Project Manager Salary: Your 2024 Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

How much do project managers make? Use this guide to project manager salary figures in the UK, depending on your level of experience, whether you have certifications and your educational status.

[Featured image[ Project manager in a black zip-up jacket holds folders of document

Project managers are responsible for planning and executing projects—a critical role in any business. It’s a well-paying career with room to advance into even higher-paying positions.

 Let’s take a closer look at how much project managers typically make, as well as some of the factors that can influence your salary.

How much do project managers make?

The Association for Project Managers (APM) completed a salary and market trends survey in the UK (Nov 2020) and found that the average project professional salary is £47,500, with 49 percent of those surveyed, earning over £50,000.

Factors that impact project manager salary

Your cash compensation as a project manager ultimately depends on a variety of factors. If you’re looking to maximise your paycheck, consider these components of the pay equation. Many companies also incorporate bonuses to complement a project manager's salary. 


As in most industries, a higher educational attainment can often mean a higher paying salary and a better chance of landing a job in project management. The degree subject is open and it is possible to get a job in project management with any degree, although degrees in business, or project management are particularly useful.

According to APM, salaries increase with age and time on the job. For graduates in the early stages of their career, the average salary is £27,500. There is no definitive figure for the average starting salary for graduates in the UK, but it is estimated to be between £25,000 and £30,000, which makes project management a financially rewarding career choice.

In addition to enhancing your earning potential, studying for a higher degree might also make you more competitive in the job market. By completing a business-related degree, such as a Master of Business Administration, you can build the leadership skills companies are looking for and open up the possibility of moving into executive management in the future.


Earning a certification in project management and holding membership with APMcan help to validate your skills and experience to employers and can sometimes translate into a higher salary. APM reports that members' salaries have increased from £47,500 to above the profession’s average wage to £52,500, compared to non-members, with salaries that remain at the industry average. Full members (MAPM) earn an average of £62,000, whereas non-members with five years experience can earn £52,500.

While the AMP is certainly a highly-respected credential, it’s not the only one. You can also get certified in project management methodologies, like Agile, Scrum, or PRINCE2, or earn an industry-specific credential, like the CompTIA Project+ for information technology (IT) project managers.

Level of experience and type of contract

Generally speaking, the more time you’ve worked as a project manager, the more you can expect to earn. Luckily it doesn’t take long for experience to start translating into more money. 

According to the AMP 2021 survey, a student on a placement year can earn on average £17,000 (pro rata) and an apprentice or trainee can earn an average of £22,500. The salary level increases as a person moves up the chain into more senior positions.

APM found that the type of contract offered also makes a difference. A freelancer or consultant working as a project manager can command an average of £72,500 compared to someone on a permanent contract earning £50,000 or a fixed-term contract earning £42,500. [1]

Job title

You’ll find several roles along the project management career path. While your position might correspond to your seniority and level of experience, this is another way to look at typical salaries. According to Glassdoor ( June 2022), these alternate job titles pull in the following median annual salaries:


  •  Lead project manager: £66,944

  •  Project management consultant: £48,703

  •  Senior project manager: £69,705

  •  Project portfolio manager: £101,867

  •  Director of project management: £80,746

Here’s a similar breakdown of average annual salaries found by the APM survey:[1]

  •  Project portfolio manager: £67,500

  •  Project management consultant: £57,500

  •  Senior project manager: £57,500


What industry you choose to work in as a project manager can have a significant impact on your salary. While there are project managers working in a wide range of fields, these are among the highest paying (according to Glassdoor):  

Highest-paying industries

Glassdoor Stats (June 2022)
Security project manager salary£64,165
Tech project manager salary£63,016
IT project manager salary£65,081

 Other common industries

Glassdoor stats ( June 2022)
Energy project manager salary£49,486
Government project manager salary£51,647
Healthcare project manager salary£42,539
Construction project manager salary£52,804


In many industries, including project management, where you live can impact how much money you make. According to the APM survey, London has the highest project management salary at an average of £52,500, and Wales, Yorkshire, and Humberside have the lowest at £42,500.[1]

When thinking about location, it’s important to take into consideration cost of living as well. The areas that correspond to the highest pay—often major cities—tend to come with higher living expenses. London wages often come with a London weighting, due to the high cost of living and costs of commuting into the capital.

As companies continue to digitise employee interaction and collaboration—a trend accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic—there may be more opportunity for online positions that allow you to work from anywhere. Companies like Amazon, Revolut, Cazoo, and Philips have already begun hiring for remote project managers.

Team and company size 

The size of your organisation (and the size of the team you manage) can also play a role in how much you earn each year. In general, the larger the organisation and team, the higher the median annual salary for project managers.

Project management methodology

While less significant than the other factors we’ve discussed, the project management methodology you work with could also have an impact on your pay. For example, according to a PMI salary survey, project managers who use Extreme Project Management techniques tended to earn more than those who used Agile, Lean, and waterfall techniques.[2]

It’s important to keep in mind that methodologies and techniques often depend on the industry, company culture, and type of project.

Next steps

If you’re interested in a career in project management, start building a foundation of job-ready skills through the Google Professional Certificate in Project Management. These six courses can help you prepare for an entry-level role, and upon completion, you can apply directly with Google and some 130 other employers.

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