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Top industries hiring project managers

Project management roles are some of the most sought after and desirable roles in the job market. Why is that?

Updated on: 7th November 2019

Firstly, project managers take home a pretty handsome salary, especially those with a PMP certification. Secondly, it’s a multi-industry and high-demand role, meaning you’re unlikely to be out of a job.

Learning People | Two professionals shaking handsWhere do project managers work?

There are project managers in almost every industry you can name. The big dogs include manufacturing, business services, insurance, oil & gas, IT and construction. But that’s not all. In the UK, the NHS employs a large number of project managers – not surprising, considering they employ 1.3 million people.

The worldof project management can cover several industries. Here’s a little extra information on the kinds of industries that are seeking project managers:

  • Management consultancy: project managers for management consultancies are required to be incredibly organised and flexible as well as capable of working across multiple industries. For analytical types, this is the project management role for you.
  • Oil & gas: the energy industry is one of the world’s largest industries, and they’re employing project managers at a rate of knots. LinkedIn shows over 50,000 vacancies for project managers in this sector.
  • Construction: large scale projects call for excellent project management. With time restrictions, legal parameters and multiple workforces at play, it’s hardly surprising that the construction industry has the highest demand for project managers.
  • IT: along with everything else in the information technology sector, its need for project management is also growing. IT projects and their scope is never-ending, and so is the earning potential.

How much do project managers earn?

The median salaries for some of the largest employers of projects managers are very appealing:

Pharmaceuticals £90,000
Resources – agriculture, mining etc. £86,000
Consulting £86,000
Aerospace £82,500
Constructions £80,500
Utilities £79,500
Government £79,000
Information technology £79,000
Legal £78,000  
Financial Services £77,500

Which companies pay the most compared to the average?

A recent study had a look at the highest project manager salaries and found the top companies to work for.

  • Cisco: paying around £82,000 a year, the networking hardware and telecoms equipment company weigh in near the top.
  • Ericsson: the Swedish telecoms company boasts customers in 180 countries and project manager salaries of £72,000 on average.
  • JP Morgan Chase: big financial hitter, JP Morgan Chase, keeps on growing. Land a project management job here and you’ll be walking away with around £67,000 a year.
  • Microsoft: probably not a surprise to see Microsoft on any sort of leader board. £67,000 is the magic number for their project managers.
  • Jacobs  – the company works across construction, aerospace, defence, pharmaceuticals and transportation. They pay their multi-industry qualified project managers approximately £78,000.

What’s the job satisfaction like?

So, we know the salary is pretty good – but that’s not the be-all and end-all when it comes to job satisfaction. If you’ve got strong leadership skills and are able to work effectively under pressure, project management could be a very satisfying career.

What it comes down to is ‘job fit’. Because there is such a wide range of project management jobs, it’s essential to look at the industry rather than the role itself. For those who need a lot of stimulation and enjoy getting their teeth into lots of projects, management consultancies might be the best employers. If you’ve got experience in a particular industry and are familiar with work ethic and rhetoric, then progressing into project management in that industry might suit you best.

Learning People | project management interview

How do I get into project management?

A degree is desirable in project management, but not essential. Qualifications coupled with experience is the winning combination – whether that’s experience in the industry you’re hoping to become a project manager in, or experience as a project manager in general.

There are lots of qualifications that enable you to enter into project management. Individuals with a PMP – Project Management Professional – qualifications earn, on average, 20% more than those without.

Your prospects are great for getting into project management. PMI’s Industry Growth Forecast shows that there will be a demand of 15.7 million new project management roles globally in the next few years. Such a varied career means that there truly is something for everyone to project manage.

If you’re interested in a career change or updating your current project management skillset, contact our career consultants today for a free, impartial chat or feel free to browse the career changing project management courses we offer.