Table of Contents
- How much is an IT project manager salary?
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Curious about the IT project manager salary? This article is for you. It is the job of the IT project managers to ensure that complex technical projects, including systems upgrades and technology usage, are done on time, under budget, and based on specifications.
They plan and coordinate the efforts of the internal project team, third-party contractors, and consultants to complete IT projects successfully.
IT project management skills are known to be in high demand. This is because an increasing number of organizations prefer specialists and project-based methods to get the job done right the first time. Opportunities for advancement and earning potential in this field are excellent; the average IT project manager salary is pretty attractive.
To find out about IT project manager salary in detail, kindly continue reading.
How much is an IT project manager salary?
As of July 2021, the average annual IT project manager salary in the United States is $105,291 yearly. If you want to use a simple salary calculator, the figure works out to be approximately $50.62 hourly. This is the equivalent of $2,025/week or $8,774/month.
As high as $158,500 and as low as $43,000, the IT project manager salary currently ranges between $83,000 (25th percentile) to $125,000 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) making $145,500 annually across the US.
The average pay range for an IT Project Manager differs significantly (by as much as $42,000), suggesting there may be many opportunities for progression and increased pay based on skill level, location, and years of experience.
Generally, the range is vast — anywhere from $58,000 to $115,000, based on sites like Glassdoor and Payscale — due to the duties of an IT project manager vary depending on company size and scale. Additional factors affecting an IT project manager salary include experience, location, skills and education, and industry, among others. Let check out some of these factors:
Generally, senior IT project manager salary differs from others and as such, seniority affects salary more than any other factor in all fields. The IT sector is no exception. This means that experience impacts IT project manager salary. Because an IT project manager is typically a more experienced role (with five to 10 years of experience), starting IT project manager salary is often higher than the manager level in other job functions.
Here is the average IT project manager salary across different specialties and by seniority:
IT manager: $85,000
IT managers are responsible for building IT plans, monitoring progress against departmental goals, establishing team workflows, evaluating technology investments, and facilitating collaboration across the organization. IT managers contribute to broader organizational goals through the use of technology.
An IT manager may have to oversee a bigger group of infrastructure, network, and security admins, alongside support specialists and engineers. He/she is usually expected to report to an IT director, chief information officer (CIO), or chief operations officer (COO).
IT director: $129,000
The role of the IT director is similar to the IT manager — but tends to be more strategic. However, smaller organizations may not have both roles. For larger organizations with both roles, the IT director will be more engaged in setting goals, defining workflows, and deciding what technology to acquire. An IT director is usually expected to report to the CIO or COO.
Chief Information Officers represent the IT team at the executive level. Such a person leads the IT strategy — serving as a link between IT managers and other C-suite members. He/she ensures that the IT roadmap is in line with where the company’s vision.
CIOs are hardly involved in day-to-day tactical work. Rather, they oversee and influence the teams that carry out these efforts.
IT project managers are usually generalists. In certain organizations, the responsibilities of an IT project manager are divided into several specialized roles, including cybersecurity manager or infrastructure manager. The average salaries across these roles include:
Cybersecurity manager: $87,000
Cybersecurity managers keep an organization’s information and networks secure. They establish security protocols, regulate access to information, and train staff on safely using technology. In addition, cybersecurity managers monitor for security risks and respond in the event of a data breach.
Operations manager: $83,000
Operations managers work to ensure that the company can efficiently achieve its core operations — building products or delivering services. An operations manager’s duties vary from one company to another but are typically far-reaching. They might engage in hiring, training, or decisions around processes and tools to help the company operate at its best.
Engineering manager: $117,000
It is the job of an Engineering Manager to oversee the development of a company’s products — both external and internal. They establish goals and plans for development work, as well as manage members of the engineering team.
Although engineering managers are mostly focused on company IT plans and technology investments, they can get closer to customer needs than IT generalists.
Infrastructure manager: $85,000
An Infrastructure manager plans, executes, and maintains the core technology systems of an organization. They ascertain when IT infrastructure might need to be replaced. These folks have in-depth technical knowledge and a solid understanding of how the organization functions. They convert departmental needs into solutions, increasing efficiency and outputs.
