Technical program managers are vital in any organization, driving broader strategy while helping solve the technical challenges that inevitably erupt around projects. They must keep track of all the projects that constitute a broader program; coordinate between teams, executives, and other stakeholders; and deal with day-to-day details while focusing on the long-term roadmap.
Becoming a successful technical program manager requires a mix of technical and soft skills; you need to not only know the products your organization developers, but also compel your team members to deliver their best work. In light of that, it’s no surprise that technical program managers can earn hefty salaries—but how much?
Blind, which surveys anonymous technologists on a range of issues, recently analyzed the metro areas where technical program managers earn the highest salaries. As you might expect, Silicon Valley is where you want to go if you want to earn considerable compensation—it’s clear that companies such as Apple, Netflix, Google, and Facebook/Meta, which are headquartered in these towns, are willing to pay six figures for a technical program-management skillset. Those high salaries, in turn, drive other companies to boost their compensation.
But it’s not just Silicon Valley; from Colorado to Arizona to Washington to Virginia, technical program managers are making a lot of money—provided they can deliver what organizations need.
The average total compensation of a technical program manager in the United States is $100,083 to $375,555,” Blind added in a blog post accompanying the data. That seems to align with data from other sources; levels.fyi, for example, lists program managers at Google and Apple topping out at $235,000 and $210,000 in annual compensation, respectively, once you incorporate stock and bonuses. Glassdoor, which crowdsources compensation, estimates that technical program managers earn an average of $112,739 per year. And according to Emsi Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, the median program manager salary is $89,138.
If you’re interested in a job as a program manager, the first step is a suitable resume. That program manager resume should highlight your previous accomplishments in solving business problems, juggling multiple projects at once, and achieving solid results. The best way to demonstrate accomplishments and results, of course, is through critical KPIs such as ROI, cost-savings realized, and more.