I promised I’d attempt to answer that ever-popular question, “How much money does this sort of job position earn?”
So first, caveat, caveat, caveat: It varies by state, it varies by industry, it varies by experience. That said, project managers can expect to make anywhere from low-end $50,000 per year to top-end $110,000. Wow, there’s quite a range, eh? Well, there were all those caveats.
Construction project managers generally make less than technology PM’s. PM’s in the Midwest make less than PM’s in the northeast and mid-Atlantic areas. California PM salaries seem to have taken quite the hit; once a high water mark, they seem down generally around 10-15%. I’m writing this from Portland, Oregon, where salaries seem to be holding steady, but jobs are disappearing from this state like
If you’re reading this thinking, “Hmm, I’d take $50,00 a year and not complain once!” then good, and one day perhaps you’ll be ready to apply for this very job. There’s no such thing as an entry-level PM job. PM implies experience.
So why am I spending time preparing you with Project Management fundamentals if there’s no promise of employment as a Project Manager on the back end? Because project management is a discipline and Project Manager is one of many jobs you can have in your career in project management, is Project Manager.
But as a Liberal Arts major, set your sights on a different project positions. Like these:
Project Administrator, or PM Assistant – someone who assist a project manager with reports, scheduling meetings, following up on tasks, preparing presentations, and more.
Business Analyst – someone who organizes and documents information about business processes (how we do things vs. how we should).
Data Administration Assistant – Data is an important asset for any business. One role on a project is to define the data—what’s needed, how to use it, update it, define it, etc. It’s a natural fit for anyone who’s comfortable with language.
File Management Administration – Projects generate piles of “paperwork”—not literally, since it’s not paper, but lots of documents, charts, graphs, design work, test materials, status reports. It all needs to be organized and managed.
What do you need to know to be one of these? You need to understand project management. Which is why you’re reading this, no?