Which industries pay the best for project managers?


Project management is a recognised profession with chartered status available to those with the right skills, experience and qualifications. But the big question many newly qualified project managers might be asking is: which industries pay the best?

Project management is becoming an increasingly popular career choice and can offer a well-defined and rewarding career path. Of course when that comes with a good financial package it can be even more satisfying. Here we look at some of the industries that offer the highest financial remuneration for those who have the right project management qualifications.


The role of an engineering project manager is to keep engineers focused on delivering a successful outcome. The role involves not only liaising with engineers but also with clients and other stakeholders to ensure that the project delivers the end product that the client expects within the relevant timeframe and budget. An engineering project manager often requires engineering experience in addition to project management skills.


The pharmaceutical industry is huge and is expected to reach global sales levels in excess of $1 trillion by 2022. So, project managers in this field are in demand. The role involves working with researchers, engineers, and doctors in order to make sure that R&D activities remain on schedule and come in at budget. A project manager in the pharmaceutical field is likely to need some form of healthcare experience.

Consulting project management professional

This role is not the same as a project management consultant – one works for a consulting company as a project manager whilst the other is a specialist in project management. Here we are referring to the former.

A consulting PM works with a range of people and this will vary from one project to the next. Their main role is to provide both expertise on the industry and specific project knowledge to the client to allow them to make a success of their project. This is a career that can be very rewarding for someone who likes variety.

Natural resources project management

This type of role is carried out in those industries where natural resources are grown or extracted; petroleum, farming or mining, for example. A resources project manager works to ensure that the production process is as efficient as it can possibly be. There are many opportunities in this type of role to work outdoors or to travel across the world. However, a background in the particular industry is often necessary so project managers tend to be promoted from an industry specific role.

Whether you’re searching for your very first role as a project manager, or looking to expand your career horizons with a more senior role, remember that the project management courses you take and qualifications you achieve will impact your salary. But salary isn’t everything so in addition to assessing how much you might expect to get paid, you need to enjoy the job that you do and work for a company that will appreciate the effort you put in.

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