The Product Manager Career Path and Job Titles

Sandy Anugerah is a seasoned B2B writer specializing in work and employee content. Bringing expertise in crafting engaging, industry-relevant pieces that captivate audiences with insightful narratives.

Looking for Elite Digital Talent?
Hire vetted candidates within 2 weeks and save hiring cost up to 70%

Unlock unlimited career opportunities with the highly sought-after role of a Product Manager. With its dynamic work environment and tantalizing salary packages, this new profession has become the talk of the town for employees worldwide. Take the plunge and discover the exciting world of product management, from the skills you need to excel to the latest salary trends in Singapore.

What is Product Manager?

Transform the way businesses approach product creation with the exciting role of a Product Manager. With a unique perspective that blends customer needs with strategic thinking, they lead the entire lifecycle of a product, from start to finish.

Think you've got what it takes to be the one who sets the bar for success, oversees everything from strategy setting to release prioritization, and leads the charge to bring visions to life? It doesn't matter where you come from - whether it's IT, marketing, operations, sales, or customer service - if you've got strong product management skills and a drive to learn, you'll excel in this dynamic role.

Product Manager Skills and Responsibilities

Product Manager Skills and Responsibilities

Unleash your potential and become a game-changing Product Manager with a skill set that's in high demand. This dynamic role requires a unique blend of vision, strategy, and cross-functional collaboration to bring cutting-edge products to market.

So what does it take to become a Product Manager? Get ready to dive into a world of customer-centric thinking, product roadmap development, and cross-functional teamwork. But don't worry, the rewards are endless. With the right skills, you'll be on your way to transforming customer needs into successful products and defining what success looks like in this exciting field.

Soft Skills

  • Initiative
  • Empathy
  • Leadership
  • Collaborative
  • Active listening
  • Analytical skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Flexible/Nimble
  • Communicative
  • Problem solving
  • Delegating skills
  • Strategic thinking
  • Prioritization skills
  • Time management
  • Business first mindset

Hard Skills

  • Design thinking
  • Market research
  • Writing user stories
  • Understanding of UX
  • Customer journey mapping
  • Coding/programming comprehension

Product Manager Career Path

Product Manager has just been named as one of the Top 10 Best Jobs in America by Glassdoor for 2022, and it's no surprise why. With the rapid digitalization post-COVID, the world has become your workplace, and you could be working for any of the leading American companies, including those in Silicon Valley and New York.

If you're considering taking on this dynamic and rewarding role, take a look at the diverse career paths available to you as a Product Manager. From a University Graduate to a Business Analyst, Project Manager, Software Development, and Engineering backgrounds, there's a path for everyone.

Your journey will begin as an Associate Product Manager and lead you to becoming a Junior Product Manager, then a Product Manager, Senior Product Manager, and finally, reach the pinnacle of Product Leadership, Vice President of Product, or Chief Product Officer.

And that's not all! Whether you come from a Customer Service, Business, Marketing, Operations, or Engineering background, there's a tailored path for you. Begin as a Business Development Manager or Marketing Manager, and work your way up to becoming the Director of Product Management or Vice President of Product Management and eventually, the Chief Product Officer.

Remember, these career paths are not set in stone. Each company may offer a unique path based on their size and product needs. The background listed here is just a rough guide, but anyone with the right skills and drive can become a Product Manager.

Product Manager Job Titles

With a range of job titles, from Manager to Program Manager and Project Manager, you have the flexibility to carve out a career that aligns with your unique skills and goals. The exact title you hold will depend on the size, budget, and business objectives of the company you work for.

Take your pick from working exclusively on a single product, or managing multiple products simultaneously - the choice is yours. The product manager career path offers a variety of job titles that enable you to progress and evolve within the product lifecycle.

Discover the depth and diversity of Product Manager job titles. Learn how each one plays a crucial role in bringing innovative ideas to life and shaping the future of businesses.

