Searching for a new career? Consider management skills to be one of your strengths? If so, you should think about becoming a product manager.
What does a product manager do, you ask? Great question and one we can answer in detail. So, without further ado, here is everything you need to know about product management and how to become a product manager.
What Does a Product Manager Do?
Aptly named, a product manager manages a product and all that surrounds it. This includes its distribution, the advertising that helps sell it, its manufacture, and more. You can think of a product manager as a jack of all trades who keeps all of the different aspects of the product connected.
Product managers communicate with all of the different members of a team, from the developers to the marketers to legal experts and more. They even communicate with potential and actual customers.
There are product managers for literally every product in existence. As such, every product manager possesses a different set of skills. For instance, whereas a product manager for a phone app would have more knowledge of coding, a product manager for a lawnmower would have more knowledge of mechanics.
This isn’t to say that product managers need as much knowledge as professional programmers or engineers, but they do need to possess a good baseline of knowledge for the specialties in which they work.
How to Become a Product Manager
Are you interested in becoming a product manager? If so, this is how you can make it a reality.
Get a Job at a Business Where Products Are Made
It’s rare to jump straight into a product management job. You’re usually going to have to work your way up the ladder. Then, once you’ve established yourself, you could nab the promotion you’re looking for.
As such, if you’re pursuing a career in product management, you should try to find employment at a company that makes products. It’s best to put yourself in a position where you can impress, whether that be in the marketing department, the customer service department, the development department, or otherwise.
Then, once you’ve performed well in your given role, and once you’ve established a positive reputation for yourself, you can put yourself in the running for obtaining the job you desire.
Product managers can’t just sit back and allocate tasks to different members of a team. They have to understand what’s going on during each step of the process. As such, if you want to be a product manager, you must learn.
Study up on the projects that are in development in your company, spending time outside of work to become as big of an expert as possible. Then, try to think of ways to improve your company’s operational processes.
You have to take initiative and show that you can make a difference. Your knowledge should tie the team together and should help to create a seamless developmental process.
Take a Course
If you really want to become a product manager, you should consider taking a product management course. This will help to show your employer that you’re serious about the endeavor and that you have advanced knowledge that can help within the company.
There are all sorts of product manager courses you can take. Search Google for some in your area and read up on which are the most reputable.
You might not be able to obtain the position of a product manager in your company. But there are other companies out there that need product managers.
If you have prior experience as a product manager, you have a decent chance of snagging these jobs. The trouble at this point is that you don’t have that experience.
This is where networking can make a major difference. If you can form connections with other business owners in your area, and if you make those business owners aware of your product management skills, you stand a chance of getting the job you desire.
The key here is to build trust and to demonstrate an affinity for product management-related tasks. Reputation plays a large part in nabbing product management jobs.
Product Manager Salary
Product managers typically make a good amount of money. In the United States in 2020, they averaged a salary of $116,000. Note, however, that salaries can range from $80,000 to $150,000.
If you want to maximize your income as a product manager, you should participate in advanced education. For instance, obtaining a Master’s Degree or becoming a SAFe product manager will make you much more attractive to employers. They’ll be willing to pay you much more than they would someone without such education.
Other factors that can affect your income as a product manager include on-the-job experience, specialization, and team size. Industry affects income as well, with information technology product managers making the least amount of money and agricultural product managers making the most.
Job Outlook for Product Managers
Though growth statistics for product managers are not formally tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they are typically lumped in with marketing specialists. The number of marking specialist jobs is expected to grow 6% from 2019 to 2029. This is an additional 19,000 jobs over the course of 10 years.
So, there’s definitely room for those who are hoping to become product managers themselves. And if you can’t find work as a product manager immediately, you shouldn’t have trouble finding work in a closely related field.
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