Whether you are pursuing your first step on a career path, or have decided to move away from your current career towards a different future, becoming a project manager can be a satisfying and lucrative career. But how lucrative varies based on certain criteria. Education and experience always come into play for job offers and salary negotiations, and your field of focus can also be a factor.
If you are wondering how much a project manager can make in Silicon Valley, here are some key points to consider.
Your level of experience is one of the largest determining factors regarding potential salary. In the Silicon Valley area, entry-level positions tend to be in the $60,000 area (without accounting for any potential bonus payments). Generally, that is considered a fairly strong starting salary, though the cost of living in the San Francisco can be relatively high.
However, the upper edge of the overall salary potential is well into six-figure territory, even without bonuses. And as demand for skilled project managers increases, and finding candidates in the IT field becomes more challenging, it is possible salary levels will increase in the years to come.
Now, it is possible to avoid a stop at the entry-level salary point if you have significant experience in the field in which you intend to work as a project manager. For example, an IT professional transitioning into project management in a tech field may see higher starting salaries than those who are relying solely on their education.
Often, successful project managers have a combination of experience. First, they likely have a degree in their chosen specialty area. For example, IT project managers may have a degree in computer science or information technology, while those interested in becoming a construction project manager may have a degree in engineering.
Additionally, most project managers complete coursework in the areas of business management or even project management specifically. Some of these options involve graduate-level education, including master’s degrees or professional certificates. For example, the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification can help those working in the field achieve higher salary levels than those who aren’t certified.
Salary and Compensation
As of late 2016, salary estimates for project managers in the Silicon Valley area ranged from $61,874 to $143,241. Additionally, financial compensation may also be available in the forms of bonuses and profit sharing, though this isn’t necessarily standard.
Working as a project manager can also provide access to a comprehensive benefits package if you work as a long-term employee for a business. This can include access to medical insurance and prescription drug coverage and may include dental and vision benefits. Additionally, retirement benefits may also be included.
However, some project managers work as independent contractors or are self-employed. In those cases, benefits are not provided by the companies with which you work. Instead, you will need to select your own solutions in those areas.
If you are interested in becoming a project manager in Silicon Valley, The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact our recruiters today to see what options may be available.
You knew a career as a developer meant always needing to learn new languages and new development methodologies. Did you think that moving into project management meant an end to learning? Sorry. You always need to be developing new skills to stay competitive. Here's how you need to evolve as a project manager:
Stay current on technology trends.
You no longer need to know the detailed syntax of every new programming language, but you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different technology options in order to evaluate your team's suggestions and your end user's requests.
Understand new project management methodologies.
Running an agile development team is nothing like managing a team that follows the waterfall development method. And chances are, your team isn't strictly following agile, anyway. In all likelihood, none of the "textbook" project management methodologies are perfect for your environment. You need to understand multiple approaches to project management to craft a solution that works for your team. (And that solution may change over time, so you always need to be evaluating new methodologies).
Your job title says "manager," but you need to be a leader.
Don't focus on managing and controlling your team's activities. Focus on inspiring and leading them to where they need to be. The team will be happier and more productive, and you'll feel more rewarded.
Understand your end users.
Project management isn't just about the project. It's also about keeping your business users happy. You should spend as much or more time talking to the business as you do to the tech team. Learn to speak their language, and try to see the issues from their perspective. Ideally, you're able to partner with both the business and with your technical staff to define and deliver a real solution.
If you're a project manager seeking new challenges, or a company needing to hire a driven project manager, The Armada Group can help fill your needs. We've been matching candidates to opportunities for nearly two decades, and have a deep understanding of the information technology workplace and IT staffers. Contact us and let us help make your career and your projects a success.