what is a product manager?

As a product manager, you ensure a company produces relevant and profitable products that meet the needs of your users. Aside from ensuring that the products are feasible, you maximize the return on investment for your employer. Your job is to manage and tackle everything outside the bounds of the sales and marketing team, developers, designers, and end users. Since every business and product has a unique constellation of users, developers and businesses, your specific duties depend on the product niche. For instance, a consumer product is expected to serve millions of customers, and you manage the design to suit many consumers.

what does a product manager do?

The role of a product manager involves dealing with stakeholders and management. For instance, you define a product’s vision by determining the problems it will solve and the target consumers. You also empower the design team to deliver the highest value by reviewing product specs and participating in tests. As a product manager, being an expert in quantitative and qualitative data from market trends, user research, and competitive analysis is important. When you understand the implications of the product, you can prioritize features and lay out an actionable plan to execute the idea.

Would working as a product manager suit your strategic thinking skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a product manager role.

product manager roles

average product manager salary

According to Job Bank, the average salary of a product manager is $147,927 per year. While there is no minimum salary limit, entry-level or junior product manager roles start as low as $100,000 yearly. As your experience increases, your earnings rise to $197,641 annually.

what factors influence the salary of a product manager?

Product managers' earnings depend on the locations and industries they work in. You receive a higher salary when you work in a technical sector, such as manufacturing or information technology. Some industries require advanced educational qualifications, and product managers can demand higher earnings due to these requirements.

The Canadian region or territory also determines your earnings. For instance, when you work in Newfoundland and Labrador, your average hourly rate is $38.08. This wage is lower than the national average for the role, which is $52.88 per hour. In Ontario, the average hourly rate is slightly higher at $53.08, while the hourly rate is the highest in Alberta at $57.69 per hour.

Your qualifications and experience also influence your earnings. When you are new in the role, your salary is lower due to your minimal experience and skills. The longer you work in this job, the more skills you acquire, resulting in increased earnings.

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types of product managers

Some of the types of product managers include:

  • technical product managers: you work with engineering and product design teams to develop technical products. Your job is to analyze trends, study competitor products, and develop features to improve the performance of technical products in the market.
  • growth product managers: you ensure the existing products maintain their competitiveness. You find avenues for new product growth by working with the research and design teams to create new features to increase profitability.
  • digital product managers: a digital product manager oversees the development and creation of digital products. You determine customer needs and translate them into product features. You also conduct extensive market research to balance customer expectations with business goals.
  • software product managers: as a software product manager, you work with developers and designers to create functional software. You analyze software solutions and ensure the product is up to date.
man testing product measurements
man testing product measurements

working as a product manager

Are you excited about working as a product manager? Discover the specific tasks, work environments and career outlook in the role.


product manager skills and education

There are various career paths and requirements for becoming a product manager. They include:

  • determine your preferred industry: decide the industry you want to work in and gain post-secondary credentials. For instance, you require a chemical processing and healthcare background in the pharmaceutical industry. To work in tech industries, you require basic programming skills and engineering.
  • complete a bachelor’s degree: when you know the industry you want to work in, pursue a bachelor's degree in the relevant field. For instance, you can pursue chemical engineering or computer engineering. Since you perform managerial duties, it helps to have a bachelor's degree in business or complete an MBA to gain management skills.
  • gain experience: to work as a product manager, you require extensive work experience. You start in entry-level production roles as you learn new skills and improve your experience.

competencies and characteristics of product managers

Some of the qualities of product managers include:

  • problem-solving skills: products are developed to solve consumers' problems and pain points. With problem-solving skills, you create and brainstorm product ideas that solve the customers' problems. A problem-solving mindset is a driving force behind decision-making.
  • time management: as a product manager, you split your time between different projects. Time management skills help you prioritize roles and juggle different tasks. The skills also help you promote efficiency and ensure products are launched on time.
  • communication skills: you require proper communication skills to communicate effectively with the product teams and developers. You also communicate with stakeholders when reporting on product success and proposing improvement opportunities.
  • ability to take the initiative: as a product manager, being proactive helps you achieve goals and targets. Your ability to take the initiative motivates your product teams and speeds up the production process.

FAQs about product manager jobs

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a product manager.


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