Analysis of 2007 Survey Results

By Pragmatic Institute December 18, 2007

In our earlier preliminary analysis of 2007 product manager salary data,we only had the initial results. The analysis in this article is of thefull data set (excluding people who reported non-product managertitles, like executives). In all of the analyses, total compensation isthe sum of reported salary and reported bonus.

Overall results

When reviewing 680 responses, we found

  • The average product manager total compensation was $107,834
  • The median product manager total compensation was $105,000
  • The minimum total compensation was $25,000 and the maximum was $390,000

Regional variation

The average and mean salary points are shown in yellow in thefollowing tables to emphasize the regions that have averagecompensation above and below the average and the mean values for theentire data set. We looked at both global regions, and within theUnited States, compensation by state (where 3 or more people were inthe state). We also look at the cost-of-living adjusted values forindividual states.

Compensation by region

Compensation by state (without adjusting for COLA (cost of living)

Compensation by state

Compensation by state, including COLA adjustment

Compensation by state COLA

Compensation by reporting structure

An interesting question that comes up often for product managers isabout reporting structure. The organization into which a productmanager reports can have a significant influence on what the productmanager is asked to prioritize. Product managers often report intomarketing or engineering organizations. This reporting can influencehow much time the product managers get to spend on “strategic”activities. And now, many companies have dedicated, discrete productmanagement organizations. What was very surprising was to see the highvariation in reported compensation, when sorted by the departments intowhich the product managers report.

Compensation by reporting structure

Product manager industry

Another surprisingly correlated factor is the industry in which theproduct manager operates. Resellers and eCommerce product managersreported significantly lower total compensation than product managersin other high tech industries.

Compensation by industry

Compensation by age of company

We performed this analysis previously, so we’re including it here.There wasn’t much insight to gain from looking at the variation inaverage compensation as a function of the age of the company.

Compensation by age of company

Compensation by company size and capitalization

There is an argument that large companies won’t pay highcompensation because they manage to the middle, where bureacratic massgets in the way of hiring investments. On the other side of that coin,there is an argument that says that small companies can not afford topay high compensation.

Public companies are also often under scrutiny for managing theircompensation plans, and private companies often do not share equity aspart of compensation packages.

With competing forces along both of these axes, how do product manager compensation rates vary?

First, we need to look at the number of respondents in each category.

Compensation by company size summary

With the exception of very large private, and very small publiccompanies, we have a reasonable distribution of responses -surprisingly even, in fact.

We’ll look at compensation when sorting by each of the possibilities.

Sorting product manager compensation by company revenue

Compensation by company size sorted by revenue

Sorting the company size based upon product manager compensation shows the overall trend.

overall comp by company size

The largest companies pay distinctly better, the smallest companiespay distinctly worse, and the companies in the middle pay about thesame. When we re-organize the data to focus on how those companies arecapitalized, we see some more actionable trending.

Sorting based on private company compensation levels shows thatprivate companies over $25 million in annual revenue pay better thanaverage - and smaller private companies pay below average. There is amarked drop in compensation for those smallest private companies.
Compensation by company size sorted by private company

Sorting based on public company compensation levels shows that onlythe largest - over $500 million in revenue - public companies paybetter than average. These largest companies pay distinctly better thanthe others. Note that for private companies, working for a very largecompany does not yield such distinct differences.
Compensation by company size sorted by public company

Pragmatic Institute

Pragmatic Institute

Pragmatic Institute (formerly Pragmatic Marketing) has continuously delivered thought leadership in technology product management and marketing since it was founded in 1993. Today, we provide training and present at industry events around the world, conduct the industry’s largest annual survey and produce respected publications that are read by more than 100,000 product management and marketing professionals. Our thought-leadership portfolio includes the Pragmatic  Framework, eBooks, blogs, webinars, podcasts, newsletters, The Pragmatic magazine and the bestseller “Tuned In.”


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