Information Technology

How Much Does a Product Manager Make?

How Much Does a Product Manager Make?
The salary range for product managers is vast. Many factors affect product manager salaries, including experience, education, company size, and employer. Image from Unsplash
Lucien Formichella profile
Lucien Formichella August 29, 2022

Senior product managers at top companies can earn over $250,000 annually, while low-ranking professionals may make less than $50,000. Here's what you can expect to earn as a product manager.

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The product manager job description sounds simple: develop, promote, and manage products (often just one). In fact, the job is anything but simple. These professionals work towards product development goals and, depending on seniority, may even help define a product roadmap alongside executives and other stakeholders. It is a complex job that produces high-stakes results.

Product managers often come from technical backgrounds, including computer science and information technology. Technical know-how is useful for managing data and working with emerging technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning. But, product managers also need excellent soft skills, such as leadership and communication, to lead cross-functional teams. The best product managers have high emotional intelligence and are excellent motivators.

Unsurprisingly given the job requirements, product managers can earn excellent salaries. This article on how much does a product manager make covers:

  • How much does a product manager make?
  • What is a Master of Science in Information Management?
  • Top Master of Science in Information Management programs

How much does a product manager make?

According to the latest United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures, the mean annual income for all project management specialists (including product managers) is $98,420. Indeed is less generous; it reports the average product manager salary at just under $90,000, not including additional cash compensation and bonuses.

The salary range for product managers is vast. Many factors affect product manager salaries, including experience, education, company size, and employer. The tech industry pays the most; the BLS identifies computer systems design and related services as the highest-paying specialty. Even where you live plays a huge role—top cities include Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston. Unfortunately, the cost of living in these areas is often way above the national average.


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Which companies need product managers (and what do they pay)?

Companies in every industry, including tech, healthcare, and manufacturing, may need huge teams of product managers. Glassdoor says the top companies for project managers, and the average total compensation for those with a few years of experience, include: Google ($251,554), Meta ($230,397), Microsoft ($186,665), Cisco ($212,211), and Apple ($220,830).

Large companies have multiple levels of product managers, all with different salaries. A product manager at Amazon with between two and five years of experience earns over $165,000 per year; senior product managers make almost $245,000, and principal product managers earn over $400,000. You must consider factors like experience and education when evaluating your earning potential.

What are some of the best product manager positions and their responsibilities (and what do they pay)?

This section explores top product management positions, including roles you can hold before becoming a product manager and potential promotions. All salary figures are from Glassdoor and represent national averages.

Associate Product Manager (APM)

APM is an early career position. Professionals handle day-to-day operations at the direction of experienced product managers. APMs need research and data analytics skills to succeed. APMs earn over $67,000 in base pay.

Product owner

The difference between product owner and manager varies by organization—many choose one or the other. Generally, product owners develop products rather than evaluate markets and gather research. Managers and owners often have the same seniority in organizations with both kinds of professionals. According to Glassdoor, product owners make nearly $110,000 annually.

Group product manager

These professionals manage other product managers and help establish product strategies based on market research. According to Aha, this roll requires at least five to eight years of experience to qualify. The total pay for a group project manager is nearly $165,000 per year (around $145,000 average salary plus $20,000 in additional compensation). These professionals are senior management but not quite executives.

Director of product management

According to Aha, this role requires seven and ten years of experience. These professionals work alongside executives (especially the VP) to develop business initiatives. Directors make almost $185,000 per year.

VP of product management

The highest-ranking product manager, this VP communicates with other executives to establish an overall strategy and direct employees in multiple sectors. They often have between 8 and 12 years of experience and earn nearly $230,000 annually. VPs usually work for big operations.

Chief product officer (CPO)

CPOs develop a cohesive strategy for all the company’s products, utilizing advanced data and analytics skills to make decisions and set goals. As executives, CPOs have the most direct line to CEOs. These professionals ensure the entire product team is moving in the same direction to meet goals. The typical CPO earns almost $205,000 in total pay.

Do I need a Master of Science in Information Management to be a product manager?

The straightforward answer is no. You can work through the ranks with a bachelor’s degree or just a high school diploma. In the real world, however, it’s not quite so simple. Graduate education increases your earning potential and job prospects; senior product managers often have a master’s degree.

Many professionals complete a Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM) or a similar degree like Information Systems Management (MS-ISM). Others degree titles that can lead to product management (and related) careers include Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Science in Finance (MFin).

What is a Master of Science in Information Management?

Information management professionals collect and organize information, usually for business decisions. Because the field is so broad, information management programs may emphasize different aspects of the process, including business or technology.

Who pursues a Master of Science in Information Management?

MSIM programs can appeal to applicants of varying experience-levels; University of Washington offers tracks for recent college graduates, early career professionals, and mid-career professionals. These groups can have different goals, including transitioning into a product management career and advancing to a management position.

What will I learn in a Master of Science in Information Management program?

Though each program has a different focus, common MSIM core courses include cybersecurity, project management, IT management and data science, data analytics, leadership, data management, and ethics. Students can typically choose a specialization track to further focus their education. Schools offer specializations like cybersecurity, user experience, risk management, artificial intelligence, project and program management, digital enterprise systems, and data science. Each pathway entails a different set of required and elective courses.

Master of Science in Information Management program admissions criteria/prerequisites

MSIM programs often follow standard graduate admissions requirements; they call for standardized test scores, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and undergraduate transcripts. Of course, requirements depend on the program or track. University of Washington’s mid-career program only accepts students with at least five years of experience.

Programs with a technical focus may require a data science background or programming experience. For the data science track, University of Washington requires inexperienced applicants to take a data science bridge course; similarly, it requires a database management course for the business intelligence specialization.

Top Master of Science in Information Management programs

Schools with top information management programs (and related degrees) include:

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About the Editor

Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle.

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