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Time to put your leadership pants on. As senior project manager, your top, most-important goal is to lead your team to success. Whether it's delivering a project on time (or ahead of schedule), or making sure they have the resources necessary to do the job.

When facing a new project, the senior project manager develops a plan of action to make sure it gets completed and stays within budgetary restrictions. And, when necessary, you'll need to host meetings to keep up with your team and check in with the progress of the project.

In order to do this job, and do it well, you'll need a bachelor's degree on top of many years of relevant experience. We're talking probably 10 or more years of experience. So it's definitely not a job suited for people just getting into the industry.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a senior project manager. For example, did you know that they make an average of $54.82 an hour? That's $114,030 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 11% and produce 46,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Senior Project Manager Do

There are certain skills that many senior project managers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, business skills and organizational skills.

Learn more about what a Senior Project Manager does

How To Become a Senior Project Manager

If you're interested in becoming a senior project manager, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 69.3% of senior project managers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 19.3% of senior project managers have master's degrees. Even though most senior project managers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a senior project manager. When we researched the most common majors for a senior project manager, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on senior project manager resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a senior project manager. In fact, many senior project manager jobs require experience in a role such as project manager. Meanwhile, many senior project managers also have previous career experience in roles such as program manager or information technology project manager.

Senior Project Manager Career Paths

Average Salary for a Senior Project Manager

Senior Project Managers in America make an average salary of $114,030 per year or $55 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $156,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $83,000 per year.
Average Senior Project Manager Salary
$114,030 Yearly
$54.82 hourly
$83,000
10 %
$114,000
Median
$156,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Senior Project Manager Education

Senior Project Manager Majors

26.5 %

Senior Project Manager Degrees

Bachelors

69.3 %

Masters

19.3 %

Associate

7.5 %

Top Colleges for Senior Project Managers

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

5. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

6. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

7. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905

8. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

9. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

10. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,595
Enrollment
30,184

Top Skills For a Senior Project Manager

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 35.5% of senior project managers listed project management on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and business skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Senior Project Manager Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Senior Project Manager templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Senior Project Manager resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Senior Project Manager Demographics

Senior Project Manager Gender Distribution

Male
Male
71%
Female
Female
29%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among senior project managers, 28.6% of them are women, while 71.4% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among senior project managers is White, which makes up 70.3% of all senior project managers.

  • The most common foreign language among senior project managers is Spanish at 39.5%.

Online Courses For Senior Project Manager That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Project Management Essentials
udemy
4.4
(5,303)

A crash course in the essentials of project management for new project managers...

Project Management: Simple Software Project Management
udemy
4.1
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Project Management for NEW Project Managers - knowledge, tools, techniques, skills, checklists, guidelines, pitfalls...

Agile Project Management Bootcamp: Agile Project Management
udemy
4.5
(1,053)

This Agile Project Management Bootcamp course will allow you to learn the Agile Way! Agile Project Management (Scrum)...

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Best States For a Senior Project Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a senior project manager. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, California, Maryland, and Connecticut. Senior project managers make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $119,387. Whereas in California and Maryland, they would average $118,987 and $117,690, respectively. While senior project managers would only make an average of $117,467 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Senior Project Manager Jobs:
2,838
Highest 10% Earn:
$173,000
Location Quotient:
2 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Pennsylvania

Total Senior Project Manager Jobs:
2,196
Highest 10% Earn:
$155,000
Location Quotient:
0.97 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Rhode Island

Total Senior Project Manager Jobs:
266
Highest 10% Earn:
$149,000
Location Quotient:
1.13 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Senior Project Managers

How Do Senior Project Manager Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

Principle Technical ArchitectJuly 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoPrinciple Technical ArchitectJuly 2019

What do you like the most about working as Senior Project Manager?

I like to see the results of a successful project Show More

What do you NOT like?

Making decisions in a political atmosphere Show More

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

An excellent opportunity to gain new experiences, provide technical direction and expertise in challenging areas and serve as a technical liaison between project sponsor and programmers.May 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoAn excellent opportunity to gain new experiences, provide technical direction and expertise in challenging areas and serve as a technical liaison between project sponsor and programmers.May 2019

What do you like the most about working as Senior Project Manager?

An excellent opportunity to gain new experiences, provide technical direction and expertise in challenging areas and serve as a technical liaison between project sponsor and programmers.

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Top Senior Project Manager Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ senior project managers and discovered their number of senior project manager opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Infosys Public Services was the best, especially with an average salary of $116,656. Microsoft follows up with an average salary of $161,271, and then comes AT&T; with an average of $87,370. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a senior project manager. The employers include Parsons, Oracle, and General Dynamics Mission Systems

Most Common Employers For Senior Project Manager

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Microsoft$161,271$77.533,408
2Citi$133,192$64.03343
3General Electric$124,863$60.03239
4Cognizant$123,937$59.59263
5Amazon$119,736$57.57737
6Dell$119,525$57.46285
7Fidelity Investments$118,157$56.81236
8InfosysPublicService$116,656$56.086,258
9Cisco$111,210$53.47348
10CBRE Group$110,532$53.14355

Becoming a Senior Project Manager FAQs

Can anyone become a project manager?

Yes, anyone can become a project manager. Many project managers are team members that have been promoted into the position based on the project's subject matter.

A project manager should be very organized, a good leader, and has great attention to detail. These skills are important at this position and require knowledge of all aspects of a given project.

How do you get promoted to senior project manager?

To get promoted to a senior project manager, you need to have a plan and then invest in yourself. You can take other steps to increase the likelihood of being promoted to senior project manager by always exceeding or surpassing expectations, increasing your visibility, taking calculated risks, and building relationships.

What does it take to be a Senior Project Manager?

It takes many years of work experience and refinement of skills related to project management to become a senior project manager. For example, senior project manager applicants typically have at least six to ten years of experience in the workforce, either in project management or supervisory roles.

What is the difference between a senior project manager and a project manager?

The difference between a senior project manager and a project manager is the number of years of experience working in a project management role. To become a senior project manager requires at least 4 to 5 years of experience working as a project manager.

What qualifications do you need to be a project manager?

The qualifications required to become a project manager depend on the industry you're working in.

Because of the large scope of responsibilities, the project manager needs to have had a relevant education. Typically candidates have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in computer science or business.

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