Project management is listed as one of the top scarce skills in the country by the Department of Home Affairs, which has heightened the demand for certified project professionals.

This results in a potential earning advantage, especially for project managers who hold the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

Project Management Institute (PMI) has released the 13th edition of its, Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey. Results show that survey respondents with PMP certification earn higher median salaries than those without PMP certification, 33% higher on average across the 21 countries surveyed.

PMP-certified project professionals in South Africa demonstrated the largest salary increase, topping the table with an increase of 67% in median salary than their non-certified peers. Colombia, with 65%, and Nigeria, with 60%, made the top three.

About two-thirds (66%) of the survey participants reported that their total compensation (including salary, bonus, and other cash incentives) increased over the 12 months before completing the survey. The data also shows a broad consensus that the PMP certification is valuable not only for salary growth but also for career development.

The survey data shows that the median salary of project professionals varies considerably from country to country and across variables. In South Africa, it is $54 668 (over R1-million) among project professionals.

The latest edition of the biennial publication draws insights from over 20 000 respondents in 21 countries, 78% of whom hold the PMP certification. This report is a useful resource for professionals applying for project management roles and organisations seeking to fill them, as it helps define the earning power of project professionals around the world.

“Project management is a fulfilling career and, with the right certification rewarding too,” says George Asamani, MD of PMI Sub-Saharan Africa. “The PMP certification holds the potential to boost earning power, making it a must-have for professionals. Viewed as a scarce skill on the continent, PMI is intentional about supporting project professionals with globally recognised certifications at every career stage.

“Africa’s economic prospects hinge on various elements and strategies and include policy framework, capacity building, infrastructure, access to resources, technology, and R&D, amongst others. This requires a comprehensive approach involving various stakeholders, including governments, private sector entities, and civil society, working together. The final piece of this puzzle is project management – getting all these role players to deliver successful projects.”

While there can be a monetary advantage to earning the PMP certification, there are other benefits, including the fact that certified project professionals are in significant demand across industries and geographies, and hiring managers recognise the value of industry certifications and skills-based hiring.