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Project management salary UK

Across the survey, there was evidence of a pinch in wages compared to previous years. Longer contracts of lower value and a marked increase in younger professionals responding has seen the average salary fall from £50,000 in 2016 to £47,500 in 2018. However, there was a 13 per cent increase in under-35s earning more than £35,000.  

Key points

  • On average Project Professionals earnt £47,500
  • 28 per cent of those who earnt over £70k were chartered professionals
  • High earners (£70k+) where almost a quarter are working on projects worth at least half a million pounds.
  • 66 per cent of respondents expect their pay to increase in the next 12 months.
  • 44 per cent of respondents earn over £50k per year. 

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Average base salary

Across the survey, there was evidence of a pinch in wages compared to previous years. Longer contracts of lower value and a marked increase in younger professionals responding to the survey has seen the average salary fall from £50,000 in 2016 to £47,500 in 2018. However, there was a 13 per cent increase in under-35s earning more than £35,000. 

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Earning by sector

The highest salaries were seen in the energy and utilities sector, with 29 per cent reporting earning £70,000 or more. This was followed by retail and wholesale and the construction and the built environment at 24 per cent. Salaries were lowest in the education sector, where 42 per cent reported earning less than £35,000, with local government next lowest at 38 per cent.

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Year on year

On average, results showed a largely stable income across all roles within the profession. However, where there were changes it highlighted a squeeze in wages.

This could be seen in both senior and junior positions. Consultants fared worst, with more earning less than £50,000 compared to 2016.


Salary by role

The profession continues to offer excellent starting salaries for those in junior roles, who all reported earning above £20,000. Those in project support on average enjoyed £27,500, while project administrators received on average £22,500.

Looking to the more senior roles, programme and project office managers continued to earn above the profession’s average salary, enjoying £57,500 on average while programme and portfolio managers exceeded an average of £60,000.

Salary by age

Those who entered the profession at a young age reported the greatest salary progression. Thirty-nine per cent of respondents aged between 25 and 34 earned more than £35,000.

For those aged 45 and over salary remained consistent, with an average income of £57,500, remaining stable compared to 2017.

Gender age gap

The Survey 2018 highlights that although males and females working in project management earn similar amounts between the ages of 18 and 34, men’s salaries overtake women’s from age 35.

This pay gap persists right to age 55 and beyond. So what can employers do to close the gap by ensuring more women reach the higher-paid, senior roles? Read more.

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