APM Salary and Market Trends Survey: spotlight on the project profession


The latest annual Salary and Market Trends Survey by Association for Project Management (APM), the chartered body for the project profession, reveals the average salary for a project professional is £47,500.

This average salary has remained unchanged for the past year, bearing testament to the enduring strength and broad appeal of the profession, despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit throwing many plans and projects into doubt.

The research, in partnership with YouGov, surveyed 2,626 project professionals across the UK, drawing insights from across the profession, including salary (by region, sector and job role), job satisfaction, future trends, diversity and inclusion. The findings reveal that almost half (49 per cent) of professionals now earn over £50,000; up from 42 per cent last year. Further up the pay-scale, 20 per cent of professionals now earn over £70,000; an increase from 16 per cent.

APM’s study also highlights that salaries for those in the early stages of their career have increased, with the average salary for 25-to-34-year-olds rising from £37,500 to £42,500. And for those aged 18-to-24-years-old, the average salary remains at a competitive £27,500.

Energy remains the most lucrative sector for project professionals, with average salaries leaping from £52,500 (in 2020) to £60,000; 64 per cent of those working in this sector now earn over £50,000, up from 51 per cent in the previous year.  Other sectors to see a significant increase in average salary include financial services and consultancy (both up from £47,500 to £57,500).

Salaries in business and professional services have also increased, along with local government, telecoms, and the health sector. Financial services also have the third highest proportion of high earners, with 62 per cent earning over £50,000.

Further insights from the study include Working Life and Job Satisfaction, Diversity and Inclusion and Future Trends.

Debbie Dore, chief executive of APM, said: “Our latest salary survey findings provide an interesting snapshot from across the profession, demonstrating that despite the significant impact of the global pandemic, project management salary levels across a range of sectors continue to rise, providing financial stability, and offering high levels of job satisfaction.

“As the chartered body for the profession, we are committed to supporting and promoting the value of project management, and the insights drawn from our study will help to ensure that we can act and advocate on behalf of our members and the entire profession.”

A variety of project management roles have seen an increase in salary over the past year, including portfolio managers rising from £57,500 to £67,500.  Programme managers have also seen their value increase, with average salaries rising from £57,500 to £62,500. Project planners have also enjoyed an uplift of £10,000 in their average salaries, reaching £47,500.  Consultants continue to enjoy an average salary of £57,500.

Heads of projects/programmes (£72,500), assistant project managers (£32,500) and senior project managers (£57,500), project engineers (£42,500) and project directors (£82,500) have seen no change in salary levels.

Explore the results of APM’s Salary and Market Trends Survey.  To find out more about APM visit www.apm.org.uk