2020 Product Manager Salary and Career Guide Featured Image

2021 Average Product Manager Salary And Career Guide

Wondering what a good product manager salary is in 2021?

We have the advice you’re looking for. Planning any career path can be daunting, and within product management there are so many options for positions, responsibilities, and industries, that it can be overwhelming figuring out where to start.

This handy guide has tips for those just starting out, those in mid-level positions trying to boost their role, and those looking to improve and build on their skills. The product manager salary information in this guide will help you make an informed decision about the next step in your career. 

If you’re still early on in your career, you’re not alone. Within the current product management workforce, 33% of product managers have between 0 and 4 years of experience, and 26% have between 5 and 9 years.

Our guide below has information on the product manager role, several related positions, product manager salary information, and factors affecting salary.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is a Product Manager?

Product managers are responsible for the conception, creation, and launch of new products. Their duties might include providing product strategy, managing a development roadmap, specifying technical and functional requirements, launching the product, creating the marketing strategy, and initiating ongoing updates such as new features. 

There is a lot of variety in a product manager’s daily routine, but the one common thread is a focus on creating and launching products. They typically work with engineering teams, marketing professionals, and project managers.

Related Product Management Titles

There are several related product manager job titles that are worth mentioning and which are also covered in our salary guide below. Most denote different levels of seniority or different industries.

Director Of Product Management

This is one of the most senior positions that you can reach as a product manager. Responsibilities include creating the overall product strategy, writing business cases and case studies, design and implementation, and overseeing production and launch.

Senior Product Manager

Senior product managers often report to the director of product management and often take on responsibilities delegated to them by the director. They are more involved in the day-to-day of product management, as well as the creation and production processes, and defining and refining requirements.

Product Owner

Product owners tend to focus on maximizing efficiencies and the value of products to the consumer. In the software industry, product owners work directly with product development teams. Product owners guide the product team and keep production on track.

Junior Product Manager

Junior product managers aspire to the responsibilities of the senior product manager. They often start out with fewer duties and gain experience as they manage more and a wider variety of products. They are involved in production and the day-to-day, often supporting more senior product managers.

Associate Product Manager

Associate product managers do product management as part of their role, and may have another role such as sales, admin, or account management. Alternatively, associate product managers may work under a senior product manager to provide support, although their position requires more experience than a junior product manager.

Technical Product Manager

Job descriptions for technical product managers are almost identical to that of other product managers, but their roles are specific to technical industries such as engineering, IT, or software.

Product Marketing Manager

Product marketing managers work closely with product managers but their roles are distinct. The former primarily creates strategies for marketing the products created by the product manager and their team. This might include training sales staff, creating a marketing strategy, and producing marketing materials.

New Product Development Manager

This role is more involved in coming up with ideas for products. This may involve research, design, and requirement definition. New product development managers may assist in production, though not to the extent of product managers. 

Chief Product Officer (CPO)

A CPO is the most senior position that a product manager can achieve. While not every organization will employ a chief product officer, within those that do, the CPO is the head strategist and oversees all products and product operations in an organization, including everything from product ideation to product design, product development, and product launch.

Average Product Manager Salary

Okay, here are the numbers. The average product manager yearly salary is $111,868, according to Glassdoor, as the American national average.

illustration of a scale with a dollar on it and the amount $111,868
The average product manager salary in the USA.

But this doesn’t tell the full story. When we break down the average product manager salary ranges by job title, there is significant variation. Averages depend on the factors above as well as others such as company size, revenue, and more.

Director of product management salary or product director salary

Senior product manager salary

Product owner salary

Digital product manager salary

Junior product manager salary

Associate product manager salary or assistant product manager salary

Technical product manager salary

Product marketing manager salary

New product development manager salary

Overall, more senior positions have a higher salary in both the United States and Canada. 

Most positions have a large discrepancy between Canadian and American salaries, especially when taking into account the currency exchange rate between USD and CAD. The American salaries are an average of 35.2% higher than the Canadian salaries.

Results From Our Survey

We’ve been running a survey on The Product Manager since March 2020 asking readers about their salaries, years of experience, location, how satisfied they are with their salary, and more. We received 137 responses from product managers in 17 different countries.

Here’s the average salary breakdown by job title:

bar graph showing salaries by job title
Average salary by job title in USD.
  • Product Manager (Junior): $79,601
  • Product Manager (Mid-Level): $104,58
  • Product Manager (Senior): $125,554
  • Product Management Director: $151,484
  • VP, Product Management: $175,000

Other than the senior product manager salary, these salaries are higher than the averages in the previous section.

