Project managers rank among the most in-demand professionals in the world according to the Project Management Institute. In the US alone, nearly 9 million project management jobs are expected over the decade.
Fortunately, high demand also means increasing salaries, and some companies are paying well into the six-figures for experienced project managers to lead teams, stay on schedule, and achieve objectives. So where are the best places to work?
Using data from Payscale, we’ve ranked the most popular project management employers by median salary, and provided a brief overview of the company, job expectations and requirements, and areas of specialization. Whether you’re a working professional, still considering a career in project management, or pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s in project management, keep reading to find a company that suits your interest and offers a top-of-the-line salary.
5) Booz, Allen, and Hamilton
Median Project Manager Salary: $95,447
Founded in 1914, Booz, Allen, and Hamilton is one of the most prestigious management and IT consulting firms in the country, with headquarters in McLean, Virginia, and over 24,000 employees across the globe. Booz Allen is best known for providing government services like homeland security and defense (hence the proximity to Washington, D.C.), but it also covers a range of private and nonprofit interests, including financial services, healthcare, transportation, and energy, resources, and utilities.
Project manager jobs offer salaries from around $70,000-$120,000, and the top-hiring offices tend to be in the Greater D.C. Area, followed by San Diego, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, and New York, among others. In general, mid- to senior-level project managers should have at least 8 years of experience, but the firm offers several entry-level roles as well as roles with lower experience thresholds. PMP certification is preferred or required for most positions, as is a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a related similar field.
If you’re interested in a top-paying employer with all-star clients — especially if you have an IT, cybersecurity, or defense background — Booz, Allen, and Hamilton is one of the best places to pursue or continue a career in project management.
4) Northrop Grumman
Median Project Manager Salary: $106,440
Defense giant Northrop Grumman is another top employer for project management professionals, with salaries ranging from around $75,000 up to nearly $140,000.
The company’s main areas of business are aerospace, mission systems, and technology services. Most of the 1,000+ available project management positions are located in California, Virginia, Maryland, Colorado, and Florida, and may include occasional travel requirements. These roles require critical attention to detail. Risk management experience is a plus, and most roles require or prefer PMP certification or related qualifications. Mid- to senior-level project managers should have 5-7 years experience minimum, and a bachelor’s or master’s in the field should boost your hiring odds.
3) International Business Machines (IBM)
Median Project Manager Salary: $107,723
Founded in 1911 as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, IBM is a worldwide leader in a host of tech areas, from cloud and cognitive computing to IT infrastructure, cybersecurity, data analytics, commerce, and the Internet of Things. Headquartered just outside of New York City, IBM operates in over 170 countries, and employs over 380,000 professionals. Among IBM employees’ accomplishments include five Nobel Prizes, six Turing Awards, ten National Medals of Technology and five National Medals of Science.
The company’s project management openings run the gamut. Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles are popular outposts, but jobs are available in cities across the country (and remote work may be possible for experienced project managers). Senior-level roles can require 5-10 years prior experience, but some roles don’t specify, and IBM also offers unique internship opportunities for students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career. PMP certification, a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and proficiency in multiple programs, tools, and platforms will go a long way in landing you a job.
In short, IBM offers excellent project management salaries, plus the opportunity to work on cutting-edge, high impact projects.
Median Project Manager Salary: $110,263
Yes, one of the most valuable companies in the world also offers top-dollar project management positions in a variety of areas. Famously founded in a garage, Amazon now boasts $180 billion in revenue, dozens of major subsidiaries, and 560,000 employees across the world.
As of this posting, Amazon lists over 8,000 full-time project manager jobs in software development, solutions architecture, IT support engineering, and non-tech fields like finance and operations management, among others. Needless to say, responsibilities vary depending on specialization, but a few expectations and requirements stand out. Experience is key, and can replace a formal degree in some cases. Given the nature of Amazon’s business, ideal project manager candidates will excel in fast-paced environments, and be able to balance and manage multiple projects at once. The size of the company demands clear communication and confident, independent decision-making. Last but not least, you’ll need to be highly organized and know how to plan, implement, and execute on a rigorous schedule.
A project management career at Amazon may be challenging, but it’s also exciting, unpredictable (in a good way), and includes top-tier compensation.
1) Deloitte Consulting
Median Project Manager Salary: $112,203
Founded in 1845, Deloitte is the largest professional services network in the world, with nearly $40 billion in revenue in 2017 and 264,000 employees. The firm’s auditing arm is perhaps its most well-known service, but financial advisory, risk advisory, government, and consulting make up a significant portion of Deloitte’s business. Further, the consulting arm offers one of the highest median salaries in the country for project managers.
Deloitte Consulting covers three core areas: human capital, strategy and operations, and technology. As of this posting, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Philadelphia have the most project management openings, but consultants work across the country. Generally, mid- to senior-level professionals should have 2-5 years of project management experience, and a bachelor’s and/or master’s in a related field is preferred. Willingness to travel is a major requirement: Deloitte consultants will be jet-setting far more than other employers on the list, meaning you’ll need to be flexible. (That said, travel occasionally comes with perks.)
And while the project manager salary is great, there’s more here than a paycheck. Deloitte has been ranked as one of the best companies to work by more than a dozen outlets, including Fortune, LinkedIn, and multiple women’s and veteran’s organizations.