Product Development Manager Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

By | September 1, 2023
Product Development Manager
Product Development Managers coordinate the creation and introduction of new products into the market.

This post presents complete information on the product development manager job description and career, including the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities of the role.

It also shows how to become a product development manager, the requirements you need to meet to be hired, and the various careers you can get into with a product development manager background.

It also provides information on the salary you can expect to earn as a product development manager and the benefits of the job.

Please, read on:

What Does a Product Development Manager Do?

A product development manager is a professional whose job description includes overseeing all aspects of the process that businesses use to create and introduce new products to the market.

Product development managers work in various industries where new products are constantly developed to meet the needs of the public, including the fashion, healthcare, information technology, and foods and beverages industries.

They must be creative, detail-oriented and must be able to multi-task.

If you want to work as a product development manager, you would be required to complete a four-year training program leading to bachelor’s degree in business, obtain a graduate school degree and gain practical experience.

Business concepts are very important to learn while you are in college studying to become a product development manager.

You will need to learn how to design products and pitch your new items to members of the public by investigating and knowing what consumers need and where they can be targeted.

These skills are mandatory to have to be able to perform the duties of the position effectively.

During your training program in school, you can choose to major in business with a special focus on marketing or entrepreneurship.

You might also take additional classes in areas such as chemical engineering and materials science depending on the kind of products that you are interested in producing, as these courses would be helpful in developing new healthcare and pharmaceuticals products.

You can acquire on the job experience of the position, such as the specific tasks, duties, and responsibilities the product development manager is expected to carry out by completing an internship in any industry of your choice.

If you are serious about becoming a product development manager, you will need to demonstrate to your superiors that you know how to analyze market trends and develop product proposals that can help the organization to make more profits.

Product Development Manager Job Description Example/Sample/Template

Below is an example of product development manager job description, which includes major duties, tasks, and responsibilities holders of the position usually perform.

  • Oversee product line and trend direction with the aim of creating a focused brand concept
  • Review merchandise line so as to ensure “harmony” with other brands of merchandise
  • Present brand concepts in all meetings with the management and review styles with merchants
  • Work closely with merchants at Concept Meeting on fabrics, colors, line plans and print choices
  • Identify and research patterns, fabrics, styles, seasonal color palettes, prints and details
  • Monitor on daily basis status of line development which includes design, production and technical design
  • Analyze all price quotes
  • Work with merchants in order to make sure that target costs are met
  • Understand yarn and fabric costs
  • Approve all yearns and fabrics for quality, weight, appearance and hand-feel, by using technical knowledge and formal guidelines
  • Approve prototype samples for construction style details
  • Prepare and initiate design specification packages to be given to Technical Design Department
  • Manage workflow from first sketch to the final placement of styles
  • Manage approval process of all patterns trims, strike offs and correct lab dips technically
  • Learn about customer’s dislikes and likes, and identify key styles by leveraging on buyers knowledge
  • Introduce testing of new concept and styles
  • Communicate with all overseas offices on daily basis
  • Hire, train, develop, and manage Assistant Product Managers

Product Development Manager Job Description for Resume

Writing a resume for product development manager position: the sample job description shown above provides the needed information for writing the employment history part of a resume for the post.

Product Development Manager Requirements: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for Career Success

Here are some of the skills, knowledge, and special abilities required to perform on this position effectively:

  • 2-4 years’ working experience in a product development role, preferably as a Product Manager
  • Must be creative
  • Must be a fast thinker
  • Must have eye for color
  • Must be a team player
  • Demonstrated ability to solve technical problems and partner with Planners, appropriate Buyers and others to effect solutions
  • Communication skills.

Product Development Manager Salary

The average annual salary for a product development manager is $110,877 per year.

The highest paying cities include San Francisco, CA, $141,223; Las Vegas, NV, $135,817; Seattle, WA, $120,592; Phoenix, AZ, $118,214; and Carrollton, TX, $114,298 per year.

In the United States, there are currently over 29,931 product development managers working.

Women make up 37.8% of all product development managers, while men make up 62.2%.

An employed product development manager is 38 years old on average.

White product development managers are the most common ethnicity (71.3%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (11.9%), Asian (9.7%), and Black or African American (4.3%).

Women were projected to earn 95% of what men would earn in 2021.

(Salary information sources:,,, and

product development manager career
With a product development manager background, you can work in various exciting and rewarding job positions, like senior product development manager, product optimization manager, and director of product development.

Product Development Manager Career Opportunities

There are different roles a product development manager can fill as they grow their career; these include:

  1. Senior Product Development Manager

A senior product development manager is a senior role that oversees the development of the product line, defines the project management approach, and aligns enterprise strategy to innovation objectives.

2. Product Optimization Manager

A product optimization manager is a role that provides guidance on how to optimize business operations by creating efficiencies.

Product optimization managers are usually responsible for creating an end-to-end efficiency model or process change plan.

In addition, they also manage the delivery of ongoing cost savings through changes on a day-to-day basis.

3. Product Development Director

A director of product development is a role that supervises the delivery of innovation initiatives and chooses related tools, technologies, and processes required to achieve an appropriate innovation strategy.

It consists of a mix of consulting, directing, managing, evaluating, and delivering products or services to customers or clients.

