Research Summary. Here are some key points about hiring contract project managers in the United States:

  • In the United States, the median cost per hire a contract project manager is $1,633.
  • It takes between 36 and 42 days to fill the average role in the US.
  • Human Resources use 15% of their expenses on recruitment on average.
  • On average, it takes around 12 weeks for a new contract project manager to become settled and show total productivity levels at work.

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How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Contract Project Manager

There are different types of costs for hiring contract project managers. One-time cost per hire for the recruitment process. Ongoing costs include employee salary, training, onboarding, benefits, insurance, and equipment. It is essential to consider all of these costs when evaluating hiring a new contract project manager employee.

You can expect to pay around $81,263 per year for a contract project manager, as this is the median yearly salary nationally. This can vary depending on what state or city you're hiring in. If you're hiring for contract work or on a per-project basis, hourly rates for contract project managers in the US typically range between $25 and $59 an hour.

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How to hire a Contract Project Manager, step by step

To hire a contract project manager, you should clearly understand the skills and experience you are looking for in a candidate, and allocate a budget for the position. You will also need to post and promote the job opening to reach potential candidates. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to hire a contract project manager:

  • Step 1: Identify your needs
  • Step 2: Create an ideal candidate profile
  • Step 3: Make a budget
  • Step 4: Writing a contract project manager job description
  • Step 5: Post the job
  • Step 6: Interview process
  • Step 7: Send a job offer and onboard your new contract project manager
  • Step 8: Go through the checklist for the hiring process

Identify Your Needs

Before you get started with hiring a contract project manager, identify what type of worker you actually need. Certain positions might call for a full-time employee, while others can be done by a part-time worker or contractor.

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Hiring the perfect contract project manager also involves considering the ideal background you'd like them to have. Depending on what industry or field they have experience in, they'll bring different skills to the job. It's also important to consider what levels of seniority and education the job requires, and what kind of salary such a candidate would likely demand.

Here's a comparison of the average salaries of common contract project manager roles:

Type Of Contract Project ManagerDescriptionHourly Rate
Contract Project ManagerConstruction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish.$25-59
Business Analyst/Project ManagerA business analyst/project manager is responsible for developing project management procedures, analyzing processes, and ensuring the accuracy and efficiency of project deliverables, following clients' specifications and requirements to meet their highest satisfaction. Business analysts/project managers manage project resources, delegate tasks to project staff, setting deadlines, and coordinating with the clients for regular updates and suggest strategic adjustments as needed... Show More$34-65
Project Manager/Team LeadProject Managers are responsible for managing and overseeing the operations of a project from inception to completion. Their duties include defining project scope, developing a project plan, creating work breakdown structures to distribute resources, and communicating responsibilities to all project team members and vendors... Show More$39-66

Create An Ideal Candidate Profile

Before you draft a contract project manager job description, imagine the ideal employee for the role and begin creating a profile. What are they proficient in and what sort of background do they have?

Contract project managers typically have the following skills:

Common Skills:
  • Project Management
  • Project Scope
  • Contract Project
  • HR
  • Infrastructure
  • Project Budget
  • Status Reports
  • Risk Management
  • Business Process
  • HVAC
  • Construction Projects
  • Change Order Management
  • Management System
  • Project Documentation
Check All Skills

Here is a list of common responsibilities that contract project managers may be expected to fulfill:

  • Manage weekly CMS build outs from feature prioritization through implementation including test cases and training documentation.
  • Manage RFI's, field directives, construction changes, payments, and billing associate with project.
  • Manage the day to day duties of the turn-key/design build/plan and specification and retrofit-installation of the HVAC contracting department.
  • Manage, monitors and measures project portfolio status, recommending corrective action as necessary and communicate portfolio status to their management.
  • Install hundreds of replacement windows and doors.
  • Install windows, doors, and hardware for commercial and residential projects.
Check all Duties

Beyond the basics, you should also consider how well a candidate fits into your company culture. In other words, you should think about how your ideal contract project manager will live by the company's mission statement and contribute to the team dynamic you already have in place.

Most Common States For Contract Project Managers In The US

Rank #State# Of Jobs% of PopulationAvg. Salary
4North Carolina1,95419%$76,710

Professional Project Manager CV example

Make A Budget

Including a salary range in the job description can help attract top candidates to the position. A contract project manager salary can be affected by several factors, such as the location of the job, the level of experience and seniority of the candidate, any certifications they may hold, and the prestige of the company they will be working for. For example, the average salary for a contract project manager in Florida may be lower than in Massachusetts, and an entry-level contract project manager may earn less than a senior-level contract project manager. Additionally, a contract project manager with certifications may command a higher salary, and working for a well-known company or start-up may also impact an employee's pay.

Updated March 16, 2023

Contract Project Manager Salary Estimate


$39.07 hourly

Entry level Salary
$53,000 yearly

Contract Project Manager Average Salary By Location

RankStateAvg. SalaryHourly RateJob Count
4New York$97,438$473

Contract Project Manager Average Salary By Company

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1PRO Unlimited$132,120$63.52
4Shaw Industries$100,674$48.403
6Sanofi US$97,483$46.87186
7Veolia Water Tech$94,380$45.3836
8King County$93,298$44.85
9Water Town Usa$91,624$44.05
10General Electric$90,425$43.4770
12Randstad North America, Inc.$89,955$43.25207
14Granite Telecommunications$88,804$42.691
16The Building People$86,478$41.5878
17Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical$86,234$41.462
19Veolia Environmental Services North America$85,469$41.0927
20Turner & Townsend$84,559$40.6571

Writing a Contract Project Manager Job Description

A contract project manager job description should include a summary of the role, required skills, and a list of responsibilities. It's also good to include a salary range and the first name of the hiring manager. To help get you started, here's an example of a contract project manager job description:

