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Salary Expectations for PMP Certificate Holders

By January 13, 2023No Comments

In the field of Project Management, no matter the industry or how long you’ve been working, going forward with Project Management Professional (PMP) certification can increase your chances of getting more and bigger projects, a better job, and a better salary.

The project management field is constantly growing, and globally it has maintained growth throughout industries. Unfortunately, for employers, there is a gap between what they expect and what they are being offered. That’s one of the many reasons that becoming a PMP certificate holder will help you land a job with a better salary. Worldwide, employers know that a PMP certificate holder is worth the money.

To PMP or Not to PMP

REQUIREMENTS

The education requirements for getting PMP certification are simple. If you already have a 4-year degree or above you need to document 4500 hours or 3 years of experience. If you have a secondary degree, high school diploma or global equivalent, but have yet to receive your bachelor’s degree, you need to have 7500 hours 5 years of documented experience. Both educational requirements also require 35 contact hours which can be obtained through a PMI certified PMP training program.

The coursework, or 35 contact hours, can cost anywhere from around $400 to upwards of $2,000, depending on which option you choose. There are a variety of courses to meet your financial needs as well as your learning style. The PMP first time exam costs $555 for non-members and $405 for PMI members.

PMI

PMI is the leading project management association, promoting and encouraging growth, ethical standards, and governance throughout the profession worldwide. PMI not only certifies project managers through PMP exams, they also provide educational platforms for Agile methodology, including Scrum, and CAPM, the Certified Associate in Project Management certification. Their guidelines and standards provide PMPs with best practices to guide them, which is why more employers are requiring certification.

The Benjamin’s

An individual that holds a PMP certification can increase their salary by up to 32%, which in any job is an impressive raise. The Project Management Institute (PMI) regularly conducts salary surveys for the project management field to determine what the current salary trends are internationally.  Check out the latest PMI salary survey here.

 On average the PMP certification will give a newly certified project manager a 22% increase in their salary in the U.S. The United States has the second highest median salaries in the world for PMP holders. Depending on the industry, the median starting salary with a PMP certificate is $116,000 vs. $84,000 for project managers without it. Currently, Switzerland still holds the title of the highest salaries for PMP project managers, around $132,000 and Australia comes in third at roughly $101,000. Even countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines report salaries for PMP holders at 80% over those that haven’t received the certification.

 Not only is there usually an increase in salary, over 70% of the survey participants reported at minimum an additional 5% increase in salary and benefits year over year.

Salaries by country

Throughout the world, PMP certification is the standard that shows companies that candidates are ready to receive those increases with their knowledge and ethical standards.

The table below represents the top three countries with the best median salary for Project Manager 1 positions. Please note these figures are salary alone.

Country

Median Non-PMP
Salary

Median PMP Salary

Switzerland

$116,582

$129,596

Australia

$91,000

$120,000

United States

$75,000

$98,000

The figures come from PMIs 2021 “Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey”. The survey is conducted with over 30,000 project managers, in over 40 countries, and includes a variety of industries.

From the chart above, you see that if you are in Switzerland, you get the highest salary as PMP. While the United States comes third, however, the amount of positions available in Switzerland are far less than in the U.S.

The United States also comes in 3rd in the amount of project manager positions. In 2017, the U.S. had over 6.7 Million positions. The expectation by 2027 is over 8.8 million positions. Worldwide there are only an estimated 600,000 PMP certificate holders, in 208 countries and territories. This makes having that certificate even more valuable, now and in the future.

Salaries are also based on the amount of experience you have in the field. A project manager who has held a PMP for more than five years, will command a higher salary.

The following chart shows the average salaries (both PMP and Non-PMP) by experience:

Country

3–5 YEARS
Experience

5–10 YEARS Experience

Switzerland

$119,293

$130,138

Australia

$91,000

$120,000

United States

$85,000

$100,000

Salaries by Industry

Project managers in the tech industry command a different salary than project managers in the construction industry. Each industry comes with their own set of guidelines and expectations above and beyond the knowledge required to become a PMP.

The following chart shows some of the average median salaries (both PMP and Non-PMP) by Industry in the United States:

Job

Median Salary

Project Manager (General)

$115,000

Information Technology

$116,585

Healthcare

$111,021

Aerospace

$121,923

Engineering        

$129,208

From the chart above you can see that project managers in the Engineering field command more salary than those in Information Technology. Engineering project managers tend to have a minimum of a master’s degree which also accounts for a larger salary.

