Why product managers get paid more than software engineers
Why product managers get paid more than software engineers

Do product managers get paid more than software engineers? In this article we share insight, answers and reasons why product managers get paid more than software engineers. Answers are for those who have taken time to ask who earns more between a product manager and a developer which is one of the most commonly asked questions online which has led to a debate. Some people say product manager is away better than software engineering, others have also opposed this statement. After reading this article, please leave a comment down below on what you think about this?

Difference between Product managers and Software engineers

What does a product manager does? Well, most companies and organizations in the world, especially USA employee product managers. Product managers are people or a person that identifies the customer needs. Remember business is about providing a product and demand is something that is based on the what the customer needs.

First lets understand the difference between Product managers and Software engineers there job roles, duties and responsibilities.

  • Product managers

Product managers understand the larger business objectives and needs of a customer, features that a product must have in order to fulfil the customer expectations. Product mangers manager a product, company market or service, sometimes these people help with organization planning and policy formulation that will boost the business.

  • Software engineers

What does a Software Engineer do, basically Software engineers are that design and create computer systems, web applications, desktop and mobile applications to solve real-world problems. Software engineers, are sometimes called software developers. A software is just a series of instructions given to a computer, also called a program to execute a series of instructions which performs something in the end or completes a task. create software for computers and applications.

Examples of software’s in project management

An example of project management software is an online management software, whi9ch helps managers to plan schedule and manage project risk. For instance in project management a risk can be allocated based on its impact. The risk allocation matrix software lists risks which are often sorted by category and defines who bears each risk. This risk allocation is then put into consideration by designing way to deal, manage risk or avoid such a risk based on its impact level (Read more). Categories of collaboration software and management software, includes Zoho Projects, Microsoft Project, and Basecamp.

Is Product Manager higher than software engineer?

Most companies in the USA, UK and some parts of Asia product managers generally earn more than software engineers. But in general a good software engineer earns more than a mediocre manager due to being much more experienced in that field.

Therefore to answer the question of who earns more money between the software engineer and product manager. Reasons why product managers get paid more than software engineers, is due to the most important things is knowledge and experience that they have on the job and value to the organization.

Why do product managers get paid a lot?

Product management is a very well-paid job, due to its complexity and requirements that a job comes with. Most product managers are people who have understood the needs of a customer and sometimes given responsibility to make suggestions on products. A product manager’s salary is primarily based on years of experience, job location and skills. 

Highest salary of a product manager

The average annual salary for product managers can range from $65,000 to $200,000 per year. According to 2022 survey carried out, based on new data retrieved from companies with product managers. It indicated in the US salaries for product managers range from $28,000 to $525,000 , with a median salary of $121,000.

The highest salary for a Product Manager in India can earn is ₹38.0 Lakhs per year. But product managers at Google, Workday, Walmart, and Amazon, earn between $155,000 to $166,000.

Product managers organize specifications of a product

For example product managers organize the specifications of a product. This can also be a software which the company wants to put out on the market. Today in California the same data showed that software engineers working together with managers are making serious cash, especially when working for companies like Google and Facebook who are buying up all the top talent.

In a balanced market though senior software engineers get paid a little more than product managers, but product managers will be better set to jump to a VP or director role which will reap better salary growth long-term. Many senior developers I know are quite content ‘topping out’ in the senior developer role as it is relatively low stress and still pays very well.

Couple of people shared the relative organizational value been the reason as to why product managers earn more than software engineers. But a brilliant developer earns probably 5 times more than a product manager and especially if they have a high productive level of thinking and doing some freelance works as a side hustle to make more revenue.

In USA super-developers working 60 hour weeks make more money, but for any software to make money a good product manager is somehow involved to give them requirements that the market wants. A good product and project manager makes more money, with less effort and working with a small team of 5 – 10 people.

Many people jump from developer to product manager for that reason, because it gives them more influence over the success of an organization. But this depends on the company, based on the experience I have had working as a product manager, a talented software engineer has a higher value, but not more than a product manager. Its harder to replace a very good talented product manager.

Product managers Vs Software Engineers

Product managers rarely get paid more than Software Engineers, when at the same “level” and especially i working under the same department. Research from companies like Google, Amazon, showed that product managers make about 7–15% more money on an average for the same level roles.

In startups product momagers rarely get paid more than senior engineers. But the world has way too many mediocre product managers and too many times Engineers have far better insights on what the product must do next.

Product momagers that are emotionally attached to their ideas have a way of thinking deep, go round in the industry at the time, eventually make more as there are more carrier paths for growth (software engineers can move to management but that’s a change in role).

Many product managers have been entrepreneurs, and have a required critical thinking talents honed. There’s more demand for product managers today than software engineers especially in big corporations and not just some small company. If you have a team of 40+ software engineers, you only need one really great product manager. The average product manager is in demand than software engineer.

Product managers tend to be drawn from the pool software engineers. Most best companies (Facebook, Google, Intel, etc.) tend to have engineers as their CEOs. Microsoft famously stumbled after making a product manager by the name of Steve Ballmer (sales) into the CEO position. You might think that after all the experience that he had would be a capable person for the job but it did not turn out as expected.

Is it better to be a PM or software engineer?

To conclude: Both positions are good and each has its own advantage and disadvantage. If writing elegant code is your true passion, becoming a software engineer is not such a bad thing. On the other side, if you want to be in charge of tasks, organizing, planning and working beyond software development, then you must choose product manager. But the truth of the matter is that, every company that has software engineers will always need a product manager, but not every company requires a software engineer.

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