How to Become a Product Manager

Can you get lost in the details of a single product? Are you great at talking about a single product to the exclusion of all others? You could have a wondrous career as a product manager! Here are some more details on this career path:

Job Overview

Product managers are responsible for a particular product or product line offered by their organization. You’ll oversee production, fulfillment logistics, advertising, marketing and promotional processes. Setting prices and promotions will also fall in your purview.

Requirements and Qualifications

How to Become a Product Manager

Public relations specialists improve the public face of an important person or organization.

In addition to overtime hours and education, you will want to improve some qualities you’ll find helpful as you begin your career. These include creativity, communications and interpersonal skills, analytical thinking, decision-making and problem-solving skills and management and leadership abilities.

Typical Education

Most product managers have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, advertising or journalism. You will want to take coursework in business management, accounting, finance, economics, marketing, communications and advertising. You will also want to take advantage of an internship, which can provide you with references and experience for your resume.

Steps to Become a Product Manager

Bachelor's Degree
1 to 5 years
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
After you’ve finished your degree program, you will want to find work in sales, marketing, advertising, promotions or a related area. Volunteering to take on additional responsibilities or special projects will help advance your career into a management position.

Similar Jobs

Maybe you’re not able to wax poetic about a single product to the exclusion of all others, or perhaps you’re just not sure you want that much responsibility. That’s okay! Here are some similar career paths you may want to explore along a similar track:

  • Can you manage people and make a product or service more readily recognized? Advertising, promotions and marketing managers market products or services by overseeing their related departments.
  • Are you good at making sales soar? Sales managers educate, guide and manage salespeople while creating sales goals and handling departmental tasks.
  • Ready to guide others in creating a positive public face or raising money? Public relations and fundraising managers direct their department in outreach for improving public opinion or raising funds.
  • Are you able to find anything, anywhere for any price? Purchasing managers negotiate and manage contracts with wholesalers and product manufacturers for their organization.
  • Do you like working with people and seeing to their welfare? Human resources managers are in charge of hiring, company training, employee benefits and discipline.
  • Are you able to arrange for awesome teachers? Training and development managers oversee, develop and manage an organization’s educational programs.
  • Do you know how to spot and cut out excess? Management analysts observe an organization’s daily operations and determine how to cut losses.
  • Are you able to pass on specialized knowledge? Training and development specialists provide specific educational opportunities to organizations.
  • Can you figure out the what and why people want to spend their money on particular things? Market research analysts and marketing specialists use market studies to determine consumer preferences and opinions.
  • Are you able to take a questionable happening and turn it into a good thing? Public relations specialists improve the public face of an important person or organization.


The average yearly salary for a product manager is $119,480 as of 2012, a bit more than three times the average annual pay for all career paths. Most product managers work full time, with nearly one in five working over 50 hours per week.

Job Outlook

It is expected that product managers will see a similar increase in opportunities to the average of all other career paths at about 14% over the next ten years. The best opportunities will be available for product managers with experience in social and digital media marketing.

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