Product Development Manager

Oversee the people and processes that bring a product from idea to reality.
picture of Product Development Manager

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$81,000 – $151,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Product Development Managers do?

As a Product Development Manager, you’re the life force behind bringing a brand-spanking-new product into the world. From the early stages of planning to the big reveal and marketing scheme, Product Development Managers have a guiding hand in the process of creating, branding, and selling an idea.

Why are certain items on the market more successful than others? Not only do Product Development Managers have an answer to that question; oftentimes, you are the answer. You hold together the talented group of people who work on product development, making sure they stay on time and on budget. Product Designers and marketing professionals might have a tiff about the color of their new gadget, but you, the Product Development Manager, are the one to put your foot down and make a decision so production could continue.

Being head of an innovative endeavor also means that you get to have a lot of your own ideas included in the creative process, as long as you can also take a step back every so often. In order to have an analytic view of your team, you occasionally need to separate yourself so you can see if your product is heading in the right direction or turning down a dangerous road.

It can take years for a product to hit the market, and before it does, you have to sit through many unsuccessful meetings with focus groups and watch the logo change 11 times. But the struggle is rewarded. The true gratification comes when you walk down the aisles of a store, and see strangers pick up and buy what you worked so hard to create.

Should I be a Product Development Manager?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Leader: You're good at taking charge, giving directions, and inspiring other people.

  • Also known as: Market Development Manager

    How to Become a
    Product Development Manager

    Most Product Development Managers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:cca9cc&chl=no+college+%284%25%29|certificate+%284%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2884%25%29|master%27s+%284%25%29|doctorate+%284%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,4,84
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