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2020 Product Manager Salary And Career Guide

Wondering what a good product manager salary is in 2020?

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 wherever you are in the roadmap of your career, including 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 in 2020.

Participate In The 2020 Salary Survey

The product management field changes quickly—which is why we’re running a Product Manager Salary Survey to get a real insight into what PMs are actually earning across the globe.

Participate in the 2020 Product Manager Salary Survey here

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, specifying technical and functional requirements, launching the product, creating the marketing strategy, initiating ongoing updates such as new features, and more. 

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. Product manager jobs may have some overlap with the responsibilities of project managers, in terms of meeting deadlines and staying within budget, as well as allocating resources and leading the product team to ensure products are seen through to product launch.

Related Product Management Job Titles

There are several related 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 development teams, who develop the product. Product owners guide the development 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 the 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.

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 to others throughout your career, as interests and industries change.

Product managers will also have several different titles over their careers as they gain seniority and move between industries. All of these factors, and more, affect salary and career path. Before we jump into average salary information, some notes on calculations and factors affecting salaries.

How We Calculated the Numbers

Averages by experience and country were pulled from this report. The report separated the male and female average, so we calculated the average product manager salary of those two numbers to produce an overall average.

Product manager salary information by specific job title was sourced from Indeed and Neuvoo. The data focuses on Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, although there is some consideration of other countries with a high demand for product managers. 

All dollar amounts are listed in USD unless stated otherwise.

Product Manager Salary: How Much Does a Product Manager Make?

So, how much do product managers make? 

Average base salary and product manager salary ranges can depend – 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. 

Before we get to the average product manager salary, a brief explanation of the factors affecting it.

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 a year of experience will earn you $112,565, 8 years will get you $129,130, and 13 years will earn you $154,545. 20 years or more could get you around $184,000.

Education

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

Around 40% of product managers have a master’s degree, while 43% 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 (calculated from the average of the master’s salary and the some master’s salary).

Location

Where you are in the world has an impact on your potential salary as well. Depending on the industries and sectors that drive a country’s economy, some product management positions and job titles, in general, will be more in-demand than others. 

Here’s how the following countries stack up when it comes to product manager salary. This number includes the average yearly bonus given out by employers.

National average product manager salary varies by country.

chart showing average product manager salary by country
Average product manager salary varies by country.
  • Canada: $106,591
  • Germany: $125,582
  • Australia: $105,814
  • Netherlan7ds: $107,880
  • Switzerland: $148,786
  • UK: $117,340
  • US: $145,616

Salary also varies in different regions of each country. 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 San Francisco and 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, many of them at large companies like SalesForce, Levi Strauss, Splunk, Twitter, Visa, Square, StitchFix, and Williams-Sonoma, all located in San Fransisco.

Other big metropolitan locations such as Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and Denver also have a high demand for product managers. 

It’s important to note that the cost of living is also higher in more populated cities, which factors into a higher salary. Also, big companies tend to be headquartered in highly populated cities, with Amazon headquartered in Seattle, and Google near Silicon Valley.

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 and equipped with the right skills, so certified product managers tend to make more.

Average Product Manager Salary

Okay, here are the numbers. The average product manager’s salary is $119,000 in the USA. 

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

It’s also important to note that the salaries below don’t factor in total compensation, which includes benefits and paid time off. Larger companies may also offer employees stock options.

product manager salary

Overall, more senior positions have a higher salary. One surprise is the difference between salaries in Canada and the US. Several positions, such as junior product manager, technical product manager, and new product development manager, have a lower salary in Canada than the US, when factoring in the conversion rate between CAD and USD. 

This could be due to a greater demand for or shortage in those positions in the USA, leading to higher salaries. Other positions have a much larger discrepancy between Canadian and American salaries, with the American salary being quite a bit higher. This could also point to a greater demand in the US.

One major note on the UK side is that the associate product manager salary is lower than that of the junior product manager. This seems to contradict our earlier assertion that associate product managers tend to have more experience and seniority than junior product managers.

However, it is possible that this position is valued differently or has lesser responsibilities in the UK than in North America.

Take The Product Manager Salary Survey

Whether you’re a Product Management industry veteran or just beginning a career in product development as a Product Manager, we’re all curious:

Are we being paid what we’re worth, or not?

For the first time, we’re running a Product Manager Salary Survey for 2020. Please participate! There are 8 questions and it’ll take you just 2 minutes to complete.

Take the Product Manager Salary Survey for 2020

Product manager salary survey

We’ll compile the answers into a report and email it to you once it’s complete. 

Conclusion

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 info is also a great resource for analyzing your own salary and position and determining whether you’re being paid what you’re worth. For more useful and actionable information for product managers, subscribe to our newsletter.

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