Product managers often referred to as product CEOs, are tasked with communicating the vision of the highest-level executives to the implementation and the development teams. They have to consider a wide array of factors in determining how a project will move on. For this, anyone wishing to get the product manager job description has to own a certain set of skills and personal qualities.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the employment rate for individuals with the product manager job description to grow 9% by 2024. That is about as fast as the rate of employment for all the occupations in the United States. With plenty of opportunities for promotion and moving up in the company, the product manager job description is fairly coveted.
Product Manager Job Overview: What Does a Product Manager Do?
Other than having to work as a means of communication, people with the product manager job description have to increase the profitability of existing products, as well as to coordinate the development of brand new products. This includes using previously acquired contacts, developing new ideas, guiding older ideas towards a more profitable venture, and even pitching the product.
The position has a strategic role instead of a tactical one in the company. Because of this, the product management job description will most often see an employee supported by the organization in their endeavors, while the holder of the position doesn’t really have to offer help to other employees.
Product Manager Job Duties
Whether it’s the product marketing manager job description, the product development manager job description, or any other similar position, the job will be equally complex and features a great many tasks and duties. Plus, without possessing certain skill sets and personality traits, the productivity levels for someone with the profession can get fairly low.
- Bring new products to the market according to the customers’ desires and needs.
- Obtain market information and assess the competition.
- Review, analyze and assess product requirements and specifications.
- Advise on the scope and nature of current and future product lines.
- Compare the organization’s products with the competition’s.
- Provide source data.
- Ensure communication down the product line.
- Define the communication objectives of product marketing.
- Obtain product market shares.
- Prepare product sales forecasts on both long and short term.
- Facilitate product availability and inventory turnover.
Product Manager Job Essential Skills
Since the product manager job description requires one to perform so many specialized tasks, it’s perfectly understandable how someone who doesn’t possess the necessary skills and personal qualities should underperform on the job.
Having to ensure the proper communication between positions like the VP, the content director, quality control, and customer support, from the start of the project up to the launch date is no easy task. Regardless if they are in the food, print, theater, IT, or any in the industry, the skills and qualities which will help with the product manager job description are the following:
- Exceptional problem-solving skills. Product managers have to deal with a variety of issues that arise every they and be able to solve them quickly.
- Verbal and written communication skills. As these professionals work with various teams of employees, they must communicate effectively.
- Excellent interpersonal and people management skills. Effectively leading and managing employee teams requires excellent interpersonal skills.
- Very organized nature. Tracking, overseeing, coordinating and completing tasks requires great organizational and time-management skills.
- Advanced motivational and self-motivational skills. Staying motivated and helping employees stay motivated mandatory for this position.
- Goal-oriented personality. Always knowing the end-goal of every project helps product managers prioritize.
- High resistance to stress. As it is a high-responsibility position, resistance to stressful situations is mandatory.
- Advanced knowledge of finance and marketing. To analyze, identify and propose actions within the company, product managers need an in-depth knowledge of the financial field.
- Industry contacts. Networking and establishing contacts with future partners is an important part of the product manager job description.
Becoming a Product Manager
The product manager job description and responsibilities, regardless of the industry in which the occupation is practiced, are often quite similar from one workplace to another. For example, the theater assistant or junior film product manager job description can be pretty similar to the TV fashion or apparel associate product manager job description. Those who are looking for specialized fields should go for the software product manager job description.
Qualifications and Training
Most people with the product manager job description come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds. Regardless, the minimum educational requirements, at least in most states, are a bachelor’s degree in business or any related field.
According to O*Net, 56% of those interviewed hold a Bachelor’s degree, while 24% have a Master’s degree. Only 11% hold a Professional degree.
Most individuals aspiring for the product manager job description usually improve their chances of getting hired by taking undergraduate classes in subjects such as economics, marketing, communications, statistics, and advertising. Additionally, most product managers do receive some measure of training on the job. The purpose is to help them get familiarized with the features of the product they will promote.
Most employers looking to hire someone for the product manager job description require at least some experience in the position. This usually varies between one to five years of documented experience. On occasion, proof of previously successful projects is also necessary with more demanding employers.
Moreover, the salary is influenced by the years of experience accumulated. According to payscale.com, the average product manager starting salary comes in at somewhere around $70,000 per year. Over the course of one’s longer-than-twenty-years career, the salary will grow by more than $30,000.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
Depending on the product manager job description, the salary for the profession can vary to a certain degree. According to payscale.com, the average salary for software product managers is somewhere around $90,000 per year. Meanwhile, the average salary for the profession stands at $77,000 per year.
With an employment rate estimated to grow 9% by 2024, product managers are slightly above the national average. This is owed to the constant inception and demise of businesses, as the market competition generates constant open positions.
The biggest career prospect for people with the product manager job description is that advancement opportunities abound. There are many opportunities for promotions and changing positions during one’s career. For example, the position is noted for starting off the careers of several current CEOs and founders. Now famous, Marissa Mayer (Yahoo!), Sundar Pichai (Google), or Kevin Systrom (Instagram) all started as product managers.
Offering plenty of career opportunities, and also a satisfying salary, the product manager job description is among the most encompassing. Requiring everything from planning to communication skills, as well as marketing and sales abilities, the job can get more than a little stressful. Still, those who can face the stress will not regret in the future. Chances are they will be occupying much higher positions.