PMO Manager Salary – Average ~$218K in the US

13 min. read

PMO Managers, Directors, or Project Management Officers are the head of the project delivery departments of organizations. PMO Managers are the main accountable for leading Project Managers, ensuring project management practices, governance, and delivery of successful projects. There are several factors affecting PMO manager salaries such as industry, organization, level of experience, and skills of the PMO executive. We have explored the PMO manager salary in detail.

  • The average PMO Manager Salary is $218,000 in the US.
  • PMO Manager Salary in the IT, Pharma, and Defense industry are higher than in other industries.
  • Skills, years of experience, success stories, urgency in the organization, and many other factors can affect the PMO manager’s salary.

Let’s explore the factors affecting PMO Manager Salary now.

PMO Manager Salary

The problem with the salary is when the seniority level increases, the salary, and compensation varies a lot depending on the industry and company. It is the same for PMO Directors as well. The average Project Management Officer salary in the United States is $218,000, but the range typically falls between $193,000 and $248,500.

Project-Management-Officer-Salary-1 PMO Manager Salary - Average ~$218K in the US
Source: Salary.com

Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors. These include education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession. For instance, if a PMO manager or executive has extensive proven experience in fighting against enterprise-level project schedule delays or project cost overruns, this will affect the salary PMO manager salary respectively. We will be exploring these one-by-one now.

PMO Manager Salary by Industry

In certain industries, such as IT, Defense, and Pharma, the PMO manager salary is higher than the average. If you look at the PMO manager jobs in the Finance industry, you will find out that a whopping salary of up to $229,000 is being offered to the PMO manager. This is obviously a lot of money a PMO manager can secure on this post. IT industries also pay very high salaries to the PMO manager. A little research showed that IT industries are willing to pay up to $204,000 to the PMO manager.

Similarly, Pharmaceutical companies are paying up to $194,000 to the PMO manager. Food production industries, though their projects may not be very technical or critical, their salary offering too is very high. A PMO manager in a food production organization can easily secure a job with a salary up to $200,000. The defense sector is also among the high-paying salary industries for a PMO manager. There are jobs in the Defense sector also that pay up to $196,000 a year to the PMO manager.

We have mentioned only some of the industries that pay high salaries to the PMO manager. There are many more industries also where a PMO manager can earn a similar salary. Due to the increasing need for the project management office and the PMO manager, more and more jobs are coming into the market for the PMO managers. PMO managers have big responsibilities in their roles. That is, they have to ensure the successful completion of the projects and friction-free activities. Due to the critical responsibilities that PMO managers perform, they are paid a higher salary than the other project roles.

Other Factors Affecting PMO Salary by Industry

Furthermore, studies have shown that a PMO manager working on high-end projects that typically cross the $10 million mark earns a staggering 40% more salary than the median salary. Furthermore, years on years, these salary figures are also expected to grow. As the demand for project managers is increasing, so is the salaries for these roles.

Sometimes, organizations look for a PMO manager in a short-time consultative role also. During this tenure with the organization as a consultant PMO manager, you may be setting up project management methodologies, policies, and processes for the project team to follow. Or, you may directly be managing the project from its planning to closing. In these short-term roles, you can expect an even higher salary. The reason for this is that people tend not to take on temporary jobs because changing jobs isn’t easy. You can understand that it is not easy to find jobs again and again. Organizations know this fact and therefore, to the short-term roles, they offer a much higher salary than what they offer to the long-term employee.

Years of Experience Effect on PMO Manager Salary

How many years a PMO manager has spent managing or leading prior projects has a significant role on a worker’s salary. Although there are other factors too in determining the PMO manager salary such as their qualifications, skills, etc. but the years of experience you have worked is one of the factors that have a direct effect on the PMO manager salary.

You can take on the PMO manager role when you already have had plenty of work experience. Furthermore, for the PMP manager role, you will specifically also be required to have had managerial experience in recent years. Often, organizations want their managers to have 10 to 15 years of experience. And out of this 5 or more years of experience working as a project manager is desirable by the organizations. In the small projects, however, lesser years of experience is also acceptable. Depending on the industry or projects you will be hired on, this requirement will obviously vary.

PMO managers also need to have earned certain certifications, and gone through training or skill-building activities to achieve a higher role. This is obviously a difficult endeavor. However, once you have built yourself, spending years gaining a variety of technical and management experience, then it will not be difficult to get on the PMO manager role and being offered a very high salary.

Higher Roles Mean Higher Salaries

Organization employees also often promote to higher positions after every few years of time. When they are promoted, they are not only offered a higher position but a higher salary also. The same goes for the PMO manager. Once you are working in an organization as a PMO manager, after a few years in the organization, you can expect to promote to a position of a senior PMO manager or PMO director. And when you get on the higher role, you will start to earn a higher salary than what you were earning before.

Hence, in jobs, every additional year of experience matters. The more years of experience you have, the higher the PMO manager salary will be.

Skills or Certifications

A PMO Manager or Executive must have solid project management experience and soft skills to manage a Project Management Office. For example, they could be holding the PMP certification and possess excellent interpersonal skills and servant leadership characteristics. These are some of the must-haves that should be present in a PMO manager.

Since the manager would be working in a project management office, they would be required to have a wide range of skills. These will be necessary in order to make the PMO successful. More specifically, they should have the ability to work with a range of individuals on the project, they should know how to develop a good relationship with the stakeholders, set up and track control procedures, identify and manage risks. They would even be involved in financial planning, logistic tracking, and some administrative tasks.

