Product coordinators are the ones who put product ideas into action. Thoughtfully arranged and organized plans are typically successful when manufacturing and marketing a product. Product coordinators not only follow the road map for a product but also create stopping points, prepare for problems, and have a strategy for potential adjustments. These tasks require specific skills, knowledge, and forethought to predict what a production schedule will need based on factors ranging from customer demand to cost.
A product coordinator ensures that product development goals, milestones, budgets, and timelines are met and accurately executed according to the product manager's development plans. Product coordinators also conduct extensive preliminary research that product managers use to create plans. Product coordinators create, manage, and execute the lifecycle plan using project management software and tools for a product’s development and launch. This means collaborating with different teams, from manufacturing to marketing, to ensure timely and accurate development for product launches. They also track project timeline progress and quality assurance while ensuring sufficient resources and employees are in place to support the plan.
The main difference between product coordinators and project managers is that a product coordinator executes the steps of product development and creates timelines to ensure the product development steps. In contrast, a product manager manages and oversees the process. There may be some overlap between these two professions. In most cases, a product coordinator reports to a product manager.
Product coordinators must predict the needs of a product's inception and deployment based on market research, costs, industry trends, and more. Product coordinators play an integral role in ensuring a product reflects the company’s brand, meets the target consumer's needs, and brings profitability to the company. They also may have the following duties.
Determine pricing for a product based on cost analysis and create pricing quotes based on research.
Review product design and suggest changes based on market research, competitors, and industry trends.
Determine the best method to distribute a product and oversee the entire product launch process, including sample distribution.
Create and manage production timelines using project tracking software and communicate project deadlines with all involved parties.
Ensure the project development process stays within the set project budget and make changes as needed.
Hold incremental meetings with involved parties and management to provide updates on project progress and communicate the project's status.
Organize and file documents critical for production, such as pricing estimates, purchase orders, invoices, and vendor/supplier contracts.
Create quality assurance checkpoints and alerts throughout the production timeline and report quality concerns to management.
Careers in product development and product management require an ability to manage products and people. A project's complete life cycle includes multiple touch points from various people with varying specialties. Product coordinators need to understand how to effectively communicate with all parties working on a product and devise a plan for developing and launching a product with a support system in place.
Since product coordinators work with so many different people through the process of product development, empathy, compassion, and the ability to collaborate are essential personal skills to have. A teamwork mentality and positive attitude will help product coordinators motivate employees and keep everyone working together toward a common goal. Time management and the ability to multitask are also key product coordinator skills.
Knowledge of the complete product lifecycle is essential for product coordinator jobs. Product coordinators are experts in production management and will likely need technical skills like market research, data analysis, A/B testing, software development, prototyping, and database management. You'll likely need to use Agile methodology and product management software to ensure results are on target with customer expectations.
Read more: What Is Agile? And When to Use It
The work environment for product coordinators can vary, but you’ll typically work for manufacturing, distribution, or related companies. Working conditions for product coordinators are usually indoors in an office setting. There may be some traveling involved, particularly with customers or media outlets for product promotions.
To become a product coordinator, you’ll need to meet the education requirements and seek ways to set yourself apart through specializations, certifications, or online courses that demonstrate knowledge of essential product coordinator skills. Experience in business, management, or related fields can improve your employability at larger companies and may be beneficial for meeting your long-term career goals.
A high school diploma or GED is the base requirement to start as a product coordinator. Since the educational requirements are not consistent across employers hiring product coordinators, getting hired with only your high school diploma/GED may be possible. It’s also a requirement to hold this academic credential to move on to obtain your bachelor’s degree if you choose to pursue that route.
In some cases, a formal degree is not required, but it’s highly suggested if you want to pursue this profession long-term or advance to a management role like a product manager. Many product coordinators hold a degree in business administration, engineering, or a related field.
Since the educational requirements can vary for this profession, many prospective product coordinators enroll in specialized courses to learn the necessary skills to work in this profession. While no professional certifications explicitly designed for product coordinators exist, product managers have many certifications. Product coordinators can earn certification in software systems, product management methodologies, or related professional skills.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers several levels of Agile certification ideal for product coordinators, including Disciplined Agile Scrum Master, PMI Certified Agile Practitioner and Disciplined Value Stream Agile Consultant Certification.
On Coursera, many certificate programs specialize in specific project management tools and methods a product coordinator will likely use, such as Agile Project Management, Google Project Management, and DevOps, Cloud, and Agile Foundations Specialization.
APMG International provides training in Agile techniques and ways to manage the lifecycle of an Agile project through the Agile Project Manager (AgilePM ® ) certification.
Many product coordinators start in entry-level positions like sales associates, customer service reps, or administrative assistants. The goal is to earn experience that can build product coordinators' daily skills. Research skills and qualifications and align professional experience with the needs of employers who may be hiring product coordinators. Another common route for potential coordinators is a start in sales and marketing since most of their tasks are market research, cost analysis, and product launches in line with brand messaging.
When you feel confident in your qualifications as a potential product coordinator, it’s time to research jobs and start the application process. Many employers are moving to Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software to find the best applicant. You may find success uploading your resume to online job sites or professional social networks like LinkedIn. Make sure you optimize your resume with keywords relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Prepare your product coordinator resume with essential product coordinator skills you hold, related achievements (certifications, accolades, etc.), relevant experience, and education. List your relevant experience first, and use action verbs throughout your resume to give employers an idea of your skills and qualifications.
The average annual salary for a product coordinator working in the US is $45,425 a year . This is the base pay average for this role and does not include additional income from cash bonuses or commissions. Expect factors like education, skill set, years of experience, location, the company, and certification to affect your earnings as a product coordinator.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career outlook for product coordinators and related jobs in product management is expected to increase 10 percent in this decade, a rate higher than the national average . The continual rise of digital media has impacted the demand for product coordinators and product managers. Companies need positions like these to launch effective marketing campaigns and achieve accurate pricing for products and the production process.
Learn in-demand skills and methodology used by top product coordinators. On Coursera, you can choose specific courses focusing on product coordinator skills that look great on product coordinator resumes. Courses like Supply Chain Management: A Learning Perspective teach the foundational elements of a product supply chain.
If you already have some experience in product management or want to work in the tech industry, a course such as Real World Product Management would be an ideal way to learn new and innovative techniques in product management and coordination. Enroll today, build your resume, and set your career goals in place.
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1. Glassdoor. “Product Coordinator Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-product-coordinator-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,22.htm." Accessed June 18, 2022.
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook Advertising, Promotional, and Marketing Managers, Job Outlook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm#tab-6." Accessed June 19, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.