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How much does project management cost?

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Project management is an essential discipline that plays a pivotal role in the successful execution of projects across various industries. Whether you're building a large shopping centre, launching a number of restaurants, or planning to open a small shop, effective project management can make all the difference.

However, hiring a skilled project manager comes with a cost, and understanding how project management fees are calculated is crucial for both clients and project managers.

In this blog post, we'll dive into the intricacies of project management fees, exploring the factors that influence their calculation. By the end, you'll have a clearer understanding of what goes into determining project management fees and what to consider when hiring a project manager.

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A project manager looks at a Gantt chart that shows the programme for their project

Factors Influencing Project Management Fees

  1. Project Complexity: The complexity of a project is one of the most significant factors affecting project management fees. More complex projects require greater skill and expertise to manage effectively. Factors that contribute to project complexity include the size of the project, the number of stakeholders involved, and the intricacy of the tasks involved.

  2. Project Duration: The duration of a project can also impact project management fees. Longer projects typically require a longer time commitment from the project manager, potentially leading to higher fees. Shorter projects may command lower fees but can still be demanding in terms of coordination and oversight.

  3. Scope of Work: The scope of work defines the specific tasks and responsibilities of the project manager. A more extensive scope, involving tasks like risk management, procurement, and quality control, can result in higher fees. A clearly defined scope is essential for accurate fee calculations.

  4. Experience and Expertise: The level of experience and expertise of the project manager is a critical consideration. Highly experienced project managers with a proven track record may charge higher fees due to their ability to navigate complex projects and deliver successful outcomes.

  5. Industry and Location: Project management fees can vary significantly depending on the industry and geographic location. Projects in industries with strict regulations or high stakes may demand higher fees. Additionally, project managers in urban areas with a higher cost of living may charge more than those in rural areas.

  6. Resources and Tools: The tools and resources required to manage a project also factor into the fee calculation. Project managers may use specialized software, communication tools, and project management methodologies that can influence their fees.

  7. Risk and Uncertainty: Projects with a higher degree of risk and uncertainty may require more intensive project management efforts. Managing risks, unforeseen issues, and changes to the project plan can increase the workload and, consequently, the fees.

Project managers stand around a table working on building plans

Things to Consider When Hiring a Project Manager

  1. Define Your Project Objectives: Before seeking a project manager, clearly define your project objectives, scope, and expected outcomes. A well-defined project scope will help project managers provide accurate fee estimates.

  2. Budget Constraints: Consider your budget constraints when hiring a project manager. While experienced project managers may charge more, they often bring a higher level of expertise and a better track record of successful project delivery.

  3. Credentials and References: Evaluate the credentials and references of potential project managers. Look for certifications, relevant experience, and testimonials from previous clients to ensure they are the right fit for your project.

  4. Communication Skills: Effective communication is essential in project management. Ensure that the project manager possesses strong communication skills to facilitate collaboration among team members and stakeholders.

  5. Contract and Fee Structure: Discuss the contract and fee structure with potential project managers. Clarify how fees will be calculated, invoiced, and when they are due. A transparent agreement is essential to avoid misunderstandings.

A project manager wearing a hard hat


Project management fees can vary widely based on several factors, including project complexity, duration, scope, experience, industry, and location. Understanding these factors and considering them when hiring a project manager is essential for a successful project.

By collaborating with a skilled project manager who aligns with your project's needs and budget, you can increase the likelihood of achieving your project goals and objectives.

How much will my project cost?


Photo of Mike Weeks

Mike Weeks

Mike has over 15 years experience in the construction industry, delivering both single site projects and multi-site programmes of work. He has worked in the retail, aviation, commercial and real estate sectors, in both client and consultant organisations.

Mike particularly loves working closely with customers and stakeholders to ensure their brief has been fully understood. They are delighted when their vision is delivered, exactly as they imagined it, on time and on budget.

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