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APM Industry Report: optimistic outlook for project managers

Learning People bring you top line from the APM 2021 project management industry report – providing continued optimism for the project professional sector…

What is the APM annual industry report?

The seventh APM annual Salary and Market Trends Survey took place between 2 and 30 November 2020 against a backdrop that few could have predicted 12 months before. 

The APM worked with YouGov to design a survey to capture not only the facts and figures shaping the project management profession – from salary levels and age profile to project size and location – but also to create a snapshot of a profession dealing with the impact of a global pandemic.


What do project managers currently earn?

With varied skill sets being used to deliver time-critical projects even under the stress of the global pandemic,  salaries for project managers have been appropriately rewarding. Starting salaries are still strong, with a variety of sectors seeing increased pay levels and the gender pay gap has shrunk to where it was in 2019.

Key project management salary stats*

  • The average salary of a project professional is £47,500 per annum
  • 49% earn more than £50,000
  • Energy remains the highest average salary sector of £60,000
  • 69% of regions experienced an average salary increase
  • Portfolio managers saw a salary increase of £10,000

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Average salary by working arrangement*

  • Permanent employment £50,000
  • Fixed-term contract £42,500
  • Temporary contract £52,500
  • Freelancer/consultant/self-employed £72,500
  • Student (part-time/placement year) £17,000

APM Global Salary and Market Trends Survey 2021

In conclusion, project management has not only held its own in one of the toughest financial climates ever seen — it’s also proven its worth across the board by being rewarded with increased salaries. With almost half of all project management professionals now earning £50,000 or more, and those working in the sector for 2 years or less earning between 35k and 40k. The choice of a career in project management is more obvious than ever.


Which project management certification is right for me?

Learning People provide official APM certifications for the Project Fundamentals Qualification (PFQ) and the Project Management Qualification (PMQ) within our career optimised digital education.

Learning People also provide project management certification from the following awarding bodies:

Six Sigma 

If you’d like to find out more about our full suite of project management certifications and how they can help you start, change or progress your career – speak with one of our dedicated project professional consultants today.