Product owner salary ranges for various roles and designations. Product owner average salary in India is INR 18,50000. With their diverse roles mixed with several skills and experience, every position a leadership position within product development, management, and marketing sphere and demands relevant skills and abilities.
Due to the rapid development of digital technology worldwide, their demand will keep growing in the near future, though the lack of product owner competence, as well as poor understanding of PO role by the top management, can cost a lot. As per a report by Scrum, for product owners, hands-on experience trumps a formal education concerning the career, and earning outstanding work experience is the most crucial factor in the career development of a product owner. Take CSPO Training to widen the spectrum of career opportunities.
Who is a Product Owner?
A product owner is a part of a Scrum team (scrum is one portion of the gigantic product management responsibilities and tasks) accountable for the success of a project in the scrum, responsible for managing and optimizing the product backlog to maximize the value of the product. Scrum is an Agile methodology to accelerate self-organization and communication within a team.
A product owner defines user stories and creates a product backlog (a prioritized set of customer requirements) as the main point of contact on behalf of customers to define the product requirements for the development team taking complete responsibility and ownership and often prioritizing user requirements.
On the other hand, any queries from the development team must be addressed by the product owner on key user requirements. The focus of the product owner always remains on maximizing the value addition of the products that are developed by the agile scrum team. For any business trying to move to an agile-based product development methodology, the role of a product owner is critical due to the communication, and collaboration that must happen between various stakeholders such as customers, business leaders, development teams, project managers, or other stakeholders.
Becoming a product owner needs work and lots of learning from experts, mentors and as a minimum aim to get yourself trained. Preferable by attending certification course like Agile training. In fact, a product owner needs to keep continue learning, meeting colleagues and friends in the same field, discussing ideas and learning through each other.
What does Product Owner do?
Being a responsible person in Scrum, and collaborating between different departments within an organization a product owner plays an important role.
1. Product Owner Roles
Managing product backlog is one of the main roles of a product owner. This activity includes Clearly defining and prioritizing the product backlog perfectly and ensuring that it is clearly communicated to all team members.
Evaluating the work of the development and providing feedback.
The skills that a product manager needs for fulfilling the roles are a)Domain experience, b) Leadership and Communication Skills c) Effective interpretation of customer requirements
2. Product Owner Responsibilities
- Owning, defining and prioritizing product backlog
- Active involvement in product development stages
- Acting as a Primary Point of Contact
- Communicating Customer Vision
- Mastery in anticipating customer needs
- Evaluation of progress of development
Product Owner Salary Overview
Commensurate with the importance of the role, a product owner salary range and even an individual product owner pay are quite lucrative.
Average Product Owner Salary
Glassdoor reports that the product owner salary average is $100,000 per year in the USA. The same is supported by other job and salary-centric websites like Indeed and Builtin. Average product owner salary can vary depending on the location, company, experience (for example a senior product owner salary will be way higher than a junior product owner salary) and skills (a certified product owner salary will be different from one who has none) and compensations including stock option and other benefits also are a contributing factor.
As per Glassdoor report in India, the average salary of a product owner is 18 lakhs per year.
1. Salary of Product Owner Based on Country
Salaries for product owners vary greatly across different countries. Obtaining the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification through KnowledgeHut's CSPO training can lead to higher salaries.
Below is the list of examples of pay scale product owner (CSPO certified):
|The United States
2. Product Owner Pay Scale Based on Experience
The more years one spends serving as a product owner, the higher salary one could expect. Here is a list of product owner wages as per experience:
|Years of Experience
|Salary Per Annum (USD)
|Less than 1 year
|1 year to 4 years
|5 years to 9 years
|10 years to 19 years
|More than 20 years
|More than 108,000
figr.com provides a comprehensive list of experience-wise and company-wise pay scales of product manager salaries in India.
3. Product Owner Pay Scale Based on Designation
Designation is also a deciding factor that makes the product owner salary range vary. Here is a designation-wise salary break-up:
|Salary in USD
|Senior Product Manager
|Senior Product Manager (Software)
|Product manager (Software)
Factors Affecting Product Owner Salary
Product owner job salary depends on various factors such as:
1. Level of Certification Such as CSPO, ACSPO, CSP-PO, and more
Certification means the owner gains the required skills. Any product owner certification imparts the participants with the practical knowledge and training, on-time delivery of high-value releases, increasing return of investment, customer satisfaction, product backlog management and more. They become an asset to the Agile team and the organization as well.
2. The Company Working for
It goes without saying that the compensation for a product owner will vary according to the company size. A product owner working for a small company may earn a lower salary than a product owner working for a large company like ING, Philips, Adidas etc.
3. The Country Where an Individual is Working in
Because industry standards, demands vary from country to country, location impacts a product owner’s salary. For example, the cost of living may be a factor of higher salary than in East Europe. The demand in bigger cities like London or New York could be more than the supply thereby shooting up the salary in such cities.
