Project Management Professional Certification Salary Impact 2021

Shamim Ahammed
11 min readJun 19, 2021


Project Management Professional Certification Salary Survey 2021

Does PMP Certification increase your salary?

If you’re a project management professional or considering a career within the field, you’ll expect to earn a salary that’s nearly double the median wage of the United States’ full-time workforce.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical American worker brought home a salary of $47,788 for full-time ads in the third quarter of 2019. On the opposite hand, project management professionals bring home a median salary of $92,000. And for those who hold a PMP® (Project Management Professional) Certification, that figure is even higher: PMP Certified professionals average a salary that is 23% greater than those without the prestigious credential.

Demand for workers with project management experience is merely expected to grow over subsequent ten years, and an estimated 2 million jobs are expected to be available annually. Whether you’ve just begun your career in project management or have years of experience under your belt, earning your PMP Certification can help position you as a top candidate to fill these highly coveted roles.

If you’re trying to make a decision whether earning a PMP certification is true for you, you’ll little question want to seek out answers to a number of inquiries to assist you to make the right decision, such as:

  • What impact will PMP Certification have on my salary?
  • Do I need to get PMP certified for my job?
  • How much does a PMP make?
  • What are the other benefits of PMP certification?
  • Do I have the time to earn my PMP certification, or even qualify to sit for the exam?

Offered by PMI (the Project Management Institute), the PMP Certification is one of the foremost highly valued professional credentials across many industries. It’s also referred to as one of the foremost challenging credentials to get.

Because of the powerful impact that a PMP certification can wear your salary and career and therefore the rigorous criteria one must meet to receive the designation, it’s essential to understand the commitment required to achieve it. As such, in the following article, you’ll learn more about the benefits of earning your PMP certification, understand the impact of PMP certification on your salary, and explore other factors to assist you to opt whether you ought to pursue PMP certification.

Project Management professionals bring home an annual salary that is nearly double that of the average full-time American worker.

What Impact Does PMP Certification Have on Salary?

If you check five different sources, you’ll happen five different answers to the present question, leaving you with no choice but to question the validity of any of them. When considering a big investment of some time, energy, and money, you need to have all the facts with no embellishment. And, when it involves the question of PMP certification salary, the reality is impressive enough on its own and doesn’t need embellishing.

PMP-certified respondents reported earnings 23% higher, on average than those without PMP certification.

According to PMI’s Project Management Salary Survey 10th ed, the median salary for a PMP Credential holder within us was $112,000. They also note that across 37 surveyed countries, PMP certified respondents reported earnings 23% higher, on average than those without PMP certification.
In addition to PMP Certification status, other factors also can contribute to your salary as a PMP certified professional. Your location, job title, company size, and other experience and credentials may all factor into your overall compensation and career opportunities.

Where you work: Project Management Professionals in Switzerland, the US, and Australia enjoy the very best median salaries among surveyed countries. Even your city within a high-earning country can increase or decrease your expected salary after obtaining your PMP Certification, however. See what PMP certified professionals near you are earning: Explore PMP Salary by City.

What you do: Across industries and occupations, those with a PMP Certification enjoy higher salaries than their peers who have not achieved the credential. See what you would possibly make in your profession after earning your PMP certification: Explore PMP Salary by Job Title.

Who you’re employed for: It’s no surprise that, often, larger companies can afford to pay larger salaries to their high-value employees. The size of your company and therefore the size of your projects can impact the salary you’ll receive after achieving PMP Certification: Explore PMP Salary by Company Size.

How long you’ve been working: regardless of your line of business, experience often, if not always, results in increased salaries. For PMP Certified Professionals, the amount of years they’ve maintained the credential yields an identical upward trend: Explore PMP Salary by Experience.

PMP Salary by City

At the time of this writing, there are over 14,000 open positions listed on Indeed for PMP Certified Project Managers within us alone. Here are the highest ten cities hiring PMP Certified professionals immediately and therefore the salaries* available for those with the experience and credentials to secure them:

PMP Salary in Washington DC

In Washington DC, 749 jobs from dozens of employers (including Microsoft and the CIA) are seeking mid-to senior-level project managers across multiple industries, with salaries ranging from $90,000 to $115,200.

PMP Salary in New York City

In NYC and surrounding areas, Facebook, Columbia University, and multiple other employers are seeking qualified candidates to fill more than 400 positions with salaries between $85,800 and $115,100.

