How Much Do IT Project Managers Make

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Written By Chris Ekai

The salary of an IT project manager can vary significantly depending on factors such as the size and complexity of the projects they manage, their level of experience, and their location.

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, here are some general figures for IT project manager salaries in the United States:

These are just averages, and actual salaries can vary. For example, an IT project manager in a high-cost-of-living city like San Francisco or New York might earn more than these averages, while an IT project manager in a smaller city or rural area might earn less.

Additionally, many IT project managers also receive benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and bonuses, which can significantly increase their overall compensation.

One of the most common questions aspiring IT project managers ask is how much they can expect to earn in this role. The salary of an IT project manager varies depending on several factors such as experience level, location, industry, education level, and certifications.

This article will delve into these factors and provide an overview of the average salaries earned by IT project managers in the United States.

Additionally, we will explore which industries offer high-paying opportunities for these professionals and provide tips for advancing your career as an IT project manager.

Overview of IT Project Manager Roles and Responsibilities

The role of an IT project manager involves overseeing and coordinating the planning, implementation, and monitoring of technology projects to ensure timely delivery within budgeted resources.

To succeed in this role, project managers must possess various skills, including leadership, communication, problem-solving, and technical expertise.

These professionals are responsible for defining project objectives, creating schedules and budgets, identifying risks and challenges along the way, and ensuring alignment with organizational goals.

One of the primary challenges IT project managers face is managing stakeholder expectations. The success of any technology initiative depends on how well it meets the needs of stakeholders from across the organization.

This requires clear communication channels between project managers and stakeholders to ensure that all parties are on the same page regarding scope, timelines, costs, deliverables, and other critical aspects of the project.

Additionally, IT projects often involve rapidly changing technologies or shifting business requirements, making it difficult to stay on track. Another key challenge for IT project managers is dealing with limited resources while maintaining quality standards.

In most cases IT projects require significant investments in terms of money as well as personnel time commitment.

Factors Affecting IT Project Manager Salaries

The salary of an IT project manager is influenced by several factors, including their geographic location, years of experience, and level of education.

Geographic location plays a significant role in determining an IT project manager’s salary as there may be regional differences in the demand for skilled professionals.

Finally, the level of education attained by an IT project manager can also influence their earnings potential, as those with advanced degrees may earn higher salaries than those without.

Geographic Location

Geographic location plays a significant role in determining the salary of IT project managers. The salary comparison between metropolitan areas and rural areas is quite evident.

For instance, an IT project manager working in San Francisco can earn up to 40% more compared to their counterpart in a rural area. This difference is due to job market trends, as metropolitan areas have a higher demand for skilled and experienced IT professionals.

As such, it is essential for IT project managers to consider both factors when considering job opportunities and geographical locations.

Individuals must weigh the pros and cons of each location before making decisions that affect their career growth and earning potential.

Years of Experience

Years of experience is a crucial factor in determining the salary of professionals in the field of IT project management. As an IT project manager gains more years of experience, their salary grows along with it.

According to data from PayScale, an entry-level IT project manager can earn an average salary of $71,000 per year, while someone with over 20 years of experience can earn upwards of $130,000 per year.

As the IT industry continues to grow and evolve, so do industry trends affecting salaries for IT project managers. In recent years, there has been a high demand for skilled IT professionals due to new technological advancements and increased competition among companies.

This has led to higher salaries for experienced professionals in order to attract and retain top talent.

Additionally, as remote work becomes increasingly common and accepted within the industry, some experts predict that this trend may also impact salaries for IT project managers by allowing them to work remotely from lower-cost areas without sacrificing pay levels.

Level of Education

One crucial factor in determining IT project managers‘ salaries is their education level. Generally speaking, those with higher levels of education tend to earn more money than those with lower levels.

In fact, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT project managers who hold a master’s degree or higher earned a median annual salary of $142,530 in 2020. This is significantly higher than the median annual salary of $87,510 earned by those with only a bachelor’s degree.

Career prospects for IT project managers are generally strong regardless of their level of education. However, earning a higher degree can lead to even better opportunities and an increased earning potential over time. Additionally, some employers may require advanced degrees for certain positions or promotions within the company.

Overall, pursuing higher education can be a wise investment for those interested in becoming IT project managers and maximizing their salary projections.

Average IT Project Manager Salaries in the United States

The average salary for IT project managers in the United States is a commonly discussed topic among professionals in the industry. According to data from Glassdoor, the national average salary for IT project managers is around $90,000 per year. However, this number can vary greatly depending on location and years of experience.

Regarding top-paying states for IT project managers, California leads the way with an average salary of $116,000 per year. Other high-paying states include New York, Massachusetts, and Washington.

It’s worth noting that there is also a gender pay gap within the industry – according to, male IT project managers make around 10% more than their female counterparts.

It’s clear that being an experienced IT project manager can lead to a lucrative career path. While salaries can vary greatly depending on factors like location and gender, those who are able to excel in this field can expect to earn a comfortable living wage.

High-Paying Industries for IT Project Managers

IT project managers are in demand across various industries, but some offer higher salaries than others.

Information Technology, Finance and Insurance, Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services are among the top-paying industries for IT project managers.

