In short. We need to know what our clients should be expecting to pay.
Programme Manager Pay Report 
Of course, there are many elements that come into it. Taking a look at what the industry is paying programme managers is a great place to start. We can then use our understanding of the market to help determine what is happening to pay and why.
Our clients need this information so that they can understand what they should be paying. We can use this to reveal the kind of candidates they can expect at different ends of the scale.
If you want to attract specialist candidates, you will need to offer X.
If you are providing training for a graduate candidate then maybe you can pay Y…
On the flip side, we also need to know what our candidates and contractors should expect to earn. We can then help them set their expectations and determine if a role is a great fit for them.
With this in mind, we’ve decided to compile some research on Programme Manager pay.
The Enterprise Software Industry
The enterprise application software market has been growing. It is also forecast to continue growing according to research by Statista.
The industry has grown from $171 billion in 2016 to $212 billion in 2018. That growth is set to accelerate as they’ve also forecast $233 billion in 2019 and $305 billion in 2022. Working on this basis, the industry is growing at roughly $20 billion a year or 11%.
As a result of industry growth, we could reasonably expect this would lead to a 5-10% yearly pay increase. Our research has been designed to determine how realistic that expectation is. We’ll also attempt to determine how payments may change in future.
Our Research Methods
This research provides a very quick insight into a huge amount of data. Calling upon research compiled over 2 years from both IT Jobs Watch and our own Talent Locker vacancies.
IT Jobs Watch provides a range of data for technology related Programme Managers. It is a trusted resource and has been invaluable throughout this research. Using these data sets we aim to provide insights based on a) the industry as a whole and b) our areas within it.
To further our research we’ve also reviewed UK vacancies from 5 leading resources. We’ve reviewed vacancies listed over the 3 months April to June 2019. This allows us to predict how figures are/will be changing throughout the year.
Contractor Day Rates
Programme manager day rates are on the rise for contractors. With comprehensive data from IT Jobswatch showing a healthy growth of 4.37% per year. No, this isn’t as fast as the growth of the industry, but it does reflect slightly better than the national average.
We looked at ONS data by way of comparison. Each year they look at salary data as part of their annual GDP research. Their latest publication of this data showed growth in ‘compensation’ in the UK as 4.2% in both 2017 and 2018.
For contractors, this suggests that they are staying ahead of the curve. Albeit only by a tiny margin. This is likely to be a result of the industry growth over the past two years. With increasing demand and increasing resources, pay is usually likely to follow suit.
It is worth noting that we actually found IT Jobswatch was towards the lower end of the pay scale. As you can see the industry average is roughly £20 a day more than IT Jobswatch. It may not seem a lot to begin with. However, it is important to remember this is a day rate and can add up to a significant difference over time.
Programme Manager Pay in 2019
The recent data suggests that the industry are ready to pay increasing day rates. Especially to specialist contractors. When it comes to programme managers. If the trend continues, this would lead to higher numbers on average. With the IT Jobswatch data following suit at the end of the year.
ONS data suggests that payment growth as a whole is accelerating. With performance towards the end of 2018 showing stronger growth at 3% in the quarter. It would be reasonable to assume programme manager pay will follow suit. We’ll know more at the end of the year!
The Talent Locker pay data stands out due to the specialist nature of our hires. We tend to hire experienced programme managers for senior positions. The contractors we are putting forward are experienced specialists in their field. We’d expect to see a similar result from any strong/niche recruitment company.
Salaries Are Not Following Suit
In contrast, the IT Jobswatch data suggests that salaries are falling year on year. With an average drop of 4.34% per year for programme managers. This goes against the trends of the industry, contractors and even the economy.
So why is this happening?
On reason may relate to project failures. A staggeringly high number of projects tend to fail on 1 or more of their key outcomes. Clients may be turning to contractors as a result. With the perception that specialist contractors will be more capable of solving these ongoing issues.
When this happens, demand shifts towards contractors and so we see more demand for them. If this happened across the board, it would be reflected in results like this!
The industry average and the LinkedIn data have been consistent during our research. With both closely reflecting the Talent Locker data too. Our data goes further and suggests salaries have been consistent over the past two years. Whilst this isn’t perfect news, it is slightly better than the fall recorded by IT Jobswatch data.
What We Expect to Happen Next
The enterprise software industry is set to continue to grow. Although we cannot predict how political and economic factors may change that landscape over the coming years.
Statista are a trusted market research company. Using sound research methods and advanced technology. It is therefore reasonable to work with their belief that the industry will continue to grow.
Contracting continues to be an attractive prospect. On both the supply and demand side. Changing rules (think IR35 and Brexit) may alter things but that demand is likely to continue.
As the industry grows, the competition for credible programme managers will grow too. Even looking at supply/demand models you’d expect pay to grow over time. However, we’d expect this to happen for both perm placements and not just contractors.
Sarah is a senior recruitment consultant, specialising in ERP contractors. If you’re looking for an incredible contractor, or want to be considered for projects available from clients in her network. Contact Sarah on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01962 659 395