Product Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

A Product Manager, or Product Design Manager, is responsible for overseeing all activities relating to researching, designing and marketing products on behalf of their employer. Their duties include completing market research to find out more about competitor products or customer needs, overseeing a team of product professionals and department budgets and coordinating with the customer service department to identify potential product defects or customer suggestions.

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Product Manager duties and responsibilities 

Product Managers are responsible for overseeing and managing the production of a product from beginning to end, which can involve:  

  • Using market research to get ideas for products that customers will want 
  • Helping to oversee the design and manufacture and planning how to market and promote the product to the public
  • Defining product marketing communication objectives
  • Comparing the company’s products to competitor’s products in order to assess competition in the market     
  • Providing management with analyses and reports and responding to questions and requests from management
  • Specifying and overseeing the research needed to determine the needs and desires of customers
  • Reviewing and adjusting inventory levels and product production schedules to maintain product availability 
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What does a Product Manager do? 

Product Managers typically work for corporations across industries that create and sell products for consumers. They work closely with Product Engineers to ensure the creation of quality products and consult with marketing professionals about how to market products to the public. Their job is to relay information between product teams and upper management and compile reports to propose new product ideas. They may also be responsible for managing the manufacturing process for products and deciding the product production rate based on consumer responses.

Product Manager skills and qualifications

A Product Manager should have a passionate dedication to their craft and a desire to work with peers that inspire them on a daily basis. While specific skills and qualifications may vary depending on position and employer, typical skills and qualifications included in a Product Manager job description include:  

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills are required since the Product Manager has to communicate with team members, other departments, upper management and consumers of the company’s products
  • Expertise in the product or market including specific technical or industry knowledge
  • Superior project management and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to maintain a keen attention to detail, multitask and work well under pressure
  • Natural tendency to be curious, positive and creative
  • Team player who collaborates well with others
  • Sincere empathy for the customer and a commitment to delving deep into the challenges they present or experience

Product Manager salary expectations 

A Product Manager makes an average of $106,773 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 

Product Manager education and training requirements 

Most Product Manager positions require a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field such as economics, communication, advertising, marketing or statistics. Depending on the industry, a bachelor’s degree in engineering, agriculture, technology or other areas related to a specific industry might be more appropriate. Product Managers typically obtain training on the job by working at lower-level positions.

Product Manager experience requirements 

Employers generally prefer people with experience both in the product development area and experience in the employer’s industry. Employers also look for expertise in other areas of management where the applicant had to deal with problem-solving, decision making, time management, leadership and other similar soft skills required for the Product Manager position.

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Frequently asked questions about Product Managers


What is the difference between a Product Manager and a Project Manager?

The difference between a Product Manager and a Project Manager is their specific job responsibilities and areas of expertise. For example, Product Managers specialize in overseeing product teams, including Product Engineers, Designers and other personnel. Their goal is to create and refine company products that customers will want to buy. In contrast, Project Managers oversee a broader scope of responsibilities. Instead of focusing specifically on how to design and market products, they focus on setting deadlines, ensuring product quality and making sure that product tasks stay within set budgets.


What are the daily duties of a Product Manager?

On a typical day, a Product Manager starts by checking their schedule for upcoming deadlines for prototypes or marketing initiatives. They hold meetings with the product team to address changes to budgets or recent customer feedback about existing products. Throughout the day, they visit with team members to test prototypes, look at product blueprints and discuss materials needed to make products. Product Managers also meet with marketing professionals to determine how to market upcoming products and drive sales.


What qualities make a good Product Manager?

A good Product Manager is someone who has an innovative mindset. This quality enables them to review product defects and strategize how to overcome them for maximum customer satisfaction. They have a natural ability to lead, allowing them to keep their team motivated and on task to complete their duties by set deadlines. A good Product Manager values continued education and looks for ways to increase their knowledge of their industry and product design software. 

A good Product Manager also has excellent interpersonal communication, which allows them to effectively speak with the product team, marketing team, upper management personnel, accounting professionals and the customer service department.


Who does a Product Manager report to?

Product Managers usually report to the Director of Product Management at a corporation. These individuals provide Product Managers with budgets for developing and marketing products. They may also provide them with deadlines for development stages and help Product Managers address product concerns. Product Managers can also report to the Chief Product Officer or Vice President of Engineering, depending on the organization structure of their company.

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