Location influences the average IT project manager salary in two ways. The first way is that companies in cities with a higher cost of living often have to offer higher salaries. In the US, the cost of living in coastal states is usually higher than the national average.
For instance, California and New York ranked second and third, respectively, in terms of the cost of living in the US. Southern and midwest states have lower costs of living — Illinois ranked 29th while Texas ranked 32nd.
The second way is that in cities with larger business districts (e.g., San Francisco), demand for experienced IT project managers outpaces supply. Companies in these cities tend to offer higher salaries to attract top talent. Below are the average IT project manager salaries in major US cities:
- US West Coast
- Los Angeles: $93,000
- San Francisco: $107,000
- Seattle: $93,000
- US Midwest/Rocky Mountains
- Chicago: $88,000
- Denver: $85,000
- Minneapolis: $87,000
- US East Coast
- Boston: $92,000
- New York: $93,000
- US South
- Atlanta: $86,000
- Dallas: $84,000
A similar pattern exists in Europe. Salaries are higher in cities where the cost of living and demand for technical expertise are highest.
The countries having the highest cost of living in Europe include Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Denmark. Cities such as Munich and Berlin are growing technology hubs with a greater need for IT talent. Here are the average IT project manager salaries in major European cities:
- Barcelona: €48,000
- Berlin: €81,000
- Brussels: €87,000
- London: £60,000
- Madrid: €54,000
- Munich: €89,000
- Paris: €67,000
- Rome: €60,000
- Zurich: CHF147K
The average IT project manager salary in Australia and New Zealand is even higher — primarily due to a higher cost of living in these countries. The average cost of living in Australia is 12 percent higher than living in the US.
Moreover, in New Zealand, the cost of living is 8 percent higher than that of the US. Here are the average IT salaries in major cities in Australia and New Zealand:
- Auckland: NZ$87K
- Brisbane: A$133K
- Melbourne: A$132K
- Sydney: A$135K
- Wellington: NZ$95K
What would my job duties be as an IT project manager?
As an IT project manager, it is your responsibility to oversee all computer systems and technologies used by a particular business or organization. You oversee the day-to-day operation and maintenance of computer hardware, software, networks, and databases.
You may be responsible for determining the technological needs of a particular organization and then selecting the appropriate systems to meet those needs.
You are generally responsible for overseeing a crew of IT professionals, such as programmers, software designers, or technicians. You must communicate the configuration parameters of IT-related projects to your team and ensure that the project goals are achieved in a timely fashion.
You might also be responsible for communicating technical issues and needs to business managers and owners and laying out plans for addressing those concerns.
What are the educational programs available to me?
To get a position as an IT project manager, you are often required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a computer-inclined field (like information systems management or computer science). Therefore, consider enrolling in courses in business administration to learn management skills and theory.
You might need to get a graduate degree for employment with some organizations. A Master of Business Administration in Information Technology can provide you with an advanced understanding of business principles while also preparing you to address complex IT problems within a business organization.
Such programs typically take two years to complete and include courses covering information systems strategy, knowledge management, systems development, database management, and project management.
Will I need certification?
You usually aren’t required to have certification to gain a position as an IT project manager. However, some employers may prefer certifications in certain types of software or hardware. You can obtain certifications at various skill levels directly from vendors like Microsoft. To acquire certification, you must complete a series of exams. See Top Certifications That Pay Well In 2021
What are the average salary and job outlook?
As of May 2018, computer and information systems managers earned an average annual salary of $152,860, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to the BLS, you can work for independent businesses and computer systems design services as an IT project manager.
The BLS predicted that job growth for IT project managers would rise much faster than average at 11 percent between 2018 and 2028.
What are some related alternative careers?
As an alternative career, you may consider being a database administrator or a computer analyst. Just like an IT project manager, a database administrator helps companies function efficiently by organizing relevant data and making them accessible to relevant users within the organization.
On the other hand, a computer analyst helps improve an organization’s computer and IT systems to make its business processes more efficient and cost-effective.