4. Senior Director of Product Development

A senior director of product development is a top level role that identifies market potential and turns it into successful products.

Also, they would lead the development of long-term product plans to maximize sales and profit returns.

5. Product Development Manager – New Business Unit

A product development manager – new business unit is responsible for developing a product or service that will lead to revenue generation.

This role is typically assigned to the most experienced product development managers, who need to be self-motivated in order to develop products that meet the needs and wants of their customers.

6. Product Management Manager – Corporate Enterprise

A product management manager – corporate enterprise is responsible for planning, directing, and managing the product or service innovation process from broad strategic vision to detailed plans and programs.

His or her job includes setting objectives, planning the processes and activities necessary to achieve those objectives; reviewing specific work units on a daily basis, identifying problems, and proposing solutions for modification.

7. Senior Vice President of Product Development and Innovation

A senior VP of product development and Innovation is responsible for developing products that can help drive profitability in the future.

Their job includes defining the requirements, identifying potential solutions, and measuring the success of their solutions.

They also create plans to ensure business plans are followed effectively.

Challenges faced by Product Development Managers on the Job

The challenges product development managers face in carrying out their work functions include:

  1. Changing Environment

A product development manager’s job involves constantly switching the environment of their field to adapt to the changing needs of customers.

A product development manager has to analyze the market and evaluate how products can meet customer demands.

The changing environment also involves analyzing suppliers and data analysis, which helps in making changes.

2. Workload

A product development manager will experience a high level of workload as it is not only about implementing plans and strategies but also about improving business processes, techniques, and tools.

3. Viability

Product development managers have to identify internal and external resources through which the products will be developed.

This can include product management, engineering, and marketing, and other related professionals who are needed to develop successful products.

Product development managers often work in combination with other people such as designers, engineers, and marketers.

These people need to work in tandem in order to develop a successful product that customers would be satisfied with.

How to Become a Product Development Manager

Here are steps you can take to become a product development manager if you are interested in the career:

  1. Research Product Development Manager Degrees

One of the first things to think about if you want to work in product development management is your level of education.

Bachelor’s degrees are held by 72.8% of product development managers.

In terms of higher education, Master’s degrees are held by 13.8% of product development managers.

Although a college degree is typically required to become a product development manager, one can still get into the career with just a high school diploma or GED.

2. Improve Product Development Manager Competencies

Before applying for a position, it would be a good idea to enhance your product development management skills and competences.

Product management and project management are abilities frequently mentioned in job descriptions for product development managers.

3. Finish Relevant Training or Internship

Product development managers put in an average of 1 to 3 months of on-the-job training after they are hired.

New product development managers gain the knowledge and abilities necessary for their particular position and employer throughout this time.

4. Know the Main Duties of the Job

Knowing the tasks and obligations expected of a product development manager is crucial before making the decision to pursue this career path.

Most product development manager positions include a few standard duties.

5. Get your Resume Ready

After verifying your qualifications and understanding the duties of the position, you may begin drafting your resume.

It can take hours, days, or even weeks to complete all that goes into writing the ideal resume or CV.

6. Submit a Product Development Manager Job Application

Now that your resume is prepared, it’s time to look for a new employment. Think about the following advice for a fruitful job search:

  • Search job boards for pertinent postings.
  • Consult your network of expert contacts.
  • Directly contact the businesses you’re interested in working for
  • Be wary of job scams.

Major Benefits of Product Development Manager Career

The benefits of a product development manager varies, some of these include:

  1. Flexible Schedules

Product development managers are required to work a normal day-to-day schedule, especially in management positions.

You may want to opt to work flexible schedules.

Flexible schedules help you to get more done in a day. With flexible schedules, you will be able to achieve more goals and reach objectives faster.

2. Good Salary

Product development managers have high average salaries because they have wide ranging skills and expertise.

They have the skills and expertise that make them successful in what they do, which enables them to command higher salaries than their counterparts who do not possess similar skills.

3. Employment Rate

The employment rate for product development managers is good.

There is increased demand for more products resulting from increasing purchasing power of an increasingly global society.

The demand for more products is also due to the fact that there are more companies looking for product development managers to help them bring new products to the market in a very short amount of time.

4. Work/Life Balance

The work-life balance for product development managers is good because it does not require you to be on-site at all times.

You will be required to perform some research online and meet with various professionals in different countries.

Product management requires you to have high-level thinking and problem solving skills.

You will also be required to interact with fellow product development managers and their employees.

As a result, you will be required to have a positive attitude and work towards the betterment of your team.

5. Satisfaction in Job Performance

Product development managers perform high-level jobs that require them to think critically and plan strategically.

With the ability to manage decision-making, product development managers are able to produce more effective products.

Product development managers have the ability to communicate their ideas effectively through separate team members and customers.

6. Respect and Recognition from Peers, Seniors, and Subordinates

Product development managers interact with people from all facets of the company, which creates a natural team-building environment.

Product development managers are respected because they are able to manage their team and create good products for the company.


Product development managers are expected to perform high-level jobs that require them to think critically and plan strategically, which allow them to produce more effective products.

This post is helpful to individuals interested in becoming a product development manager, to learn about the duties and responsibilities they perform, so that they can decide rightly if the product development manager career is best for them.

It is also useful to recruiters/employers in making a detailed job description for the product development manager role in their companies.