7 Tips to Boost Your Salary as a Qualified PMP

7 Tips to Boost Your Salary as a Qualified PMP

According to the Project Management Institute's (PMI) 2021 Salary Survey, 50% of their over 30,000 respondents saw salary increases last year. Considering how professionals across various industries are participating in this new era dubbed "The Great Resignation," it's no surprise that professionals are encountering new opportunities to negotiate for higher salaries at new companies.

However, looking for a new position is just one way to see an uptick in your project management salary. There is a wide range of ways to make a case for a salary bump where you are right now.

If you're looking for a rise in salary, here are a few tips you can use to increase your chances:

Get PMP Certified

The 2021 PMI Salary Survey indicated that there could be a correlation between being PMP certified and receiving a higher salary. PMP certified survey respondents had higher median wages than those not certified. The salaries were on average 16% higher across 40 countries.

The PMP certification is a valuable credential. It shows that professionals have proficiency in topics important to the work a PMP would be doing, including soft skills, the technical elements of project management, and the intersection of projects and organizational strategy.

As a result, having this certification allows you to be competitive with employers and potentially see a bump in salary. Whether you're on the job hunt or are already hired somewhere, this is an excellent qualification to mention if you're going into the office to start those salary talks.

Ask For It — Negotiate

This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes getting a salary bump is as easy as asking for it. The other points on this list will address the "how" of making a case for a higher salary. Nevertheless, it makes sense to refer to this tip as it's something that many professionals can forget.

It can be challenging to feel confident enough to negotiate a higher PMP certification salary offer or ask your boss for a raise. However, negotiation can prove successful.

A study revealed that professionals who negotiated got a salary bump of an average of $5,000. A salary increase isn't guaranteed, but you're increasing your chances when you ask.

Take time to research with resources like Salary.com or Payscale.com to find out the typical salary offering in your location for your qualifications and education. From there, you can increase the effectiveness of your negotiating tactics' and possibly see a PMP certification salary bump.

Increase Your Responsibilities

This tip can come off as daunting, as you're likely already managing a lot of tasks and projects.

But ask yourself these questions:

Have you been thinking of any ideas that may benefit your company? Are you ready to flex your creative muscle?

If the answer to either of these is "yes," you may be well on your way to increasing your PMP salary.

You have an opportunity to show that you are ready to own an idea. Sit down with your manager during your routine meetings — or request one — and discuss your ideas. Be sure to fully flesh out your thoughts and be ready to answer any questions from your manager.

Think of any roadblocks you may face, and create some solutions to show your manager that you've already thought about the path of ideation to completion. Use this as a time to invest in skills you want to develop, and show that you're ready to take on leadership opportunities.

Seek Feedback

Instead of guessing about what you can do to make yourself stand out for an increased salary, take the time to ask. It's no secret that employees prefer regular feedback; in fact, stats have shown that 65% want more of it . And it's something that managers should prioritize, as it can give you the direction you need to align the needs of the company with your aspirations.

A great way to do this is to use each sync meeting and even performance review to discuss skills that you can sharpen and areas that you want to further develop in. By asking for feedback on what you can do, you're getting the inside track on what your manager is looking for.

Invest in Professional Development and Training

Much like getting the PMP certification, upskilling or reskilling with job training can help you increase the likelihood of getting a salary increase.

And yes, the PMP can indeed help you further your project management expertise, but skill-specific training can help you become even more competitive in your company.

For example, if you manage digital marketing projects, then taking a look at training courses and workshops that allow you to further your skills in SEO, content marketing, and even market analysis makes sense. Today, many employers offer stipends for training and development, so you don't have to come out of your pocket.

There are also a variety of low-cost skills-based training options that are in-person or online and cover various functional areas and job-specific skills. Getting these skills allows you to increase your value as an employee and make a compelling case for a certified PMP salary hike.

Treat Your Skills Like You Would Any Other Product

Before you even step into a negotiation or begin the process of requesting a salary raise, it's essential that you have the right mindset. Like selling a good or service, your skills have a market value.

Researching salary patterns for your qualifications, education, training, and tenure will help you determine this value. However, changing how you think about what you bring to your employer isn't always easy. You may feel like you shouldn't be asking for a raise or think that you are inconveniencing your employer.

But, to ensure you're receiving what you're worth, it's essential to understand that your skills are a product and that asking for a salary increase means that you are seeking fair market value for that product. So, be sure not to sell yourself short.

Be Likable

Sometimes that most qualified person doesn't always get the raise or the promotion. It can often go to the person that a supervisor or executive team likes more. Whether we all like it or not, likeability and popularity still matter — especially in today's workplace. Likeability doesn't necessarily mean being disingenuous or agreeable all the time. Likeability can come from being personable, honest, trustworthy, helpful, and supportive to your team.

Are you someone that encourages your team members to look on the bright side or helps a co-worker with a task? Taking steps like these can increase your likeability at work, as being someone that your team members and supervisor can depend on will go a long way in helping you grow your salary.

Now, it's worth mentioning that likeability isn't always a factor and that office politics also play a part in promotions and salary increases, but it can help in some cases.

Final Thoughts

Getting paid what you're worth is a challenge. Your employer's perspective is based on affordability, while yours is to make as much as you can. The goal is to meet somewhere in the middle, where both of you feel that you're getting the best deal. This is the art of negotiation.

Nevertheless, before you even begin negotiations, you want to ensure you've done your homework to make a case for getting a salary bump. Things like training, PMP certifications, taking on more responsibilities, and likeability can help you be successful.

Depending on your situation and where you are, one tip may help better than the other. Therefore, determine what works for you and give it a try. Before you know it, you could be seeing that payment bump sooner than you think.


Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey 12th Edition, https://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/secure/learning/publications/pmi_salary_survey_12th_edition_members_final.pdf?v=5185445f-790d-489a-b21e-49ef7b4f137e

Popularity at work still matters whether we like it or not, https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20171106-popularity-at-work-still-matters-whether-we-like-it-or-not

Salary Negotiation: How to Ask for a Higher Salary, https://www.pon.harvard.edu/daily/salary-negotiations/negotiating-for-a-higher-salary/

Statistics on the importance of employee feedback, https://officevibe.com/blog/infographic-employee-feedback