It’s worth noting that only one respondent had the title of VP, Product Management. There were 4 other job titles mentioned once each, which are not included in the averages above.

Here are the responses by location:

bar graph showing salaries by location
Average salary by country in USD.
  • United States: $120,509
  • United Kingdom: $81,723
  • India: $112,521
  • Australia: $93,659

There were also a few respondents from the following countries, which had at least two respondents. The average salaries are included here.

bar graph showing salaries by location
Average salary by location in USD for some additional countries represented in our survey results.
  • Brazil: $39,870
  • Canada: $100,717
  • France: $56,094
  • Germany: $76,814
  • Singapore: $58,844
  • Spain: $50,275
  • Sweden: $64,674

We also received one response each from respondents in Austria, The Czech Republic, Israel, Malaysia, The Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Product Manager Career Path

Product manager careers can take many different paths. There are a variety of industries and sectors that require product managers, including software, manufacturing, retail, tech, and more. It’s also common to start out in one industry and move throughout your career, as interests and industries change.

Product managers often have several different titles over their career as they gain seniority and move between industries. All of these factors, and more, affect salary and career path.

How We Calculated the Numbers

Averages by experience, education level, and location (see below) were pulled from this report.

Product manager salary information by specific job title was sourced from Indeed. All dollar amounts are listed in USD unless stated otherwise. Survey responses that reported salaries in a currency other than USD were converted to USD, and any currencies that were not specified were assumed to be USD. 

What Can Affect Product Manager Salaries?

So, how much do product managers make? The answer is, it depends—which may not be the answer that you were necessarily looking for, but just providing a number with no context or disclaimers wouldn’t give you any actionable information. Here is a brief explanation of the factors that can affect product management salaries.

Experience

As with any job, experience affects your salary. You might be working as a product manager in software, IT, or manufacturing, and whether you choose one industry or path and follow it, or jump around between industries or product types, your experience changes throughout your career. In general, entry-level positions that require less than 2 years of experience on average earn $74,000, 6-10 years earn $117,000, and 15+ years earn $154,000

Keep in mind that these numbers speak to average base salary, and do not take bonuses or other forms of compensation into account. This is important, since it is reported that about 44% of Product Managers receive a bonus of at least $3,000 annually as part of their average total compensation, which is not accounted for above. 

In certain industries and companies, it is also common to offer employees, including product managers, compensation in the form of company stock options. Be sure to take this into account when conducting research into a potential new job or negotiating a salary.

Education

Product managers tend to be well-educated, as they need training and education in product management and business. This might include an MBA, or some other type of business degree, as well as technical training or supplementary courses in product management. 

Around 42% of product managers have a master’s degree, while 45% have a bachelor’s degree. Those with a bachelor’s degree make an average of $116,500, and those with a master’s or some master’s make an average of $127,800

Location

Salary also varies in different regions of the U.S. Places where product managers are more in-demand tend to offer more money than other areas. For example, product managers are highly sought after in Silicon Valley, where the pace of creating and launching new products is still growing. Product managers are likely to earn more there than anywhere else in the US. 

Here are the median salaries by region in the United States: 

bar graph showing median salaries by region of the United States
Median salaries by region in the United States.
  • West Coast (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle): $120,000
  • East Coast (New York, Boston): $108,000
  • South (Atlanta): $101,000
  • Midwest (Chicago, Denver): $95,000

Compensation for product managers also varies by country. Keep in mind that the amount fluctuates based on many factors, including the average cost of living in that city or region.

  • Toronto, Canada: $106,591
  • Berlin, Germany: €57,000
  • Sydney, Australia: A$110,000
  • London, UK: £55,000
  • Zurich, Switzerland: CHF109,000

Certification

Whether or not a product manager has relevant certifications will have an impact on their salary. On average, 68% of product managers have between 1 and 3 certifications. This makes product managers more hireable, as well as earns them more money. Product management certifications provide tangible proof to employers that they are capable of their responsibilities, so certified product managers tend to make more. 

Conclusion: How Much Does A Product Manager Make?

Use this guide when making your next product manager career move, whether it’s asking for a raise, moving up within your organization, or moving to a new position in product management entirely. The product manager salary information is also a great resource for analyzing your own salary and position and determining whether you’re being paid what you’re worth.

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