The 2023 Association for Project Management (APM) Salary and Market Trends Survey has revealed that the average base salary for project professionals is £47,500, compared with the UK’s national average salary of £38,6001.17.05.2023 - 10:13:37
APM Project Management Salary and Market Trends Survey 2023 Shows Renewed Optimism and Confidence in the Project Profession. While the average project professional salary has remained unchanged since 2020, it ranks above the finance and insurance, energy supply, and IT industries1.
These insights include 47% of project professionals who earn above £50,000, with the energy and financial services sectors offering the highest average salary of £62,500. The majority of project professionals enjoyed a pay rise in 2022, with 65% seeing their average salary increase.
As the first large-scale analysis of the profession since the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, the findings convey a feeling of optimism in the profession. Job satisfaction is high, pay and benefits are on the rise, and organisations are increasing recruitment. Across the profession, 81% say they are satisfied in their role, while 80% are optimistic about the supply of jobs.
The proportion of companies looking to recruit additional staff is at a five-year high at 59%. Looking around the UK, companies in the South West and the West Midlands are demonstrating above-average levels of expansion, with 79% and 81% respectively growing their businesses.
While the volatility of the past three years has been difficult for businesses in all industries, the project profession has coped with the challenges of inflation, global supply chain issues and energy price rises with confidence and positivity. The profession understands that changes in technology and working practices require the prioritisation of different skills, such as project leadership and people management, which the survey highlighted as important.
However, communication is now top of the list of vital skills for the project professional, reflecting the rise of remote working.
Professor Adam Boddison OBE, Chief Executive of APM, said: “This year’s Salary and Market Trends Survey shows how people and businesses have adapted to new working practices and the long-term effects of the pandemic. It also comes during a period of economic turbulence, with high energy costs and sustainability now front-of-mind for many in the profession.
“The project management profession has always been resilient. As the chartered body for the profession, we’re determined to support it, using the insights from this study to promote its long-term value to society.
“The survey also found that 45% of APM members feel their membership has a positive impact on salary, as do 48% of Chartered Project Professionals (ChPPs). Of course, other factors may impact salary, but APM membership brings even more value through professional recognition and useful resources, which enhance professional development."
Average project professional salaries by sector:
Energy and utilities
Transport and logistics
Pay and benefits
Pay and benefits are on the rise, with 65% reporting an increase in financial reward. This is a significant leap from the 46% who saw their pay packages rise in 2021, and a strong indication that the profession is returning to pre-pandemic levels, when 72% stated that their pay and benefits had increased. This financial boost is translating in healthy optimism for the next 12 months, with 66% expecting their pay and benefits to rise and just 4% expecting them to decrease. That optimism is most keenly felt in consultancy, with 79% of consultants expecting their pay and benefits to rise, along with project professionals in energy and utilities (75%), construction (71%) and defence (71%).
With changes in technology and working practices, the project management profession of the future will need to prioritise different skills to those required in the past. These skills include communication, which was cited as important by 44% of respondents. Project leadership (38%), stakeholder engagement (34%), people management (29%) and planning and monitoring (24%) also increased in importance compared to 2021, with the latter rising by an impressive 18%.
Flexible working is also regarded as having a positive impact on projects by 66% of project professionals. Indeed, technology has a central role in improving the efficiency and success of the sector, with 49% stating that automation and AI has a positive impact.
For further details visit apm.org.uk/salarysurvey
Notes to editors
1Office for National Statistics (ONS), 2020
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