Highest Paying Business Administration Jobs

highest paying jobs with a business administration degree

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Careers in business administration are often highly sought-after due to the professional advancement opportunities and competitive pay they offer. Work is available across a wide variety of industries, though jobs are most readily available in business, management, finance, leadership, and marketing.

Earning a degree in this field can be extremely beneficial when unsure what career pathway to pursue. The knowledge and skills gains are often easy to transfer between professions, making graduates marketable with business and organizations in various sectors. Those with advanced degrees and/or many years of professional experience tend to be in high demand.

Business administration professionals generally earn decent wages, although salary potential varies significantly by location. States with the most lucrative employment options include California, New York, Washington, Colorado, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, and Minnesota. States with the lowest annual mean wage for business and financial operations occupations include Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arizona, West Virginia, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Idaho. However, that second list includes some states that have lower costs of living, as well.

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How to Prepare for a Business Administration Career

Some level of higher education is generally required to obtain a career in business administration. While a limited number of entry-level opportunities may be available to those with high school diplomas or GEDs, these positions tend to pay significantly less. The lowest level of higher education available in this field is an associate business degree. Generally offered by community colleges, these programs are notable because they tend to cost less than traditional four-year options. They often consist of 60 credit hours of coursework that take students approximately two years to complete. Students typically receive a broad introduction to various liberal arts topics, as well as receive instruction in basic management principles and business-oriented theories.

In most cases, those planning to pursue business administration careers choose to earn bachelor’s business degrees. These programs usually consist of 120 credit hours of coursework that take full-time students approximately four years to complete. Students can generally expect to develop the knowledge and skills needed to find work in numerous industries. Curriculums vary, but those enrolled are likely to learn about various financial concepts, financial records, technology, and management tools. You should also gain problem solving skills, analytical skills, critical thinking skills, leadership skills, and various other business skills.

While a bachelor’s degree in business administration can lead to jobs as a personal financial advisor, chief financial officer, management consultant, project management specialists, market research analysts, supply chain managers, accountants, auditors, budget analysts, management analysts, marketing managers, cost estimators, human resource specialists, financial managers, chief executives, and other business jobs - many professionals with a successful career in the business world opt to continue their education by enrolling in further education. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is one of the most popular graduate programs in the United States. Most of these programs are made up of between 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately two years to complete. Accelerated options do exist, however. In addition to studying key topics in greater depth, students can expect to learn more about functional business and organization operations. Graduates are generally considered to be better qualified for most jobs. As a result, they often have more employment opportunities and earn higher salaries.

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Those seeking even more advanced positions in the field may benefit from enrolling in doctorate or PhD programs. A business degree at this level generally consist of between 90 and 120 credit hours and take full-time students four to seven years to complete. This level of education is most appropriate when preparing for positions in business research and/or higher education.

Business Administration Education and Jobs Outlook

Is a Degree in Business Administration Worth It?

Individuals interested in pursuing employment related to business, management, finance, leadership, and/or marketing will find a bachelor's degree in business administration most worthwhile. This is a highly popular major, likely due to its versatility in the workplace. Graduates not only gain the knowledge and skills needed to secure positions with companies and organizations in the sectors mentioned above, but often qualify for occupations across almost every other industry, as well.

With so many career options available after graduation, a bachelor's degree in business administration is generally considered a good investment. While there are several factors likely to impact growth in this field, the primary contributors are the continually changing economy and complex taxation regulatory system. Opportunities are also expected to be prevalent as companies continue to use business data and market research to better understand their clients, customers, and product demand.

As previously mentioned, it may be possible to obtain entry-level employment in business-related professions without a degree. Most employers in the field, however, expect candidates to possess some level of higher education. The best-paying positions necessitate degrees in relevant subject areas that will teach you about financial reports, financial health, etc. And, if you choose to earn a master's degree in business administration or another business degree, you can choose a concentration area to focus your future career. Options include human resources, supply chain management, business operations management, international business, financial management, and other degrees that aid business professionals of all kinds.

Job Outlook in Business Administration

Overall, the outlook for business and financial occupations is fair. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), employment for workers in this field is projected to grow by 7% from 2021 to 2031. This is as fast as the average for all professions in the United States and will result in about 715,100 new job openings nationwide.

It’s important to realize that projections vary by job, with some professions expected to perform better than others. For example, growth for budget analysts is only 3%, while employment for personal financial advisors is expected to increase by 15%. You will need to research your specific area of interest to gain a more accurate understanding of employment outlook.

