Chief Product Officer: Job Description & Salary

Chief product officers provide leadership concerning product development and promotion so that their company increases revenue. They determine consumer needs and take steps to ensure products are successful. Read on to learn more about this career.

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Career Definition of a Chief Product Officer

Chief product officers are innovative business professionals who help shape product development. They can help form a bridge between companies and their clients by assessing consumer needs and determining which types of products are likely to experience high demand. They make recommendations about product development and product development strategies that are intended to ensure their company increases revenue through sales of the products that are developed. They meet with board members or investors and make presentations about their proposals as part of their duties.

Chief product officers are not only involved in developing ideas for new products. They also help determine how much the product will cost. They are involved with the products from the idea stage through to the marketing campaign after the products are released.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree; master's or doctoral degree preferred
Job Skills Leadership skills, analytical skills, communication skills, programming skills, marketing experience, problem-solving skills, public speaking skills, teamwork skills, strong interpersonal skills, creativity
Median Salary (2017)* $173,868
Job Outlook (2014-2024)** 19% (for all market research analysts)

Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

The minimum education requirement to become a chief product officer is to have a bachelor's degree. Many employers prefer applicants who have a master's or doctoral degree. Employers look for applicants who have experience in product development, analytics, business, computer programming, or sales. Qualified applicants will have degrees in business, economics, computer science or a comparable subject area.

Required Skills

Chief product officers have to assess a lot of information to determine the likelihood that a product will be successful and meet sales expectations. They use this data to help determine things like how much consumers will be willing to pay for the product and to do this they need strong analytical skills. They also need to be leaders with management experience because they may be involved with training staff who are working on a specific product or marketing campaign. They make presentations so they need to be good at public speaking and must have strong written and oral communication skills. They also need to be able to resolve issues in order to make their plans successful, so they need problem-solving skills.

Career and Salary Outlook

Chief product officers are not listed separately by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) so to assess their job outlook it's necessary to refer to the information for market research analysts. These professionals should see a 19% job growth rate from 2014 to 2024. PayScale reported that in 2017 chief product officers received median annual salaries of $173,868.

Related Careers

This list of links leads to articles about occupations that have similarities to what chief product officers do. Those interested in this career field may also be interested in being a marketing executive, an international sales manager or an economist.

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