1. Associate Product Manager

Associate Product Manager (APM) role - the perfect starting point for anyone eager to excel in product management. Few companies offer this position, but those who do are wise to invest in their future product leaders. As an APM, you'll be trained on-the-go, acquiring invaluable skills and expertise with each day on the job.

Take your first step into the exciting world of product management with the APM role. You'll play a vital role in supporting the product manager, tackling responsibilities that range from market research and data analysis to UI

design recommendations and feature definition. It's the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the industry, soaking up every bit of knowledge and information to give you the competitive edge you need to succeed. Start your journey today and become a product leader of tomorrow.

Job Description for Associate Product Manager:

  • Contributing to problem and solution discovery activities through internal stakeholder and consumer interviews and research, as well as the development and execution of experiments to validate concepts
  • In charge of Agile ceremonies like as planning, grooming, demos, and retrospectives.
  • Writing stories that communicate Engineering's work in support of solutions and production support.
  • Working closely with Engineering to ensure that solutions are delivered on time and within budget.
  • Collaborating with stakeholder team to understand the business better and adjust solutions as it evolves.
  • Helping Customer Support, Sales Enablement, and Product Marketing write feature descriptions and new release content.
  • Keeping a prioritized backlog that corresponds to available Engineering capacity and maps to an overall solution roadmap.
  • Validation testing on production releases, bug patches, and feature requests.

Stepping Stones to a Successful Product Management Career

Starting a career as an Associate Product Manager is a highly sought-after position in many organizations. However, not all companies have this role in their product team structure.

Investing in the Associate PM position enables companies to identify and cultivate talented individuals who show great potential in product management. This strategy not only enhances the output but also provides a cost-effective solution to finding top-performing PMs who are in high demand in the market.

From Associate to Full-Fledged Product Manager

Ascending to the role of a full-fledged Product Manager requires more than just performing the tasks assigned to an Associate PM. To make the leap, one must have established a strong reputation as the go-to person for the product line and built a solid relationship with the engineering, UX, marketing, and other teams.

Being comfortable with delegating responsibilities, having faith in the processes developed, and having the ability to mentor and train a replacement are key characteristics of a successful PM candidate. It's all about being fully focused on the responsibilities of the Associate PM role and demonstrating exceptional performance in all areas.

2. Junior Product Manager

For aspiring product managers, a Junior Product Manager (JPM) position can be the perfect starting point. The title "JPM" may also be referred to as "Associate Product Manager" in some organizations, but regardless of the name, the role is one step above the entry level in product management.

JPMs play a vital role in the product development process, working closely with developers, product team members, and customers to shape the vision and direction of the product. They are often the front line of user research, collecting feedback and insights to inform product decisions.

Key Responsibilities of a Junior Product Manager:

  • Continuous learning and growth through training and guidance from experienced colleagues
  • Regular customer engagement to understand current market challenges and needs
  • Contribution to strategic decision-making by analyzing market trends and customer feedback
  • Definition of market requirements and prioritization of product features based on real-world scenarios and market analysis
  • Assistance in developing product positioning, messaging, and sales arguments
  • Definition and monitoring of key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure product success
  • Close collaboration with technical development teams to ensure alignment and progress

3. Product Manager

Product Managers are mid-level managers who hold a crucial position in the success of a product. With at least three years of experience in product management, they bring expertise and leadership to the table, steering the product towards its ultimate goals. But, to reach this level, a person must demonstrate excellent communication, leadership, strategy, collaboration and product knowledge skills, even if they come from a different background.

Product Managers are the bridge between cross-functional teams, including developers, engineers, UI/UX designers, marketers, and other stakeholders. They analyze data, conduct market research to understand customer needs, and define the product's vision. Their guidance and expertise are sought after in all aspects of the product lifecycle, from defining the product strategy to ensuring its delivery timeline is met.