The Type of The Project Defines The Required Skills

The level of skills that PMO managers are required to have also varies depending on the type of project management office they are working in. For example, if they are in a Directive PMO, they would need to inject professionalism into the project. They would do it by implementing the best methodologies, standardizing processes. Their aim will be to ultimately improve the quality of the project and its deliverables. Hence, their skills will play a very important role in delivering a successful project.

The controlling PMO would be supporting the organization in adopting the methodologies. It would require conformance to governance and standards. So, here the PMO manager will need specific interpersonal skills in order to make the project teams successfully adopt the instructions and conform to the requirements.

A PMO manager in the supporting PMO would need to be technical enough in order to train the team and provide technical support. They would also need to provide day-to-day project management. Hence, they will be able to do all that and more if they have technical as well as project management skills. Having a PMP certification would also help them in making their PMO successful.

Why a PMO Manager Need to Have All These Skills?

Why a PMO manager would need to have all these skills, you may wonder? And why is it really necessary to be a different skills holder? Well, an already planned project that also has well-experienced and competent resources may not pose difficulties for the management. However, some projects could cause a whole lot of scenarios to take shape, which could be difficult to manage. And, for these scenarios, the PMO manager must be competent enough to deal with them efficiently. They can only efficiently manage the project difficulties, threats, and challenges if they have the skills to deal with them.

Sometimes there are competing requirements to manage, or conflicts arising between people and often things start to get scary. So many things like these need to be dealt with if you do not want issues on the project. If you don’t deal with these things efficiently, you may probably face cost overruns, schedule delays, reputation loss, etc.

The PMO managers must learn the required skills if they want to be successful in their endeavors. They should also practice them every day. In projects, there are hundreds of opportunities that PMO managers should seek to develop or nourish their skills. Once PMO managers start to honor their skills, they will notice that these have become their project management strength.

As much as these skills and certifications are fulfilled, the PMO manager will have a relatively higher salary or at least will secure the top of the shortlists.

Success Stories and Vertical/Niche Experience

The number of managed projects or the number of successfully delivered projects can affect the PMO manager salary. In some cases, an organization looking for a PMO manager might require vertical/niche expertise around a particular topic. In case the PMO manager they have found has that particular work experience, the organization will be ready to pay a premium for that candidate.

Having said this, if you have been working as a project manager and want to secure an even higher salaried position, you must have gone the extra mile to stand out among others. That means the number of projects that you have worked on and completed successfully, utilizing project management specifically would count a lot. PMO managers who have completed ten or more projects in their work history could expect more salary than the one who has completed lesser projects.

Why Sometimes There is a Need for a Degree in a Specific Subject?

Some organizations require the prospective project manager to have a degree in a specific subject. For example, if you are applying for the PMO manager position in the telecom industry, you may be expected to hold a Telecom degree. Similarly, the construction industry would expect their PMO manager to be a civil engineer. With the relevant degree and the required project management skills, combined with the niche experience, you can expect to secure a job with a higher salary than usual.

There are other similar things also an organization can look for in a PMO manager. For example, if you’re being hired on a rail project, you may be expected to possess rail project experience also. A manager for road projects may be required to have road project experience specifically. Some other factors that could matter also include the size of the project, the number of projects you worked on, the project budget, complexity, and its length.

So, these things will matter a lot. An organization may look for these things when determining the salary for their PMO manager.

The Urgency in the Organization

If an organization is looking for an urgent replacement or fulfillment, the budget for finding relevant candidates will be more flexible. In these cases, the organizations tend to pay up to 20% higher than the market average to fulfill the vacancy.

Often organizations need to hire a new resource urgently and this could be due to many reasons. For example, due to rapidly changing markets, regulatory requirements, or sudden customer demand. Or perhaps there was an urgent need to assign more managers to a project. Or maybe it was the need of the project or the request of a stakeholder. There could be many circumstances where you have an urgency to hire a new resource urgently. The organizations then are willing to allocate more money for the PMO manager salary so that they could quickly attract the new resource for their project and hire him quickly.

Summary

There are many factors that determine the PMO manager salary. As we explained above that the number of experience you have, the skillset that you possess, the certification you hold are some of the things that matter a lot.

In the competitive job conditions nowadays, organizations look at all these factors when determining the PMO manager salary. There is no shortage of resources anywhere but every organization has its own management requirements. Hence, it has become very important to have versatile experience and skillset in order to meet the organization’s job requirements and get on the shortlist for the job interview.

There is no lacking of professional certifications that you can consider if you want to stand out among the job applicants. In the recent few years, there has been an increasing trend of getting multiple certifications. If you talk with your colleagues or friends, you will come to know that many of them would be holding at least one or two professional certifications. It is because people nowadays are aware that to win a good job, they must have several credentials attached to their profile first.

The role of a PMO manager is not very easy. They have to handle and steer projects to achieve the project goals and objectives. And they are answerable to the project sponsor, the client, and other key stakeholders. However, with increased responsibilities comes also the increased salary.

Conclusion:

With a rate of 12% every year, the demand for project management and project managers is growing worldwide. If you have been practicing project management and desire to move forward to a higher position, then know that you can become a PMO manager. And the PMO manager salary will be very attractive. But to achieve this, you need to possess the relevant skills, experience, and certifications to win this dream role.

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