Associate Product Manager: A Comprehensive Guide (2021)

Ajay Ohri


With many innovative businesses flourishing in the past few decades, there is a lot of emphasis on how to manage the different products and take them to the relevant customers. This has created a steep demand for product managers. The product managers are involved in planning and executing product development and are associated with the product through its complete life cycle. More and more companies are looking forward to hiring experienced product managers and an easy path to becoming an efficient product manager is through an associate product manager. This is one of the best ways to launch into the career trajectory of project managers and to learn their roles and responsibilities.

This guide to associate product manager covers various aspects of associate product manager jobs including their roles and responsibilities, job description, and salary. 

  1. Associate Product Manager Definition
  2. Roles of Associate Product Manager
  3. Salary of Associate Product Manager
  4. Associate Product Manager Job Description 

1. Associate Product Manager Definition

As the name suggests, an associate product manager is an apprentice to the product manager. So, the associate product manager definition and the role is an extension of the product manager’s and similar to a product manager, an associate product manager is a professional in charge of evaluating and making recommendations on all aspects of a company’s products throughout the entire life cycle of the products.

As an associate product manager, the responsibilities include assisting the product manager in planning, guiding, and delivering new products successfully. They do everything that a product manager does minus the stress of having complete accountability. This gives the associate product manager leverage to learn the skills of becoming a successful product manager.    

2. Roles of Associate Product Manager

Now that you have an understanding of what an associate product manager is, let us look at the role of an associate product manager.

Even though the straightforward role of an associate product manager (APM) is to assist the product manager, many companies have different versions of the role and responsibilities of an APM.  In this section, we will throw light on some of the common associate product manager roles.

As discussed earlier, the associate product managers assist and work with their senior product managers in all aspects to bring them closer to achieving the defined product vision. An associate works with one or more product managers and enable them to do their work more efficiently and support them through various stages of the product life cycle. Their responsibilities include a lot of things such as

  • Conducting Market Research:  One of the key associate product manager roles is to conduct quantitative and qualitative product data as well as metrics through thorough market research. This usually takes place in the first stage of determining the marketability of the product.
  • Analyzing the Research Data: The Associate Product Manager analyzes the collected market metrics and synthesizes the market research data to define the new product features. He works with both the management team and the development team to determine and align the product goals at this stage. 
  • Developing Product Strategies: The associate product manager helps in developing a winning product strategy to enable easy execution. The APM works with the PM for defining goals to lead their team towards a successful product.   
  • Developing the Roadmap: The APM coordinates with the stakeholders and developers to decide the roadmap of the product lifecycle and achieves the product vision. 
  • New Product Features: The project management team constantly endeavors to add new product features by taking into consideration the inputs of management, stakeholders, and end consumers and works with the developer team to induce them in the end product.

In terms of product responsibility, the associate project manager works for the Project manager to achieve the set goals. 

3. Salary of Associate Product Manager

Many factors determine the pay scale of an associate product manager. The salary will depend on factors like the company pay scale, job description, location of the company, industry, and the applicant’s experience. Like in any other industry, areas, where the cost of living is higher, tend to pay a higher salary. Similarly, a job with a broader job description will tend to pay more than a limited role. The software industry tends to pay more than the other industries and a person will many years of experience be paid more than a fresh candidate. 

An associate project manager’s salary will be based on the role they take up and the experience they have on hand and will often strike a balance between all of the above factors. According to, an associate project manager is paid â‚¹ 5,45,540/- per year on average. These managers have a tenure of 1-3 years. According to, an associate project manager salary ranges from â‚¹ 9,00,000/- to ₹13,50,000/- per annum with an average salary of ₹ 11,50,000/- for an experienced project manager. 

Many organizations capture talent early on. Since experienced product managers are highly paid and difficult to find, the organizations hire associate product managers and then train them to be project managers. In these cases, even though you will be hired at an average industry salary, you will grow to be a project manager very soon. 

4. Associate Product Manager Job Description 

Apart from the prerequisite educational qualification, the job description of an associate product manager also requires you to have many soft skills to work your way through team dynamics.  The preparation for this role is similar to the preparation for the role of product manager. Also, the job description will depend on the scope of the role of the associate product manager. Some companies hire then to assist one or more associate managers and some hire them as an intern with lesser scope. Regardless of the scope, the following are some of the important skills and qualities that are expected in a competent associate product manager. 

Communication Skills: An associate product manager needs to exhibit strong communication skills to keep the stakeholders, developers, and end-users on the same page during the product life cycle. 

Analytical Skills: An APM needs to analyze market research data to determine new product ideas, features, and feasibility. He needs to demonstrate excellent analytical skills for the same. 

Master Time Management: Time constraint is the one constant that an associate product manager needs to work with. He should have the knack to manage deadlines and push towards meeting them. 

Decision-making skills: During a product development life cycle, an associate product manager will need to make decisions regarding the product features, user requirements, developer limitations, and stakeholders’ recommendations. He needs to exhibit excellent decision-making skills in prioritizing the various conflicting needs and requests during critical phases. 


The journey towards becoming an associate product manager takes futuristic planning and a desire to enter the project management discipline along with a relevant educational qualification. The associate product manager role will get you started on the product management career path and will build a strong foundation of knowledge as well as experience in product management.

An associate product manager is a perfect position to work your way up to a senior product manager or a more specialized role such as a product marketing manager. 

Interested to learn all about Product Management from the best minds in the industry? Check out our Product Management Course. This 6-month-long program takes place online through live instructor-led sessions. It is the only program in India that offers the ‘Bring Your Own Product (BYOP)’ feature so that learners can build their product idea into a full-blown product, and go through an entire Product Development lifecycle. Not only this, but this is the only program in India with a curriculum that conforms to the 5i Framework. Post completion, learners receive a joint certification from the Indian Institute of Management, Indore, and Jigsaw Academy. 

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