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Project Management as a Profession

According to a 2011 survey commissioned by the Project Management Institute, full-time project managers in the United States reported median annual earnings of $105,000, including salary and bonuses.  The survey also confirmed that experience is one of the most important determinants of earnings; entry-level project managers should expect lower earnings while they are learning to lead.

Project managers generally need to have at least a bachelor’s degree, although it need not be in a business- or management-related concentration. In fact, a degree in a specific subject area is helpful for providing expertise and guidance on projects that require background knowledge.

Although it is not required, certification may make it easier for a project manager to prove credentials. Maintaining a network of professional contacts is also helpful during the job hunt.

Certification through a professional organization can help project managers demonstrate their knowledge. The Project Management Institute offers certification to people who pass an exam and who have at least 3 years of project management experience. People who do not have a bachelor’s degree are required to have more experience.

Learn more about PMI’s Certification Exam
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