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A Look at Project Managers Salaries

04 Feb 2013
A Look at Project Managers Salaries

Despite the downturn in the economy, the demand for project managers remains strong. However, that demand is tempered somewhat by a requirement for experience and internationally recognised credentials.

So what is the earning potential for an individual pursuing a career in project management?

To try and answer this question, we have looked at two profiles:

  • Title
  • Years Working in Project Management


Some Irish organisations have a pre-determined career path for project managers and have adopted the IPMA four-level certification system, or a derivative thereof, to develop this model. Using the IPMA classification system, the Institute has built an average salary profile for each level.

Title  (Using IPMA 4 Level System)

Average €

Core Competency

Projects Director


Shall be able to manage portfolios or programmes

Senior Project Manager


Shall be able to manage complex projects.

Project Manager


Shall be able to manage projects with limited complexity  

Project Management Associate


Has project management knowledge in all competence elements.

Years Working in Project Management

It is important to note that "Years Working in Project Management” is not the same as “Years Working”.

Many individuals who are now working in the project management discipline have probably spent a considerable period of time working within their functional specialism initially. A person may have been in employment with the same organisation for a total of 7 years, 5 of which were spent purely in a functional role. Hence this individual would fall into the category “Less than 5” in the below table.

Earnings by Years Worked in Project Management

Years working in Project Management


Less than 5


5 to 10


10 to 15


Greater than 15


While employers and recruitment agencies are becoming much more discerning about candidates’ credentials, they offer attractive packages for the right candidates. Programmes such as the Certified professional diploma in Project Management provide a structured yet flexible framework to meet such development needs.

The Institute is 100% focused on Project Management and is committed to developing and professionalising our chosen field. Part of this commitment is our undertaking of the unique benchmarking survey, which has examined the people aspects of project management for the last seven years, building a picture of project professionals’ careers, earnings, and prospects.