Project managing director salary Germany
Salary project management: Who earns how much in Germany?
You pull the strings and always have an overview: Project managing directors are responsible for organising and coordinating projects – sometimes over several years. Not an easy task, but it is attractive due to the good salary prospects.
"The totality of management tasks, organisation, techniques and resources for the execution of a project" – a clear definition of the term "project management" by German Institute for Standardisation (DIN). While this statement precisely specifies the scope of the term, a project managing director's earnings are not as clearly defined. The German Association for Project Management (GPM) conducts regular salary surveys and identifies the factors that affect project managing directors' salaries: Professional experience, sector, career level, company size and gender.
What will a project managing director earn during the course of their career in Germany?
The average salary of a project managing director in Germany is between €60,000 and €105,000 per year. It is often composed of a fixed basic amount and a performance-related bonus. On average, 89% of total income is based on the basic salary, while the remaining is performance-related.
One factor that significantly influences income in project management is professional experience. After 20 years in the profession, earnings are 2.2 times higher than the starting salary. Project managing directors can expect the highest salary increase after six to ten years.
How professional experience affects salaries in project management in Germany
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To what extent do company size and gender affect salaries in project management in Germany?
The majority of the GPM study respondents work as project managing directors in large companies with more than 5,000 employees. Average salaries are also the highest in this area. However, those who prefer to avoid corporate structures will not experience any real disadvantages: Project managing directors in very small companies with up to 50 employees earn similar amounts.
Even in project management, gender remains a significant factor for earnings. For women working full-time as project managing directors, there’s on average nearly 24% less on their payslip than men. This gap has continued to widen since the last survey in 2013.
In which sector do project managing directors earn the most in Germany?
Every two years, GPM also records the income levels in the individual sectors within the scope of their studies. In the survey years 2013 and 2015, the pharmaceutical and chemical industries sustained their position among the top three. In these sectors, project managing directors earned an average of €90,500 in 2015. The value was only topped by project managing directors in the area of consulting/training/coaching (€95,400) and project management in construction (€105,000). Project managing directors interested in the area of research should expect to receive a below-average salary: In 2011, 2013 and 2015, research institutes ranked in last or second last positions in a comparison of earnings. According to the latest figures, a project managing director in this field receives an average of €58,700 gross per year.
How does the salary of a project managing director develop in Germany?
Many enter the field of project management as employees and support the project managing director with their work. In the GPM salary study of 2015, respondents repeatedly mentioned that there is often no defined career progression for company project managing directors. A review of various job advertisements for junior project managing directors clearly shows that the descriptions of tasks varies greatly. It is therefore difficult to make a general statement about when a junior project managing director will be promoted to project leader and eventually senior project leader.
To reach the next stage of their career, many project managing directors gain certification which recognises a certain level of knowledge and can be helpful in negotiations with supervisors. Discussions about salary and professional development are worthwhile, as is clear when comparing the average income earned at each project management level.
How much does a freelance project managing director earn in Germany?
Companies often resort to using external freelancers for labour-intensive phases for cost reasons or due to job fluctuations. While freelancers in many other industries often have a lower income than employed staff, freelance project managing directors are among the better earners. With an average daily rate of €769, they earn an average annual profit of €95,000, according to the GPM study – expenses for insurance and office supplies have already been deducted from this amount. From a salary point of view, this is an option worth considering for those who do not shy away from the entrepreneurial risk of freelance.
INFO BOX: Higher salary with certification?
In addition to bachelor's and master's degrees in project management work-study programmes with a specific sector focus, project managing directors can also gain a certification from the International Project Management Association (IPMA). They are internationally standardised: Expertise is tested with several written and oral tests, workshops and a thesis. The certification is awarded in different stages. Graduates of the two highest IPMA courses earn 1.3x more than project managing directors without this qualification.
academics - July 2017
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