Salary Spotlight: Development Manager Salary Explored

Development Manager salaries is the topic of our latest ‘salary spotlight’ series as we’re looking at how much professionals in this field can earn.

We’re already covered different salaries on the blog, and you can read the blogs in full by heading to the links below:

For this post, we’re focusing on Development Manager’s who are responsible for overseeing and managing various aspects of real estate development projects, from conception to completion.

Understanding the potential earnings in the field is key as it not only helps you align your expectations but also helps you plan your career trajectory, as seniority often correlates with a higher salary.

Based on our salary survey, referencing over 15,000 internal salaries in the real estate sector, a Junior Development Manager in the UK earns £32,000 – 50,000 with a few years’ experience, while a Senior Development Manager can command up to £95,000. Salary potential increase even higher at Director and C-Suite level, on average earning £130,000 and above.

Considering the geographical variation in salaries is equally important, especially for those contemplating international moves within the real estate sector. We list median salaries internationally further down this post.

As well as outlining the roles and responsibilities of a Development Manager, we’ve also included a typical career path for this role, providing an overview of what is required at each level.

Whether you are an aspiring Development Manager or an experienced professional seeking insights into salary progression, this information will help guide your next career move or next performance review.

What Does A Development Manager Do?

A Development Manager is typically responsible for the progress and procurement of new property developments or redevelopments of existing properties.

Here are some of the responsibilities a Development Manager might undertake:

  • Conduct feasibility studies to assess the viability of potential real estate development projects.
  • Collaborate with architects, engineers, and other professionals to create detailed project plans.
  • Develop and manage project budgets, ensuring that financial goals are met.
  • Identify and evaluate potential development sites.
  • Negotiate and finalise land acquisition deals, taking into account zoning regulations and local ordinances.
  • Navigate and ensure compliance with regulations and zoning laws.
  • Obtain necessary permits and approvals for the development project.
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including architects, contractors, engineers, and legal professionals.
  • Identify and mitigate potential risks associated with the development project.
  • Develop contingency plans to address unforeseen challenges.
  • Communicate regularly with stakeholders, including investors, clients, and regulatory authorities.

woman using a calculator and laptop

Development Manager Salary UK

The average (median) Development Manager salary in the UK is: £88,250

The average uplift to this salary from 2023 is £5,000.

We’ve taken the findings from our salary survey 2024. The report references over 15,000 international salaries and give a thorough representation of the real estate sector.

For more than 20 years, our salary survey provides a fantastic benchmark of remuneration and attitudes across the industry and is a highly valuable resource for employers and employees alike.

Whilst salary will of course differ depending on location, it’s useful to understand the average salary of a Development Manager in the UK as it gives you an idea of earning potential.

Average salary of an Development Manager across different regions

Aside from the UK, our survey explores the average salary of Development Managers in various regions.

This information is valuable for individuals keen on the role, offering insights into how salaries fluctuate depending on the geographic location.

It’s important to highlight that the figures provided reflect averages, and actual salaries are impacted by the level of seniority, a subject we will delve into further in the blog.

To simplify the information, we have categorised salaries based on specific locations:

  • Development Manager salary in the U.S. – $ 171,500 pa
  • Development Manager salary in Hong Kong – HK$ 1,300,000 pa
  • Development Manager salary in Singapore – SG$ 150,000 pa
  • Development Manager salary in South Africa – R 1,044,895 pa
  • Development Manager in Saudi Arabia (KSA) – SAR 984,000 pa
  • Development Manager in the UAE – AED 732,000 pa

Factors Influencing Property Development Salaries

Beyond geographical location, multiple elements influence the salary of a Development Manager such as your level of experience and seniority within the position.

We’re discussing these aspects and more below, providing valuable insights for those interested in development management. Furthermore, understanding the factors highlighted in this section helps you identify opportunities to improve your skills, move up the career ladder, and achieve your goals.

In turn, this can contribute to greater job satisfaction, a topic covered in our salary survey. Our latest report found that 1 in 10 of those in Development Management, as a global average, feel undervalued, citing their employers’ company culture and values as the main reason.

Therefore it’s important when searching for a new job to seek roles that not only offer competitive compensation, but also assess if you will be the right culture fit, and have clear path for career development.

Education and qualifications

The educational background and qualifications of a Development Manager play a crucial role in determining their salary.

Individuals with advanced degrees in fields such as real estate development, urban planning, or business administration often command higher salaries.

Employers may place a premium on candidates with specialised certifications or memberships in professional organisations related to real estate such as the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), Project Management Professional (PMP), or LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP).

Continuous education and staying updated with industry trends can improve a Development Manager’s expertise, potentially leading to increased earning potential.


The level of seniority held by a Development Manager significantly impacts salary.

As professionals progress in their careers, taking on more responsibilities and leadership roles, their compensation tends to increase.

Senior Development Managers, who oversee larger projects or manage teams, are likely to earn higher salaries than those in entry-level positions as their accumulated experience and leadership responsibilities contribute to a greater level of expertise, enhancing their value to the organisation.

Be the first to hear about the 2024 report

Sign up here to be notified when the full salary survey launches in March.

