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Working As A Principal Product Manager

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $151,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Principal Product Manager Do

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services. They work with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.

Duties

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers typically do the following:

  • Work with department heads or staff to discuss topics such as budgets and contracts, marketing plans, and the selection of advertising media
  • Plan promotional campaigns such as contests, coupons, or giveaways
  • Plan advertising campaigns, including which media to advertise in, such as radio, television, print, online media, and billboards
  • Negotiate advertising contracts
  • Evaluate the look and feel of websites used in campaigns or layouts, which are sketches or plans for an advertisement
  • Initiate market research studies and analyze their findings to understand customer and market opportunities for businesses
  • Develop pricing strategies for products or services marketed to the target customers of a firm
  • Meet with clients to provide marketing or technical advice
  • Direct the hiring of advertising, promotions, and marketing staff and oversee their daily activities

Advertising managers create interest among potential buyers of a product or service. They do this for a department, for an entire organization, or on a project basis (referred to as an account). Advertising managers work in advertising agencies that put together advertising campaigns for clients, in media firms that sell advertising space or time, and in organizations that advertise heavily.

Advertising managers work with sales staff and others to generate ideas for an advertising campaign. They oversee the staff that develops the advertising. They work with the finance department to prepare a budget and cost estimates for the campaign.

Often, advertising managers serve as liaisons between the client and the advertising or promotion agency that develops and places the ads. In larger organizations with extensive advertising departments, different advertising managers may oversee in-house accounts and creative and media services departments.

In addition, some advertising managers specialize in a particular field or type of advertising. For example, media directors determine the way in which an advertising campaign reaches customers. They can use any or all of various media, including radio, television, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and outdoor signs. 

Advertising managers known as account executives manage clients’ accounts, but they are not responsible for developing or supervising the creation or presentation of advertising. That task becomes the work of the creative services department.

Promotions managers direct programs that combine advertising with purchasing incentives to increase sales. Often, the programs use direct mail, inserts in newspapers, Internet advertisements, in-store displays, product endorsements, or special events to target customers. Purchasing incentives may include discounts, samples, gifts, rebates, coupons, sweepstakes, or contests.

Marketing managers estimate the demand for products and services that an organization and its competitors offer. They identify potential markets for the organization’s products.

Marketing managers also develop pricing strategies to help organizations maximize their profits and market share while ensuring that the organizations’ customers are satisfied. They work with sales, public relations, and product development staff.

For example, a marketing manager may monitor trends that indicate the need for a new product or service. Then he or she oversees the development of that product or service. For more information on sales or public relations, see the profiles on sales managers, public relations and fundraising managers, public relations specialists, and market research analysts.

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How To Become A Principal Product Manager

A bachelor’s degree is required for most advertising, promotions, and marketing management positions. These managers typically have work experience in advertising, marketing, promotions, or sales.

Education

A bachelor’s degree is required for most advertising, promotions, and marketing management positions. For advertising management positions, some employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in advertising or journalism. A relevant course of study might include classes in marketing, consumer behavior, market research, sales, communication methods and technology, visual arts, art history, and photography.

Most marketing managers need a bachelor’s degree. Courses in business law, management, economics, finance, computer science, mathematics, and statistics are advantageous. For example, courses in computer science are helpful in developing an approach to maximize online traffic, by utilizing online search results, because maximizing such traffic is critical for digital advertisements and promotions. In addition, completing an internship while in school can be useful.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Advertising, promotional, and marketing managers typically have work experience in advertising, marketing, promotions, or sales. For example, many managers are former sales representatives; buyers or purchasing agents; or public relations specialists.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must be able to analyze industry trends to determine the most promising strategies for their organization. 

Communication skills. Managers must be able to communicate effectively with a broad-based team made up of other managers or staff members during the advertising, promotions, and marketing process. They must also be able to communicate persuasively with the public.

Creativity. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must be able to generate new and imaginative ideas.

Decisionmaking skills. Managers often must choose between competing advertising and marketing strategies put forward by staff.

Interpersonal skills. These managers must deal with a range of people in different roles, both inside and outside the organization.

Organizational skills. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must manage their time and budget efficiently while directing and motivating staff members.

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Average Length of Employment
Product Director 3.4 years
Product Manager 3.3 years
Product Lead 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Principal Product Manager
Consultant 5.7%
Manager 4.9%
Internship 2.3%
Principal 2.2%
Director 2.2%
Top Careers After Principal Product Manager
Director 5.4%
Manager 4.5%
Consultant 4.0%
Principal 3.4%
Owner 2.6%

Do you work as a Principal Product Manager?

