Portfolio Managers See £10,000 Salary Increase – APM Data

UK portfolio managers reported a £10,000 increase in salary over the past year, with wages rising from £57,500 to £67,500, according to data from the Association of Project Managers (APM).

The organisation’s latest annual Salary and Market Trends Survey shows the average salary for a UK project professional in 2021 is £47,500, compared an economy-wide £31,461.

The average salary for the profession has remained unchanged for the past year. The APM said this bears testament to a “strong and resilient profession” in the face of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the figures, programme managers saw their value increase, with average salaries rising from £57,500 to £62,500. Project planners reported an uplift of £10,000, reaching £47,500, while consultants held steady at £57,500 on average.

Heads of projects/programmes (£72,500), assistant project managers (£32,500) and senior project managers (£57,500), project engineers (£42,500) and project directors (£82,500) saw no change.

The YouGov research covered 2,626 project professionals across the UK, drawing insights including salary, job satisfaction, future trends, diversity and gender.

Energy remains the most lucrative sector for project professionals, with other sectors to see a significant increases including financial services and consultancy, business and professional services, local government, telecoms, and the health sector.

In other insights from the study, job satisfaction remains high across the project profession, despite challenges presented by recent events.

In total, 83% of project professionals report feeling satisfied with their role, and the proportion of those feeling very satisfied has risen from 24% to 28%.

Debbie Dore, chief executive of APM, said: “Our latest salary survey findings provide an interesting snapshot from across the profession, demonstrating that despite the significant impact of the global pandemic, project management salary levels across a range of sectors continue to rise, providing financial stability, and offering high levels of job satisfaction.

Average Salaries by Sector:

Sector 2021 2020
Energy and Utilities £60,000 £52,500
Financial services


£57,500 £47,500
Construction £52,500 £52,500
Manufacturing £52,500 £47,500
Retail and wholesale £52,500 £47,500
Telecoms £52,500 £47,500
Health £47,500 £42,500
IT £47,500 £47,500
Transport and logistics £47,500 £47,500
Local Government £42,500 £37,500

Of project management professionals in full employment, the majority of respondents (85%) said employment status did not change as a result of the pandemic.

In total, 6% were placed on furlough and then returned to normal working hours, while 2% worked reduced hours. A minority (2%) were made redundant but have since found alternative employment.

Among contract workers, 70% said work continued as normal but 10% reported their contract was altered and 9% had it cancelled, but since secured new employment.

Future Trends:

A turbulent and challenging past twelve months has seen general optimism within the profession take a hit in terms of the supply of jobs, organisation growth and the economy.

The survey shows that 70% of those who found themselves unemployed after the start of the pandemic say the virus was either to some extent or completely responsible.

The impact of the pandemic across the profession is also reflected in the number of professionals who consider it to be the key challenge facing the project profession for the next five years.

Other significant hurdles include the impact of Brexit, developing skills and the talent pipeline for future work, and developing more innovative and digital services, said the APM.

But a majority of respondents said short-term difficulties would be overcome by a combination of long-term planning, investment in innovation and the application of core skills. Most also feel that the profession is well positioned to make a positive impact in the future by demonstrating leadership, both within projects and beyond.

To download a full copy of APM’s Salary and Market Trends Survey visit

PM Today News Team
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