A Product Manager is a person that is responsible for the discovery, strategy, launch, execution, and growth of any given product. McKinsey & Company said ‘as long as a company has a product, it requires a product manager’. They even call their Product Managers mini-CEOs. Why’s that? Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo.), Susan Wojcicki (CEO of YouTube), Stewart Butterfield (CEO of Slack), Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft), Marissa Mayer (Ex-CEO of Yahoo), and Sundar Pichai (CEO of Alphabet) all have one thing in common. They were all Product Managers at some point in their careers.
The Dream Job
The Wall Street Journal recently called ‘Product Manager’ a dream job. That’s because, besides the versatile high paced nature of the job, it is also quite well-paid. Since salaries are affected by demand, location, cost of living, and standard of living in various parts of the world, finding the average salary of a product manager is quite complicated. The Future of Product Management Report mentions that the global average base pay for a product manager is $110,916 per year and The United States of America holds the highest average base pay of $108,992 per year. Besides demographic factors, experience plays a huge role in determining salaries. There are quite a few kinds of product managers who serve at different seniority levels and their pays vary accordingly. An Associate Product Manager makes a base salary of around $96,000, a Product Manager makes $109,000, a Senior Product Manager makes $124,000, the Director of Product Management makes $149,000 and the figures keep rising as you climb up the ladder.
The Best Paymasters
Product Management being a relatively new role, it is not surprising that the highest paying companies are from the tech background. LinkedIn reports that the median base salary of Product Managers in Facebook is around $1,86,000/yr. Similarly, the median base salary at Google stands at $1,67,000/yr, $1,21,786/yr at Amazon, $1,53,000/yr at Apple and $1,22,000/yr at Microsoft. The data above is proof of the fact that Tech companies hire PMs most aggressively and are also the best paymasters when it comes to these roles.
Julia Austin, who taught Product Management at the Harvard Business School until June 2020 says that a good PM should have a high EQ – that is the ability to empathize with customers as well as have a strong relationship with their organization that would enable them to navigate both internal and external hurdles to ship a great product. If you’re exploring the path to Project Management, spend some time understanding who the customer is, what their needs are, and why they behave in a certain way for any brand. If you do well in these regions, you might have what it takes to be a Product Manager!