Salary by Project Size

The larger the projects that a company has the more they pay for their project managers. More responsibility and more team members means more work for the project manager.

The following chart shows some of the average median salaries (both PMP and Non-PMP) by the size of the project in the United States:

Team Members

Salary Range

1-5

$105,000

5-10

$115,000

10-20

$120,000

20+

$130,000

As you can see from all of the information above, Project Manager salaries are based on a variety of factors:

  • Country of employment
  • Experience in terms of years of project management experience
  • Industry
  • Project size (number of team members, and project budget).

All of the information above is from the PMI 2021 “Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey”. However you add it up, an increase in salary of up to 22% with a PMP and on average of an additional 5% within the first year in benefits and salary, make the cost of certification well worth the time and money.

More positions are available every day. The project management field is growing more than most occupations. There are new opportunities for sustainable energy, aerospace, engineering, construction, manufacturing, and information technology.

Not only is obtaining your PMP good for you and your future, maintaining it allows you to keep up with current trends for and within your position and industry.

PMI provides you with the initial certification as well as the tools to continue committing yourself to the best practices of the field. Employers know that if you have that certificate, you are not only a trained project manager, you are a professional. For that, they are willing to pay.

Have you led projects and are looking to earn a project management certification?  You might be interested in learning about how lucrative this can be.  Check out these articles.

Should You Become PMP Certified? – Here’s Why Becoming A Certified Project Management Professional Can Boost Your Career

13 PMP Benefits Once You Get The PMP Certification

No experience leading projects but still want to get into project management?  No problem!  Check out these articles.  

CAPM Certification Eligibility

What is a Certified Project Manager; How do I get PM Certifications

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Brain Sensei is rated 4.57 out of 5.0 stars based on 109 review(s).

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I think the course is good. I wouldn't mind a few more videos and audible in the trainings. I do a lot do reading. I bought the PMBOK book on the side and sometimes have trouble connect the class to the PMBOK book. I do enjoy your format. I am learning. Personally I need buckle down and spend more time on it.

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I really enjoyed the Brain Sensei self learning course as well as the virtual course with the instructor. I was able to pass the PMP with above target ratings for every section. I am so pleased with how easy and efficient the courses were to navigate, and how simply the PMI approach was placed into every day situations. I would highly recommend this course to everyone wanting to either freshen up on their Project skills or to master the PMP.

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Hi Folks, good course there. More info/exercises on EV and formulas would be really helpful. Thank you very much.

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The course was thorough and the practice exams enhanced my learning. However, I am having a hard time receiving my PDU credit for taking the course.

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Excellent test prep for the exam, though some more practice tests on agile would be beneficial

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It is often hard to figure out what the right answer was on a quiz or practice exam. Frequently, the correct answer is buried in a lot of text about what options are wrong.

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The content was spot on and I am much more confident in understanding the processes and how everything works together now. (The) course is great; however, the customer service team is Exceptional! Very responsive and thorough, and at all times; and when I had some technical difficulties (or questions) they stuck with me through resolution. Highly recommended program and company.

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Good courses, lots of text and reading. Not as many videos or interactive pieces that I was expecting. And some misspelled words.

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The Course documents should remain open for longer than 6 months, given that PMI gives you 365 days to prepare for exam. Also, the option to extend visibility for the course documents, costs almost a 5th of the course, but opens up the docs for just 30 more days. Propose to extend this to 90 days at the very least.

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I'm very satisfied with the Brain Sensei PMP Exam Preparation Course. All 8 Modules are very well structured and detailed. I believe that practice exams included in the course helped me a lot with the preparation for my PMP Exam. I appreciate Brain Sensei for their amazing course and for the awesome service. They responded to all my requests immediately. Thanks. Highly recommended.

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The format of the prep-course is great overall and a great alternative to reading the PMBOK. Barring a few minor glitches here and there, the flow of information ensures that concepts are well understood not only from the point of examination but to the point of application in day to day professional activities. Explanations provided in the answers of prep exams (apart from the 1st one) are also a key to understanding the thought process to be applied. With the focus being on Agile approaches from 2021, the information in the course seemed adequate to cover the concepts. All the Best to all aspirants.

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Studied BrainSensei for 11 days and passed. Succinct and highly informational chapters. The 4 practice exams are marginally more difficult then the PMP. Borderline impossible to fail the PMP if you pass this course.

