How Much Do Portfolio Managers Make?

portfolio manager looks at a salary chart on a chalkboard

Portfolio managers choose a mix of investment products, industries, and regions for their clients’ investment portfolios. In this article, we take a look at how much a portfolio manager makes, highlighting the states, cities, and industries that pay the most. If you’re also wondering how much a financial analyst makes, this article covers that too. 

What’s the Job Outlook for Portfolio Managers?

Employment of financial analysts, an occupation that includes portfolio managers, is expected to increase 5% from 2019 to 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s equivalent to 26,800 jobs. Technological improvements, the growth of big data, and overall economic growth are expected to influence this employment growth. 

Learn about the job outlook for related careers in our article, “6 Finance Careers to Consider.”

What Factors Affect Portfolio Manager Salaries?

Many factors affect a portfolio manager salary. While the BLS reports the median annual portfolio manager salary was $81,590 in 2019, salaries vary. For example, the top 10% of earners made more than $156,150; the bottom 10% of earners made less than $47,230. 

Below are some factors that may explain this wage gap and why portfolio manager salaries vary. 

  • Employer and Industry: Your portfolio manager salary depends on your employer and the industry in which you work. Some employers and industries may be higher-paying or have greater demand for portfolio managers than others. 
  • Experience: As you test your investment knowledge and gain experience, you likely become better at your job and more productive at work. For this reason, seasoned portfolio managers and financial analysts likely make more than those who are just starting out. This could explain the salary gap between the top and bottom 10% of earners. 
  • Location: How much a portfolio manager makes may also depend on geographic location, as some states have higher wages than others. For example, your portfolio manager salary in New York may be greater than it would be in Pennsylvania. Demand for portfolio managers may also vary by geographic area, which could also affect your wage.

How Much Do Portfolio Managers Make on Average?

Portfolio managers had an average annual salary of $94,160 in May 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

In the sections below, we break down the top-paying states, cities, and industries for portfolio managers to help you further understand how much a portfolio manager can make. We also cover which states and cities have the highest concentration of jobs, as well as which industries have the highest level of employment for this occupation.

All wage information comes from 2019 BLS data, which groups portfolio managers and financial analysts under the occupational group “Financial and Investment Analysts, Financial Risk Specialists, and Financial Specialists, All Other.”

Highest-paying states for portfolio managers

The highest-paying states for portfolio managers and their 2019 average portfolio manager salaries, as reported by the BLS, are:

  • New York — $132,290
  • District of Columbia — $106,490
  • Connecticut — $103,250
  • Massachusetts — $102,610
  • Alaska — $101,600

The states with the highest concentration of portfolio manager jobs include the District of Columbia, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. 

State Employment Employment per thousand jobs Average hourly wage Average annual wage
District of Columbia 7,360 10.17 $51.20 $106,490
Delaware 3,480 7.71 $44.00 $91,510
New York 57,980 6.09 $63.60 $132,290
Massachusetts 18,130 5.01 $49.33 $102,610
Connecticut 7,410 4.45 $49.64 $103,250


Highest-paying cities for portfolio managers

The metropolitan areas with the highest portfolio manager salaries, according to the BLS, are:

  • New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA — $131,690
  • Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT — $122,340
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA — $119,100
  • Kingston, NY — $117,300
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA — $110,470
  • Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH — $104,350
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV — $103,790
  • Santa Rosa, CA — $102,400
  • Richmond, VA — $100,480
  • Anchorage, AK — $99,660

The metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of portfolio manager jobs are listed in the table below.

Metropolitan area Employment Employment per thousand jobs Average hourly wage Average annual wage
California-Lexington Park, MD 910 19.05 $46.96 $97,680
Parkersburg-Vienna, WV 300 7.92 $35.21 $73,250
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 3,270 7.91 $58.82 $122,340
Olympia-Tumwater, WA 900 7.86 $30.35 $63,120
Santa Fe, NM 410 6.64 $34.38 $71,500
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 63,920 6.62 $63.31 $131,690
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC 2,080 6.62 $39.33 $81,810
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 17,140 6.13 $50.17 $104,350
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 19,000 5.98 $49.90 $103,790
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 14,760 5.97 $57.26 $119,100


Highest-paying industries for portfolio managers

The highest-paying industries for portfolio managers, according to the BLS, are:

  • Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and similar activities — $124,810
  • Automotive parts, accessories, and tire stores — $123,280
  • Support activities for mining — $117,990
  • Lessors of nonfinancial intangible assets (excluding copyrighted works) — $115,520
  • Software publishers — $109,000

The industries with the highest level of employment of portfolio managers, on the other hand, are outlined below.

Industry Employment Percent of industry employment Average hourly wage Average annual wage
Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and similar activities 86,200 9.16 $60.00 $124,810
Management of companies and enterprises 53,190 2.16 $43.65 $90,780
Credit intermediation and similar activities  51,240 2.51 $42.88 $89,190
Federal executive branch  22,930 1.14 $41.33 $85,970
Nondepository credit intermediation 18,770 3.30 $41.52 $86,360


What Skills Do Portfolio Managers Need?

If you’re intrigued by the portfolio manager salaries listed above, you may be wondering what does a portfolio manager do and the skills you need to be a successful portfolio manager. Some important qualities of portfolio managers and other financial analysts, as reported by the BLS, are detailed below.

  • Analytical abilities: Portfolio managers process a myriad of information when pinpointing and assessing profitable investments. It’s beneficial to have the analytical skills to efficiently sift through this information.
  • Attention to detail: When you review potential investments as a portfolio manager, you’ll need a strong attention to detail. Spotting small issues or discrepancies may be crucial to assessing the health of an investment.
  • Communication: In this role, it’s important to clearly communicate portfolio investment decisions to colleagues and clients alike.
  • Decision-making: As a portfolio manager, you’ll recommend whether an asset should be bought, held, or sold. You should be comfortable in the investment decisions you make.
  • Math literacy: From the Sharpe ratio to capital asset pricing model, you’ll use various math skills as a portfolio manager to evaluate potential investments. 
  • Tech savviness: You may use various application softwares to analyze investment data. Beyond spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel, O*NET OnLine notes that portfolio managers may also use accounting, data analysis, or charting software.

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Gain the Portfolio Management Skills You Need

Wharton Online’s Asset and Portfolio Management Certificate Program equips learners with financial knowledge and decision-making skills applicable to portfolio management careers. How much you make as a portfolio manager may depend on your unique competitive advantage. If you’re looking to get ahead in your career and ready to learn from world-class finance professors, request more information today.