Project managers, or construction managers, are professionals who make sure that construction projects are completed on time and within budget. The PMP credential offered by the Project Management Institute confers the title of Project Management Professional. PMP certification can lead to higher salaries for project managers.
PMP Pay vs. Project Manager Pay:
According to industry website CIO.com, project managers with a PMP certification made 16 percent more per year than those who did not, as of 2012. Uncertified project managers with between five and 10 years of experience reported a median salary of $97,000, compared with the median pay of $113,000 reported by PMP certification holders. PMP salaries continue to rise with experience; CIO.com also reports that PMP-certified project managers with between 10 and 20 years of experience reported a median salary of $120,000.
Other Factors Affecting Project Manager Pay:
Project managers reported significantly different salaries depending on their exact title. Those titled Project Manager I and Project Management Specialist earned the least in 2012, a median salary of $87,000 per year. PMO Directors earned the most, a median salary of $127,000. In general, those working on projects with larger budgets tended to earn more money. Men tended to make more than women; male project managers at all levels reported a median salary of $108,000, while female project managers earned a median salary of $100,000.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, project managers can expect a positive employment outlook through 2020. The number of jobs in this occupation is expected to increase by 17 percent, a slightly faster job growth than that expected for the American economy as a whole. The bureau reports that project managers with at least a bachelor's degree should have the best job prospects. CIO.com reports that those with a PMP certification have better employment prospects.
How to Obtain the PMP Credential:
Project managers need industry experience before they can apply for a PMP certification. Those with an associate's degree or high school diploma must have five years and 7,500 hours of industry experience. Those with a bachelor's degree or graduate degree must have at least three years and 4,500 hours of working experience. All applicants are also required to have at least 35 credit hours of study related to project management. The cost for taking the exam ranges from $250 to $555, depending on whether the test is computer-based or paper-based and whether the applicant is a member of the Project Management Institute.