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Market update: Project Managers demand and salaries in Australia 2022

By Academy Xi

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Are you curious about a career in project management and keen to find out what’s going on in today’s industry? We’ve put together this market update to bring you all the latest Project Management statistics and insights.

Industry Outlook Project Management

Demand: The number of Project Manager roles is set to grow by 6.1% in the next five years

Salary: The average Project Manager salary in Australia ranges between $105,000 to $160,000 AUD

Skills: A stand-out portfolio and practical industry training will help you break into the industry

A team without a Project Manager is a bit like a ship without a rudder; moving without any clear direction or purpose. Project Managers are a must-have for any successful company these days, bringing leadership, a high level of strategy and enabling projects to reach the best possible outcomes.

What does a Project Manager do?

The precise responsibilities of a Project Manager will depend on their industry, company and the types of projects they are tasked with overseeing.

Broadly speaking, Project Managers are normally tasked with planning, organising, and directing the completion of specific projects for a company, while ensuring projects are completed on time, within budget and in line with a predetermined scope.

By guiding complex projects from ideation to completion, Project Managers have the potential to alter a company’s trajectory, helping to reduce costs, optimise efficiencies and improve its profitability.

See your earning potential

The demand for Project Managers is set to expand by 6.1% in the next five years alone, with over 12,000 roles already available in the Australian employment market. 

Pay opportunities for Project Managers are representative of a profession that recruiters are actively searching for.  

Average Product Manager salary

The average salary for a Product Manager in Australia is $124,617 AUD.

Junior Project Manager salary

Entry-level Project Manager positions command an average salary of $105,081, but there are junior positions starting at much more. Industry conditions and the strength of your portfolio will impact your starting income.

Senior Project Manager salary

Once you’ve got some experience under your belt and you’ve climbed the industry ladder, you can expect a senior-level income of $161,652.

Can you be a freelance Project Manager?

Are you not stoked by the idea of working in-house and having a line manager to report to? Rest assured you can venture into the world of contract work as a freelance Project Manager and work on any project that captures your imagination. Many do.

Be mindful that having in-house experience is valuable before you embark on a freelance career. This means you’ll have a stronger portfolio of work and the professional contacts from your previous places of employment, all of which will positively impact your earning potential and ability to secure clients.

How much can freelance Project Managers make?

As with many contractors, the rates will vary and depend on your level of experience, training and skillset. 

Daily rates can range anywhere from $500AUD to $1200AUD+ and will be determined by the industry, complexity of the project and skills needed for the job. 

Remember, working a freelancer means you’ll need to pay for all of the expenses that an in-house salary would usually cover, including superannuation, sick leave, annual leave and learning and development costs. These all need to be taken into account when deciding on your rates. A freelancer rate calculator can help you when setting your prices, as can looking at what other professionals charge in the same field.

What skills are needed for Project Management?

Soft skills needed in Project Management.

  • Communication

You’ll be working with a wide range of stakeholders and teammates, so having the ability to communicate effectively is crucial. From sharing project briefs, to presenting project proposals to stakeholders, Project Managers are always communicating. Even if the project you’re working on is highly technical, it’s vital that you’re able to explain it in the clearest, simplest terms possible. 

  • Leadership

When managing a team that’s completing a project, it’s important you have strong leadership skills. By effectively coaching and motivating your co-workers, you can help move a project beyond its obstacles and reach the best possible outcomes. Strong leaders also foster a supportive environment by connecting with their teams and helping them develop important Project Management skills themselves. 

  • Time management

All Project Managers will have numerous demands placed on their time – particularly since they’re acting as the point of contact for so many different departments and team members. This means it’s vital that you’re not only able to manage your own time, but also the time and capacity of all the people involved in completing a project.

Technical skills needed in Project Management

  • Agile Scrums

While Agile Scrum is a methodology, knowing how to orchestrate a Scrum is definitely a skill (and a skill that modern Project Managers can’t do without). An Agile Scrum involves breaking a project into sprints, normally 2-4 weeks in length. The objective of each sprint is to build the most important features and quickly come away with a deliverable product. Project Managers usually act as Scrum Masters and will lead team meetings, coach teams on best Scrum practices and resolve any issues that arise.

  • Budgeting

Project Managers calculate how much each phase of a project will cost and use these figures to decide which aspects of a project to prioritise. In order to get the people, equipment and materials needed to complete a project, you’ll need to put together a viable budget that secures stakeholder buy-in. Your budgeting skills will also provide the basis for project cost control. By measuring the project’s actual cost against the budget, you can determine if things are progressing according to plan, or if corrective measures are needed.

  • Software skills

The best Project Managers know better than to try to coordinate a project with jumbled spreadsheets and never-ending to-do lists. Instead, they’re experts at using Project Management software like Jira. Project Managers using the Agile methodology rely on Jira to centralise communication, streamline collaborative processes, and iron out project plans. Harnessing Jira will give you powerful planning and roadmap tools, so you can manage stakeholders, budgets, and feature requirements. 

There’s always innovative new software coming onto the market, including monday.com, Wrike and Gantt Charts, so you’ll need to stay up-to-date and incorporate the tools that help make your projects a smoother ride.

How to start a career in Project Management

If you’re looking to add in-demand Project Management skills to your resume, Academy Xi offers practical training that enables you to develop a competitive edge at a pace that suits your lifestyle. 

With courses delivered online part-time or self-paced, you’ll be able to supercharge your career prospects without putting the rest of your life on hold. 

Our Digital Project Management: Elevate and Digital Project Management: Elevate (Self-paced) courses teach you how to harness collaborative tools, the latest software and a strategic approach to synchronise teams that successfully deliver amazing digital projects. 

Plus, you’ll get the chance to work on a personal project relevant to your business or workplace, allowing you to walk away with a number of deliverables and an executable Project Management plan.      

Want to discuss your transferable skills and course options? Speak to a course advisor today and take the first step in your project management journey.

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