What does a Principal Program Manager do?

Program managers oversee interconnected projects that are complementary to one another and that ultimately build and contribute to larger, longer-term business objectives. Program managers outline a program’s strategy and its objectives and oversee a list of dependent projects that are needed to reach the program’s goals. They work with teams and instruct them on how to best implement their strategies and to measure the return on investment.

Program managers share the program’s strategy and objectives with an emphasis on its impact upon the business. As the overseers of multiple-project platform collaborations, they also define the independent projects that must be completed first in order to achieve the program's ultimate goals. While they are supervising groups of projects, they will also strategize, oversee, and coordinate various project products or other strategic initiatives that are programmed within a group of related projects. Program managers need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in business management.

EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.6 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Principal Program Manager Salaries

Average Base Pay

$79,152 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Not enough salaries reported to show distribution
$43K
Median: $79K
$145K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Principal Program Manager Career Path

Learn how to become a Principal Program Manager, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L5
Principal Program Manager
$79,152/yr
L6
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Principal Program Manager Insights

Read what Principal Program Manager professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
NetradyneNetradyne
Program Manager
Dec. 10, 2021

“Great product based company to grow in your career with job security and the product is unique.”

University of British ColumbiaUniversity of British Columbia
Program Assistant
Dec. 13, 2020

“Opportunities for Professional Development and Networking as a student or fresh grad is the best getaway from this position”

HCL TechnologiesHCL Technologies
Senior Program Manager
Jun. 1, 2021

“nothing notable to say and its a very employee career oriented and friendly organization to work”

Vancouver Coastal HealthVancouver Coastal Health
Program Assistant- Mental Health and Substance Use
Feb. 4, 2021

“Friendly staff who genuinely want to help you every step of the way from hiring to getting yourself started.”

Generation CitizenGeneration Citizen
Program Associate
Dec. 20, 2019

“Culture of White Supremacy is high here and I don’t recommend working here if you’re a person of color.”

JOANN StoresJOANN Stores
Task Team
May 10, 2021

“Two of the six were amazing and some of my favorite people to work with.”

GoogleGoogle
Program Manager
Aug. 31, 2021

“Some of the most intelligent and creative people I have ever worked with in my career.”

NTT DATANTT DATA
Program Manager
Sep. 14, 2021

“Very dependant on client feedback and no career prospect within the company unless converted to permanent in client company.”

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Principal Program Manager Interviews

Related Careers

Operations Program Manager
$139,394
Technical Program Manager
$109,806
13% skills overlap
Technical Project Manager
$89,434
50% skills overlap
Product Manager
$89,325
No skills overlap

Principal Program Manager jobs

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a principal program manager

When working as a principal program manager, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Agile Scrum, Leadership, Excellent Communication, Methodology and Releases.

The most similar professions to principal program manager are:
  • Operations Program Manager
  • Technical Program Manager
  • Technical Project Manager
  • Product Manager

The most common qualifications to become a principal program manager is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.