Project management is a very sought-after career path by employers and employees alike. It’s a well-paying role with flexibility and room for growth, making it a very appealing job option nationwide. 


Table of contents

What do Project Managers do?

How much do Project Managers make?

What factors impact a Project Manager’s salary?

How do I learn the skills to become a Project Manager?

What Do Project Managers Do?

Project managers are tasked with scheduling, organizing, and leading project management teams toward completing specific projects. This role enables organizations to run efficiently by reducing costs, enhancing revenues, and reducing scope creep.

It is vital to add that the roles and responsibilities of any project manager will vary depending on the organization they work in, the industry, or the nature of the projects they have been allocated. Nevertheless, the project manager’s role can be divided into five responsibilities that make up the traditional project life cycle. 

These responsibilities are:

  1. Initiating: This entails kickstarting new projects by describing the key objectives an organization wishes to realize. The project manager should also explain the project purpose and scope, determine the main internal and external stakeholders, receive authorization to proceed, and share expectations with the said stakeholders.
  2. Planning: The planning phase entails the development of a project plan. The project plan shows how the predetermined goals and objectives of the project are to be realized. The plan is beneficial because it allows project managers to manage the risks, costs, timelines, communications, scope, and quality issues.
  3. Executing: The execution phase is where the project team completes the predetermined project work. Here, the project manager is tasked with assigning work to team members to ensure that the project timelines are met. The project manager also ensures the seamless undertaking of activities and resolves any conflicts within the execution phase. 
  4. Monitoring and Controlling: The key activities that the project manager performs throughout this phase are monitoring progress, maintaining the budget, measuring performance, and ensuring that tasks have been completed on time. 
  5. Closing: Finally, the project manager closes the project by getting formal sign-offs from the client, letting go of unwanted personnel, closing contracts with their party vendors, and archiving project documents for safekeeping. The project has been completed at this stage, and the outcomes have been realized. 



How much do Project Managers make?

According to Lightcast, the median salary for a project manager in 2024 is $95,368. However, this number is determined by various factors like role responsibilities, education and certifications, industry, and location. 

Consider these factors if you’re looking to dive deeper into PM salary or maximize your paycheck as a Project Manager.


What factors impact a Project Manager’s salary?

Education and certifications

More than 90% of Project Managers working in the United States hold a Bachelor’s Degree. Those who have continued education to earn a Master’s or Doctoral Degree can expect to earn even more respectively. While many Project Manager skills are learned through on-the-job experience, a college degree goes a long way in developing leadership skills and soft skills vital to project management. 

While certifications aren’t mandatory for Project Managers, a few widely recognized certifications can help you validate your skills to earn a higher salary. The best certification for you will depend on your industry and job responsibilities. 

Still, the most prominent certifications include the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification and the Certified Association in Project Management (CAPM). Professionals who hold these certifications or other industry-specific certifications can expect to earn about 20% more than their counterparts who don’t hold certifications. 

The Asana Project Management Certificate provides the 23-hour educational requirement to sit for the CAPM. Having one or multiple certifications can be pivotal to advancing your career as a project manager.


Years of experience

Just like with other industries, the more experience you have, the more you can expect to earn or negotiate. This is also especially true for Project Managers who develop specialized experience in a field. For example, when applying for a position as a Project Manager with Boeing, a PM with 10 years of experience in the Aerospace industry will have more relevant job experience and may be more valuable than a PM with 10 years of experience in the Healthcare industry. 



Project manager roles exist in nearly every industry and are usually very well-paying positions. However, there are a few industries that typically offer higher salaries. These include Consulting, Resources, Pharmaceuticals, Aerospace, Food and Beverage, and Healthcare. Other top industries include Engineering, Utilities, and IT (technology). 



Large cities like San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, New York City, and Boston are among the highest paying in the United States. However, it’s important to remember that the cost of living is also higher in these areas, so it’s essential to consider both factors when considering salary. 


How do I learn the skills to become a Project Manager?


If Project Management seems like a career you’d like to pursue, check out the Asana Project Management Certificate to quickly get up to speed with project management basics, gain hands-on experience with project management software, and get individual support from a career coach dedicated to helping you land a project management role with confidence.

The program is designed for working professionals and students and requires no prerequisites. In just 18 weeks, you’ll be qualified and ready to pursue your career as a Project Manager! Learn more about the certification here.


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