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Your course, quizzes at the end of most modules and practice exams truly challenged me. I definitely derived the value and knowledge I was looking for in preparation for taking the PMP Certification Test. In particular, I appreciated the explanations that popped-up in the tests after an answer was submitted - very educational and helpful to my learning/understanding the material and concepts better. Some areas that could be improved (and some of this is nit-picking) include: * Some of the grammar and overall sentence structures, particularly in the latest set of practice exams, needs to be cleaned-up. Some were missing 'of', 'for, or had an extra 'an' in the narrative - got confusing at times. * In the practice exams, I'd like to see shorter sentences rather than the flurry of 'and' and 'or' conjunctions that made reading the sentences go on forever (had to read them multiple times to truly understand their meaning). That said, I enjoyed the overall online course taking experience and thank you for accommodating my requested time extensions. Best regards, Scott Conn

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Liked it. Need access for longer though.

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What I like best about Brain Sensei is the interactive nature of the course. I think this material would be numbing if delivered as simple lectures with slides. This method is an improvement on that. On the other hand, an in-person course, while more expensive, would likely be even more useful if you have the funds and the time. I haven't taken the PMP exam yet, so I can't comment on how useful the practice tests are.

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The Brain Sensei PMP program is a wonderful program that condenses the PMBOK into digestible and retainable bites leveraging the power of story telling. If you're looking for a program that will get you your credit hours but also help establish a foundation of PMI knowledge this is the program for you!

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Passed first attempt

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Truly the best course in town if you wish to pass the PMP exam on the first try. I love the idea of playing the role of the samurai and practice your project management skill in her shoes. And not to forget, the generous amount of practice exam gave me just the right dose of confidence before taking the real one. Highly recommended

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The course was great, though I found a lot of parts hard to comprehend. I feel a lot more prepared and better skilled to manage projects in my career. Thanks, Brain Sensei.

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The BrainSensei PMP preparation course provided me with all the material required to be ready for the exam. It is well structured, explains the concepts clearly, and most importantly, provides ample training questions through the four mock exams and assessment questions at the end of each module. I passed the exam with Above Target in all sections on the first attempt.

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BrainSensei developed a great learning method to prepare for the PMP certification exam. Their customer service is always very professional, fast, spot on and dedicated to your success. I recommend them.

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I've sent several emails to BrainSensei (one of them not so nice, but the rest were okay) and the team has always been so polite in answering the questions. I'm a very straight-forward person and don't like the PMI-ism type questions because they seem like 'gotchas' or traps, and this is not how I manage my team. I took the Master of Project course (which was garbage) then failed the PMP exam. Throughout the PMP exam I felt so out of touch. Even with the first practice exam on BrainSensei I felt out of place, but I am not getting the hang of things. I hope to pass the exam on the second attempt! The brain sensei experience has been *miles* ahead of the Master of Project garbage. Brain Sensei should be proud of both their product and of their team! I love getting replies to my concerns so quickly. Nice work :) !!!

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very useful

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I was very pleased with the preparation provided for the PMP certification. I went through the materials twice and passed the exam on the first try. A couple of the questions need to be polished up, but very good training overall.

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The storyline provides excellent examples that provide context for understanding the core concepts and processes

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I have studied with other programs and I didn’t feel prepared. After a short time with Brain Sensei, I had the confidence to succeed on exam day, which I did on the first try after studying with Brain Sensei. It was worth every penny.

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Course is made for people who are already grounded in the material, not for someone that needs all the basics. Was budget friendly and OK content.

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Brain Sensei is great tool to have in the study arsenal while preparing for the PMP exam.

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I really enjoyed the modules and content offered by Brain Sensei! I passed the PMP Exam on the first try and would recommend this course to anyone who is looking for a great PMP Exam Prep.

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Overall layout is good, but there are some quality issues. Progress isn't always saved across all devices and progress gets lost. Some small spelling mistakes. I loved the practical storyline...

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Passed my PMP on first attempt using Brain Sensei Prep course.

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Quick and helpful response. Thanks!!

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Need improvement in presenting more relevant real exam type questions. The practice exams are too simple and easy and do not prepare you for the real exam. Otherwise, good concept presenting material

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The prep materials provided plenty of content which prepared me well for the PMP exam. The questions were packed with information.

