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The recently published APM Annual Salary and Trends Survey 2016, sponsored by Wellingtone, is always one of the most popular downloads and generates huge interest.

It’s no surprise. Yes, there are many noble reasons why you took that job and of course project management is your passion… but the money is actually quite useful.

It’s OK, you are among friends here and we can freely admit that the salary bit is very important – and of course you would like to earn more. So what’s the best way to go about getting an increase?

The standard advice is to move and take a job elsewhere. People who typically move organisation once every two to five years can climb the salary ladder quickest. Take a step back. How long have you worked for Acme Project Managers Ltd? Is it time to seek new opportunity? While employed, you can of course take your time and make sure any move is a good move.

If you decide to stay where you are and can’t bear to part from colleagues, the office slide and free fruit, then what’s the best way to get an increase? Well, go and ask for one. But – and this is the key point – just asking with no backup is pretty weak.

You need to go into that conversation with a reason, ideally several reasons why you deserve an increase. Presenting a fair and balanced argument makes a ‘no’ decision much harder. Have you taken on more responsibility? Have you gained new qualifications or experience? Have you had some project successes, mentored others, worked longer hours than anticipated, got a more expensive commute? Some of these arguments may feel thin but it all counts.

Additionally, do some research. What are similar organisations offering for similar roles? Look at our Salary Survey and benchmark yourself. You could even talk to other employers to see what they might offer. Arm yourself with a reasonable, fact-based argument for an increase, then simply go and ask. It’s absolutely fine to ask these questions and demonstrate that you are a ‘go getter’. It’s easier to give you a salary increase than replace you and most employers will pay extra to keep good staff. It’s time to ask… go on, be brave.


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  1. Kimberly Cubbins
    Kimberly Cubbins 02 February 2017, 04:30 PM

    Hi Vince I am an MSc Student at Lancaster University and read your blogs often. I wondered if you could possibly be of some help? We have been given the task of producing an evidence-based competency portfolio. My previous degree was a design degree so a portfolio was very graphical. As the competence evidence will be documents, notes, emails etc I am not sure how this should look of being formatted.! I have been all over the internet to look for a professional example but can't find anything.! Is it possible for you to give any insight or could you point me in a direction where I could find examples? I was thinking of producing a nice magazine but really what are the pos doing ? Hope you can help I look forward to hearing from You.