Project manager working on a project plan at his desk

Project Management FAQs

Is there demand for project management?

Yes. Over 2.7 million U.S. jobs asked for project management skills in 2023 alone.

How much do project managers make?

In 2023, the median salary for U.S. project managers was over $100,000.

How do I become a project manager?

A lot of project managers don't start out as project managers. Often, project managers had another role and began managing projects as part of that role. Over time, they start to manage larger and more complex projects and may decide that they want to become full-time project managers.

Whether you are managing your first small project or have been managing projects for years, project management training can be helpful. Training can equip you with new skills, keep you up to date on developments in the field and demonstrate to employers that you have the latest knowledge and skills.

If you are planning to pursue a career as a project manager, earning a project management certification is also helpful. 

Formal project management education may also be a requirement if you plan to pursue a project management certification. For example, Project Management Institute (PMI) certifications require a certain number of hours of project management education.

All University of Arizona Continuing and Professional Education project management courses meet PMI requirements for project management education. We have programs for both new and experienced project managers.

Why should I get a project management certification?

There are a number of ways project management certification can boost your career:

  • Employer demand. Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is one of the top requested certifications in job postings, and 1 in 3 project manager job postings asked for a project management certification in 2023.
  • Validated knowledge and skills. A certification is usually awarded after successfully passing a comprehensive examination. Certification may also require documenting your relevant education and experience. Therefore, certifications can demonstrate that you have the skills and knowledge to perform a particular job.
  • Increased earning potential. In 2023, U.S. project managers with a PMP certification reported 44% higher salaries on average than those without a PMP certification.

What is the best project management certification?

The answer depends on your background, including education, training and project management experience.

It can also vary by employer, industry and location. For example, many employers prefer to hire Project Management Professional (PMP®)-certified project managers. However, in some industries (particularly IT industries like software or web development), Agile certification and experience may be preferred over PMP certification.

  • For experienced project managers, PMP certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) is the most widely-recognized project management credential. To apply for PMP certification, you must have a combination of education and extensive, verifiable project management experience.
  • For new or early-career project managers, PMI offers an entry-level certification called Certified Association in Project Management (CAPM). CAPM certification does not require project management experience, and it is a stepping stone towards PMP certification. CompTIA Project+ certification is another entry-level certification option.
  • Other certifications, including PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification and Certified ScrumMaster may also be in demand.
  • Certification in specific tools or methods (such as using Jira for Agile project management) may also be helpful.

We encourage you to explore job postings in your target location and industry to understand what employers want in your area.

You can also learn more in our project management certification guide.

Data sources: U.S. project manager salary with PMP certification: Project Management Institute Project Management Salary Survey—Thirteenth Edition (2023). All other: Lightcast Analyst U.S. job postings 2023.

The Certified Association in Project Management (CAPM) and the Project Management Professional (PMP) are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.