Product Managers are required to build products that support the business goals and objectives. While that might sound like a pretty simple definition, the fact of the matter is that efficiently performing the role requires Product Managers to collaborate across teams. They can be seen working with the design, development, marketing, sales teams, and even the stakeholders to understand the company’s vision.
Let’s try to understand the Product Manager Salary in the USA, and all the different trends related to it!
To begin with, owing to the ambiguity in the definition of a ‘Product Manager’, it is difficult to assign a specific set of roles or duties to them universally. This leads to a lot of variation in the salaries. Just a quick search on various job sites will make you realize the amount of deviation in salaries across the board – ranging from $50k to $200k and more.
This drastic fluctuation can be attributed to several factors, each of which is significant enough to cause the deviation by itself. Here are some such key factors:
Product Manager Salary in the US – Based on Position
Your position depends on three major things – education, expertise, and experience – and is by far the most significant contributor to your salary as a Product Manager. Let’s look at how the Product Manager Salary in the US varies based on the levels.
Note – All the salaries mentioned hereafter are mentioned by taking the average figure after referring to multiple job posts and more research. They have majorly been taken from Glassdoor, Payscale, and Indeed.
1. Entry-Level Product Manager Salaries
Here are some entry-level Product Manager positions and the range of salaries offered to them in the US.
1. Associate Product Manager
APMs work with engineering, design, and development teams to ensure timely delivery of products while maintaining steady growth. Technical roles involve dealing with user data, analyzing it, collecting and analyzing user data, and creating product strategies accordingly. While their duties mostly overlap with middle-tier Product Managers, the difference is that entry-level professionals cannot make company-wide decisions.
Being an entry-level role, APM requires 0-2 years of experience with no specific educational requirements, so to say. However, a graduate or postgraduate degree in marketing, advertisement, engineering will be a bonus. That said, you can very quickly enter the field even without any degree in the mentioned fields. In that case, you can look for some part-time internships in product management or customer-centric fields, like sales, marketing, content, and such. Also, you can look to upskill yourself by taking part in hands-on training and certifications. For example, our Product Management Certification Program, in association with Duke Corporate Education, is designed for freshers. It helps you begin your journey in the world of Product Management with ease!
Average annual salary of APMs is as follows:
- $97,010 (Glassdoor)
- $65,888 (Payscale)
- $83,210 (Indeed)
2. Technical Product Manager
TPMs bridge the gap between an organization’s business and technological arms by creating product roadmaps, planning product specifications, and collaboration with the development team to develop product strategies that align with the long-term business goals.
All in all, TPMs represent the business aspect of the company’s technical decisions and maneuvers. For that, they generally require 1-3 years of experience working in technical or product roles. The skills needed for TPMs are also technical in nature – like database management, systems architecture, algorithm optimization, and more. A degree in Computer Science or management is a big plus for the role of TPMs
However, you can also find various TPMs without such an educational background. In that case, they have worked and gained experience to take on the roles of a TPM. Here is the average annual salary of TPMs
- $64,200 (Glassdoor)
- $102,817 (Payscale)
- $118,329 (Indeed)
3. Software Product Manager
SPMs are like the other Product Managers, except they deal primarily with digital products. They are involved in creating product strategies, monitoring development lifecycles, carrying out testing, and collecting feedback from users and stakeholders. They aim to provide more value to the customer through the company’s digital products.
For SPMs, a prior experience of 1-3 years is considered ideal. Like for TPMs, a degree in engineering or management would be a plus for SPMs, too, but that’s not a hard prerequisite. The average salary for SPMs is along the lines of:
- $109,992 (Glassdoor)
- $94,194 (Payscale)
- $102,358 (Indeed)
2. Executive-Level Product Manager Salaries
Now, let’s look at some executive-level Product Manager job roles and the salaries they offer:
1. Senior Product Manager
Senior Product Managers are leaders that oversee the duties of other Product Managers like TPM or SPM. They manage multiple teams and have company-wide decision-making ability. Their work is focused less on hands-on development and more on brainstorming, strategizing, and communicating with all the important people. Senior Product Managers also perform the role of HR at times and help in recruiting young Product Managers.
Since this is a leadership role, the candidate with 5-8 years of relevant experience will have a better chance of bagging this job. Unlike entry-level jobs, the job of a Senior Product Manager mostly requires candidates to have formal education in fields like management, finance, marketing, or enough experience to demonstrate their skills if they lack the academic qualifications. Here’s what the average salary for Senior Product Manager in the US looks like:
- $125,895 (Glassdoor)
- $123,784 (Payscale)
- $138,252 (Indeed)
2. Group Product Manager
Group Product Managers take care of teams of Product Managers. As a result of this, the role of Group Product Manager requires strict leadership skills. Most Group Product Managers take the big-picture approach and work with the team management. Others lean towards individual contributions and like to involve themselves hands-on with various products.
So, Group Product Manages can be found anywhere in the spectrum between collectivism (managing the product teams and monitoring their work) or individualism (getting hands-on with the product development process while managing product teams). It is ideal for candidates to have 5-8 years of relevant experience before applying for the role of Group Product Managers. Further, the higher you go up the Product Management ladder, the less you’ll find managers without relevant formal degrees. Formal education and relevant experience slowly become a requirement as you climb up the ladder.
