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Product manager

Product owner, product marketing manager

A product manager is in charge of a product throughout its product lifestyle. Product managers work out what customers want, help the business to build the right product and support selling it. Product managers also provide the product vision and leadership to develop and market the product, ensuring it supports the company’s strategy and goals.

Average salary*

£25000

-

£60000

Typical hours per week

35-40

How to become a product manager

There are several routes to becoming a product manager. There are no formal qualifications needed to become a product manager, although most employers will prefer candidates with a relevant qualification, such as an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.

There are also university short courses and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) in relevant subjects as well as certification from professional bodies like the Market Research Society (MRS). Work experience in a relevant position is one of the most important factors in securing a role as a product manager.

You should explore these routes to become a product manager to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.

University

A degree is one of the most common routes to securing a job as a product manager. If the focus of the role is on construction product development, an employer will usually ask for a relevant construction degree, such as construction management.

If the focus is on product marketing then employers may ask for a marketing or market research qualification. Almost all employers would favour a candidate with a business-related degree or qualification, such as business management.

You will need 3 A levels (or equivalent) to do an undergraduate degree. Afterwards, you may be able to get a job on a company’s graduate trainee scheme. 

Work

If you have some basic experience, you could apply directly to a construction or marketing company to gain experience as a junior product manager. Experience in project management, marketing or product design will be useful for a product manager role.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry, and is particularly important for aspiring product managers. Recommendations from recruiters or people in mutual networks can often count for more than formal qualifications.

Product managers are experts in their product, so you should also try to use work experience as an opportunity to learn about the building, marketing and success of the types of products that interest you.

Internships, part-time jobs, work shadowing and volunteering in a sector that interests you are good ways of building the first-hand knowledge that a product manager needs. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.

Skills 

Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a product manager include: 

  • Excellent at persuasion and negotiation
  • A strong and clear communicator
  • To be flexible and open to change
  • Decisive and able to support your decisions with research
  • Ability to analyse complex data and identify market trends
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • A good collaborator
  • Knowledgeable about your product’s users and industry
  • The ability to work well with others.

What does a product manager do?

A product manager is a skilled professional who requires knowledge of business, marketing, technology and data analysis. Product managers work closely with those who make and use the product, as well as business leaders to ensure the product meets everyone’s needs. Product managers are usually either focused on either the users of the product, sometimes known as product marketing, or on the creation of the product itself, known as product development.

The job role of a product manager involves the following duties: 

  • Meeting regularly with all relevant stakeholders, including product developers, marketing, customer service, finance and company heads
  • Collecting, analysing and responding to user feedback
  • Taking overall responsibility for the success of a product
  • Contributing towards product strategy and vision
  • Managing multiple budgets
  • Planning new features or changes to a product
  • Implementing or supporting marketing campaigns
  • Researching competitors and similar products
  • Inspiring colleagues and users of the product
  • Attending conferences and events related to a product or sector.

How much could you earn as a product manager?

The expected salary for a product manager varies as you become more experienced.

  • Starting salaries for junior product managers and product managers are usually £25,000 - £40,000
  • Experienced or senior product managers can earn £35,000 - £60,000

Very experienced product managers and heads of product departments can earn more than £60,000.

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources


Jobs

Check out the latest product manager vacancies:

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could apply for a more senior jobs, such as head of product or senior product manager. 

Some product managers also become self-employed consultants.


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