Association For Project Management Salary Survey 2020

Project community urged to join the discussion on future impacts on the profession, following a survey of over 4,500 practitioners

Have your say on important topics including salary stability, job satisfaction, organisational growth, skills, economic confidence, diversity, and gender

Today, (2 April 2020) Association for Project Management (APM), the chartered body for the project profession, has issued a call to people working in project management to share their thoughts on the findings of its new Salary and Market Trends Survey 2020 and their predictions for the year ahead, in light of the global outbreak of COVID-19.

APM’s latest annual Salary and Market Trends Survey, provides exclusive insight into the project profession, assessing project professional salaries (by region, sector and job role), confidence levels, job satisfaction, diversity, and gender, as well as future trends and challenges. The findings of the research – commissioned by APM, and carried out by YouGov during November 2019, with over 4,500 respondents, has prompted APM to invite those working in project management to share their predictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, to assess the impact of the outbreak on people’s perceptions. 

Project professionals can now join in the discussion at APM’s social channels across LinkedIn ( and Twitter (@APMProjectMgmt), or visit

The survey shows that the average salary of a project professional is a respectable £47,500 (compared with the overall UK average salary of £30,629), and the average starting salary of someone joining the profession is £27,500. It also highlights that confidence in the future of project management had risen over the past two years from the net positive figure of 60 per cent to 66 per cent. 

The survey also highlights project management as being an attractive career choice for younger people looking for a fulfilling and varied career – one in five respondents are new to the profession, the majority being under the age of 34.

Debbie Dore, chief executive of APM, said: “Our latest Salary and Market Trends Survey provides a fascinating snapshot of the project profession, before the outbreak of COVID-19, revealing a profession offering financial stability and growing levels of confidence and optimism. We are aware that much has changed over the past few weeks, and in light of this we want to engage further and welcome people to have their say on the likely impacts on the profession.”   

APM Salary Survey 2020 – Key Findings: 

Salary by Sector (see table below)
Project professionals working in the construction and the energy and utilities sectors earn the most with the average salary being £52,500 – with just over half (51 per cent) earning over £50,000, and with agriculture, forestry and fishing; and local government a lower average salary of £37,500. Meanwhile some of the other traditional higher-earning sectors saw significant decreases in average salaries. Last year the legal and telecoms sectors offered the highest average salaries at £57,500. This year it has dropped to £47,500, a decline that perhaps suggests last year was an outlier for activity and confidence in those sectors. Similarly, business and professional services also saw a significant drop in average salaries. 

Salary by Region (see table below)
Across the UK regions, London remains the highest for earnings, with average earnings of £52,500. However, the capital saw a slight drop in those earning more than £70,000, from 25 per cent last year to 23 per cent now. Once again Wales saw the lowest average, at £37,500, although it relinquished its status as the region with the highest proportion of those earning below £35,000, which is now Yorkshire and the Humber, with 33 per cent. 

Job Satisfaction
Job satisfaction remains high across the profession with 82 per cent satisfied in their current role – up from 81 per cent in 2018. In the latest survey, 72 per cent also reported that they are expecting an increase in their pay and benefits package in the next 12 months compared with 70 per cent 2018 and 66 per cent in 2017.

Future Trends 
As well as insights on salary and market conditions, the survey also provides a revealing snapshot of the future trends likely to impact the project management profession including changes in technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics. 

A total of 60 per cent of project professionals are already using data analytics in their work, and 69 per cent reported that automation will benefit their work. Interestingly, people management and project leadership are both seen as the central skills needed with 37 per cent stating this being the most valuable skill needed for the future. Almost half of all respondents (49 per cent) believe digital and data skills to be the least important in the future skills mix. 

Future Challenges 
When questioned about the future, the biggest challenge for project management professionals is developing skills needed for the workforce, with 60 per cent saying this was a challenge and 31 per cent saying it is the most significant challenge. This was followed by climate change, clean growth and sustainability which half (50 per cent) identified as a challenge and a quarter (25 per cent) view as the most significant challenge. 