The average salary of Group Product Managers in the US is:
- $105,992 (Glassdoor)
- $157,288 (Payscale)
- $192,759 (Indeed)*
3. Director of Product Management
This is a purely supervisory role. The Director monitors all the other Product Managers we have discussed so far. They are responsible for maintaining smooth workflows without any hindrances. They need to collaborate with other Directors, brainstorm on new products and features, and take the role of Product Evangelists.
Since this is a role very high up the ladder, this requires you to have 8-12 years of relevant experience in Product Management. Further, companies prefer candidates with a Master’s degree, or at least a bachelor’s, in marketing, finance, sales, management, or any similar field. The average salary of Director of Product Management in the US is:
- $144,238 (Glassdoor)
- $141,449 (Payscale)
- $151,234 (Indeed)
3. Senior-Level Product Manager Salaries
Here are some senior-level Product Manager jobs along with the range of salaries they offer:
1. VP of Product Management
The Vice President of Product Management can be thought of as the Product Manager for the organization itself (considering the ‘organization’ as a ‘product’). VP of Product Management is responsible for all the company-level tasks, like creating product strategies, company-wide implementation of the strategy, leading decision-making, and mentoring young Product Managers – all the while aligning with all business goals and vision.
VP of Product Managers require 10-15 years of prior experience and receive the following average salaries in the US:
- $184,145 (Glassdoor)
- $171,162 (Payscale)
- $192,414 (Indeed)
2. Chief Product Officer
CPOs stand at the top of the product pyramid and drive all the relevant product operations while making insightful decisions to achieve business goals. They are responsible for managing the needs of the business, the internal teams, the product, and the users. The main aim of CPOs is to streamline the product development processes.
In many companies, especially the younger ones, you’ll find the Vice President assuming the role of a CPO. This role requires 12-15 years of prior relevant experience. Here’s the average annual salary of CPOs in the US:
- $195,757 (Glassdoor)
- $182,724 (Payscale)
- $191,414 (Indeed)
Product Manager Salary in the US – Based on Location
Product Manager salaries vary with geographic location. They are different across the globe – and even within the US, there exists a great deviation in Product Manager salaries. For example, the Product Managers in NY earn ~130% above the national average. Likewise, there is a good enough variation between different cities. Check out the following graph to get a bit of an idea about this variation:
Product Manager Salary in the US – Based on Industry
The general rule is that fast-paced industries that are quickly moving towards technological adoption pay handsomely to Product Managers. As a result, there is a general deviation in salaries that can be noticed across different industries.
Product Manager Salary in the US – Based on Company Strength
This goes without saying. The companies that are doing good will pay their Product Managers higher than the industry benchmark to attract and retain the best talents. While the average pay for Product Managers in the US is at around $108k, some of the leading companies even pay as much as $200k.
Product Manager Salary in the US – Based on Certifications
Certifications are extremely helpful – especially if you are a fresher or a mid-level professional. By completing certifications, you get a chance to learn a new skill and put that into action by working on some real-world projects. Certifications can also be a confidence booster for you. Further, with the skills, knowledge, experience, and confidence that you have after completing certifications, you will definitely stand a better chance of getting paid higher. Certifications also show your motivation and dedication towards the field!
One such certification that can help you skyrocket your Product Management career is the PG Program in Management offered by upGrad in association with IMT, Ghaziabad. Get yourself enrolled in the course, engage in collaborative projects with student-mentor interaction, learn in-person by industry experts, get personalized feedback and training, get 360-degree placement assistance, and secure your career as a Product Manager!
Get Started With Your Product Management Journey Today!
We hope this article gives you clarity in terms of Product Manager salaries in the US. If you are an aspiring manager, another thing to keep in mind to bag a good-paying job is to have your resume up-to-the-mark with all the relevant experiences, education, certifications, and keywords.
This high-paying domain of operation – Product Management – will become even more crucial in the coming years as more and more products grace the market. As a result, Product Management is one job that looks to be very future-proof at the moment. Further, it welcomes people from all disciplines to try their skills and build a fruitful career. If you are an aspiring Product Manager, now is the time to get started with your learnings to bag the role you deserve. At upGrad, we have trained thousands of students across the globe and helped them begin their careers in Product Management from scratch. Reach out to us today and experience personalized education like never before!
What are the responsibilities of a product manager?
As the product manager of a company, you will need to acquire and keep a variety of critical information related to your market, products, competitors, prospective customers, existing customers, industry analysts, and many more aspects. Your primary and most vital responsibilities will be to continually acquire and analyze business intelligence and data from internal and external sources and formulate product roadmap strategies based on the gathered information. You need to be absolutely transparent about the roadmap process and manage the stakeholders well. You will also need to tactfully balance the needs of customers and product stakeholders and make decisions based on data and evidence.
Who is a product manager?
A product manager links business strategy, customer needs, and product design knowledge to drive the development of valuable, relevant, and feasible products. They possess the necessary business acumen and knowledge to optimize a product, such that it can help attain business targets, fulfill user requirements, and maximize ROI (return on investment). Since different products are connected to different categories of users, businesses, and product developers, each product manager is also essentially different from each other. Like, an API product manager must be highly technically savvy, while a B2B product manager must be suave with negotiating change management and handling objections.
Do I need an MBA to become a product manager?
One of the most common questions people ask is whether they need an MBA degree to become a product manager. Now, there is no one answer for this because the specific requirements depend on the recruiting company. While some organizations, especially startups, prefer technical expertise over management degrees, an MBA might not be a priority. But then, some companies with a higher focus on business might prefer MBA candidates for product managers. So, in most cases, getting an MBA is not mandatory to become a product manager but definitely adds value to your CV.