These industries offer challenging projects and opportunities to work with cutting-edge technology, making them attractive career options for those seeking high-paying positions in the field.

Information Technology

Information Technology is a field that is widely recognized for its vast and complex nature. IT project managers are responsible for leading teams of professionals to complete projects within the organization.

They oversee the planning, execution, and delivery of technology projects such as software development, network infrastructure upgrades, and cybersecurity initiatives.

The job outlook for IT project managers remains optimistic due to the continued growth of technology in almost all industries. However, skill requirements are constantly evolving due to technological advances and changing business needs.

As a result, employers seek IT project managers with a diverse skill set that includes technical knowledge as well as communication, leadership, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities.

In addition to this skill set, many organizations prefer candidates who hold relevant certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified ScrumMaster (CSM). Given these requirements, IT project managers can expect competitive salaries reflecting their experience and qualifications.

Finance and Insurance

Finance and insurance industries involve the management of financial resources to mitigate risks and maximize returns. As such, they require competent IT project managers who can handle complex projects related to financial systems, data analytics, and risk management.

These professionals oversee the design, development, implementation, and maintenance of various IT systems that support finance and insurance operations.

Salary comparison is an important aspect when considering a career in finance or insurance as an IT project manager. According to PayScale data from May 2021, the average salary for an IT project manager in the finance industry is $97,044 annually.

On the other hand, IT project managers in the insurance industry earn slightly less at an average of $88,076 per year. However, these figures may vary depending on years of experience and location.

Additionally, both industries offer opportunities for career growth through promotions to senior management positions or transitioning into other areas within finance or insurance such as risk management or compliance.

Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services

Management, scientific, and technical consulting services guide organizations on how to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability by analyzing their business processes, operations, and systems.

This sector is expected to grow as the demand for specialized knowledge increases in different industries. Consulting industry trends show that this sector is continuously expanding as more organizations seek expert advice from consultants in various fields such as IT, finance, human resources, and management.

IT Project Managers who work in consulting firms can expect career growth opportunities within the organization. As they gain experience working with different clients across diverse industries, they acquire skills that make them valuable assets to these firms.

Experienced project managers can take up leadership positions or become partners in consulting firms. Furthermore, they may have the chance to specialize in a particular area of IT project management such as cybersecurity or cloud computing.

Thus, those pursuing careers in IT project management should consider seeking employment with consulting firms operating within the Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services Industries for promising career prospects.

Tips for Advancing Your IT Project Manager Career

One effective way to do this is by attending industry conferences, workshops, and training sessions. These can help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in your field while also building valuable connections with other professionals.

Networking strategies can also play a crucial role in advancing your career as an IT project manager. This involves actively seeking out new contacts within your industry and maintaining strong relationships with existing ones.

You may consider joining professional organizations or online communities where you can connect with like-minded individuals who share your interests and goals.

Skill development is another key aspect of advancing your career as an IT project manager. One effective way to do this is by seeking challenging projects that allow you to stretch yourself professionally and learn new things.

Additionally, pursuing certifications or advanced degrees can demonstrate a commitment to ongoing learning and professional growth that can set you apart from other candidates when applying for new positions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the educational requirements to become an IT project manager?

To become an IT project manager, educational requirements vary. Certification options such as PMP or PRINCE2 may be preferred. Industry experience in a related field is also valuable.

How much experience do you need to become an IT project manager?

To become an IT project manager, one typically needs several years of experience in the field, preferably in a related role such as software development or systems administration. Salary expectations and career progression can vary depending on industry, location, and company size.

What are some common challenges faced by IT project managers?

Managing stakeholders and time management are two common challenges IT project managers face. Balancing the needs of different stakeholders while ensuring the timely completion of tasks requires careful planning and communication skills.

IT project managers stay current with technology trends through continuing education and networking opportunities. These strategies enable them to acquire new knowledge, learn about emerging technologies, and understand how they can be applied to their projects.

What are some important skills for IT project managers to have?

Important skills for IT project managers include effective collaboration techniques, strong leadership abilities, exceptional communication skills, and efficient time management strategies. These enable successful project completion within set timelines while maintaining high-quality standards.

project manager
Project management of cost, time, scope, human resources, risks, and quality


IT project managers are responsible for planning, organizing, and overseeing the successful completion of various IT projects. They work with cross-functional teams to ensure that the projects are completed on time, within budget, and meet the stakeholders’ requirements.

The salaries of IT project managers vary depending on several factors, such as experience level, industry type, and location. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for IT project managers in the United States is $146,360.

However, this can vary significantly based on their skillset and expertise. For instance, those working in high-paying industries such as pharmaceuticals or finance tend to earn more than those in other sectors.

As an IT project manager looking to advance your career and increase your earning potential, staying current with emerging trends and technologies in your field is essential.

Additionally, consider obtaining certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified Scrum Master (CSM) to showcase your expertise and enhance your marketability.

IT project management is a challenging but rewarding career with excellent earning potential. While salaries may vary depending on several factors such as experience level and industry type; by staying knowledgeable about new technologies and obtaining relevant certifications – you can enhance your skills to command higher paychecks throughout your career.

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