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Project Management Consultant Career and Salary Profile

Project management has become an increasingly vital function to businesses across industries. Project management consultants work to help pharmaceutical, financial, biotech, software, information technology and other firms succeed by streamlining projects to meet objectives and grow organizational profitability.

Professionals who wish to pursue a project management consultant career can boost their chances of success by enrolling in an MBA with a specialization in Project Management program.

Project Management Consultant Job Outlook

By 2017, more than 66 million project management-related jobs were generated globally, according to a talent report by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The report’s newest projections show that 2.2 million project-oriented roles will need to be filled each year through 2027. Nearly 214,000 of the projected positions will be in the United States.

Employment growth will likely result from several factors, such as an expanding economy, a more complex business environment, increasing use of technology, and the trend toward outsourcing and globalization – all of which are expected to spur demand for knowledgeable PM consultants. Despite the predicted job growth, competition will be keen, and job seekers with experience and advanced educational qualifications should have better prospects.

What is Project Management Consultancy?

Unlike a project manager’s direct involvement in the project lifecycle, professionals who offer project management consultancy devote their time to advising external businesses about best industry practices. Companies can pay for project management consultancy services if they lack project management expertise or need an impartial party to evaluate the work. This approach seems to be growing, as more organizations report using outsourcing or contract project management services, according to PMI’s “Pulse of the Profession” survey.

What Does a Project Management Consultant Do?

Project management consultants bring specialized skills and knowledge to assist companies in making the best possible business decisions. They typically provide oversight and leadership in executing projects from planning to completion. Daily tasks can include managing budgets, resources and relationships to achieve organizational objectives, as well as planning, developing and executing schedules to ensure timely completion of projects.

These PM professionals often define and monitor each project team member’s role and function and coordinate all team activities throughout the lifecycle of a project. Identifying and managing project risks and developing solutions are additional duties.

During the execution of a project, a PM consultant analyzes data and identifies trends and inefficiencies to prevent problems from arising. Providing roadmaps and periodic recommendations to senior management are common functions of the role, as is the creation and implementation of mitigation and contingency plans. Other tasks required of a PM consultant can include:

  • Facilitating meetings
  • Building positive relationships with clients, vendors and management
  • Tracking documentation and data collection
  • Creating presentations
  • Conducting follow-up studies on projects

What’s the Difference Between a Project Manager and a Consultant?

While both professionals need each other’s help throughout the five phases of a project, project managers tend to oversee every aspect that goes into the execution of a project, including resources, people, time, materials and money. They balance these elements to achieve the objective, no matter what gets in the way. When project managers need to understand the specific limitations of each factor, they can count on a project management consultant. These professionals help managers make sure that proper strategies are being adopted in a project from beginning to end.

Project Management Consultant: Potential Salary

According to a 2017 salary survey by PMI, project management consultants in the U.S. earned an average annual salary of $115,000. The lower quarter earned $90,000, and the upper quarter earned $140,000.

“In the U.S. in 2017, wages of project management-oriented workers in projectized industries were far higher on average than wages of non-project-oriented professionals-a premium of 82%.”

Numerous factors can determine an individual’s salary potential and employment opportunities, including work experience, educational qualifications, team and company size, and local market conditions.

How to Become a Project Management Consultant

For some project management consultant positions, a bachelor’s degree and work experience may be sufficient. However, some employers will show preference to candidates with certifications and advanced degrees, such as MBAs.

Enrolling in an MBA in Project Management can provide the knowledge and advanced tools sought by employers. Coursework typically includes applied project management, mastering project management, project tools and techniques, and financial management. Learn more about Florida Tech’s MBA in Project Management.


*Project Management Institute, Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey 10th Edition, on the internet at https://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/public/pdf/learning/salary-survey-10th-edition.pdf?la=en (visited November 25, 2019).

National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. Degree and/or certificate program options do not guarantee career or salary outcomes. Students should conduct independent research for specific employment information.

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