Experience and expertise

Development Managers with a demonstrated track record of successfully completing projects, particularly those of high-profile or high-value nature, often find themselves in a favourable position to secure higher salaries.

Employers value professionals who have a history of delivering successful outcomes as this shows they can handle complex projects and challenging situations. Often they seek like-for-like experience by asset, for example, residential, industrial/logistics, commercial offices, etc.

Moreover, a property Development Manager’s ability to navigate regulatory environments is a sought-after skill that can significantly impact their earning potential.

By understanding complex regulatory landscapes, it demonstrates a level of competence that is highly valuable to employers. Regulatory compliance is a critical aspect of real estate development, and professionals who can successfully navigate these areas are desirable candidates.


The geographic location of the real estate market in which a Development Manager operates has a significant impact on their salary.

Salaries in major metropolitan areas or regions with a robust real estate market tend to be higher due to increased demand and competition for skilled professionals.

Cost of living adjustments also play a role, as salaries may be adjusted to reflect the local economic conditions.

Development Managers working in prime real estate markets often enjoy higher earning potential compared to their counterparts in less competitive regions.

Specialisation and niche markets

Specialisation in certain types of real estate development or niche markets can influence a Development Manager’s earning potential.

Those who specialise in lucrative and in-demand areas such as luxury residential, commercial, or sustainable development may command higher salaries.

Expertise in niche markets, such as historic preservation or adaptive reuse projects, can also make a Development Manager more sought after by employers, leading to increased compensation opportunities.

The ability to meet the demands of specific market segments adds significant value to a Development Manager’s skill set and can translate into higher earnings.

man handing women in red top a clipboard

Development Manager Career Growth

After looking into the average salaries of Development Managers across different regions, let’s now delve into the usual career advancement within this role.

From the Junior level to the Director position, this offers valuable insights into the progression trajectory attainable with the right skills and experience.

Junior Development Manager

As an entry-level role in real estate development, Junior Development Managers typically work under the guidance of more experienced professionals.

Their responsibilities involve supporting the development team in various tasks, such as conducting market research, assisting in project feasibility studies, and managing administrative aspects of the development process.

Junior Development Managers are often involved in coordinating with different stakeholders, including architects, contractors, and local authorities.

They may focus on specific aspects of a project and work closely with senior team members to gain valuable insights into the complexities of real estate development.

Senior Development Manager

Senior Development Managers have amassed years of experience in real estate development and have demonstrated proficiency in overseeing complex projects from conception to completion.

Their responsibilities include managing the entire development process, from site acquisition and due diligence to project financing and construction oversight.

Senior Development Managers play a strategic role in decision-making, risk management, and ensuring that projects align with the company’s overall goals.

Due to their seniority, they can command higher salaries as they bring a wealth of experience, industry connections, and a proven track record of successful project delivery. Employers value their ability to navigate challenges, negotiate deals, and make informed decisions, contributing significantly to the success of the development team.

Head of Development

The Head of Development is a leadership position responsible for overseeing the entire development department within a real estate company.

This role involves setting the strategic direction for the development team, making high-level decisions, and ensuring that projects align with the company’s overall vision and objectives.

Head of Development professionals often work with executive leadership, stakeholders, and investors to drive the growth of the business through real estate projects. Due to the leadership and strategic responsibilities, individuals in this position command higher salaries.

Their expertise in market trends, risk management, and project scalability adds significant value to the organisation, contributing to its overall success and profitability.

Director of Development

The Director of Development is a top-tier role, often reporting directly to the executive leadership or company board.

This position involves shaping the overall development strategy, identifying new business opportunities, and managing a diverse portfolio of projects.

Directors of Development play a key role in building relationships with investors, negotiating deals, and ensuring the organisation’s competitiveness in the real estate market.

Due to their extensive experience, leadership skills, and the critical nature of their decision-making, Directors of Development can command the highest salaries in the field.

Their ability to drive the success of the entire development department and influence the company’s growth trajectory makes them valuable assets, justifying the premium compensation associated with their seniority and expertise.

Interested in Development Management?

Explore all of our Development Manager vacancies here.

Salary Spotlight: Development Manager Salary Explored

Whether you’re currently working as a Development Manager or contemplating a career in this field, understanding the role’s responsibilities and potential salary is essential.

For those already in the profession, ensuring that your salary remains competitive and aligns with industry standards is crucial. If this isn’t the case, referencing the figures outlined in this post can serve as a benchmark during discussions about your salary in your upcoming performance review.

Examining salary variations based on geographic location is also informative, especially if you’re considering opportunities abroad.

Likewise, for those entering the Development Management field for the first time, gaining insights into the typical career trajectory and advancement opportunities is vital.

At Macdonald & Company, we partner with employers and employees helping people making the right connections. Whether you’re unsatisfied in your current role or you’re ready for a new challenge, our team can help you find the right position that meets your requirements. To find out more about how we can help, get in touch.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Everything real estate to learn, collaborate and connect.

Sign up for your monthly roundup of industry news, insights, career podcasts with industry leaders and more.