Product Owner Career Path

Are you thinking of becoming a Product Owner or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Product Owner, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Product Owner job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

How To Become a Product Owner

The Agile product owner plays a key role in the product development team. Product owners must manage the product backlog to create a shared understanding of problems and solutions within the team. Within the Scrum framework, product owners are responsible for providing direction to the development team. This includes assigning priority to needs, overseeing developmental stages, and anticipating clients' needs. In this article, we'll discuss five steps to become a product owner.


Get a bachelor's degree.

A bachelor's degree in computer science, IT, or a related field is best suited to a career as a product owner. This is a highly technical role. Your degree program should cover essential topics like computer engineering, software design, data structures, computer programming languages, and complex mathematics. It takes about four years to complete this type of program.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Product Owner?

97% of people working as a Product Owner earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Product Owner?

  • Agile Software Development
  • Agile Scrum
  • Backlog
  • Jira
  • Releases
  • Written Communication
  • UI UX
  • Frameworks
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Product Owner in the United States.


Gain project management experience.

Product owners typically need at least two years of project management experience. Agile is a unique approach to software development and project management, so it's crucial that you establish and hone your skills in planning, monitoring, and executing projects. You may gain this experience on the job or through volunteer efforts.


Complete Scrum training.

Agile product owners work within the Scrum framework, so you must complete training with this framework. Scrum offers a two-day course to become a Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO). You can follow this with the advanced two-day PSPO-A course. The Agile Academy offers Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) training and advanced A-CSPO training. Each of these courses takes 14 hours online or 16 hours on-site.


Get certified.

Through, you can pursue three levels of Professional Scrum Product Owner certification. The PSPO I and PSPO II certifications are awarded upon completion of 60-minute assessments. The PSPO III certification requires the completion of a 120-minute assessment. You can become a Certified Scrum Professional - Product Owner through the Agile Academy by completing another course of training that's 14 hours online or 16 hours in person. The A-CSPO training is a prerequisite. There is no exam.


Establish yourself in the Agile community.

In lieu of entry-level job experience, the best thing you can do to prepare yourself for a career as a product owner is to get well-established within the Agile community. You can do this by participating in meetups, conferences, and online groups. These activities may give you the opportunity to find a mentor.

Many companies value your contributions to the Agile community more than your certifications. So while a certification will help you learn how to excel at the role of product owner, it's your connections and accomplishments within the Agile community that will ultimately help you land the job. Participating in the Agile community will also give you some of the hands-on experience that you'll need in your first job as a product owner.

Seniority Levels


Product Owner

2 - 4Years of Experience
$107,450 /yrTotal Pay
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26% advanced to


Senior Product Owner

2 - 4Years of Experience
$124,495 /yrTotal Pay
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9% advanced to


Product Owner IV

5 - 7Years of Experience
$118,101 /yrTotal Pay
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Total Pay Trajectory

Product Owner Career Path

Seniority Levels

Related Careers in the Product & Project Management Industry

Interested in other Product & Project Management careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Product Owner skills. Discover some of the most common Product Owner career transitions, along with skills overlap.