How Much Does a Product Manager Make (With Duties and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 7 September 2022

Published 29 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're a management generalist with a passion for development, you may consider working as a product manager. Product managers work with executives, marketers and developers to design, develop and successfully launch products. To know if this career path is the right choice for you, you may want to see how much you can make in this role and how to successfully grow your career and income. In this article, we explain what a product manager is and what one does, explore how much does a product manager make and review some of their essential skills and primary duties.

How much does a product manager make?

If you're thinking about pursuing a career in product management, you're probably wondering, 'how much does a product manager make?'. After graduating or changing careers, you may consider applying for an entry position. The average national salary of a junior product manager is £32,347 per year. As a mid-level product manager with a few years of experience, you can make, on average, £51,513 per year. Once you gain expert knowledge and are ready to take on more responsibilities, you may consider a senior position—the average base salary for a senior product manager is £68,422 per year.

What is a product manager?

Project managers are specialised professionals responsible for the development of products for a company. They typically design product development strategies and oversee the production or development practices. Their main goal is to help the organisation create highly functional products, reflect the company's brand and answer the customers' needs. They may also coordinate product launches to ensure correct product presentation and promotion.

Related: Product Manager vs Product Marketing Manager Explained

How to increase your product manager salary

Here are some ways in which you can increase your project manager salary:

1. Get more work experience

Employers highly appreciate experienced product managers who can effectively plan a product's life cycle and know how to launch it on the market. If a product manager has those qualities, employers typically offer them a higher salary to ensure they stay at the company and continue making their products successful. If you'd like to increase your product manager salary, consider gaining additional work experience by engaging in additional projects after hours or volunteering at some local non-profit.

2. Develop new skills

Developing a new skill increases your potential and allows you to take on more responsibilities. If you show your employer that you're an ambitious professional who's willing to invest their time into learning new software or product management tools, they may want to reward your efforts and offer you a raise.

Read more: Product Manager Skills: 15 Essential Hard and Soft Skills To Develop

3. Consider relocating

It's common for companies located in larger cities to offer candidates bigger starting salaries. They typically have more clients and work on bigger projects, which results in bigger budgets that they want to spend on highly qualified employees who can make the organisation successful. If you currently live in a smaller city and would like to change your environment, consider moving to London or another country.

4. Find your niche or choose a specialisation

Product management is currently one of the most popular fields in management. This means that there are many candidates interested in general product manager roles. If you'd like to make your CV interesting to employers and ensure that you can charge more for your work, consider finding a niche that works well with your skills and interests. For example, you can choose to only develop products within the IT industry or work exclusively on product launches in other countries. Specialisation increases your value as an employee and positions you as an expert in your field.

Related: Product Manager Career Path (With Duties, Skills and Tips)

5. Get certified

Another proven way to increase your qualifications and salary as a product manager is to get certified. Enrolling in continuing education courses makes you an interesting candidate because it shows that you're committed to self-improvement. You can choose a course at a local university but what's great about product management is that many courses are available online. This allows you to enrol in some of the best globally recognised international programmes and learn from industry experts from all around the globe.

Becoming a product manager

There are no formal requirements for product managers, but preparing in advance and getting a relevant degree can help you make your CV more attractive to employers. If you know in which industry you'd like to work, consider choosing a university programme closely related to that field. For example, someone thinking about pursuing a career as a video game product manager may want to learn about modern technologies or gaming. Similarly, candidates applying for product marketing roles typically have better chances of getting a job offer if they have a marketing degree.

Related: Product Manager Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Essential product manager skills

Here are some essential skills of a product manager that you can consider improving if you're interested in pursuing a career in the field:

Leadership skills

Many professionals working in this role manage development and product teams. This may include everyone from data or market analysts and product and experience designers to developers and promotional staff. This is because the most successful product managers oversee the whole life cycle of a product up to a successful launch. They need strong leadership skills to know how to successfully manage employees in various roles and coordinate all project phases.

Related: Top 9 Leadership Skills to Develop

Strategic thinking

Product managers need strategic thinking because it helps them define their vision for a product they're working on and plan the company's efforts to make that vision successful. They may use this skill to analyse complex problems during project development and find a way to solve them in a creative and straightforward way. Strategic thinking also helps with decision-making, which is an important part of every product manager's job.

Communication skills

Product managers take care of all stages of product creation and launch, which means they often collaborate and communicate with designers, developers, marketers, salespeople or even the company executives. Excellent communication skills help them explain their vision in a clear and concise way and better understand each team member's needs and ideas. If you'd like to improve your communication skills, consider working on being an empathetic, easily approachable, but assertive professional who's always open-minded and proactive.

Creativity

Creativity is an essential skill for a product manager because it helps them develop innovative solutions for everyday problems and makes every product interesting. Creative product managers may also find it easier to adapt to a dynamic work environment and work on multiple projects at the same time because they rarely run out of ideas. To nurture your creativity, be sure not to overwork and dedicate enough time to relax and do things that make you truly happy.

Related: Best Practices To Boost Your Creative Thinking Skills

Duties of a product manager

Although a typical product manager is a generalist, it's common for them to have excellent attention to detail and analytical skills. Their primary duties usually include:

  • Market research: Researching the market helps them understand what products are trending and what their competitors do to make their products successful. Research also helps them better understand customer behaviours and market needs.

  • Product strategy: Strategising helps product managers understand what they're aiming for. It allows them to make their product vision clear, position their product, set its price or choose a target audience.

  • Idea management: Product managers often collect, organise and evaluate various ideas that their team members share during brainstorming. They need to manage those ideas and choose which ones could work best for the product they're developing.

  • Customer survey: Asking for customer opinions helps development teams understand if their vision and strategy for a product are truly what the company's target audience needs. Product managers may get involved in customer surveys by analysing responses and performing usability testing.

  • Planning and development: Planning and development are often one of the most important phases in a project. An effective product manager knows how to create a roadmap, gets involved in designing the product and can easily plan its market launch.

  • Reporting: Product managers need excellent analytical and observation skills to gather data and report on the product's success to the company's executives.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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