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Become A Product Manager

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Working As A 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

  • $94,470

    Average Salary

What Does A Product Manager Do

Industrial production managers oversee the daily operations of manufacturing and related plants. They coordinate, plan, and direct the activities used to create a wide range of goods, such as cars, computer equipment, or paper products.


Industrial production managers typically do the following:

  • Decide how best to use a plant’s workers and equipment to meet production goals
  • Ensure that production stays on schedule and within budget
  • Hire, train, and evaluate workers
  • Analyze production data
  • Write production reports
  • Monitor a plant’s workers to ensure they meet performance and safety requirements
  • Streamline the production process
  • Determine whether new machines are needed or whether overtime work is necessary
  • Fix any production problems

Industrial production managers, also called plant managers, may oversee an entire manufacturing plant or a specific area of production.

Industrial production managers are responsible for carrying out quality control programs to make sure the finished product meets a specific level of quality. Often called quality control systems managers, these managers use programs to help identify defects in products, identify the cause of the defect, and solve the problem creating it. For example, a manager may determine that a defect is being caused by parts from an outside supplier. The manager can then work with the supplier to improve the quality of the parts.

Industrial production managers work closely with managers from other departments as well. For example, the procurement (buying) department orders the supplies that the production department uses. A breakdown in communication between these two departments can cause production slowdowns. Industrial production managers also communicate with other managers and departments, such as sales, warehousing, and research and design.

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How To Become A Product Manager

Industrial production managers typically need a bachelor’s degree and several years of related work experience.


Employers prefer managers have at least a bachelor’s degree. While the degree may be in any field, many industrial production managers have a bachelor’s degree in business administration or industrial engineering. Sometimes, production workers with many years of experience take management classes and become a production manager. At large plants, where managers have more oversight responsibilities, employers may look for managers who have a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) or a graduate degree in industrial management.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many industrial production managers begin as production workers and move up through the ranks. They usually advance to a first-line supervisory position before eventually being selected for management. Most earn a college degree in business management or take company-sponsored classes to increase their chances of a promotion.

Production managers who join a firm immediately after graduating from college sometimes work as first-line supervisors before beginning their jobs as production managers.

Some managers begin working at a company directly after college or graduate school. They may spend their first few months in training programs, becoming familiar with the production process, company policies, and safety regulations. In large companies, many also spend short periods of time working in other departments, such as purchasing or accounting, to learn more about the company.

Important Qualities

Interpersonal skills. Industrial production managers must have excellent communication skills so they can work with managers from other departments, as well as with the company’s senior-level management.

Leadership skills. To keep the production process running smoothly, industrial production managers must motivate and direct the employees they manage.

Problem-solving skills. Production managers must be able to identify problems immediately and solve them. For example, if a product has a defect, the manager determines whether it is a onetime problem or the result of the production process.

Time-management skills. To meet production deadlines, managers must carefully manage their employees’ time as well as their own.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

While not required, industrial production managers can earn certifications that show a higher level of competency in quality or management systems. The Association for Operations Management offers a Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) credential. The American Society for Quality offers credentials in quality control. Both certifications require specific amounts of work experience before applying for the credential, so they are generally not earned before entering the occupation.

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Product Manager jobs

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Product Manager Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Mandarin

  • Chinese

  • German

  • Portuguese

  • Japanese

  • Italian

  • Cantonese

  • Russian

  • Korean

  • Carrier

  • Hindi

  • Arabic

  • Dutch

  • Swedish

  • Hebrew

  • Turkish

  • Thai

  • Vietnamese

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Product Manager

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Product Manager Education

Product Manager

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Real Product Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Product Manager Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $245,000
Director, Product Manager Merrill Lynch New York, NY Sep 15, 2016 $240,000 -
Product Manager Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Jun 01, 2015 $240,000
Innovations Product Manager Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Oct 19, 2015 $240,000
Product Manager LYFT, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 31, 2016 $240,000
Product Manager Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Dec 01, 2016 $231,000
Product Manager Grammarly, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 09, 2016 $230,000
Product Manager Bloomberg Tradebook LLC New York, NY Feb 28, 2015 $225,000
Structured Products Manager AIG Employee Services, Inc. Wilton, CT Jun 29, 2015 $225,000
Product Manager Cisco Systems, Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 11, 2016 $225,000 -
Product Manager Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Sep 20, 2015 $220,000
Product Manager Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Dec 09, 2016 $215,000
Product Manager Symphony Commerce, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 27, 2016 $135,000
Product Manager Next Phase Systems Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Feb 03, 2016 $135,000
Product Manager Docusign, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 09, 2016 $135,000
Lead Product Manager Machine and Equipment Health General Electric Company San Ramon, CA Jul 20, 2016 $135,000
Product Manager Digital Asset Holdings, LLC New York, NY Jan 05, 2016 $135,000
Product Manager, Innovation & Ecommerce Equinox Holdings Inc. New York, NY May 07, 2016 $135,000
Product Manager Google Inc. New York, NY May 08, 2016 $135,000
Product Manager Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Jul 03, 2016 $135,000
Product Manager-OMG Facts EN Espanol Spartz LLC Chicago, IL Jul 12, 2015 $115,544
Product Manager/Strategy-Product Development Oracle America, Inc. Pleasanton, CA Jan 17, 2015 $115,435 -
Product Manager Apcera, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 02, 2015 $115,378 -
Product Manager, Enterprise Analytics Premise Data Corporation San Francisco, CA Jan 06, 2015 $115,378 -
Product Manager, Enterprise Analytics Premise Data Corporation San Francisco, CA Jun 01, 2015 $115,378 -
Manager, Product Confirguration Cashedge Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Sep 09, 2015 $115,300 -
Product Manager American Express Travel Related Services Phoenix, AZ Apr 20, 2016 $115,253
Product Manager, Metamind Salesforce.Com Inc. San Francisco, CA Nov 25, 2016 $115,211

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Top Skills for A Product Manager


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Top Product Manager Skills

  1. New Product Development
  2. New Product Lines
  3. Product Strategy
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Led new product development from conception to implementation.
  • Created ten new product lines and 100+ SKUs and retooled development process to cut time to market by 20%.
  • Created product strategy to align with operational capabilities and pricing strategy.
  • Resulted in the company's $5.1 million sales growth within one year
  • Maintained and administered website and social media activities.

Top Product Manager Employers

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What skills are needed to be an effective Product Manager?