Example of Full Job Description

Open Systems International, Inc. (OSI), An AspenTech Business, is a fast-paced, growing, high technology company, headquartered in Medina, Minnesota. As a world leader in the Operations Technology (OT) field, OSI develops and supplies state-of-the-art energy management, optimization and control software solutions to energy utility companies worldwide.
The Role
The Project Manager, Large Proposals and Contracts will be responsible for planning, budgeting, and project execution of bids, contracts, and design discovery events for OSI's solutions (software, hardware, implementation services.) projects with medium to large scale potential customers. The Design and Discovery projects are services only projects where OSI would be consulting on the design and requirements for a future OSI system. These key projects define the full statement of work for multi-year, multi-million-dollar contracts and ensure both the customer and OSI are aligned on the system design and implementation scope. This role will also be central in facilitating the mutually agreed upon contract documents by working with both internal legal/commercial managers and customer legal teams to finalize contract agreements.

Your Impact
Develop and oversee the development of project approaches and completion schedules Execute the project schedule via meeting facilitation and replanning as changes are discovered Communicate customer requirements to internal stakeholders Identify and coordinate a division of work across key OSI departments - to include software development, solutions architects, product management, legal, finance, sales management, and project implementation. Manage and determine budget, timelines, priorities, and resources for the project Participate in sales demos and customer meetings Proactively establish mitigation plans and manage project risks and issues Report progress to Senior Leadership Prepare and manage customer correspondence and communications

What You'll Need

Bachelor's degree and at least 5 years of project management experience required. Experience managing complex, large-scale projects that coordinate a multi-functional group Experience with highly technical and complex projects

Experience with Jira and Microsoft Office Suite of products, including Microsoft Project Electric utility industry and/or automation/SCADA project experience International project management and solid understanding of international cultures and business transactions

Soft Skills Required
Ability to prioritize and manage several projects simultaneously while keeping tasks organized and on track Strong organizational and time management skills Business leadership, coaching and mentoring skills Excellent communication skills when interacting with both internal teams and customers

Post A Job

There are a few common ways to find contract project managers for your business:

  • Promoting internally or recruiting from your existing workforce.
  • Ask for referrals from friends, family members, and current employees.
  • Attend job fairs at local colleges to meet candidates with the right educational background.
  • Use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to recruit passive job-seekers.

Post your job online:

  • Post your contract project manager job on Zippia to find and recruit contract project manager candidates who meet your exact specifications.
  • Use field-specific websites.
  • Post a job on free websites.

Interview Process

Recruiting contract project managers involves bringing your A-game to the interview process. The first interview should introduce the company and the role to the candidate as much as they introduce their background experience and reasons for applying for the job. During later interviews, you can go into more detail about the technical details of the job and ask behavioral questions to gauge how they'd fit into your current company culture.

Don't forget to include a few questions that give a candidate chance to expand on their strengths in their own words. Asking about their special skills might reveal things you'd miss otherwise. At this point, candidates who are good enough can move on to the technical interview.

The right interview questions can help you assess a candidate's hard skills, behavioral intelligence, and soft skills.

Send A Job Offer And Onboard Your New Contract Project Manager

Once you've decided on a perfect contract project manager candidate, it's time to write an offer letter. In addition to salary, it should also include details such as benefits and perks available to the employee. Qualified candidates may be considered for other positions, so make sure your offer is competitive. Candidates may wish to negotiate. Once you've settled on the details, formalize your agreement with a contract.

You should also follow up with applicants who don't get the job with an email letting them know that you've filled the position.

Once that's done, you can draft an onboarding schedule for the new contract project manager. Human Resources should complete Employee Action Forms and ensure that onboarding paperwork is completed, including I-9s, benefits enrollment, federal and state tax forms, etc. They should also ensure that new employee files are created for internal recordkeeping.

Go Through The Checklist For The Hiring Process

  • Determine employee type (full-time, part-time, contractor, etc.)
  • Submit a job requisition form to the HR department
  • Define job responsibilities and requirements
  • Establish budget and timeline
  • Determine hiring decision makers for the role
  • Write job description
  • Post job on job boards, company website, etc.
  • Promote the job internally
  • Process applications through applicant tracking system
  • Review resumes and cover letters
  • Shortlist candidates for screening
  • Hold phone/virtual interview screening with first round of candidates
  • Conduct in-person interviews with top candidates from first round
  • Score candidates based on weighted criteria (e.g., experience, education, background, cultural fit, skill set, etc.)
  • Conduct background checks on top candidates
  • Check references of top candidates
  • Consult with HR and hiring decision makers on job offer specifics
  • Extend offer to top candidate(s)
  • Receive formal job offer acceptance and signed employment contract
  • Inform other candidates that the position has been filled
  • Set and communicate onboarding schedule to new hire(s)
  • Complete new hire paperwork (i9, benefits enrollment, tax forms, etc.)
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Hiring Contract Project Managers FAQs

How Much Does A Good Contract Project Manager Cost?

A good contract project manager costs $39.07 an hour in the US. However, it can vary based on factors such as the contract project manager experience, abilities, industry, and the specific requirements of your business.

What Are The Duties Of A Contract Project Manager?

The duties of a contract project manager are:
  • Manage weekly CMS build outs from feature prioritization through implementation including test cases and training documentation.
  • Manage RFI's, field directives, construction changes, payments, and billing associate with project.
  • Manage the day to day duties of the turn-key/design build/plan and specification and retrofit-installation of the HVAC contracting department.

Should I Hire A Contract Project Manager With No Experience?

Yes, you should hire a contract project manager with no experience. Hiring an entry-level contract project manager with no experience offers versatility for your team. They may lack some qualifications, but are adaptable and have not yet formed problematic habits. However, more training may be required compared to experienced.

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