PMP Certification Pays Off: Insights from the Project Management Salary Survey


Are you looking to add value to yourself and get ahead by putting your career in the fast lane? If the answer to this question is yes, then constant upskilling and prized independent certifications are a surefire way to show the organization that you are ready for bigger challenges.

Let’s take the globally recognized PMI Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification. The Project Management Institute (PMI) report, Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey – Thirteenth Edition shows that the annualized salary for a PMP certified professional in India is a whopping 35% higher than a non PMP certified professional .

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Being smart in your choice of certifications is therefore key to fast tracking your career. The survey conducted over 20,000 respondents across 21 countries shows that certified PMP professionals report considerable earnings increase in most countries. Further many survey respondents believe that obtaining a PMP certification has been valuable to their careers in addition to being a significant contributor to salary growth.

The data for India shows that the median salary for project management professionals across industries was $26,917 ( 22.42 lakh). Choosing a career where you can have steady progress is a goal for most professionals. The PMI survey shows that the annualized salary for Indian project management professionals having 15 to 20 years of experience is more than 2.5 times that of those with less than 3 years of practical work experience. This acts as an independent validation of the attractiveness of project management as a career choice for Indian professionals. This acts as an independent validation of the attractiveness of project management as a career choice for Indian professionals.

Interestingly certifications add differing levels of value depending on how far advanced in your career journey you are. The PMI Salary Survey indicates that the salary growth attributed to certification is highest up to 10 years of first being independently certified. Thereafter the contribution of certifications to salary growth drops as organizations tend to value delivery track record more by way of proof points.

Annualized salary in US$ by years of experience in project management (India)

< 3 years 3  <_ 5 years 5 <_ 10 years 10 <_ 15 years 15 <_ 20 years
16,884 22,635 24,470 30,588 42,211

Annualized salary growth for PMP professionals in US$ in project management (India)

< 3 years 3  <_ 5 years 5 <_ 10 years
40% 26% 23%

Annualized salary by position/designation in US$ in project management (India)

Project Management Specialist Project Manager Program Manager Portfolio Manager Director of Program Management/PMO
17,007 21,412 33,646 39,152 55,058

Source: Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey – Thirteenth Edition

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