Ultimate Guide to Project Management Salaries in Australia

Cherie Gozon
Cherie Gozon
March 15, 2024

How much am I worth? When asked about our expected salary, we often don't know the exact answer. The job market is tight, and giving the wrong value to your position may make or break your application or proposal.

Like most jobs and roles, the salary landscape in the capital project management sector is more than just a numbers game—it is about understanding the value of your skills and experience in the context of the Australian market.  

Let us delve into the intricate world of project management salaries, highlighting client side project management: roles from the project manager to the construction manager and beyond based on the 2021 AIPM Salary Report. It is crafted to arm professionals with the knowledge they need to assess their worth and make strategic career moves confidently.

Project manager.

1. Project Manager

Mean Salary per Year: A$140,000 – 150,000

Project Managers are the backbone of any capital works project, ensuring that project objectives are met efficiently and effectively. Typically, a Project Manager in Australia is expected to hold a bachelor's degree in project management, construction management, business administration, or a related field.  

Professional certifications such as PMP (Project Management Professional) from the Project Management Institute or Certified Practising Project Manager (CPPM) from the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) can significantly enhance a candidate's qualifications.  

Responsibilities include project planning, execution, monitoring, and closure, with a strong emphasis on managing budgets, schedules, resources, and stakeholder communication.  

2. Project Coordinator

Mean Salary per Year: A$110,000 – 120,000

Project Coordinators assist Project Managers in the smooth execution of projects. A bachelor's degree in business or project management is often required, alongside strong organisational and communication skills.  

They are responsible for coordinating activities, resources, equipment, and information, helping to keep project tracks on schedule and within budget, managing paperwork, and ensuring effective communication across project teams.

3. Project Officer

Mean Salary per Year: A$90,000 – 100,000

Project Officers play a crucial role in supporting project management processes and ensuring projects are completed on time and within budget. They typically require a bachelor's degree in business administration, project management, or a related field.  

Their responsibilities include assisting with project documentation, overseeing project schedules, and coordinating meetings and stakeholder communications. They often serve as a liaison between different teams and departments involved in a project.

Project director.

4. Project Director

Mean Salary per Year: A$190,000 – 200,000

Project Directors oversee multiple projects or a very large-scale project within an organisation, ensuring strategic alignment and successful delivery.  

This role typically requires extensive experience in project management, often more than 10 years, along with a master's degree in business administration, project management, or a related field. Professional certifications such as Program Management Professional (PgMP) are also highly regarded.  

Responsibilities include strategic planning, stakeholder management, resource allocation, and risk management, ensuring projects contribute to the broader organisational goals.

5. Portfolio Manager

Mean Salary per Year: A$160,000 – 170,000

Portfolio Managers are responsible for managing a collection of projects or programs to achieve strategic business objectives.  

They usually hold a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration, project management, or a related field, with professional certifications such as Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) enhancing their qualifications.  

Key responsibilities include overseeing project selection and prioritisation, ensuring alignment with organisational strategy, balancing resources across projects, and monitoring performance to achieve ROI and strategic goals.

6. Portfolio Director

Mean Salary per Year: A$200,000 – 210,000

Portfolio Directors lead and govern the investment decisions within an organisation's project portfolio.  

This role typically requires a master's degree in business administration or a related field, significant project or portfolio management experience, and relevant certifications.  

Responsibilities encompass setting strategic direction for project investment, managing portfolio risks, optimising project benefits, and ensuring alignment with organisational strategy and objectives.

Project consultant.

7. Project Consultant

Mean Salary per Year: A$150,000 – 160,000

Project Consultants provide expert advice to organisations on project management practices.  

They often have a bachelor's or master's degree in project management or a related field and hold professional certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP) or Management of Portfolios (MoP).  

Their role involves analysing project needs, developing project strategies, implementing best practices, and advising on project optimisation and efficiency improvements.

8. Contractor

Mean Salary per Year: A$140,000 – 150,000

Contractors in project management are hired on a project-by-project basis and their salaries can vary widely depending on the project's scope, duration, and their expertise.  

Typically, contractors possess extensive experience in specific areas of project management and may hold relevant qualifications and certifications.  

Their responsibilities are determined by the contract's terms but generally include executing specified project management tasks, contributing specialised skills, and ensuring deliverables meet contract standards.

What Influences Project Management Salaries in Australia?

Several factors influence the salary of roles in capital works projects:

  • Experience and Education: Higher education and extensive experience can lead to higher salaries.
  • Location: For example, a project manager's salary in Sydney may be higher due to the city's cost of living and demand for skilled professionals.
  • Industry: Salaries vary widely depending on the industry, with sectors like mining or oil and gas typically offering higher pay.
  • Project Complexity and Size: Managing larger, more complex projects often commands a higher salary.
  • Certifications: Professional certifications can significantly impact salary, reflecting an individual's commitment to professional development.

The Value of Understanding Your Worth

Grasping the nuances of project management salaries in Australia is both an exercise of curiosity and a strategic step for any professional in the field.  

Whether you're a seasoned project manager eyeing your next career move or a project coordinator just starting, knowing the market and where you fit within it is invaluable.  

This guide is your starting point for understanding, negotiating, and leveraging your professional worth in the vibrant world of capital works projects.

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