Project managers manage the planning, resourcing, scheduling and administration of projects to deliver them on time and within budget.
Project managers usually earn
$65K-$170K per year
Source: AbsoluteIT, Hays and OneStaff, 2021.
Pay for project managers varies depending on the industry, size and type of project, and the region they work in.
- Project managers in the public and private sectors usually earn $65,000 to $170,000 a year.
- Project managers in the construction industry usually earn $80,000 to $170,000.
- Project managers in the the engineering industry usually earn $95,000 to $130,000.
- Project managers in the information communication and technology (ICT) industry usually earn $100,000 to $150,000.
Project managers on contract rates usually earn $110 to $150 an hour.
Sources: AbsoluteIT, ‘Tech & Digital Remuneration Report, February 2021’; Hays, ‘Construction & NZIOB Salary Guide,’ 2021; Hays, '2020/21 Salary Guide', 2021; and OneStaff, ‘What’s My Rate - New Zealand Industrial and Trades Wage Report,’ 2021.
- PAYE.net.nz website – use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- Hays website - 2021 Construction & NZIOB Salary Guide (PDF - 1.68MB)
- OneStaff website - 2021 New Zealand Industrial & Trades Wage Report (PDF - 3.72MB)
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Project managers may do some or all of the following:
- lead project planning and review sessions
- estimate project costs and manage the budget
- produce and update all project documentation
- manage communication and relationships with clients, stakeholders and suppliers
- oversee the procurement, supply and allocation of project resources
- manage the project delivery timeline
- manage the project team and hire staff to work on projects.
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of project management methodology
- skill in developing and implementing new business processes
- an understanding of the strategic direction, structure and issues affecting the organisation they work for
- the ability to identify and reduce risks and issues that could affect the project and provide solutions
- an understanding of business processes and requirements.
- usually work regular business hours, but may have to work evenings and weekends to meet project deadlines
- usually work in offices, and sometimes on-site depending on their industry
- may travel nationally to client or stakeholder worksites.
There are no specific entry requirements to become a project manager. However, most employers prefer you to have a tertiary qualification in your specialised area such as engineering, construction or information and communication technology (ICT).
A diploma or degree in project management is also useful. Most employers prefer courses approved by the Project Management Institute (New Zealand chapter).
A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter tertiary study. Useful subjects include English, maths, business studies, processing technologies and construction and mechanical technologies.
Project managers need to be:
- highly organised, with strong time management and planning skills
- analytical and observant, with an eye for detail
- able to lead and motivate others
- good at communicating and negotiating
- able to relate to a wide range of people
- able to work well under pressure.
Useful experience for project managers includes:
- work in a project team
- work in an specialist area such as engineering, construction or ICT
- business and team management experience.
Find out more about training
- Project Management Institute New Zealand
- (04) 970 2005 - PMINZ@pmi.org.nz - www.pmi.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
High demand for construction and ICT project managers
Chances of getting a job as a construction project manager are good. They are in demand to manage:
- infrastructure projects that are in progress or planned for the next five years
- large-scale housing projects to address the housing shortage.
Demand for information and communication technologies (ICT) project managers is also high due to more organisations making ICT improvements and implementing new software systems.
However, there are not enough project managers to meet demand. As a result, the roles of construction project manager and ICT project manager both appear on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list. Construction project manager also appears on Immigration New Zealand's construction and infrastructure skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled project managers from overseas to work in New Zealand.
Steady demand for project managers from public and private sectors
Demand for project managers in areas outside ICT and construction is steady. Public and private organisations consistently need staff to ensure projects are completed on time.
According to the Census, 19,131 project managers worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Types of employers varied
Most project managers work as permanent employees or self-employed contractors in:
- engineering, construction and property
- project management firms.
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Long-term Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Medium to Long-term Employment Outlook: Looking Ahead to 2026', accessed April 2021, (www.mbie.govt.nz).
- New Zealand Herald, 'Project Auckland: Construction Bosses Upbeat About the State of the Industry,' 11 March 2021, (www.nzherald.co.nz).
- New Zealand Now, 'Construction Jobs', accessed April 2021, (www.newzealandnow.govt.nz).
- Project Management Institute New Zealand website, accessed April 2021, (www.pmi.org.nz).
- Radio New Zealand, 'Construction Sector Positive, Despite COVID-19', 23 February 2021, (www.rnz.co.nz).
- Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Project managers usually progress from smaller projects to work on bigger or more complex projects, with bigger budgets and more responsibility. Project managers working for large organisations may progress to senior project management roles.
Experienced project managers may also choose to work as self-employed contractors.
Project managers can specialise in:
- information and communication technology (ICT)
Last updated 14 January 2022