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Pricing managers are professionals who commonly work in marketing departments and who are responsible for determining how much products and services can be sold for. To become a pricing manager, it is essential in most cases to have an undergraduate degree in a field such as marketing or finance. In some instances, a person who wants to become a pricing manager might also gain a background in a field related to products he or she wants to sell. For example, a person who wants to become a pricing manager for a small software firm might earn a degree in computer engineering.
When pricing managers work for large organizations, they commonly act like marketing professionals. In other words, they might use market research and cost analysis or study market research related to their target demographics and to the behaviors of their competitors. After analyzing data or after learning the opinions of their consultants, pricing managers might work with financial professionals to determine realistic and effective costs that enable them to generate the greatest profit margins. Pricing managers who work at smaller businesses, on the other hand, might hire business intelligence analysts for advice and perform much research themselves by attending seminars, presentations, and trade shows where they can learn about new products related to their industries.
To become a pricing manager, it is essential to have a strong understanding of foundational business math and marketing ideas. It also is important to get some experience reading data, using various analysis models, and coming to informed decisions based on risk management and profitability. For many people, the best way to gain this understanding is to enroll in undergraduate programs in fields such as marketing, management, accounting, and finance. While marketing is a very common concentration for aspiring pricing managers, it also is common for people to pursue more specialized degrees while taking marketing classes as electives or choosing business minors.
A person who wants to become a pricing manager should plan on working in his or her industry, preferably in marketing and pricing departments, for at least five years. This kind of person should have substantial management or leadership training, and leadership experience usually is preferable. Some employers might prefer job candidates who have had experience as project managers for market research firms or in some other marketing analysis capacity. It also is common for a person who wants to become a pricing manager to get experience in financial modeling and license or contract analysis.