With the complexity involved at so many companies involving multiple and diverse teams, stakeholders, outside agencies, and client and customer expectations, to effectively turn out a successful product or service, project managers are an essential role in the workplace nowadays. Project manager duties cover a wide range of responsibility, including analyzing and coordinating the timeline, procurement, staffing, and — crucially — the budget of a product or service for a business organization. What’s more, project managers direct and guide the work of the various technical staff, as well as often serving as a point of contact for the client or customer the product or service is ultimately for.
Using occupational data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on project management specialists, we’ve analyzed and compiled a summary of the average project manager salary by state in the U.S. Read on for a full breakdown of where project managers make the most money, and where they’re making the least, in 2022.
10 States Where Project Managers Earn the Most Money in 2022
The national average annual wage of a project manager specialist is $98,420, according to the BLS, a full $40,000 more than the average annual salary for all occupations, $58,260. The average project manager salary can vary substantially from state to state. The state with the highest average project manager salary has an average that is $64,900 greater than the average salary for project managers in the lowest-paying state. The highest-paying state for project managers also has an average salary that’s $51,000 more than their corresponding salary in the lowest-paying state.
Below is a list of the top-10 highest-paying states for project managers:
- New Mexico average project manager salary: $123,160
- Washington average project manager salary: $120,800
- New York average project manager salary: $111,890
- New Jersey average project manager salary: $111,460
- Virginia average project manager salary: $109,980
- Alabama average project manager salary: $109,100
- California average project manager salary: $108,990
- Delaware average project manager salary: $106,930
- Massachusetts average project manager salary: $106,690
- Illinois average project manager salary: $104,520
While not appearing among the top-10 states with the highest project manager salaries, Wisconsin has witnessed the greatest growth in its project manager average salary over the last year: 37.7%, from $67,610 in 2020 to $93,110 in 2021. Washington state, which came in as the No. 2 best-paying states for project managers, saw its average project manager salary increase by the second-highest rate of 36.6%, from $88,430 in 2020 to $120,800 in 2021. In third place for wage growth, No. 1 New Mexico saw its project manager average salary rise by 35.8%, from $90,670 in 2020 to $123,160 in 2021.
The industry the employs project managers in the greatest absolute number is the computer systems design and related services industry, with 63,680 project management specialists. However, the industry with the highest pay for project managers is the oil and gas extraction industry, which boasts an average project manager salary of $151,750, though only employment of 860 of them.
10 States Where Project Managers Earn the Least Money in 2022
The bottom-10 states where project managers make the least money do not display much of a geographical pattern, though several states of the Midwest and South stand out. Interestingly, Hawaii, which often has higher pay for most jobs than other states (in part due to the state’s notoriously high cost of living), ranks among the bottom-10 states with the lowest average project manager salaries. Here’s a look at the 10 states with the lowest pay for project managers:
- Arkansas average project manager salary: $72,160
- South Dakota average project manager salary: $73,000
- Montana average project manager salary: $76,360
- West Virginia average project manager salary: $76,400
- Hawaii average project manager salary: $77,390
- Tennessee average project manager salary: $80,430
- Vermont average project manager salary: $80,550
- Indiana average project manager salary: $81,750
- Kentucky average project manager salary: $82,160
- Kansas average project manager salary: $82,300
Only one of these states, Hawaii, has actually experienced a decline year over year in its average project manager salary. In 2020, Hawaii’s average project manager salary was $77,680, before dropping by 0.2%, down to $77,390 in 2021. Outside of these bottom-10 lowest-paying states, Maryland has experienced the largest decline in project manager wages over the last year: from $99,170 in 2020, down 1.5% to $97,700 in 2021. Meanwhile, the No. 6 state with the lowest annual wages for project managers — Tennessee — experienced healthy growth of 20.4%, from $66,810 in 2020 to $80,430 in 2021. The good news is, even the state with the lowest project manager average salary, Arkansas at $72,160, is still well above the national average annual wage for all occupations of $58,260.
How Much Do Project Managers Make in Each State in 2022
Below you’ll find a table of all average project manager annual wages for all 50 states. The BLS has wage data available for project management specialists only back to 2019.