What’s the Average Salary with a Masters in Project Management?

One of the best reasons to get an advanced degree in any field is to increase your earning potential. If you qualify for jobs with higher salaries, it typically means that these jobs will also come attached with more responsibilities, which can mean a more fulfilling career. Everyone wants to go to a job they love every day, and with a masters of science in project management, you can realize that goal.

So what type of salary can you expect with a masters in project management? That depends on a number of factors, least of which is not your job title. Some common types of jobs for which you’ll be qualified once you have your degree include the following:

  • Information Technology Project Manager: $115,780
  • Construction Project Manager: $83,860
  • Architectural and Engineering Project Manager: $119,260
  • Industrial Production Project Manager: $87,160

As you can see, the type of industry in which you work plays a major role in the salary you can expect, and a master’s degree in project management may give you the opportunity to enter into one of these positions. In addition to a yearly salary, as a project manager, you may also earn bonuses, commission, and profit sharing with your company, depending on your employer.

After you get your degree, it’s important to see if certification is a requirement in your field, or even it’s recommended. The type of certification you seek can play a role in the salary you can expect, as some certifications are more difficult to get than others.

Where you live also makes a different. In any field, workers willing to live in large cities usually make more money. Some of the top cities for project managers include New York, Houston, Washington DC, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles. However, in these areas, cost of living is also higher, so you may not be able to save as much as you think. In smaller cities and more rural areas, your salary expectations should be lower, but at the same time, cost of living may also be lower, meaning that the area makes more financial sense for you.

Lastly, the type of employer will affect how much you’ll be paid as a project manager. Like in most fields, many of the high-paying jobs are with the federal government. Project management positions may also be found with large firms, manufacturing companies, and many project managers are self employed.

* Financial statistics are based on 2010 data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov).

Top Master of Project Management Degrees

Project managers are relied on to plan and execute projects within a wide variety of industries, including computer networking/IT, construction, software development, telecommunications, and more. Typically, project managers should have at least a four-year bachelor's degree, but employers usually prefer a master's degree (either an MS, MA, or MBA). The schools below all offer accredited online degree programs specializing in project management.


Kaplan University has become a well-known university offering programs at their many campuses, as well as through their extensive online division. Kaplan offers an online Master of Science in Management with a specialization in Project Management is a 56-credit program, 16 of which focus specifically on various aspects of project management.
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Northcentral University is a completely online university that offers bachelor's, master's, and even doctoral degrees through distance education format. Students can pursue an education in business, education, and psychology at almost every level of study without ever leaving home. Some post-baccalaureate and post-graduate certificates are also available. Northcentral University first received accreditation in 2003 and is currently accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and The Higher Learning Commission.
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Ashford University offers traditional programs at their campus in Iowa, but the majority of their students are enrolled in one of their many online programs. Students can choose to earn an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree in the areas of business and professional studies, education, health, human services, and science, or liberal arts. Ashford University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.
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With more than 307,000 students attending the online campus alone, the University of Phoenix is the nation's largest online university. Founded in 1976 to meet the growing need for flexible learning options for working adults, the university has been making higher education more accessible ever since. Programs are available in business, education, nursing, and more. UoP has been accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, since 1999.
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Project Management is a specialization under the MBA program at American Intercontinental University. The Project Management specialization teaches critical management skills that will successfully take students through any project life cycle.
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As one of only 21 institutions in North America with Project Management Institute GAC (PMIGAC) accreditation for several of its programs, Colorado Technical University’s Project Management offerings give you everything you need – from skills and know how to confidence and credibility – to take charge of your career.
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