Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on PMI Project Management Professional (PMP)

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Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our annual Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

The Project Management Professional (PMP) credential is the gold standard for project management certification.IT is a subset of project management far more than project management is a subset of IT, but there is steadily increasing demand for skilled project managers to take the helm of IT endeavors. The 800-pound gorilla of project management certification, both within the IT realm and elsewhere, is PMI’s long-lived Project Management Professional (PMP) credential, which landed at No. 23 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for PMP holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $129,630
Median Annual Salary: $125,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 6.4 percent
Very Satisfied: 12.8 percent
Satisfied: 57.4 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 14.9 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 8.5 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $74,440
Median Annual Salary: $72,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 3.7 percent
Very Satisfied: 7.5 percent
Satisfied: 41.1 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 40.7 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 7 percent

The largest single body of PMP holders who responded to the survey is made up of U.S. residents (63.5 percent of those surveyed), but PMP-certified individuals can be found in many other countries. There are 16 other nations represented in our results: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, and th United Arab Emirates.

Most of those we heard from (89.7 percent) are men, but women accounting for more than 10 percent of responses is always a noteworthy occurrence. Generally speaking, PMP holders who responded to the survey are somewhat dramatically older than other group. Just 2.7 percent of those surveyed are between the ages of 25 and 34 — with no one at all age 24 or younger — and only 28.4 percent are between the ages of 35 and 44. The bulk of respondents are either between the ages of 45 and 54 (36.5 percent of those surveyed) or between the ages of 55 and 64 (31.1 percent), with a smattering of individuals (1.3 percent) bleeding over into the standard retirement window between the ages of 65 and 74.

PMP certification is strongly tied to higher education. In the case of more than 90 percent of respondents, the highest level of formal education completed is either a bachelor’s degree (29.7 percent), master’s degree (54.1 percent), doctorate (5.3 percent), or professional degree (1.2 percent). The outliers are the 1.5 percent of respondents who are currently in school, the 5.5 percent who completed some level of technical training after high school (but have no college degree), and the 2.7 percent who have an associate’s (two-year) degree.

Most PMP holders have full-time jobs (94.9 percent of those surveyed), with the rest either employed part-time (2.6 percent), on sabbatical (1.3 percent) or out of work (1.3 percent). Among those with jobs, most have either a standard 40-hour work week (29.7 percent of respondents) or put in between 41 and 50 hours per week (50 percent). The rest are either really piling up the work time with more than 50 hours at the office per week (10.8 percent of those surveyed), or taking it easy putting in between 31 and 39 hours per week (9.5 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of PMP holders (28.6 percent of respondents) are managers, followed, in descending order, by senior specialists (21.4 percent), senior managers (17.9 percent), directors (14.3 percent), executives (9.5 percent), specialists (7.1 percent), and rank-and-file employees (1.2 percent). If you’re looking for a job with executive potential, then PMP is a great credential to aim for.

As you might expect, there a wealth of experience shared among the PMP holders in the survey. Just 2.4 percent of those surveyed have worked in a job role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years, and only 14.3 percent have been thus engaged for between 3 and 5 years. Everyone else has been plying their certified skills for between 6 and 8 years (10.7 percent of respondents), between 9 and 10 years (8.3 percent), or for more than a decade (64.3 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of PMP holders on key questions from the survey about how certification impacts job performance:

At my current job I use skills learned or enhanced through certification: 
Several times a day: 48.8 percent
Several times a week: 36.9 percent
Several times a month: 4.8 percent
Occasionally: 8.3 percent
Rarely: 1.2 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 30.9 percent
Agree: 46.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 16.7 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: 6 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 25 percent
Agree: 51.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 16.6percent
Disagree: 3.6 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.6 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 27.4 percent
Agree: 44 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 22.6 percent
Disagree: 2.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.6 percent

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Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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