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IT Project Manager Salary, Career Forecast, Trends, and Training

The future looks very bright for those who are entering the field of information technology, particularly for those who are becoming IT project managers. The salaries are very high in many parts of the country, and the demand for IT project managers is expected to be strong in the coming years.

An IT project manager oversees the installation, upgrading, maintenance, and expansion of a company's computer network. For most companies, an efficient, reliable computer network is essential to profitability, so as the IT project manager, you are a critical part of the operation. Your company relies on you to stay abreast of new developments in computer technology and to keep the system functioning.

Prospects for IT Project Manager Jobs

Jobs in the field are expected to grow faster than average, and employers are looking for IT project managers who can work well with people from other departments, develop realistic budgets, and communicate well with coworkers and supervisors. You have to be willing to work long hours and some weekends if the need arises.

Most companies are also looking for someone with at least a bachelor's degree and familiarity with project management software. Many companies like to see that you have some experience in the field before entrusting big projects to new project managers.

IT Project Manager Salary 2009

IT project managers fall into a broad employment category known as computer and information systems manager, and there are an estimated 290,000 individuals working in this field in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they earned a mean annual salary of $120,640 in 2009, although many in this category earn much more than that.

The highest-paying jobs for computer and information systems managers are found in the securities and commodity contracts industry, the computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing industry, and the financial investment arena. Here, salaries range from $145,000 to $154,000 annually.

The highest salaries for computer and information systems manager are found in New Jersey, where the mean salary is nearly $140,000. New Jersey is followed closely by New York, California, Massachusetts, and Virginia, where salaries range from $130,800 to $138,020.

Not surprisingly, Silicon Valley, located in the San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara areas of California, is where the highest salaries--the mean is $166,590 per year--are paid. Silicon Valley is followed by New York City, San Francisco, and Rochester, Minn., as the areas with the next-highest salaries, which average from $147,000 to $149,000 for those areas.

Where the Best IT Project Manager Salaries Are

As you may expect, the highest salaries for IT project managers are paid in states and towns where the cost of living is very high - San Jose and San Francisco in Northern California, and New York City. But there are salaries being paid in some towns and states where the cost of living is much lower. For instance:

  • Rochester, MN: The mean annual salary for computer and information systems managers is $147,830, and your money goes a lot farther here than in San Jose. Housing in Rochester is 65 percent cheaper than in San Jose, and overall it's 40 percent cheaper to live in Minnesota than in Northern California.
  • Salinas, CA: Salinas is a small agricultural town that has in recent years become a bedroom community for Silicon Valley. But it's still cheaper to live there than in San Jose. Housing is 118 percent cheaper in Salinas.
  • Nashua, NH: The average salary in Nashua for computer and information systems managers is $136,000--$30,000 a year less than in San Jose. But Nashua's cost of living, although higher than the national average, is still well below San Jose's cost of living. Overall, San Jose's cost of living is 43 percent higher than Nashua's.

IT Project Manager Training Online

IT project manager training online can help you get a better-paying job. Ongoing training and education is vital for you if you're in this field, and IT project manager training online can help you stay abreast of new developments and gain the knowledge and experience being sought by potential employers.