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It pays to be a project manager

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Project managers (PMs) bring a lot of value to organisations, and are being well compensated across all industries, roles and experience levels.

According to a report by ESI International, the mean monthly salary for PMs in Australia is US$11,350 (S$14,232), the highest in the region. The next most generous countries were New Zealand (S$11,486), Hong Kong (S$9,404) and Singapore (S$8,818).

Organisations which boast a project management office (PMO) were also found to pay slightly higher than their counterparts who didn’t. The mean monthly salary of PMs working without a PMO – which made up 26% of the 600 respondents – was found to be US$5,083 (S$6,375), while those with a PMO earned a mean monthly salary of US$5,916 (S$7,420).

“PMOs play a crucial and strategic role as they help steer PM professionals to deliver value for their organisations. They also provide greater scope of career development and prospect that helps contribute to overall salary improvement,” the report said.

Nearly two thirds (62%) of respondents in the survey were also found to be content with the income, as they don’t expect a salary improvement this year.

“Given the current competitive business environment, the finding indicates that organisations may be looking at investing in training programmes for skill set development and upgrading rather than salary revisions in the near term,” the report said.

However, when asked what they believe will help improve their current salary, 44% cited a better economic outlook, 31% said increased responsibilities and 13% pointed to a recognised professional certification.

The respondents, who were based in China, Hong Kong, India, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, also believed project leadership (23%), communication and general management skills (18%), and stakeholder management (15%) were the top three factors that could help fast track their career.

Looking forward, hiring managers expect to be increasing headcount over the next three to six months, and will be looking for candidates with high communication and project leadership skills.

Image: Shutterstock

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