What Is a Certified Product Manager (and How Do I Become One)?
You must complete an education program from a product industry organisation and have satisfied the requirements of a product management certification program provided by a relevant, respected product industry organisation to become a certified product manager (CPM).
To call oneself a certified product manager, you must also pass an exam covering business and technical product management competencies. In addition to validating your product management abilities, completing a certification program will help you become eligible for higher-paying jobs. Learn why and how to become certified in product management in this post.
Certified product manager
A Certified Product Manager (CPM) is a professional who has completed a certification program in product management. This certification attests to their skills and knowledge in the field, including market analysis, product strategy, product development, and product marketing. The certificate is usually awarded by professional organisations, such as the Association of International Product Management and Marketing (AIPMM), the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA), or other institutes. Employers value CPMs as they demonstrate a commitment to professional development and a mastery of the critical competencies necessary to be an adequate product manager.
Essential skills of a certified product manager
A certified product manager typically possesses the following essential skills:
- Market analysis: Understanding the target market and its needs and competitor analysis.
- Product strategy: Developing a product roadmap and defining the product vision.
- Product development: Managing the product development process and ensuring the product meets market needs and quality standards.
- Product marketing: Developing and executing marketing plans to position and promote the product.
- Leadership: Led cross-functional teams, including engineering, design, sales, and marketing.
- Problem-solving: Identifying and addressing complex problems and making data-driven decisions.
- Communication: Effective communication and collaboration with stakeholders, including customers, partners, and executives.
- Adaptability: Flexibility and ability to adapt to change and pivot the product strategy as needed.
Types of product manager certification
There are several types of product manager certifications, including:
- Certified Product Manager (CPM): Offered by professional organisations such as the Association of International Product Management and Marketing (AIPMM).
- Professional Product Manager (PPM): Offered by the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA).
- Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO): Offered by Scrum Alliance for those who work in Agile environments.
- Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT): Offered by ISACA for those who manage IT products and services.
- Product Management Certificate (PMC): Offered by universities and colleges for those who want to develop their skills in product management.
- Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD): Offered by the Lean Enterprise Institute for those who want to develop their skills in Lean product development.
Each certification program has its curriculum and requirements, and individuals can choose the certification that best fits their career goals and professional development needs.
Product management certification guidance
Here is some guidance for obtaining a product management certification:
- Assess your goals: Determine what you want to achieve with certification and select a program that aligns with your career goals.
- Research programs: Compare certification programs and their requirements, including eligibility criteria, cost, and duration.
- Study: Prepare for the certification exam by studying the required material and gaining hands-on experience in product management.
- Gain practical experience: Many certification programs require a minimum of work experience in product management, so gaining valuable experience is essential.
- Network: Join professional organisations and attend industry events to network with other product managers and gain insights into the field.
- Pass the exam: Take the certification exam and earn your certificate.
- Maintain your certification: Most certifications require continuing education and periodic recertification to maintain the credential.
- Apply your knowledge: Use your certification to enhance your career and contribute to the success of your organisation by applying the principles and best practices of product management.
The job outlook for product managers is positive. The demand for product managers is expected to grow as organisations look to bring innovative products to market and stay ahead of the competition.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of product managers is projected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. As technology plays a significant role in business, companies are increasingly looking for individuals with the skills and knowledge to develop and market innovative products.
Additionally, as product management becomes a more established and recognised profession, companies are investing more resources into developing and supporting product management functions, increasing the demand for product managers.
Regarding salaries, product managers typically earn high salaries and enjoy excellent job security, with many opportunities for advancement. The average salary for a product manager in the United States is around $120,000 per year but can vary depending on the company, industry, and location.
Job titles with salary
Here are some standard job titles in product management with their average salaries (based on data from Glassdoor and PayScale as of 2021-09):
- Product Manager: $120,000 - $140,000
- Senior Product Manager: $140,000 - $165,000
- Technical Product Manager: $120,000 - $145,000
- Associate Product Manager: $85,000 - $110,000
- Group Product Manager: $160,000 - $195,000
- Director of Product Management: $165,000 - $220,000
- Agile Product Manager: $120,000 - $140,000
It's important to note that salaries can vary greatly depending on factors such as the company size, industry, location, and the individual's experience and qualifications.
Additionally, many companies offer benefits such as stock options, bonuses, and flexible work arrangements, which can significantly increase total compensation.