PMP Salary in Seattle

In Seattle and surrounding areas, Amazon, Starbucks, and therefore the communicable disease Research Institute join dozens of other employers in seeking experienced project management professionals to fill quite 300 positions that pay between $85,000 — $120,000.
Need to get PMP Certified to qualify? Find PMP Certification Training in Seattle

PMP Salary in Atlanta

The Home Depot, Georgia-Pacific, and WebMD are among the employers seeking candidates to fill 300+ open positions with salaries ranging from $80,000 to $160,000.

PMP Salary in Chicago

United Airlines, Verizon, and Cisco Careers are among the dozens of employers recruiting residents of the Windy City for their 275+ open project management positions, with salaries estimated to be between $80,000 and $115,200.

PMP Salary in Houston

In Houston, Hewlett Packard, KBR, and The Taligens Group are among the employers seeking candidates to fill more than 225 positions with salaries up to and exceeding $150,000.

PMP Salary in Austin

Residents of Austin and people curious about relocating can consider opportunities from Apple, Visa, Facebook, and more if they need the experience and credentials needed to fill one among the 200+ available project management positions paying $75,000 — $110,000 in the Texas town.

PMP Salary in Arlington

In Arlington, VA, and surrounding areas, Amazon, General Dynamics Information Technology, and IGNITE are among the employers seeking qualified candidates to fill project management roles that pay an annual salary between $80,000 and $180,000.

PMP Salary in San Francisco

PMP Certified Professionals in San Francisco are being courted by Dropbox, the town and County of San Francisco, DocuSign, and more to fill 194 open positions with salaries surpassing $125,000 per year.

PMP Salary in San Diego

In San Diego, General Atomics, Kaiser Permanente, and therefore the Scripps Research Institute join dozens of other employers seeking qualified project management professionals to fill quite 175 positions with salaries between $80,000 — $125,000.

PMP Salary Freelance — Remote

The rise of freelance and remote working independent contractors has benefited PMP-certified project managers. Many employers are seeking qualified project management professionals to fill positions with salaries between $88,000 — $115,000.

estimated salaries furnished by Indeed

Need to get PMP Certified to qualify? Find PMP Certification Training

PMP Salary by Job Title

PMI currently recognizes 870,000 PMP holders worldwide, and therefore these professionals vary significantly in both the industries during which they work and the roles they now occupy. The salary data that PMI has collected from its members and credential holders can provide valuable insight into the salary you’ll expect after obtaining your PMP certification based on your current role.

As would be expected, professionals with the title and description of Project Manager III have more responsibilities than those with the title Project Manager I, and their respective mean salaries ($112,314 and $89,380) reflect this.

82% of respondents to the PMI salary survey are PMP certification holders. As such, the chart below compares various job titles with the salary data collected from PMI, Payscale, and Glassdoor to provide the most thorough view of the size of the raise you would possibly anticipate after obtaining PMP certification.

PMP Salary by Industry

The industry during which you’re employed also will factor into the salary you’ll expect to receive as a PMP certified professional. Those who earn their wages on the govt payroll fetch just over $116,000 per annum, while those within the private sector bring home $130,402 when working within the legal arena and $131,833 in the pharmaceutical industry.

Other notable industry salary differences for PMP Certification holders:

Across industries, the division or department during which you serve also will impact your overall compensation. Those working under the arm of an IT department of a corporation earn a mean annual salary of $114,447, for instance, while the mean for those in Research and Development is $120,466.

Other notable department salary differences for PMP Certification holders:

PMP Salary Increase and Tenure

In most industries and positions, you’ll expect your salary to extend commensurate together with your experience and tenure. For PMP certification holders, this continues to hold. The salary that PMP certification holders enjoy consistently increases because the years add up over which they need to maintain the credential.

The median salary within us for a PMP certification holder who has been certified for fewer than five years is $103,000, for instance, while the midmost salary for those who have held the credential for ten or more years is $130,000. Those holding a PMP certification earn salaries that consistently exceed their non-credentialed peers, and their status as credentialed professionals further compounds these increased wages.

Other Factors That Impact PMP Salary

The size of the corporate you’re employed for and therefore the size of the projects you manage, both in terms of the budget and therefore the number of individuals on your project teams also will influence the compensation you’ll expect as a PMP Certified project professional.

