How to Become a Product Manager?

Are you thinking of becoming a Product Manager or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Product Manager, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Product Manager job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become a Product Manager

When pursuing a career in product management, experience and knowledge are essential.

Get work experience

Most product manager positions come with a high level of responsibility, so employers may prefer candidates to have some work experience. Try to get some experience in positions of responsibility by, for example, taking part in business competitions and challenges, doing an internship or taking on a part-time job or voluntary position. 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.

Step 2: Do on-the-job training

The training and development will vary depending on your employer. Training will probably focus on developing your knowledge of their sector and users through industry events, mentorship and by supporting self-led research; organisational and project management skills through qualifications like PRINCE2 and training you in different working methods like agile software development and Kanban; and presentation and communication skills through training courses and coaching.


Get professional qualifications

Although certifications won’t usually be required for employment in UK organisations, certifications in product management for new professionals are available through international professional bodies such as the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) for new professionals. The New Product Development Professional (NPDP) exam has 200 multiple-choice questions that test product development knowledge in seven key areas. You need to renew your NPDP certification once every three years.

The Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM) also offers education and training, including a Certified Product Manager qualification covers market planning, building case studies, product specifications, developing product launch plans, and other core areas of product management.

The International Software Product Management Association (ISPMA) offers certification for technical product managers. Certification exams are administered by independent certification agencies on behalf of ISPMA. After passing the exams, certified product managers are invited to ISPMA as certified software product management professionals.


Apply for product manager jobs

Once you have professional qualifications, you can include this on your CV and find a product management position that's right for you.

Product Manager Career Path

Product Manager

5 - 7Years of Experience
£48K - £77K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Lead Product Manager

5 - 7Years of Experience
£72K - £101K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Senior Lead Product Manager

5 - 7Years of Experience
£57K - £87K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Salary Trajectory

Product Manager Career Path

Summer Intern Product Manager
Associate Product Manager
Product Manager
Product Manager Manager
Lead Product Manager
Senior Manager of Product
Senior Lead Product Manager
Assistant Director of Product
Principal Product Manager
Associate Director of Product
Senior Principal Product Manager
Director of Product
Senior Director of Product
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Related careers in the Product & Project Management Industry

Interested in other Product & Project Management careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Product Manager skills. Discover some of the most common Product Manager career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Product Line Manager
No skills overlap
10% transitioned to Product Line Manager