4. Years of Experience Working as a Product Owner
Typically the salary increases with experience. As per the Scrum findings, the median difference between junior-level income and senior-level income is around $40,000 which it finds valid considering the responsibilities and troubles that stress a senior product owner.
5. Designation of Product Owner in the Company
The number and types of projects handled in the current company and also in previous companies will affect the designation and also the salary of a product owner. For example, a senior product manager will earn more than a product owner or a senior business analyst. The more projects one handled or the complexity will again entitle for a higher pay. Although the number of various small projects handled could provide opportunities to develop the necessary skills needed for handling large projects.
Various other factors like communication skills, individual's personality (as the person has to interact with customers), effective collaboration (because this individual is the proponent of presenting the idea of a project to the developers and making them create a product that is required by the client), critical thinking ability, problem-solving attitude are among the other determinants.
How to Choose Company With the Best Product Owner Salary?
The best way is to research job listing sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, IIMjobs, Monster, Naukri or similar other sites. Most of the reputed companies do their job postings to the leading portal sites. One needs to search the site of the country where one is seeking a product manager role job.
Another option is to use LinkedIn. Almost all businesses have their LinkedIn official page that has the “Jobs” section where vacancies are given.
Also, you should be focusing more on the growth trajectory of your career as a product owner rather than only concentrating on a good salary. Here is a run-through of what you can do to maximize your chances to get into a company with the best product owner salary.
- Whatever primary, secondary, and tertiary skills you possess in the domain of product development make a list of those.
- Explore the skills that you can capitalize on for much better-paying jobs.
- Ensure that you earn a product owner certificate which will validate your skills and ability as a product owner. Any good company offering a lucrative package will prefer a certified product owner to one who is not.
- If there are some skills that are needed for a high-paying job (that you lack) in your desired companies, then develop those skills and undergo training to fortify yourself with those specific skills.
- Create your career trajectory (say 20 years into the future) and look for the companies (make a list of them) that need the skills you have and offer the trajectory as well that you desire.
- From the list, shortlist those companies based on salary increments, benefits, location, type or any other criteria that are important to you.
- Apply to the companies that you feel meet your purpose the most.
But that is not sufficient yet. You need to learn salary negotiation skills. Best or ordinary, every company negotiates with applications to get the best deal. Here are a few tips on how to strike an ice-breaking deal.
Product Owner Salary- How to Negotiate for a Higher Package?
1. Know your Worth
You need to have a clear understanding of your experience, skills and capability. Research on the salary that is being paid by companies with your level of expertise. This will give you assurance to clearly place yourself at the interview table and negotiate with confidence.
2. Setting the Limit
It is beneficial both for the applicant and the prospective employer to know if you state your salary expectation right from the start. In the long run, it will save all the time and effort of attending interviews with companies that do not meet your salary expectation.
3. Knowing the Bottom Line
This is important to know before entering into any salary negotiation, the absolute minimum salary you would be willing to agree, below which you cannot go. This will make you less likely to accept an offer that you are worth and repent later.
4. The Courage to Ask
The thumb rule is: you will not get it if you do not ask. Whether in your current company (if you are unhappy with your salary) or facing an interview with a new company, speak up for the salary you want and back it up with the logic and information (that you have gathered from your research on the product owner salary package equaling where you stand).
5. Be Ready to Face Tough Questions
You could be facing difficult questions on salary as to why you are asking what you are asking. Prepare yourself to answer these questions articulately and convincingly.
6. Willing to Compromise
Negotiation does not mean taking a tough stand without balking. While knowing your worth is important, so essential is your malleability. Most employers will not be ready to meet your exact ‘asked salary’ in full. Be willing to agree and close the deal by settling for something in the middle.
Top Cities where Knowledgehut Conduct CSPO Certification Training Course Online
Product Owner Jobs
As per Indeed job portal, the best product owner companies are as below:
- Cognizant Technology
- Johnson & Johnson
- Fidelity Investments
- PwC Canada
In India, as per Simply Hired, the top companies that look for product owners are:
- Bosch Group
- Carrier Klimatechnik GmbH
- Industrial Scientific Corporation
- Zensar Technologies
- Deutsche Bank
Some of the good job portal sites to refer to are Indeed, Totaljobs, CWJobs, Glassdoor, Ziprecruiter and LinkedIn. While particularly for product owner jobs in India, the reliable job portals are Naukri, Instahyre, Glassdoor and LinkedIn.
How to Get a Product Owner Job?
