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Career Definition of a Product Innovation Manager
Product innovation managers specialize in overseeing the identification, development, and production of new products for an organization. They must ensure ideas are both technically and commercially viable. Product innovation managers are needed in a variety of industries, including manufacturing companies and food production. They typically work full-time in an office or laboratory setting, but may also spend time in manufacturing facilities.
A product innovation manager drives the development process from idea to implementation to ensure products meet customers' needs. Other job duties can include determining cost efficient production methods, overseeing the layout of product innovation test equipment on production floors, and ensuring that new products are in compliance with federal regulations. Product innovation managers may collaborate with executive management to better understand an organization's target market and overall business strategy. They may also conduct customer research activities to determine gaps in service. Product innovation managers can oversee the creation of research and development technical literature and the transition to product development personnel.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Creativity, strong interpersonal skills, and excellent analytical abilities|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$78,060 (product development manager)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||10% (marketing managers)|
Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Individuals will need a bachelor's degree in marketing, business, or an engineering field to work as a product innovation manager, with some employers preferring a master's degree. Relevant work experience within a research and development department will be beneficial. Interested individuals can opt to join a professional organization like the Product Development and Management Association. The organization is the only one of its kind that focuses on the full lifecycle of product development and management activities, chief among them innovation.
Creativity is one of the most essential skills for a product innovation manager, since they are responsible for developing new products for an organization. Product innovation managers must have a strong understanding of customers' needs in order to develop products to meet those needs. They should also have strong interpersonal skills in order to collaborate with research and development or marketing personnel and organizational stakeholders. Product innovation managers will need excellent analytical abilities to utilize market trends and customer data in their development of new products.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect statistics on product innovation managers; however, they reported a 10% job growth for the category of marketing managers during 2016-2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations. In October 2017, PayScale reported a median annual salary of $78,060 for product development managers.
Individuals considering a career as a product innovation manager might also be interested in one of the related careers profiled below. They offer candidates the opportunity to utilize their skills in other technical or creative positions.