In the second of our annual surveys, we again, looked at the state of working product managers. We had double the responses compared to last year, so have lots of great data to share – this first post will look the general stats, with further posts coming to look at specific aspects in more detail.
Who are we?
This year the survey had 612 responses which is a little over double last years’ responses. Of those responses, 73% were male and 27% were female.
While the community has a strong science/engineering background – approximately 50% having a degree in those areas – we see a strong showing from a business angle, with approximately 38% have a a degree in that area. This year we provided an “Other” choice, which produced an interesting spike in the area of Law.
Additionally, the breakdown of degree areas shows that, while there is a bent towards science & engineering and business, product managers come from a diverse background with respondents from law, education, music and political science degrees represented among the survey results.
The survey shows we have a pretty even balance of 45% with a Bachelor’s as the highest degree they’ve earned and 41% with a Master’s being the highest degree they’ve earned. This year saw nearly 3% of respondents with a PhD. It also showed 6% reporting that they have no degree and 4.4% with a diploma or certificate completed.
There is an average of 4.95 years of product management experience among the respondents. With the median being 4 years.
Our responses this year was 40% in the UK and 33% in the US (up from 23% last year).
In this years survey 44% had the title “Product Manager” versus 48% last year. Interestingly only 14.5% had the title “Senior Product Manager” versus 21% last year. One difference is a greater variety of titles included in the responses. The rest of the stats focus on the product management titles.
Like last year the ratio of developers to product managers is about 6 with 25% having 10 or more.
This years distribution of company size shows a more even across the 50 to 500 range with the numbers dropping off either side. Interestingly, like last year we see a drop in the number of respondents between the 500 to a 1000 company size before going back up to similar number of companies for the 10K size companies.
It isn’t obvious from the data about why there is a discrepancy between companies up to 500 and companies between 500 and 1000 people, though we saw this same pattern following last year’s Product Manager survey as well.
Almost 50% of product managers report through a product function followed by technology and business. Few report through sales. This year we included an “Other” option with many choosing that option reporting they report into Operations/COO and others via a matrix reporting structure.
What are we paid?
Perhaps the most fascinating part of the survey is that on salary and renumeration packages. This year the salary sizes are in USD.
This year, a higher percentage reported getting equity as part of their package (42% vs 36%) last year. We think this increase is due to the increase of respondents providing a better sampling of the product manager population.
Interestingly, this year the average salaries show less difference between the UK and Europe in general. One stand out feature is that packages with equity in Europe are higher in salary and similar in value to the US packages with equity. Looking further into the data, France and Germany pay about 10K more than UK. We caution on reading to much into this since the number of UK responses are 4 times greater than the France and Germany responses so this may simply be an artifact of the data.
Let’s break the salaries down by title:
Like last year, we see the that Senior Product Manager and Head of Product salaries are broadly inline with each oer. Without reading to much into the results, we think this indicates that the differentiation between the two is still unclear and often either are doing the same role. Interestingly, the percentage of years worked in product management by people with Head of Product roles is 4 points higher than Senior Product Manager.
The jump between Junior Product Manager and Product Manager still remains large, with it being about $30K. We speculated that part of this was due to the higher average years of total work experience that Product Managers have versus those in junior roles. There is some evidence again in the data, however, that it may also be that the junior role (and associate, etc.) are still relatively new and so haven’t had time to balance the salary versus the other roles.
The trends we saw in last year’s survey continue, even as we have doubled the number of responses. Next posts on the survey results with break them down by UK, US and Europe.