Project Managers Surge, In Number and Stature

By Anna Maria Virzi Print this article Print

A career path whose popularity has risen, with salaries in the mid-six figures at many companies.

No doubt about it, interest in project management is surging. The Project Management Institute, an organization for project management professionals, had about 232,756 members as of March 20, more than triple the number seven years ago.

Fueling the interest is a jump in compensation.

At companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue, project managers specializing in applications have a median salary of $161,474, an increase of $31,000 or 24% from 2002, according to Janco Associates, a management consulting firm based in Park City, Utah. By contrast, the median salary for a systems programmer is now $122,631, a decrease of $8,341 or 6.4% from 2002.

Other factors are also contributing to the increased number of certified project manager professionals.

"Over the last five years, we have seen project management certification move from a 'nice to have' to more of a mandatory achievement in a project manager's career," says says Eric Rudolf, marketing director at RMC Project Management, an e-learning and education company.

In an e-mail interview, Rudolf said that people are seeking certification for an assortment of reasons-from credibility among peers to future eligibility for a management position.

Question: What makes a project management office work? What could doom it to failure? Write to us at baseline@ziffdavis.com

This article was originally published on 2007-03-28
Executive Editor
Anna Maria was assistant managing editor Forbes.com. She held the posts of news editor and executive editor at Internet World magazine and was city editor and Washington correspondent for the Connecticut Post, a daily newspaper in Bridgeport. Anna Maria has a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island.
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