Curious to learn what is the average product director salary?
Becoming a product director is an exciting step along your product management career path. Product directors play a critical role in any company that is serious about product development and success They are the chief figures responsible for creating product strategies and managing the product team as they work together to make the product a success story.
Since product directors occupy a central, managerial role within the product team, they must receive compensation packages that reflect the importance of their position.
But how much do product directors pull in on average?
Join us as we dive into the salary estimates that product directors reel in as well as the factors that contribute to their payouts.
Salaries listed are based on product director salaries for unspecified business types in the United States. Unless stated differently, salaries are as reported by ZipRecruiter in April 2022.
What Factors Affect Product Director Salaries?
While product director salaries vary across the United States, certain factors lead to higher offers in this competitive industry.
Several factors, including location, experience level, education, and industry expertise affect product director salaries. Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to reach the highest earning potential in this career path.
Seniority and Experience
One of the factors that affect product director salaries is seniority. While you don’t need ten years of experience to become a well-payed product director, it is a career path with great opportunities for advancement and increased pay as you gain experience.
Associate Product Manager: $62,204
This entry-level position is an opportunity for recent graduates or those looking to make a career change. They are similar to apprenticeships and give candidates hands-on experience while training them to advance in the company.
Junior Product Manager: $66,670
Like associate product managers, junior product managers are new to the position. They have some work experience outside of college. Junior product managers require less training than associate product managers and work with a team under the management of another senior product manager.
Product Manager: $94,704
This is the most common job position in this field and encompasses a wide range of skills, experience, and responsibilities. These positions are available to candidates with as little as three years of experience or advanced degrees. However, it’s important to consider the company. A product manager role for a major company such as Microsoft requires more experience than a similar role at a startup.
Senior Product Manager: $129,873
Senior Product Managers have at least 5 to 8 years of experience in product management. Their title also reflects contributions to the company as well as experience. They manage multiple products or whole portfolios. Unlike lower-level product manager positions, this is a hybrid role that includes mentoring and managing junior product managers and employees.
Product Director/Group Product Manager: $142,760
Directors of Product Management focus on leading other product managers than on the hands-on work of lower-level positions. Soft skills focused on team leadership are essential for this job. These positions require at least seven years of experience, and hiring managers look for candidates with industry-specific expertise.
VP of Product Management/Head of Product: $159,999
This role focuses on managing other managers and is common in large companies. In startups, this is the most senior position. Hiring managers are looking for candidates with industry-specific experience and previous experience in roles leading product management teams.
CPO/Chief Product Officer: $218,500
This role is the most senior product management position in larger companies. They manage all of the product management teams within a company. They are responsible for overall product strategy and their teams’ alignment with other parts of the company and the company’s vision and goals.
Location also affects a product director’s salary. Salaries reflect the location in two ways. One is the area’s cost of living, and the other is the area’s demand. For example, based on data shared by Salary.com, the average product director salary in Kentucky is $155,066 a year. Compare this to the salary estimates in California where product directors earn an average of $184,069 a year. In cities where there is a high demand for product directors, so too do salary estimates increase in comparison to regions where there is less of a demand. it’s also essential to factor in the cost of living as these states such as California have higher costs than the national average, cutting into your earnings.
Top 10 States for Highest Product Director Salaries
Based on data shared by Zippia as of April 2022, these are the top ten states where product directors get paid above the national average:
- Washingon: $172,180
- California: $165,841
- Oregon: $165,358
- New Jersey: $147,726
- Connecticut: $144,666
- New York: $143,480
- Nevada: $142,897
- Indiana: $140,174
- Wisconsin: $135,594
- Pennsylvania: $135,206
Education & Skills for Product Directors
Companies look for capable, experienced candidates with the appropriate skill set to take up a position as a product director. A strong educational background coupled with solid experience helps you to stand out from the competition.
Product directors have at least a Bachelor’s degree in a field related to product management. This includes degrees in Business Administration, Project Management, Finance, or Marketing. It is also common for product directors to pursue more ambitious educational ventures such as a Master’s degree before landing the job. MBAs and Master’s degrees in Management or Finance are common academic titles that product directors like to have under their belt before they assume that post.
While all MBAs provide you with the basics of product management, some universities now offer specializations in this field. Some great options include:
- NYU: Stern School of Business
- MIT: Sloan School of Business
- UC Berkeley: Haas School of Business
- Northwestern: Kellogg School of Management
- UCLA: Anderson School of Management
While MBAs and other advanced degrees do help you to gain skills and build professional credibility, another way to improve your resume is to earn professional certifications. They help you gain valuable skills and stay competitive in the field.
Product HQ has a series of high-level professional certification courses across traditional, technical, and data product management. Check them out to sharpen your skills in the field and build the confidence you need to excel as a product director.
Average Product Director Salary: Key Takeaways
Knowing the average product director salary is a step in the right direction on your product management career path. Be sure to factor in the cost of living and relocation costs when considering job offers.
Climb the corporate ladder in product management and build up your resumé with the necessary educational requirements to succeed as a leader in your organization.
Be sure to factor in the cost of living and relocation costs when considering job offers.
If you do, no doubt you are well on your way to building up a successful career as a product director.