Canadian Contractor


More on what you pay your Project Managers: Evolve Builders Inc.

"Our target wages for the role start at $50k up to $80k, with the median at about $64k."

We sent an email to our contractor friends to find out how much they pay their Project Managers. A Toronto contractor responded with a detailed, thorough outline of exactly what he pays. Friend of the magazine and RenoFocus participant Ben Polly of Evolve Builders read the post (you can find it here) and was inspired to share his company’s policy on Project Managers:

Given your Toronto contractor’s kind public service by sharing his process and rates, I thought that I would do the same.

For context, our PMs are responsible for project scheduling, sub/supplier bid solicitation and selection, budget control, quality control and—because we do much of our work with our own in-house team—staffing and company equipment logistics relating to their project(s). It is primarily an “office” job, with attendance on site generally once or twice weekly though more often at key milestones/activities. They additionally are generally provided with a Working Site Supervisor who behave as the PMs eyes and ears on site and handle/monitor the day-to-day site and staff logistics and oversight, including peer review of subcontractor work and general quality and schedule adherence, while getting on the tools themselves once these duties are attended to. Our PMs do not generally have any responsibility for/oversight of design nor sales though are frequently brought into those conversations/processes to support the design and sales staff.  They also do not generally have any responsibility for communicating directly with the clients (or their own 3rd party designers), which instead is handled by different, client-facing, office support staff known as Project Coordinators.  Thus our PMs effectively take a set of plans, scope and specs and just look forward. Others are charged with ensuring that they PMs are armed with the necessary information to do so.

Our target wages for the role start at $50k up to $80k, with the median at about $64k. Our PMs generally manage two concurrent major projects, each at differing stages of completion, plus potentially some punch list items on any project they might have recently completed. The net annual output per PM is approximately $1M (our workload mix is presently about 80 per cent new custom homes, 20 per cent renovations/additions).

Our geographic market spans relatively higher value real estate communities – Guelph, KW-Cambridge, Dundas, Caledon – with lower value real estate areas – mostly across rural Grey County, Owen Sound, Markdale, Arthur and north Wellington County.  Wages across most fields of work are commensurately lower in these rural communities versus the larger (and nearer to GTA) centres. Our own wages reflect a bit of an average of the market rates across these service areas.

Because of our team approach (PM + WSS + PC) to project management, we are able to have family/community friendly policies in place to guarantee that they will not be required to work more than 44 hrs at peak…so we are often hiring people who are not necessarily aiming to be top earners but instead are looking for a family-first environment. (it has also had the benefit that our staff tends to skew young, in an industry that is aging…though our PMs do still tend to be older at the stage of mid-career to late-career) That said, I have been interested in aligning project margin (and other KPIs) success with PM, WSS and PC wages by way of incremental bonus. I like the manner and milestones described here by Scott…similar in some ways to other company’s I have admired/followed through Canadian Contractor Mag articles and elsewhere (I think I require a similar structure being described by Waterloo area Menno-Martin).

Ben Polley

elegant. efficient. ecological.

Evolve Builders Group Inc

Harvest Homes

Fermata – Works of Earth


Stories continue below

Print this page

Related Stories

2 Comments » for More on what you pay your Project Managers: Evolve Builders Inc.
  1. Finsbury says:

    Paying a PM between $50K and $80K is a joke. I have a friend who is a postman who earns between these two figures and whilst he has a difficult job delivering post in all types of weathers, his skill set does not compare to what one expects a PM to be able to do. This probably explains why construction projects are in such a mess as if you pay peanuts you get monkeys.

    • Avatar photo Robert Koci says:

      I have to say I was surprised as well. The PM job is the engine of the company and getting good ones means you as an owner can step away from the day-to-day operations can concentrate on running your business. Also, the pressure PMs are under is extraordinary and deserves compensation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.