Average Yearly Salary
$151,000
Show Salaries
$122,000
Min 10%
$151,000
Median 50%
$151,000
Median 50%
$151,000
Median 50%
$151,000
Median 50%
$151,000
Median 50%
$151,000
Median 50%
$151,000
Median 50%
$187,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Symantec
Highest Paying City
Sacramento, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
4.5 years
How much does a Principal Product Manager make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Principal Product Manager in the United States is $151,725 per year or $73 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $122,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $188,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Principal Product Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Applied Science Manager Microsoft Corporation Oct 13, 2016 $232,323
Principal PM Manager Microsoft Corporation Jul 13, 2016 $227,150
Product Marketing Principal Zebra Technologies Corporation Jul 14, 2016 $220,251
Principal PM Manager Microsoft Corporation Sep 19, 2015 $218,505
Principal Product Manager Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. Nov 30, 2016 $214,552
Principal Product Manager, Adobe Media Optimizer Adobe Systems Incorporated May 25, 2016 $205,000
Principal Product Manager, Cloud Data Integration Informatica LLC Sep 19, 2016 $205,000
Principal Product Manager Splunk Jul 14, 2016 $191,000
Principal Product Manager Alcatel-Lucent USA, Inc. (DBA Nokia) Mar 09, 2016 $190,000
Principal Product Manager Alcatel Lucent USA, Inc. Nov 25, 2016 $190,000 -
$251,008
Principal PM Manager Microsoft Corporation Jun 27, 2016 $188,689
Principal Product Manager Nutanix, Inc. Oct 02, 2016 $185,000 -
$230,000
Principal Product Manager Amazon Corporate LLC Apr 25, 2016 $185,000
Principal Product Manager EMC Corporation Aug 20, 2015 $183,789
Principal Product Manager Amazon Web Services, Inc. May 09, 2016 $165,000
Principal Product Manager Nsfocus Incorporated Apr 25, 2016 $165,000
Principal Product Manager Veritas Technologies LLC Oct 17, 2016 $165,000
Principal Product Manager Lendingclub Corporation Oct 31, 2016 $165,000
Principal Product Manager Ca, Inc. Nov 07, 2016 $164,382
Principal Product Manager Ca, Inc. Apr 28, 2016 $164,382
Principal Product Manager, Cart & Checkout Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. Jan 13, 2016 $163,351
Principal Product Manager Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. Jun 17, 2015 $160,773
Principal Product Manager Atlassian, Inc. Apr 20, 2015 $149,600 -
$202,400
Principal Product Manager Amazon Corporate LLC Jul 16, 2015 $149,200
Principal Product Manager Amazon Corporate LLC May 16, 2016 $149,055
Principal Product Manager Ca, Inc. Aug 16, 2016 $148,824
Senior Principal Product Manager Ca, Inc. Sep 21, 2016 $148,824
Principal Product Manager, Partner Accounts Netsuite Nov 07, 2016 $144,893 -
$170,000
Principal Product Manager, Latin American Region Netsuite Sep 11, 2016 $144,893
Principal Product Manager EMC Corporation Nov 07, 2016 $143,175 -
$194,925

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Top Skills for A Principal Product Manager

  1. Product Management
  2. Product Strategy
  3. New Product Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created all internal Product Management processes while also collaborating with Development on both Waterfall and Agile delivery models.
  • Initiated new product strategy to meet power quality requirements of new generation of distributed server systems.
  • Executed key strategic recommendations into new product development.
  • Introduced comprehensive and specialized directory products across online and wireless platforms for AOL Local and related brands.
  • Lead customer communication project Amplify, develop a comprehensive strategy and project plan for customer communications and cloud services monitoring/reporting.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Principal Product Managers

  1. Washington
  2. Colorado
  3. New York
  4. Virginia
  5. California
  6. Idaho
  7. New Jersey
  8. Rhode Island
  9. North Dakota
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (1,855 jobs)
  • (863 jobs)
  • (2,399 jobs)
  • (1,021 jobs)
  • (7,266 jobs)
  • (88 jobs)
  • (1,010 jobs)
  • (162 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)
  • (898 jobs)

Principal Product Manager Demographics

Gender

Male

69.3%

Female

25.0%

Unknown

5.7%
Ethnicity

White

53.7%

Asian

18.9%

Hispanic or Latino

12.8%

Black or African American

9.7%

Unknown

4.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

35.1%

Mandarin

13.5%

Japanese

10.8%

Chinese

8.1%

Korean

8.1%

Portuguese

5.4%

German

5.4%

Danish

2.7%

Ukrainian

2.7%

French

2.7%

Carrier

2.7%

Hindi

2.7%
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Principal Product Manager Education

Schools

Carnegie Mellon University

10.7%

University of Chicago

6.7%

New York University

6.7%

Santa Clara University

6.7%

University of Texas at Austin

6.7%

University of Washington

5.3%

University of California - Berkeley

5.3%

University of Southern California

5.3%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

5.3%

Arizona State University

4.0%

Boston University

4.0%

Ohio State University

4.0%

Boston College

4.0%

Brigham Young University

4.0%

Pennsylvania State University

4.0%

Stanford University

4.0%

Illinois Institute of Technology

4.0%

Old Dominion University

4.0%

Eastern Michigan University

2.7%

Babson College

2.7%
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Majors

Business

29.3%

Computer Science

11.6%

Marketing

9.6%

Finance

9.1%

Management

6.6%

Electrical Engineering

3.5%

Mechanical Engineering

3.5%

Project Management

3.0%

Management Information Systems

2.5%

Political Science

2.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.5%

Accounting

2.5%

English

2.0%

Communication

2.0%

Music

2.0%

International Business

1.5%

Education

1.5%

Economics

1.5%

Civil Engineering

1.5%

Computer Engineering

1.5%
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Degrees

Masters

49.6%

Bachelors

32.7%

Doctorate

5.6%

Certificate

4.5%

High School Diploma

3.4%

Diploma

2.3%

Associate

1.9%
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Updated May 18, 2020