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This Is How Much Product Managers Make (Self Disclosures)

I was on HackerNews one day and found that someone started an information site where people self-disclose their salaries as a product manager.  It's open to everyone and I'm using this data to write about just how much do people make a Product Managers.

This has always intrigued me because product management is not a ubiquitous profession and the compensation greatly depends on the industry and the product rather than the profession itself.

As we've said many times on Product Manager Jobs here, no two products are alike and therefore no two companies are alike -- just like snowflakes.

Now the caveat to this is that some people put numbers in their own currencies, so it's a bit of a mixed-bag, but the location data helps put that into context to a degree.

I've copied the full list below, but here are some of the insights we are gleam from the 39 people who participated in their open self-disclosure of product manager salaries.  Keep in mind this was done mostly in 2017 with one entry in 2018.  There's only 39 people so this is by no means a good enough sample size for anything definitive.  And it typically is an audience of product managers who frequence HackerNews, so that's the demographic we are working with here.

Here are some insights from this anonymous survey.

Insight #1: Product Managers have weird titles, but is getting more standardized.

We did a survey of our own earlier this year and we found that the roles and titles for product managers is getting more standardized which is good.  But each company still calls their titles a bit different just as Banks and financial institutions might have someone in a VP role but really are an analyst in another industry.

The titles we most commonly see are:

  • Product Managers: Count 16
  • Senior Product Managers: Count 9
  • Product Owner: Count 1
  • VP of Product...: Count 2
  • Lead Product Manager: Count 1
  • Head of Product: Count 1
  • Director of Product...: Count 4
  • Associate Product Manager: Count 2

There's some stragglers like "Product Manager of New Initiatives", that's pretty specific.  There's also Product Manager III (Lvl 6) -- this person seems to be really open to disclosing information that's specific to their company.

Nothing out of the ordinary, but still you have to search through 7 or more different titles to get a good basket of jobs related to product management.

Insight #2: Large Companies and Startups seem to rule this list for Product Managers

Though, there's a handful of people who chose not to expose the company they work for, some actually did which help provide further insight.

On the larger multi-national side of things, we have (unsurprisingly)  We have also Netflix, NBCUniversal, Google, GoDaddy, Facebook.  Cool beans.

Then on the other side, we have pre-IPO companies, startups, fintechs.

There's about 30% that are product managers from startups.  Typically their titles in these roles are "Product Managers" or "Associate Product Manager".  Interesting.

There is a bifurcation that we can see for these type of roles but again it could be just that the sample and the demographic of people who like to write this survey were from large and very small companies like startups.

Insight #3: Tenure at their current companies is about two years.

Again, loads of caveats here, but it's interesting to see that people have averaged at a certain company for about 2 years.  Not surprising given the timeframe of many digital products, but also perhaps we can surmise that people tend to jump around.

The highest tenure was at 7 years and it was a company that was acquired by Oracle.  If you are see the end of the tunnel (i.e. a liquidity event or an exit) I think people will tend to stay around.

Not at all surprising is that those in startups have been at their current company for less than 1 year on average.  It may be because the startup just started up but it could be the startups have a faster failing cycle too.  Or i would be just random noise so we don't really know, but I hope it's interesting to talk about either way. :)

Insight #4: Experience in Product Management is Longer than I had Expected

Not sure if it surprisings all ya'll but it certainly does surprise me.  The mean average of product managers who participated in this survey has been about 4 years.

The medium is somewhere in the 6 year range though.

We even have a couple of people who have over 15 years experience!

I think this is very very reassuring.  People tend to like this career path, this role.  People like Product Manager Jobs so much that they tend to stick around.

I can see why -- product management puts you in the fulcrum of the cool things that are happening both on the execution side and the business side.  There is no other profession that I can think of that you can have your day talking with users, then to business people then back to details of the design and then go back to talking about the tech stack.  It's nothing and everything at once -- well it's not nothing but everything.

Insight #5: Average Salary is Well Into the 6-Figures

How well into the six figures?

It's enough that it's in the fix figures right?

Barring the person who put in 3.8 million dollars a year (I think that's local currency), the average stills comfortably in the six figures at around $114,000.  Again this is not all USD, some are in CDN dollars, some in Pounds and some in Euros.  Overall though, it's not a bad profession to be in if you're just in it for the money.  I would expect that none of you are just in it for the money.  I digress.

The top salary comes in at $225,000 USD.  Netflix is the employer. Time for new goals! :)

Insight #6: Total Compensation looks Healthy. 

We don't just do this for the products we create or the users we serve.

We don't just do it for paycheck but we are also looking to hit a homerun.

The cash bonuses average around something in the $20,000 USD range. Which is pretty fantastic.

This pumps up total cash compensation to be $130,000.

Stock awards, RSUs, equity grants and options are bit more complicated to understand.  I'm not sure if the numbers people put here are the equivalent $ of value but even if it was, it's hard to put a valuation on this if it meant that the valuation changes frequently based on latest funding rounds, public market stock price fluctuations and the like.



Raw data table below:

Title Company Pay (base)
Product Manager of New Initiatives Prefer not to share; digital health series C company $100,000
VP Product Fintech 3,800,000.00
Senior Product Manager Netflix 225,000.00
Director of Product Management GoDaddy 180,000.00
Senior Product Manager Pre-IPO software company 179,750.00
Director or Product Adtech company 172,000.00
Product Manager III (Lvl 6) Google 172,000.00
Lead Product Manager Startup 170,000.00
Senior Product Manager Startup 165,000.00
Director NBCUniversal 160,000.00
Product Manager Startup 160,000.00
Product Manager Facebook 156,000.00
Senior Product Manager Amazon 150,000.00
Director of Product ad-tech 140,000.00
Senior Product Manager Payments 140,000.00
Product Manager Startup 140,000.00
VP of Product and Operations Nylas 135,000.00
Senior Product Manager Oracle 125,000.00
Product Manager Bank 120,000.00
Senior Product Manager Toptal 120,000.00
Product Manager Series A Startup 111,500.00
Product Manager Enterprise Software 110,000.00
Product Manager Large Multinational 110000
Head of Product Post IPO 110,000.00
Product Manager Startup 109,000.00
Product Manager Agency Startup 105,000.00
Product Manager Startup 90,000.00
Associate Product Manager Series B Startup 85,000.00
Senior Product Manager Post IPO 80000
Associate Product Manager Startup 77,000.00
Senior Product Manager Series B Startup 75000
Product Manager acquired by Oracle 70,000.00
Product Manager Startup (Seed) 65,000.00
Product owner RESAAS 55,500.00
Product Manager Video Tech 52,500.00
Product Director Startup of 250 people (fintech) 52,000.00
Product Manager Startup (private investment) 25,000.00
Product Manager Convo 20,000.00
Product Manager Foxford 18,000.00