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Teaches the PMP in a solid manner, some things you need to know as a potential consumer: -The Samurai backstory is extremely short, and didn’t really assist me with recall in any in-depth way. It only gave broad brush-strokes as to what each phase entailed. -MOST of what was on the test was covered in the lessons, however if I had zero real prior PM knowledge prior to the test, I would have failed. -The first practice test forces you, as the student to actually read into the PMBOK, which was a benefit in the long run as it assisted me with quickly referencing what I needed to find. -The course will likely cover wave tops and subjects, forcing me to self-study for a week before my test... not a bad deal all things considered. -Brain Sensei’s course has incorporated Agile into one of their practice tests, and this test IS mandatory. This may seem strange, and I didn’t get a satisfactory reason why I needed to take a purely Agile test when I only wanted to take the PMP, for anyone else in this scenario, this is the reason: In June, PMI is revamping the PMP test to include Agile as a significant portion of the PMP. Brain Sensei is just ahead of the curve trying to get students prepared... fret not. Their customer service is extremely responsive and does take care of their members. My program had a couple bugs, and the customer service fixed my problems within 24 hours. All in all... it was absolutely worth the money for me.

- Kevin

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I am very impressed with this learning system. The content is laid out in a way that will make any learner understand all the process groups and ITTOs in order to understand Project management and be equipped to excel in the test. The learning system is engaging and fun at the same time. It's very different than other learning material which is composed mostly of videos. Some improvements are needed, but in my opinion Brain Sensei is great value for money

- said durra

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At first, I was attracted to Brain Sensei training for their original learning program using a Samurai's story. And indeed it made the whole learning experience funnier - so easier. I felt like the Samurai. Then, I was amazed by The Brain Sensei Team's reactivity and help when I reached out through contact@brainsensei.com Their support was constantly reliable and efficient. I appreciated their professionalism and didn't feel on my own. At last, the course and the practice exams proved to be efficient since I passed the PMP exam - with 'Above Targe't in all Domains. So thank you so much Brain Sensei Team !! Charlene

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Overall very good. Got stuck a few times trying to find resources which I should have downloaded the before starting the program. Customer service has been great.

- Jonathan Williams

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SO far I am thoroughly enjoying the Brain Sensei PMP prep course. I have taken a Project management class as a part of my degree which I recently completed and project management has always interested me. I find the course to be educational and easy to follow. I am grateful that this course has been designed in such a way that is simple to understand all of the complexities in project management and that allows me to study at my own pace.

- Eric Browne

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The content is good and easy to understand

- Glenn

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This review is based on completing all course work through module 102. The story and interactive nature of the course are helpful for learning and relating the material. It would be nice to have the page numbers to the PMBOK guide where references are made to it. Other information that will be helpful, are the explanations to the practice questions at the end of each module. These are provided only after immediately answering the questions. Having these available in the score summary from the 'history' tab will be helpful to refresh why the answer is correct and other options are not.

- Rohan Punit

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Overall I would rate this course an 8/10. I liked how there were exams towards the end of every module and I felt that it was very useful having it laid out in different scenarios. I rate it only an 8/10 as I had some glitch/software issues and lost my progress resulting in me having to re-do modules/exams multiple times. All in all, that was maybe useful in the end as it was a way for me study or 're-learn' the course material. Thank you!

- Nikki Cordy

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Clear and precise explanations of how things work. I was never lost navigating the course.

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A smart approach to present the information which makes it fun and engaging while at the same time preparing for the PMP exam. Brain Sensei differentiates itself from other PMP exam preps in that it delivers the knowledge through the use of storytelling technique. I recommend this course because it will help you pass your PMP exam on the first try.

- Jamal

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Loved the story telling and the practice exams. I felt very prepared when the actual exam came around.

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One of a kind training that was truly engaging!

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Excellent course for preparing for the PMP exam in a fun and engaging way! The practice questions resemble the actual questions on the exam making it a completely worthwhile experience.

- Rossetta

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I passed the PMP exam after taking Brain Sensei's Online PMP Certification Exam Prep. The practice exam questions were so similar to the questions that appeared on the exam. On exam day, when I sat down to take the test and started running through the questions I felt so relieved! The practice exams are also timed so you get more comfortable with the exam experience and feel better prepared when you sit down to take the test. The other differentiator was the video content throughout the modules. The concepts are taught through a story of a young samurai defending her kingdom. This will probably be the only PMP prep course where you can learn all the knowledge areas and feudal Japan at the same time. I'd recommend this course not just because of the videos but because it helped me pass my exam on the first try.

- Jackie

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Good course, but a few grammatical errors with how some questions were worded.

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It was good!

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Loved the unique approach and it still had all the info I'd expect from a full PMP exam prep course. Very responsive on questions too.

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