This paper studies content and barrier of green project managers’ job satisfaction.•
Job content, context, resource, personality/competence etc. form job satisfaction.•
Job content, jobholders’ personality/competence are emphasized in green projects.•
Technical condition, expertise, split incentive, stakeholder affect job satisfaction.•
Eight strategies are developed to boost green project managers’ job satisfaction.
Studies proved that project managers’ performance is greatly affected by their job satisfaction. Little attention has been paid to the job satisfaction of project managers in green construction projects. This study aims to assess the job satisfaction of project managers in charge of green construction projects, with comparisons against conventional construction projects. It also investigates the key barriers that influence project managers’ job satisfaction and proposes feasible strategies to improve their job satisfaction in green construction projects. A literature review was conducted to understand the mechanism of job satisfaction and the potential barriers and strategies in green construction projects, followed by a questionnaire survey that collected the data from 105 project managers. Interviews with five industry experts were also conducted to substantiate survey results. The results show that ‘job content’ and ‘personality and competence of jobholders’ were perceived differently between green and conventional construction projects. ‘Technical requirement’ and ‘split incentive condition’, ‘project managers’ expertise and awareness’ and ‘demand and support from stakeholders’ were identified as key barriers of project managers’ job satisfaction in green construction projects. The findings contribute to the body of knowledge on the features of job satisfaction for green construction project managers, assist companies in formulating strategies to enhance the performance of project managers.