The Chartered Body for our profession, the Association for Project Management has just published their latest Salary and Market Trends Survey. We have had a close association with the survey since its launch in 2015 so are always keen to see the latest information.

So, let us get straight to the headlines of average salaries by role:

£82,000 Head of Projects/Programmes
£62,000 Programme Manager
£60,000 Portfolio Manager
£57,000 Senior Project Manager
£52,000 Project Office Manager
£47,500 Project Manager / Change Manager
£32,500 Assistant Project Manager / Project Coordinator
£27,500 Project Office Support
£25,000 Project Administrator

Most of these rates are consistent with last year and the headline of £47,500 for a Project Manager represents a slow upward trend from £44,000 a few years ago. The PMO type roles have shown a reduction in salary but this is likely due to the new classification of “Head of Projects” which possible pulls some of the higher earners out of this category. For context, the UK average full time salary is £29,574 (ONS).

How about comparison against your peers? Let us look at the average salary by age:

18 – 24 £27,500
25 – 34 £37,500
35 – 44 £47,500
45 – 54 £57,500
55 – 64 £62,500

Regionally, no surprise that the highest average was London at £52,500 with the lowest average being Wales (£37,500).

Which sectors pay the best? Legal and Telecoms topped the pole at £57,500 followed by Construction, Energy & Utilities, Financial Services, IT, and Retail. These do represent some of the more mature sectors for project management where the value of skilled professionals may have wider recognition.

The exception to this is the Legal profession where there is significant opportunity and currently a small pool of ‘Legal Project Managers’ driving salaries higher as they benefit from short supply of experiences LPMs versus an industry waking up to the benefits of best practice project management.

What’s the general outlook?

With Brexit looming and the resulting uncertainty, what is the general outlook for those in the project management profession? Well, 70% believe their pay will increase “slightly” (61%) or “significantly” (9%). Last year only two-thirds had the same positive view.

In terms of their own organisation, 49% said they were growing and looking to recruit with an additional 20% growing. On the flip side only 11% believed their organisation would be undertaking redundancies. This is the highest level of positive sentiment since 2015 with Legal, Consultancy, and Life Sciences being those with the most positive outlooks.

Having said this 41% thought Brexit would have a “fairly” or “very” negative impact on their organisation with only 11% being “fairly” or “very” positive.

Finally, when asked to look to the future and impacts on the profession, the stand out answer was technological innovation, with 50% seeing this having a great impact and a further 37% seeing it impacting “to some extent”.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Wellingtone works closely with our colleagues at Microsoft both here in the UK and in Europe. Microsoft recently announced the addition of the Project Service, building on the success of Project Online and the desktop planning tool, Microsoft Project.

Microsoft are investing heavily in new solutions and recognise that project management tools shouldn’t just be for those managing large scale ‘above the radar’ corporate projects for all those managing work at whatever scale. This might be more informal team, working together in smaller initiatives and Microsoft recognise that software solutions must align with their needs.

Microsoft now offer a range of Work Management solutions, particularly for those in the Office365 space, from To Do and Planner up to Project Online. The conversation will move on from project management to a wider discussion around work management. In partnership with Microsoft and as an APM Accredited Training Provider our vision is to enable teams to work the way they want, ensure executives get the results they need and help individuals achieve their goals. Any person, any team or any organisation become better when managing work, projects and portfolios smarter.

So whatever industry you are in, and the career path you follow, the future looks very positive for PPM professionals, particularly those that embrace new work management ways of working and technology solutions.

By Vince Hines – Managing Director, Wellingtone