An online product manager’s responsibilities can vary from building a website to taking care of the customer experience — everything in between. This role is typically part of a web agency’s product team and focuses on the development and management of digital products (including websites and mobile applications) for commercial brands. In this role, you’ll work closely with the various teams to define the product strategy, roadmap, and ensure the delivery of high-quality and on time.
What is the average salary for an online product manager? How does one become an online product manager? Find out here in the blog post. So you’re thinking about making a career move into product management. Here’s what you need to know.
The Average Salary
According to the 2018 Tech Skills Salary Survey conducted by FlexJobs, the average pay for an online product manager is $82,500 per year. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but consider this: The median base salary for a software engineer in California is $95,000, and those in New York earn $108,000 per year. Design and marketing managers in those same states earn $90,000 and $102,500 per year, respectively.
So if you’re looking to enter the field, you’re in for a world of difference. You’re also going to have to put in the extra effort to learn the ins and outs of product management since you’ll be working remotely (mostly). That said, it’s a good idea to get a Masters degree in a related field (e.g., software engineering) before you dive into product management. It shows that you can handle yourself well in a team setting, and it’ll make you more marketable.
Where do I begin?
As a product manager, you’ll need to hit the ground running and gain experience as quickly as possible. To start, you might find a role as a product manager or QA engineer in a software testing company that’s looking for a hand-on-experience. You’ll be working on automated test cases and ensuring that the software meets the necessary quality standards. This is a good way to get your feet wet and build up your resume before making the jump to a more substantial role. After you’ve had some hands-on experience, you can seek a role at a small agency where you can take on more responsibility.
Remember: This is a competitive field and a lot can change in four years. Stay informed of the latest trends and be sure to stay ahead of the curve.
What is the typical day like?
Depending on the size of the company, the role of an online product manager can range from overseeing the development of a single website to creating digital products for a global brand. In either case, your day will likely start early and finish late.
As a product manager, you’ll be working remotely most of the time but will have to meet regularly with the team to get updates on the project’s status and plan for the next phase of development. You’ll need to be accessible by phone and email and take part in regular team huddles — especially important for a digital product manager who is typically working remotely.
To give you an idea of what a typical day might look like, here’s a sample schedule for a digital product manager:
- 6:00 a.m. — Wake up, get ready for work
- 6:30 a.m. — Leave for work
- 7:00 a.m. — Arriving at work
- 7:30 a.m. — Get oriented, log in to email, phone, and Slack (optional)
- 8:00 a.m. — Review daily to-do list
- 8:30 a.m. — Participate in team huddles via video chat or phone call (regularly)
- 9:00 a.m. — Start working on a project (this is usually a website or mobile application)
- 10:00 a.m. — Participate in a short daily stand-up to update each other on the project’s status
- 11:00 a.m. — Lunch, often outdoors, depending on the weather
- 12:00 p.m. — Continuing work on project
- 5:00 p.m. — Final push, close to deadline
- 5:30 p.m. — Arrive at work, sign off on project, go home
How many hours do I work?
Since you’ll be working remotely as a product manager, you’ll need to make sure that you have the necessary tools to get the job done. When developing websites and mobile applications, you’ll need a reliable internet connection, a webcam, and a microphone. To stay organized, you can use task managers like Harvest, Todoist, and Trello to organize your workload and keep track of deadlines. You can also use tools like Google Docs to share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations with the team.
It’s important to take breaks regularly to stay fresh and to prevent burnout. It’s not easy working remotely, so make sure that you’re not overworking yourself. If you can, take time off on a vacation every year to keep your enthusiasm for the job and to renew your energy.
The Future of Work
Product management as we know it is changing. More and more companies are shifting to a remote work model and expecting their employees to communicate well and be accessible from anywhere. So if you’re looking for a career in product management, you might want to consider the future of work.
If you have a problem with your current job and are looking for a career change, why not consider a job as an online product manager? You’ll be doing everything from creating product strategies to testing software to marketing and management — everything in between. It’s a broad role that brings with it a lot of responsibility and opportunity. What’s not to love?