Intro – Should You Become a Change Manager? Everything You Need to Know about Change Management Salary, Skills, & More

When you’re reviewing potential career paths, there are few that can offer as much variety, challenges, excitement, and future job security as a career in change management.

Organizations go through change all the time. They need to keep up with advances in technology, improve their efficiency, expand operations, reallocate resources, comply with regulations, reengineer business processes, and a myriad of other activities that all involve change of some type.

Those changes don’t just happen overnight, and without the right guidance, they may not happen at all. A change manager is the one that creates a strategy and does the legwork to move an organization successfully through a change.

change management salary

2020 Review of Change Management Salary, Skills, Outlook

Have you ever wondered how to become a transformational leader? Sounds exciting, right? Well, that’s, in essence, what a change manager is.

If you’re interested in learning more about a change management career path and how to become a change manager, we’ll tell you everything you need to know.

In this year’s best guide on change management career paths and salary, we’ll answer:

  • What is the average change management salary?
  • What does a change manager do?
  • What skills do you need for change management?
  • How do you begin a career in change management?

Read on to learn more about the change management career path and how to become a transformational leader by guiding change projects.


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First, What Does a Change Manager Do?

The first stop on your journey of how to become a change manager is to understand the main description of what one does.

A change manager helps organizations through a transformational change. The change management career job description includes developing a change strategy to manage the people side of change, implementing that strategy on behalf of an organization to increase change adoption, and ensuring the change happens successfully (also known as reinforcing the change).

For example, if an organization is moving from landline phones to a new cloud-based phone system, the change manager will be involved in ensuring that transition goes smoothly, and by the end, everyone is successfully using the new system.

Another example is when a company is integrating an enterprise-wide ERP or CRM system. In this case, the change manager drives training, engagement, communication, and reinforcement.

A change management salary can vary according to how experienced a change manager is, and what duties they’re responsible for, i.e., are they in charge of the entire change project or just one part of it?

In general, here is what a change manager does:

  • Creates and carries out a timeline and strategy for an organizational change
  • Ensures a change project meets its objectives
  • Keeps a change project on budget
  • Coordinates with stakeholders (leaders, employees, etc.) to progress the change
  • Creates training materials
  • Coordinates meetings and activities needed to drive the change forward
  • Reports on how the change is progressing

Is Change Management a Good Career?

We looked at several factors, and all point to the change management career path being a good one, both now and in the future.

We reviewed things like change management salary, trajectory of the industry, future prospects, and availability of jobs for someone with a career in change management.

It turns out that the question, “How to become a change manager,” is the right one to ask, whether you’re just starting out after college or changing careers.

Here are some reasons a career in change management is a good bet:

  • Jobs are plentiful: A search on Indeed for “change management” pulls up over 38,000 job postings.
  • Upward trajectory: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “management analytics,” which includes change management, is projected to have a 14% growth rate between 2018 and 2028.
  • Multiple opportunities: Change management is used everywhere. If you’re wondering how to become a transformational leader, opportunities are there. You can work for a large enterprise corporation, for a change management consulting firm, or start your own change management consulting business.


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How Much Do Change Managers Get Paid?

Just like any other career field, there are different levels of change managers, so a change management salary will depend upon things like education and experience.

The average change management salary across all levels, according to Glassdoor, is $100,235 per year.  

Salary.com shows the average change management salary for a Change Management Specialist at $127, 441 per year.

Annual change management salary according to positions are on average:

  • $62,000 for a Change Management Analyst
  • $64,000 for a Change Manager
  • $75,000 for an Organizational Development Consultant
  • $77,000 for an Organizational Consultant
  • $100,000 for an Organizational Change Manager


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How Do You Get into Change Management?

If you want to know where to start on how to become a change manager, a business degree is the best place to start. Most firms hiring a change management consultant will require at least a Bachelor’s Degree in a business-related field.

A background in business or organizational psychology can also help you in learning how to become a transformational leader as a change manager.

Specific to a change management career path is a certification in a change methodology, such as The Prosci ADKAR® Model, and an understanding of the various popular change management methodologies.

See Also: Change Management Plans


What Skills Do You Need for Change Management?

Beyond education, there are certain skills that can help you in your career in change management. Those with proficiency in these skills will usually command a higher change management salary.

Change managers will typically have the following skills:

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Training/coaching
  • Organization
  • Problem-solving
  • Trust-building
  • Detail-oriented
  • Ability to manage projects


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How Do You Become a Change Manager?

Once you have the educational background and knowledge of change management practices, there are two main routes you can take on how to become a change manager.

One of these is to search for companies that are looking for a change manager for their own organization. These are typically large enterprise corporations that have their own in-house change management team.

The other route is to look for a change management career path with a change consulting firm. Several firms offer change management services to corporations. This option would allow you to work with many different organizations’ change projects.

The change management salary will vary according to the type of firm you work with. Still, most will fall into the general range of $60,000 to $120,000 or more per year, depending upon your employer, education, and experience.


►► Change Readiness Templates & Toolkit ◄◄


How Do I Get Started in Change Management?

If you’re looking for ways on how to become a transformational leader through a change management career path, then here is a road map for getting started.

Ask: Do I Have the Necessary Education?

If not, look for classes to help you get a B.S. in a business and change management career-related field. Note: If you have a B.S. in the areas of education or psychology, these can also relate to change management skillsets.

Get Certified in Change Management Model (Or Learn Them)

ADKAR is one of the most popular models for certification. However, if you can’t get certified yet, at least become familiar with the popular change models. You may be asked to apply one or another to a change management project.

Update Your Resume

Make sure to update your resume to include skills and experience you have with any type of project management, leadership, or other things that would translate well to a change management career path.

Look for Job Opportunities

Begin searching for job opportunities with a change management salary in the range that you want. There are plenty of them out there, so you should have several options to choose from, and some may even include remote work.


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Conclusion – This Year’s Change Management Salary, Job Prospects, and Skills Needed

The change management career path is about being a good leader, strategist, communicator, and organizer all at the same time.

If you enjoy working with people, then becoming a change manager will be a great fit and allow you the opportunity to work with organizations of all types and help them transform through some of their most important projects.

It also doesn’t hurt that the change management salary range is attractive, even at the starting levels, and there is plenty of opportunity for advancement.

All in all, a career in change management is a good bet for future job security and flexibility to work with a variety of processes, companies, and people.


Authors: Ogbe Airiodion (Senior Change Management Lead) and Francesca Crolley (AGS Cloud Content Producer)
Content on Airiodion Global Services (AGS)'s Airiodion.com website is copyrighted. Questions? Contact Airiodion Global Services (AGS) .

All-in-One Change Management Toolkit

Top Rated Change Management Tool for Change Managers.

Get Yours Today...


Free Change Management Plan and Template - Airiodion Global Services (AGS)-min


►► FREE Change Mgt Strategy Playbook and Toolkit ◄◄


►► Change Impacts Assessment Toolkit ◄◄


►► Change Readiness Templates & Toolkit ◄◄


►► Change Management Toolkit | All You Need ◄◄


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