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2020 Product Manager Salary and Career Guide

Wondering what’s a good product manager salary 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 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, factors affecting salary, and the top seven skills product managers need 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 Product Manager Salary Survey 2020 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.

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. 

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 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. 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 Information

So, how much do product managers make? 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. 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. 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.

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 the 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.

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. 

Average Product Manager Salary

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

product manager salary

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.

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, are very similar in salary between Canada and the US.

This could be due to a greater demand for or shortage in those positions in Canada, leading to higher salaries. However, some positions have a large discrepancy between Canadian and American salaries, with the American salary being quite a bit higher. This could 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?

Product manager salary survey

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

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

Top 7 In-Demand Product Manager Skills

Product managers need to be constantly upgrading their skills to stay competitive when job searching or moving up in their organization. Listed below are the top seven for 2020. Make sure to brush up on them heading into a product manager career move.

  • Understanding of web development. While product managers don’t necessarily do coding or programming, an understanding of the process is useful. This understanding can give product managers a better grasp of timelines, project scopes, and ease of scaling a product up or down.
  • Analytic and critical thinking skills. This is a must-have. Product managers must be able to analyze information and data and provide actionable insights into their team. This helps them ensure products provide sufficient value.
  • Initiative. As product managers need to provide ideas for and create products, taking the initiative to start projects and get the rest of their team on board is crucial.
  • Leadership. As with any management position, leadership skills are important for supporting and motivating your team. For product managers, leadership skills need to work in tandem with the initiative to get products on the go and meet deadlines.
  • Flexible. Priorities change daily in product management. One day a certain product is the priority, and the next it’s something different. Product managers need to be able to keep up with changes and stay flexible to ensure products are developed and launched in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Writing technical specs and requirements. Product ideas are an important part of a product manager’s role, but without technical and specific requirements, products can fizzle out and get stuck in pre-production. Being able to create technical specs and requirements provides a specific direction for your team. 
  • Problem-solving. At their core, products are intended to solve problems. Product managers need to create products that achieve this, making problem-solving a key part of creating and brainstorming product ideas.

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 information 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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