Salary Outlook with Project Management Degree

By Henry R. Steele - August 9, 2018
Reading Time: 5 minutes

The job market for all types of management occupations is increasing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The website notes that employment for all management occupations will rise by 8% through 2026, with a total of 807,300 jobs. Employment growth should be driven in businesses through new companies forming and the expansion of ones that already exist. Professionals who have strong skills in project management will find that their services are in great demand.

If you decide to earn your bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in project management, there will be many good jobs available. But what kind of salary can you earn with a project management degree? Your salary will be determined by the following factors:

  • Whether you earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in project management
  • The type of management occupation you choose
  • How many years of work experience you possess in project management
  • Where you live in the US

After you have reviewed this important information, you will understand better the salary you can earn with a project management degree.

Level of Project Management Degree

The level of degree that you earn will affect how much money you make. Research suggests that people with a master’s degree will earn a higher salary over their careers. BLS states the median salary for a person with a bachelor’s degree is $56,000, while it is $68,000 for a master’s degree. On average, people will earn $12,000 more per year with a master’s degree than a bachelor’s. How does this bear out with a master’s degree in project management? See top 5 project management degree programs with online options.

Below are some of the occupations that you may choose with this degree, as well as the salaries you can expect with this master’s degree:

  • Financial manager: $62,000 vs. $90,000 salary
  • Market research analyst: $65,000 vs. $90,000 salary
  • Marketing and sales manager: $80,000 vs. $110,000 salary
  • Property, real estate and community association manager: $56,000 vs. $76,000 salary
  • Logistician: $54,000 vs. $82,000 salary
  • Medical and health services manager: $70,000 vs. $90,000
  • Social and community service manager: $50,000 vs. $65,000 salary

Payscale.com reports the following salaries for a professional with a bachelor’s degree in project management:

  • Property manager: $48,500
  • Sales service manager: $41,400
  • Project manager IT: $93,100

For a master’s degree in project management, Payscale.com reports these salaries:

  • Director of program management: $148,000
  • Senior project manager of IT: $106,100
  • Benefits manager: $47,900
  • Program manager: $56,600
  • Project coordinator: $52,200
  • Program manager of IT: $70,500
  • Help desk manager: $79,500

You can expect to earn a higher salary overall with a master’s degree in project management than only a bachelor’s. Also, US News and World Report notes that 43% of project managers in the US have a bachelor’s degree only. Having a master’s could make you stand out from the crowd.

Type of Project Management Occupation

A degree in project management will give you many career options in business and management. Below are some of the most common job options, as well as potential salary:

Program Project Manager

A program project manager is a mid to upper level management professional that can work in many industries, but the most common is in finance and IT. A program project manager is responsible for presiding over various types of business projects. When one ends, another will usually begin. The project manager might regularly work on various projects that relate to software development for updating and developing new products.

A project manager has many duties related to the timely completion of the project in question. They are responsible for determining when milestones are met in a project – whether this is a financial goal or a specific step related to when the project is to be completed. This part of the job is very important because it relates to keeping the project on schedule, and allows the team to organize their time to complete tasks in an efficient manner.

The program project manager often reports to a senior executive including the VP, president, CEO or CIO to provide details and updates about how projects in the business are progressing.

Payscale.com reports the average salary for a program project manager is $89,800. The range is between $58,000 and $120,000.

Financial Manager

A financial manager is responsible for the financial vitality and health of an organization, and will typically be in charge of various finance-related projects. Financial managers are responsible for the production of financial reports, directing investment activities, and generally developing strategies and plans for the long term financial goals of the organization.

Depending upon the type, size and industry that the company is in, financial managers can have the following job titles. Each of them will involve different financial related projects that will require a high level of management skill:

  • Controller: Responsible for the preparation of financial reports that summarize the financial position of the company and make accurate forecasts, including income statements, balance sheets and analyses of financial earnings or expenses.
  • Treasurer or finance officer: Responsible for the direction of the company’s budget to meet financial goals. Responsible for the oversight of how funds are invested; carries out strategies to raise capital to support the expansion of the company. Also will develop financial plans for any mergers.
  • Credit manager: Oversee the credit business of the company. Set criteria for credit rating, determine what credit ceilings should be, and monitor past due accounts.

The median salary for financial managers is $125,000, with the top 10% earning more than $200,000 per year. In 2017, the median wages for financial managers was as follows for these industries:

  • Professional, scientific and technical services: $147,000
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $141,800
  • Manufacturing: $124,100
  • Finance and insurance: $123,000
  • Government: $110,000

Management Analyst

A management analyst is a type of project manager that can work in industries such as healthcare, military, government, manufacturing and others. Management analysts often serve as contractors for different companies on a project by project basis to ensure efficiency and profitability in the organization. You could work on projects such as payroll, budgeting, acquisitions and mergers and the development of a new product line. Management analysts do deep analysis about how to improve the procedures of a company and how to increase earnings.

Common duties of management analysts are:

  • Conduct organizational evaluations and studies; design procedures and systems; and conduct measurement studies
  • Prepare manuals and provide instruction to employees about how to use new procedures and forms
  • Prepare procedures and operations to help management to operate in a more efficient manner

Payscale.com reports these managers make $64,500 per year, with a range between $45,000 and $98,000.

Work Experience

Your level of work experience will affect how much you make with a degree in project management. The job of program project manager will see the following salaries based upon years of experience:

  • Less than five years of experience – $65,000 salary
  • Five to 10 years of experience – $84,000 salary
  • 10 to 20 years of experience – $102,000 salary
  • More than 20 years of experience – $115,000 salary

Geographic Location

Where you work also has an effect upon your salary with a project management degree. Payscale.com reports an average national salary of $84,500 for a program project manager, with the following salary differences based upon city location:

  • San Jose: +42%
  • Dallas: +22%
  • San Francisco: +15%
  • Minneapolis: +10%
  • Chicago: +7%
  • Atlanta: +7%
  • Washington: +5%
  • New York City: +4%
  • Houston: +1%

Getting a degree in project management will give you very important business management skills that will put you in great demand as the US economy expands.

References

Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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