Key Responsibilities

A Product Manager's responsibilities vary, but one common thread is the need for creativity and data-driven decision making. Here's an excerpt from Square Cash App's Product Manager job description:

  • Innovating industry-leading services and solutions that set Cash App's clients apart with unique design and creativity
  • Identifying opportunities, researching them, and forming opinions on what to build
  • Driving the product strategy and delivery timeline
  • Inspiring cross-functional teams to work together and create exceptional products
  • Convincing key stakeholders across Cash App and Square to align resources and priorities

Advancing to Senior Product Manager

To advance from a Product Manager to a Senior Product Manager, one must first prove their effectiveness in their current role. Management wants to see that the Product Manager is doing a great job, motivated to help the team achieve its goals, and that they have a solid understanding of the value their product brings to the market.

Product Managers must be able to articulate the specific problems their product solves, connect product metrics to corporate goals, and keep all stakeholders informed. This requires balancing all moving pieces, from engineering and UX to marketing, while keeping a focus on value realization.

Having a streamlined production process can ease the burden, allowing Product Managers to devote more time to strategic decisions and less time to reactionary ones. When a Product Manager has the time and hunger to take on more challenges, it's a clear indication that it's time to advance to the next stage of their product management career.

4. Senior Product Manager: The Driving Force Behind High-Impact Products

For individuals with 3-5 years of experience in the field, the role of a senior product manager (SPM) is one of increased responsibilities and opportunities for leadership. They may manage product managers and junior PMs, lead cross-functional teams, shape product strategy, and act as a liaison between the product management team and company leaders and stakeholders.

The Nitty-Gritty of a Senior Product Manager's Responsibilities

In essence, senior product managers perform the same duties as their associate and mid-level counterparts. However, the scope of their responsibilities is broadened to encompass high-impact, high-visibility projects. They serve as mentors to junior PMs and work hand-in-hand with product executives to execute a winning product strategy.

While some product managers may be more focused on data analysis or consumer feedback, top SPMs begin to take a more holistic approach to the product process. They step up to take a leadership role for their product team and make key decisions that determine the success of their products.

As demonstrated by a job description for a Senior Product Manager at Amazon, these professionals are tasked with:

  • Crafting a long-term strategy and executing go-to-market plans for new features and offerings while mitigating corporate risk.
  • Collaborating with other product owners, designers, and engineers to bring ideas to market with speed and efficiency.
  • Defining strategy, creating business cases, analyzing consumer interaction, leading teams, and presenting findings to senior executives.
  • Making high-stakes trade-offs between features and time-to-market.
  • Presenting their work to large groups, including senior executives.

Advancing from Senior Product Manager to Director

For senior product managers who are performing at the top of their game, the next logical step is advancement to a director-level position. To reach this level, they must first establish themselves as a valuable resource for their peers and become a strong advocate for their product team within the company's senior leadership.

Product managers who exhibit a passion for their products, customers, and the manufacturing process are well-positioned to advance. Those who display this level of dedication on a regular basis are poised to become top-level product directors.

5. Product Leaders: Driving the Product Vision

Working in close collaboration with senior product managers, product leaders (PL) focus their energies solely on the product side of things. They are responsible for recruiting top talent for product-based roles, owning the product vision and direction, and overseeing the product development process from start to finish.

The Key Responsibilities of Product Leadership

A Product Leader is tasked with a range of critical duties, all aimed at ensuring the smooth and successful operation of the product team. They take care of the behind-the-scenes details, freeing up the Product Managers to concentrate on what they do best - producing top-quality products. Here are some of the key responsibilities of a Product Leader:

  • Nurturing and developing new talent by hiring, training, and mentoring team members.
  • Providing a clear and confident vision by communicating the company's business objectives and product vision to the team, and aligning their strategies with the larger goals of the organization.
  • Making informed decisions with expert forecasting skills - predicting costs, profits, and timelines for product development initiatives.
  • Securing the funds needed for the product team to succeed by presenting compelling plans to company leaders and investors.
  • Ensuring the product, design, development, and other teams have everything they need to do their jobs effectively, by providing the right tools and processes.

