. In addition, an IT Project Manager should understand programming because most IT systems are built through coding.
An IT Project Manager should be a logical problem-solver who can deal with constraints on what is possible, given certain resources and limits. They also must be able to motivate IT staff, have a deep understanding of systems, networking, and software, and have excellent communications and presentation skills.
Generally, someone in an IT Project Manager role has had a few years of experience working in IT before delving into a managing role, whether that means a background in operating systems or cybersecurity. They should also be able to efficiently delegate tasks to team members and have some experience with software development.
Often, employers will ask for at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, project management, or another relevant field, but it’s still possible to become an IT Project Manager without a degree if you have enough experience in tech (for example, experience as a Business Analyst or Computer Programmer).
How location impacts the average salary
According to Indeed, the average salary of an IT Project Manager in the U.S. is about $99,082, though that number varies by location. Indeed reports that the highest-paying city for an IT Project Manager is Denver, CO, with an average salary of $105,657 per year. The list rounds out with Dallas, TX, at an average of $103,285, Charlotte, NC, with $101,272, and Indianapolis, IN, with $97,614.
Unlike other computing and technology jobs, the top salaries for this role are mostly outside of California and Silicon Valley, meaning there’s more flexibility for IT Project Managers outside of the tech industry bubble.
Becoming an IT Project Manager
Whether you’re just considering pursuing IT project management or you’re hoping to expand your experience in the field, there are plenty of opportunities to stretch yourself professionally. Aside from getting a formal degree and job experience, you can also seek out online certifications and courses that will get you up to speed.
For starters, you’ll want to get a better understanding of the foundations of IT, which you can do with our free and beginner-friendly Introduction to IT course. Like all Project Managers, it’s also helpful to know some industry-specific skills. In this case, taking a Fundamentals of Cybersecurity course or a Fundamentals of Operating Systems course can give you an extra edge.
You may also want to get a certification in Agile, a popular approach to product development, which is applicable to IT administration and can be a valuable skill to add to your resume.