Product Manager Survey Results: Part 2 – UK Salaries


In part 2 of this series analysing the results of our product manager survey, we’ll be looking at the breakdown of responses from people based in the UK. (Part 1 of this series is here. Part 3 of the series is here)

Some 53.47% of the responses came from the UK. Of those responses, 48% were from people calling themselves product managers, with 21% of responses from heads of product.


How do we work?

Almost a majority of product managers in the UK report directly to the CEO, with another 21% reporting into technology and 17% reporting into marketing. I’m interested in what other reporting lines product managers are facing given that 14% of respondents chose that option. Any thoughts?


There is an average of 4.4 years of experience in product management with a median developer to product manager ratio of six, although there are a few with much larger ratios.  For example, one respondent has 500 developers to one product manager. The chart shows a much higher concentration of developers to product managers of around the three to six mark, with quite a few respondents having one or two developers per product manager. I find this curious and don’t have a ready explanation for this. Any thoughts?


UK product managers tend to work in smaller companies with the median size 150 employees, compared to 185 employees per company across the overall survey. The UK company sizes chart shows a similar shape to the overall chart with the exception that it is lighter in terms of large companies.


What are we paid?

As noted in part 1 of the survey, a key goal was to establish some sort of realistic numbers around salaries and remuneration. All salaries were converted into GBP using December 2012 exchange rates. Just looking at the overall numbers is interesting, but so too is delving into the UK-specific data.

A similar percentage of product managers in the UK receive equity as part of their compensation (35%) as in the overall survey. This is not really surprising as the overall results are heavily skewed by the large percentage (53%) of survey respondents being in the UK.


As with the overall data, there is an odd trend where those receiving equity tend towards having a higher salary. I’m not really sure whether this is bias/error in the data as the number of responses from more junior project managers was low or the people who have equity have a greater feel for their worth. Any ideas?


Again we see similar salaries between senior product managers and heads of product, although the average salary difference has grown to approximately £6,000. There is a similar pattern of about £15,000 difference between average salary for each job title. There is a significant jump between VPs of product and chief product officers. This may simply be due to the lack of responses for those titles.


The large difference between the quartiles for chief product officers, leads me to speculate that the ‘right’ salary for a chief product officer still remains in flux, although this may be due to too few responses.


Similarly, the relative closeness between senior product managers and heads of product reflects a lack of differentiation between the titles.  A senior product manager in one company may be equivalent to a head of product in another. This is born out by the median company size for each of the roles. Senior product managers work at larger organisations, whereas heads of product tend to work at smaller organisations.


There still seems to be a lot of flux within the UK concerning salaries for product managers. The salary for chief product officers seems to remain in flux and if it settles towards the top range then it is likely to generally pull salaries of the other titles upwards as well.


Co-founder of ProdPad and Mind the Product who run ProductTank, ProductCamp London and Mind the Product conferences in London and San Francisco. Blogs about Product Management at & Simon began his career in Space Engineering, where he developed a Fortran realtime program to automate satellite operations. He then traveled around the world before a stint in the Australian Army.