In short, a Product Leader is a vital component of any successful product team. They provide the structure, support, and guidance necessary to help the team reach their full potential and deliver exceptional results.

6. VP of Product Management

At the executive level, the VP of product management is a critical player in the success of a company. They are tasked with creating and promoting the best possible products that will drive significant impact on the organization's bottom line. Their daily routine involves budgeting, strategizing, communicating, and building a strong leadership team.

Key Responsibilities

The VP of product management is responsible for ensuring that the product organization's budget aligns with business objectives, protecting the product team from internal politics, and fostering a cohesive team environment.

At Fast Radius, a typical VP of product management job description includes the following responsibilities:

Job Description for VP of Product

  • Building and leading a top-notch product team through effective hiring and training processes
  • Defining the product vision in collaboration with the CPO and cross-functional executives, and translating it into a roadmap that integrates technology and user-focused design
  • Conducting market research, user research, data analysis, and user testing to ensure customer-focused product development
  • Working with the engineering team to execute the product roadmap and encouraging incremental release cycles for quick deployment, testing, and learning
  • Driving product adoption and engagement by working with various departments to deliver attractive solutions and enhance client utilization
  • Enabling the product team to strike a balance between feature development and long-term scaling

7. Chief Product Officer

In some organizations, the chief product officer (CPO) or VP of product (VPP) reports directly to the CEO and oversees all product-related activities. Their role involves defining the big picture of the product strategy, aligning the product team's work with the rest of the business, and setting long-term goals for the company's future.

Key Responsibilities

The CPO or VPP is focused on the entire product portfolio, ensuring that resources, funding, and research are directed towards areas that will deliver the maximum value. They are responsible for making strategic decisions that will shape the company's future and motivating their team with aspirational product goals.

A typical job description for a chief product officer at Michael Page includes the following responsibilities:

Chief Product Officer Job Description

  • Maximizing P&L by managing existing products and developing new product lines
  • Defining and executing the company's product strategy and plan, communicating it to stakeholders, monitoring progress, and evaluating results
  • Leading high-level product creation, enhancement, and lifecycle management from conception to launch
  • Developing pricing and competitive positioning strategies for each product
  • Acting as a product advocate and participating in press activities, conferences, and discussions with thought leaders and market analysts
  • Leading, mentoring, and managing a team of product managers
  • Collaborating with the engineering, marketing, finance, and operations teams

Product Manager Salary Range


As a Product Manager, you could be looking at a salary range of SGD 3,000 to SGD 8,000 per month in Singapore, depending on the size of the company, your level of expertise, and responsibilities. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Product Manager in Singapore is around SGD 6,000 per month, with an additional SGD 11,000 in cash compensation.

For those interested in pursuing a career as a Product Manager, the opportunities are endless. Whether you start as an Associate Product Manager or climb the ranks to become a Chief Product Officer, the salary range is diverse and promising.

At the entry-level, an Associate Product Manager can expect to earn around SGD 5,000 per month. As you progress and become a Senior Product Manager, your salary could go up to SGD 8,500 per month. A Lead Product Manager could earn SGD 11,125 per month, and a Director of Product Management can earn SGD 12,500 per month. A VP of Product Management could earn SGD 13,433 per month, and the top-level position of a Chief Product Officer could bring in SGD 15,000 per month.

Final Thoughts

With the information presented, it's now time for you to make a decision. Do you have what it takes to become a Product Manager? Are you ready to follow your passion and pivot into this exciting career path? If so, the rewards can be both fulfilling and financially lucrative.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to learn more about other career paths in the industry. Check out Talentport's article on the role and skills needed to be a Project Manager.

Read more: Data Analyst: Career Path, Job Titles, Salary Range


Grow your business faster with
Top Tier Remote Talents

Get 300% ROI from your hiring budget