Project Management Pay Squeezed in 2012

Project manager remuneration fell in real terms during 2012 – the experience of 62% of those working in the private sector, and 84% working in the public sector.  Contractor day rates were also under pressure except for those at the most experienced end of the spectrum.  The 2013 Arras Project Management Benchmark Report has just been published and is based on a detailed survey of 2,140 respondents.

 “2012 was a tough year for many practitioners and whilst the general feeling appears to be that 2013 is going to give us some more of the same, the majority view seems to be that the bottom may have been hit and the worst of the economic contraction is over.”

 Pay squeeze greatest in the public sector

The graph below captures the movement in remuneration experienced by employees (rather than contractors).

In the private sector 38% received an increase of more than 2%; we need to bear in mind that an increase of closer to 3% would be necessary to keep up with inflation.

In the public sector the Government imposed squeeze on pay is evident with only 16% seeing remuneration increase more than 2%.

The situation for contractors was no better with 79% failing to see rates keep up with inflation. Again, those working in the public sector saw the biggest reduction in rates.

Shift towards payment of bonuses

There is a clear trend towards incentivised pay – typically with bonuses calculated on a combination of personal and company performance. The proportion of employees participating in a bonus scheme has risen from 42% in 2010 to 50% in 2012.


PRINCE2, MSP and APM are the top qualifications

As in previous years the most commonly held accreditation amongst those surveyed was PRINCE2, followed by MSP and APMP:

PRINCE2 – 63%
MSP – 23%
APMP – 21%

Interestingly, the profile of those who are unemployed looks quite different:

PRINCE2 – 68%
MSP – 14%
APMP – 4%

The lesson here (which we have seen from other research) is that PRINCE2 is often a prerequisite for many project management roles – but the differentiators are higher level qualifications such as APMP and MSP.

>> Download the Arras Benchmark Report