The Product Owner role is often misunderstood, and companies differ in their job descriptions and expectations. It should be noted also that Scrum is not enough to succeed as a product owner, but much more than Scrum is required to build meaningful products. A product owner is a professional who is rather a value maximizer for the customers and the business. A few things that one can do to narrow down the chances of success in a product owner job search are:
A. Develop Relevant Product Management Knowledge
It is not possible to be a great product owner without adequate knowledge of product management. It can be had from reading books, articles and attending online courses on product management.
B. Scrum and Product Ownership
A good Agile product owner should be an expert at the use of an Agile framework (such as Scrum) as well as be able to set direction to generate valuable products. Therefore two areas of knowledge exploration would be Scrum (or another Agile framework) and Product Ownership.
A list of books to help in Scrum could be:
- Mastering Professional Scrum: A Practitioner’s Guide to Overcoming Challenges and Maximizing the Benefits of Agility
- Professional Scrum Team
- Agile Leadership Toolkit: Learning to Thrive with Self-Managing Teams
A list of Product Ownership readings could be:
- Professional Product Owner, The: Leveraging Scrum as a Competitive Advantage
- Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love
- The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses
- Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster
- Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice
C. Basic Understanding of Some Technicalities
Since a product owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product, some basic software engineering knowledge is helpful. It does not call for any technical expertise but some knowledge would be sufficient, for example, an understanding of what API is used for.
D. Getting a Product Owner Certification
It not only helps the participant with the necessary skills but also adding a line ‘Certified Product Owner’ beside the applicant’s name in resume could increase the interview chances up to 70%. It is because a certificate increases the credibility of the applicant.
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Product Owner Career Path
Here is a visualization of the most common career paths product owners take. The thick lines indicate the movement/transition popularity.
Here is a run-through of the product owner career path.
1. Senior Product Owner
The next step after becoming a product owner is to become a senior product owner. Because it is not a scrum role, this designation is not found in all types of companies, but mostly large companies with huge products and projects may have this role.
2. Scrum Master
Since this is a defined role in the scrum framework, scrum master jobs are quite common to come across. The main responsibilities include:
- Scrum team management.
- Acting as advisor and coach working with a product owner.
- Managing stakeholders, and guiding them.
3. Portfolio Owner/Manager
The role of a portfolio owner/manager is to own and manage a group of related products. This is a very common role in large companies that deal with multiple products, components, features, or platforms. To give an example, Microsoft Office is a product portfolio of various products like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more; with each product having its own product owner and a portfolio owner is the one who owns the entire Office.
The overall tasks of a product portfolio manager are:
- Portfolio management, maximizing the portfolio value.
- Collaborating with product owners, and managing product strategies and goals.
- Stakeholder collaboration.
- Collaborating with stakeholders.
4. Product Manager
A product manager drives and manages the long-term strategies of products instead of just focusing on value maximization and is in a more strategic and holistic role. As this is not a scrum role, hence this role seeks the support of a product owner and scrum master. This person takes care of product development, marketing, vision, and strategic objectives.
The core responsibilities include:
- Customer development, Product development and project management.
- Product vision and strategy, creating a product roadmap
- Market research, competitor analysis, pricing.
5. Product Director/ Director of Product Management
This senior management position holder manages and oversees all the product managers in a company, reporting to the head of the product. It is possible to become a product directly right after the product owner or senior product owner role in small companies. But in big organizations, one has to be a product manager first before climbing to this hierarchy.
Being a leadership role, a product director invests most of the time in leading, planning, and controlling, overlooking all the products. The key task list:
- Making long-term product plans and strategies.
- Collaborating with seniors, subordinates and stakeholders.
- Responsible for product vision, proposal development, execution and product line lifecycle.
- Overseeing marketing and consumer strategy.
6. Head of Product/ Vice President Product /Chief Product Officer
The last or the highest management level in a company that a product owner finally can reach. The exact designation or title varies depending on the size of the organization and the number of products that it owns.
7. Further Career Paths
Perhaps want to know that after you reach the chief product officer, if any other path is still available to you to undertake a new journey. Fortunately, there are several options available even after you reach the highest level in an organization
- Option of Chief executive officer (CEO) is the most ideal next-level title that you can aim for.
- Become an entrepreneur and start your own company.
- Giving consultancy services or training to companies.
- Become a venture capitalist or angel investor and start investing in software development companies.
Why Product Owners are Paid so Much?
Being a product owner as such is a challenging job. But the reality is, the world lacks enough qualified professionals to meet and match the market demand as shown in the above graphics.
Tons of responsibilities to handle, huge employer expectations (versus lack of supply) make businesses pay handsomely to product owners.
To wrap up, salary should not be the only driver for a product owner. The job is daunting, highly demanding, needing one hundred percent of one’s energy, efficiency and involvement. Due to this, product owners as such are scarce in the market and therefore highly paid. Focusing on the future career trajectory instead of the initial salary would be highly beneficial in the long run. Money will follow.