Academy Xi Blog

Considering a career in Product Management and assessing if it’s the best move for you? We’ve rounded up the latest industry insights and stats to assist your research.

What does a Product Manager do?

A Product Manager is tasked with identifying the true needs of the target customer market, along with the key objectives of the business that a new product, service or feature will fulfil. The Product Manager then assembles a team that can bring this new idea into the real world, firstly establishing a clear picture of what success will look like, then setting achievable goals and keeping everyone motivated along the way. 

In addition, Product Managers need to have an understanding of what the competition is offering for the same market and how what is being proposed fits in with the wider objectives of the company.

Career prospects are plentiful, with any company offering a product or service needing a Product Manager. 

“The role of Product Manager is expanding due to the growing importance of data in decision-making, and increased customer and design focus, and the evolution of software-development methodologies” (McKinsey)

Product Managers salaries in Australia

Demand for Product Managers in Australia is steadily rising, with national employment rates set to increase by 10.3% in the next five years

The average annual salary for Product Manager jobs in Australia ranges from $120,000 to $140,000. Industries offering the highest average salaries for Product Managers include:

  • Insurance and superannuation
  • Information and communication technology
  • Banking and financial services

Junior Product Manager salary

Entry-level Product Manager positions start at around the $115,000 mark, but be mindful that this is an overall national average. Starting salaries can differ greatly depending on the industry, any transferable skills you bring to the table from previous positions and the quality of your training.

Once you’ve been in the game for a while you can expect a mid-career Product Manager salary average of approximately $137,000 per year.

Senior Product Manager salary

The most experienced Product Managers attract salaries in the ballpark of $170,000 per year, but again this will be dictated by the hiring industry and prior experience of the candidate.

Can you be a freelance Product Manager?

It’s possible to freelance with many speciality skill-sets in today’s working world, and Product Management is no exception. In order to land contracts with companies as a freelance Product Manager, having a solid employment history with a range of examples of your work is paramount, as is knowing a network of contacts who are willing to refer you for any work opportunities. 

While freelancing as a Product Manager is entirely possible, it isn’t likely to be the first stage of your Product Management career. It’s recommended that you work in-house for at least a few companies to begin with. Doing so will provide you with much needed experience and also assist you in discovering which industries you might prefer working in.

How much can freelance product managers make?

As a freelance Product Manager, you can set your rates by hour, day or project. In terms of what to charge, you need to factor in all of the outgoings that your standard in-house salary would cover, including sick leave, superannuation, and additional training costs. 

Day rates for freelance Product Managers could range from $500 per day to anything north of $1000. It really will depend on the industry, project, allocated budget and how well aligned your experience is to the project requirements.

Freelance rate calculators can be a helpful tool to guide your rate, along with researching what others in the field are charging. It pays to do your research. You will also have an idea from your time working in-house of what different companies have paid for contractors, which can help shape your expectations.

What skills are needed for Product Management?

product managers skills salary australia If you’re new to the game, or looking to sharpen your existing abilities, there’s a number of soft and hard skills every Product Manager needs in their toolkit. Here’s a few to get you started:
  • Web development

Don’t fret, you don’t need to be a full-stack developer to be a great Product Manager, but having an understanding of web development will be highly beneficial. Having this understanding will give context to your work and enable you to communicate more thoughtfully and effectively with your IT colleagues.
  • Market research

Establishing the true needs of the target audience and gathering customer feedback is all part of effective market research. Having the skills to conduct this research is vital in Product Management. 
  • Understanding UX

As a Product Manager you will be working with User Experience (UX) Designers, so having an understanding of the best practices will enable you to better collaborate with these members of your team and have an appreciation of their responsibilities. On the soft skills front, Product Managers need the following on their side:
  • Communication skills
  • Time management
  • Creative problem-solving 
  • Critical thinking 
  • Flexibility 

How to start a career in Product Management

Whether you’re looking to upskill or venturing into a new career direction with Product Management, quality industry-focused training is highly recommended to ensure you’re equipped with the right skills and mindset.

At Academy Xi our Product Management courses are built with experts from Accenture, MYOB, PwC and Deloitte and will provide you with the latest frameworks and techniques to ensure you’re able to hit the ground running in your first Product Management role.

For those upskilling, Product Management: Elevate will see you gaining immediately applicable Product Management skills and give your professional development a serious boost.  

Product Management: Transform will take beginners to job-ready with in-depth practical training, live client projects and coaching from a Career Support Program that delivers 97% of graduates straight into the industry.

Graduate with highly practical skills and the ability to:

  • Conduct market analysis to identify strategic opportunities
  • Articulate a product vision and roadmap
  • Manage the design phase using human-centred design principles
  • Plan your product backlog using Jira
  • Develop a go-to-market strategy
  • Manage your Agile scrum sprint
  • Create financial modelling
  • Manage and improve products throughout their lifecycle based on data-driven insights
  • Use soft skills to get stakeholder buy-in and influence outcomes
  • Build desirable, viable and feasible products using cross-functional leadership

If you have any questions, our experienced team is here to discuss your training options. Speak to a course advisor today and take the first steps in your Product Management journey.