2017 Product Management Salary Benchmarking

Caitlin Devine

Caitlin Devine

2016 was a thrilling year for the Futureheads Product management recruitment team as we saw a boom in demand for product-related specialists.

In this post, I share my thoughts on salary benchmarking within Product management in 2016 and offer some insight into what we can expect to see in 2017.

- Contract -

Junior: £250 - £350 per day

This market is relatively small due to the level of experience needed to work within product management. The contract market tends to attract more senior professionals, however, on occasion this junior position is needed on a contract basis. I don’t see this increasing over 2017, in fact, the market is increasingly dominated by permanent opportunities at this level. Employers increasingly prefer to hire junior product managers on a permanent basis rather than contract. See below for permanent salary benchmarks.

Product Manager: £350 - £450 per day

Again, over 2016, we have seen a small mid-weight market in contract, and when these roles do come up, they tend to be very focused on delivery of an existing roadmap, rather than being involved with the strategy and scoping. They may be Product Owner positions, rather than Product Management.

Senior: £450 - £550 per day

This is by far the most buoyant contract market and the level at which most organisations will hire contractors. Generally, the contract market is driven by businesses hiring product experts to help transition the business towards a more agile/lean development process, or to help introduce the discipline. Alongside this comes delivery, so a strong understanding of the product and the process is key. We have seen this market continuously grow in 2016, and expect this to carry on into 2017.

Head of Product: £550 - £700 per day

Once you hit this level, your role becomes almost purely strategic and focuses much more on the transformation of culture and products, rather than hands-on delivery. This market has been strong in 2016, although tends to be referral-led and network driven. As more industries go through digital transformations, I can’t imagine this slowing down in 2017.

Director: £700 - £1200 per day

Again, this level is predominantly network driven and referral-led. These roles vary in day rate dependant on several factors. Whether you are working full-time, or part-time and whether your position is more consultancy-led, for example. They tend to be consultant roles either in-house with organisations who have a little digital knowledge, or working within a consultancy focusing on the product.-

- Permanent -

Junior: £35,000 - £50,000 per annum

The market is for those with perhaps 2-3 years’ commercial experience in a complementary position, and are looking to move across, or already have 1-2 years within a Product position. The reason the salary banding tends to be higher than other disciplines, such as Project Management, is because of the knowledge needed before stepping into the role. You will have commercial experience before transitioning into a product position.

Product Manager: £50,000 - £65,000 per annum

Senior: £65,000 - £85,000 per annum

Under senior, or alongside, you may also find the title Product Lead. There is not much difference between the two positions other than team size and the increase in mentorship. As a lead, you will be expected to take on more of a mentor role for the team, rather than just driving delivery.

Head of-Director: £85,000 - £130,000 per annum

VP/Chief Product Officer: £130,000 - £150,000 per annum

Notice how large the salary bands are? This is due to the fluidity of the role and the lack of definition around titles and responsibilities. The expectations in the role vary from business to business dependent on their drivers; as does the structure of the teams and level needed.

I can’t imagine much change in these permanent salaries over the next year, however, we are seeing the market become more specialised. This in turn may increase the salary levels to ensure that experts are brought into businesses for relevant products.

If you’re unsure which salary bandings best apply to you then feel free to give us a call here at Futureheads and we can guide you on what range to consider.