What’s the ROI of PMP Certification?

You’ve already seen how earning a PMP Certification can lead to a salary that is more than 20% higher than your non-certified peers. But as someone working in project management, you know that the full picture needs to include more than just the value of the result. After all, you’d never execute a project without assessing its value and feasibility. So now that you know the value of a PMP certification let’s explore the commitments you’ll need to make and the tasks you’ll need to complete to attain it.

PMP Candidate Requirements

Before you’ll sit for the PMP Certification Exam, you’ll get to demonstrate your qualifications to try to do so. PMI requires that each one candidate meet both the experience and education requirements below before they will sit for the exam. On your exam application, you’ll get to provide proof that you simply have the following:

  • A four-year degree (which could also be a bachelor’s degree or its global equivalent).
  • 3 years/36 hours (minimum) of project management experience with a minimum of 4500 hours leading projects
  • 35 hours of project management education, at minimum


  • A secondary degree (such as an associate’s degree or high school diploma).
  • 5 years/60 months (minimum) of project management experience, with a minimum of 7500 hours spent leading projects.
  • 35 hours of project management education, at minimum

While only 35 contact hours of project management education are required to take a seat for the exam, most candidates also will include self-study and other exam preparation activities to make sure they are equipped for the notoriously challenging exam.

PMI has not published a pass/fail rate for the exam in an additional than a decade; however, they acknowledge that a lot of who sit for the exam don’t achieve a passing status on their first attempt. Therefore, they permit for 3 attempts within one year, with additional fees for every exam.

On the first attempt at passing the exam, applicants are required to pay an exam fee of $555.00, or $405.00 if they are already a PMI member. Applicants who don’t pass the exam on their first attempt may retake it up to 2 times within one year for a fee of $375, or $275 for PMI members. The table below illustrates what your financial investment could appear as if do you have to prefer to pursue certification:

*Exam preparation class fees are estimated and will vary by provider

As the average PMP Certification holder earns a salary of $112,000 per annum, the entire cost to realize certification equates to the earnings received from fewer than 50 hours. For the sake of comparison, consider that it might take a further 11 hours paid at the wage of these earning the typical salary of a non-certified project professional.

PMP Certification Salary vs. MBA Comparison

As you saw above, you can attain your PMP certification in fewer than three months at the cost of $2555 — $3305. To earn your MBA, you’ll need to commit 18–24 months and can expect your expenses to start at $60,000.
PMI’s Salary Survey found that respondents with a master’s degree and those with PMP certification achieved a mean salary that differed by fewer than $1000. The real difference is within the effort required to realize it:

For a PMP Certified professional, an investment equal to slightly more than one workweek is required both financially and practically.
For knowledgeable who pursue an MBA instead, 26 weeks of their post-degree wages are going to be required to recoup their investment, and 1.5 to 2 years are going to be required of them.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to deduct the costs of preparing and sitting for the PMP exam from your taxes or have them covered by your employer. As each person’s situation is different, you ought to always consult your accountant or financial adviser to make a decision whether you qualify for any tax deductions or credits.

Summary and conclusions

  • If you’re a project manager with at least 2–3 years of experience, you may meet the PMP certification requirements and qualify for the credential.
  • The PMP Certification distinguishes its holders worldwide as leaders in their field. It tells employers and peers alike that you simply have the power, competence, and knowledge to steer successful project teams using the foremost effective methods and standards.
  • On average, PMP certification holders earn a salary that’s 23% greater than their uncertified peers.
  • PMP Certified project managers and people with an MBA earn a salary that differs by only a couple of hundred dollars. Still, the commitments they make financially and practically are widely disparate. Qualified PMP candidates can expect an investment of $2500 — $3300 to attain their PMP certification. An MBA carries a price of $60,000, at a minimum, and requires 18–24 months of study.

Is PMP Certification right for you? If you meet the PMP education and work experience requirements and are able to take subsequent steps toward advancing your career, inspect our PMP Certification camp. Our instructor-led courses are available face to face in additional than 20 cities also online. They cover all aspects of the examination and provide you with access to exam simulators and expertly developed test-taking strategies to make sure you’re 100% ready for test day and on your way to passing. Find a PMP Certification Training Class in your city now.



Shamim Ahammed

Forty percents marketers+Forty percents designer+Twenty percent's writer= dudes; It’s me😎