The results of the survey also show that despite 46 per cent of those surveyed considering the project profession to be diverse, 51 per cent saying it is inclusive, and over three-quarters (76 per cent) of black, Asian and minority ethic (BAME) respondents saying they feel positive about the future, there is still work to be done to help the profession become more diverse. APM has several initiatives currently underway including regular focus groups and LinkedIn group where BAME issues can be discussed.

Average Salary by Sector: 

Sector Average Salary 2020Average Salary 2019 
Aerospace £47,500£47,500*
Agriculture, forestry and fishing £37,500£32,500
Arts/entertainment and heritage£40,00£37,500
Business and professional services£40,000£47,500
Central Government£42,500£42,500
Construction and the built environment£52,500£52,500
Defence£47,500 £47,500*
Education (incl. Higher Education Institutions)£42,500£37,500
Energy and utilities£52,500£52,500
Financial services£47,500£52,500
Health £42,500£42,500
Hospitality £47,500£37,500
Legal £47,500£57,500
Life Sciences £42,500£47,500
Local Government £37,500£37,500
Manufacturing £47,500£47,500
Retail and Wholesale £47,500£52,500
Space Industry £37,500A new sector added for 2020 so no value for 2019 
Telecoms £47,500£57,500
Transport and Logistics £47,500£47,500
Voluntary Sector £40,000£37,500
Other £47,500 £47,500

*Aerospace and defense sectors were combined in 2019 report.

Average Salaries by Region:

Region Average salary 2020Average salary 2019 
Scotland £47,500£47,500
North East £42,500£42,500
Yorkshire and Humber £42,500£42,500
East Midlands £47,500£47,500
East of England £42,500£47,500
London £52,500£52,500
South East £47,500£47,500
South West £42,500£42,500
West Midlands £45,000£47,500
Wales £37,500£37,500
North West £47,500£47,500
Northern Ireland £45,000£42,500
Outside the UK £57,500£52,500

Average salary by role: 

Role Salary (2020)Salary (2019) 
Academic or Trainer £37,500 £37,500
Assistant Project Manager £32,500 £32,500
Business or Systems Analyst £37,500 £32,500
Change Manager £42,500 £47,500
Company Director or Board Member £82,500 £125,000
Consultant £57,500 £62,500
Contracts Manager £52,500 A new role added for 2020 so no value for 2019
Head of Projects/Programmes £72,500 £82,500
Large Projects Manager £62,500 A new role added for 2020 so no value for 2019
PMO Administrator £27,500 £25,000
PMO Director £82,500 A new role added for 2020 so no value for 2019
PMO Manager £52,500 A new role added for 2020 so no value for 2019
PMO Officer £32,500 A new role added for 2020 so no value for 2019
Portfolio Manager £57,500 £60,000
Programme Director £82,500 A new role added for 2020 so no value for 2019
Programme Manager £57,500 £62,500
Programme or Project Office Manager £52,500 £52,500
Programme or Project Office Support £27,500 £27,500
Programme or Project Planner £42,500 £42,500
Project Administrator £25,000 £25,000
Project Controls Manager £52,500 £57,500
Project Coordinator £27,500 £32,500
Project Delivery Manager £47,500 A new role added for 2020 so no value for 2019
Project Director £82,500 A new role added for 2020 so no value for 2019
Project Engineer £42,500 £42,500
Project Manager £42,500 £42,500
Senior Project Manager £57,500 £57,500
Student (Full/part-time) £17,000 £17,000
Other £52,500 £47,500

Average consultant salaries have dropped back to 2018 levels, following a spike to £62,500 last year, returning to £57,500. Project manager salaries have remained at £42,500. Portfolio managers and programme managers have both seen salaries drop to £57,500. 

At the highest level, project directors are earning well, with an average income of £82,500. With a number of new job titles now being reported on, only one role saw a positive change: business/systems analyst. The average salary for this role has now reached £37,500, reflecting the increasing importance of analytical skills and the rise of data as a key ingredient in delivering complex projects.  

The full results of the Salary and Market Trends Survey can be found at

The social media links to join in the discussion about the Salary Survey 2020 are: 



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