How to Get a Job in Business Administration

The first step to getting a job in business administration is identifying your ultimate career goals. A large part of this is determining which occupation within the field you prefer. As stated previously, there are many different professional opportunities available. Each position has unique education standards and hiring expectations, which you will need to become familiar with. Narrowing your focus can make researching these details easier and will ensure you know how to obtain the employment of your choice. Understanding hiring requirements is especially important when it comes to picking major and minor areas of study, elective courses, internships positions, extracurricular activities, and/or professional certifications.

After obtaining the necessary degree in business administration, it may be beneficial to pursue associated professional credentials. There are many certifications and licenses that are relevant to this field. There is no single credential that is best. Instead, you are generally free to work towards those most applicable or personally fulfilling.

A background in business administration can also provide a strong foundation for establishing your own company or organization. Requirements for this will vary by state. As a result, you will also need to research the various rules and regulations associated with the process, submit all necessary documentation, and obtain a federal tax identification number. Depending on the type of business, you may be expected to secure additional permits and licenses as well.

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Well-Paying Business Administration Jobs

There are many jobs in business administration that offer high salary potential. As previously mentioned, however, pay varies significantly across the field depending on the occupation selected. Some of the best-paying career opportunities available include the following.

  • Chief Accounting Officer (CAO) - $195,437
    Chief accounting officers oversee entire accounting departments for companies and organizations. They are often responsible for all accounting operations and financial reporting functions, as well as providing supervision for all accounting and administrative staff. These professionals also ensure procedures are followed correctly and that activities adhere to various regulatory rules and regulations.
  • Chief Investment Officer (CIO) - $187,874
    Chief investment officers take steps in order to raise capital for the companies and organizations that employ them. They are also responsible for negotiating investment deals on behalf of their employers, as well as managing fund portfolios intended to increase overall profits. These professionals are also likely to spend time researching investment options, providing advice regarding spending actions, sharing important financial knowledge, developing investment objectives, establishing new policies, and reviewing internal investment operations staff and procedures.
  • Emergency Management Director - $161,105
    Emergency management directors develop and oversee emergency response plans for their employers. Responsibilities vary but often include a wide variety of duties associated with hazard assessment, policy development, employee training, facility maintenance, and emergency response leadership. They spend a lot of time calculating the likelihood of various situations, studying prevention techniques, creating evacuation maps, demonstrating how to use safety equipment, completing inspections, and distributing informative resources.
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO) - $159,900
    Chief executive officers oversee entire companies and organizations, making the vast majority of business-related decisions. Duties differ depending on the industry but include leading, guiding, and managing the job performance of other high-ranking employees. They may also formulate strategic plans, address the direction of the company, and ensure worker activities align with the overall company vision.
  • Chief Operating Officer (COO) - $146,420
    Chief operating officers oversee the daily operations of companies and organizations. Generally second in command, these professionals set standards and take steps to ensure processes, training, and output quality reflect them. They are also responsible for upholding their employer’s vision and verifying that departments have sufficient resources to meet established expectations.

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  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO) - $145,060
    Chief financial officers manage financial operations for companies and organizations, often by overseeing accounting and finance departments. They work to ensure activities in these areas are completed accurately and efficiently in compliance with all applicable laws and business standards. They are also responsible for projecting a favorable image while saving money whenever possible.
  • Chief Credit Officer - $144,186
    Chief credit officers develop and manage credit strategies for companies and organizations. They have many duties, including developing credit risk assessments and overseeing loan portfolios in order to maintain high-quality borrowing standards. They may also implement various risk-management strategies, supervise subordinates, and maintain relationships with key financial entities.
  • Vice President of Finance - $143,458
    Vice presidents of finance take various steps to keep companies and organizations profitable and in compliance with all government regulations. They spend a lot of time coordinating budgets, which often entails setting goals and figuring out ways to keep spending low, and they oversee the work carried out by finance department employees, manage financial reporting, accounting, daily operations, and monthly results.
  • Internal Audit Director - $136,582
    Internal audit directors evaluate and optimize financial functions using internal company resources and employees. They are often responsible creating departmental risk reports, conducting internal audits, coordinating interdepartmental strategies, and establishing quality assurance standards. These professionals typically work directly with employees, as well as company and organization management.
  • Computer and Information Systems Manager - $127,060
    Computer and information systems managers are responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing computer-related activities for companies and organizations. They help develop information technology goals and then take steps to ensure they are met and may spend time analyzing computer needs, recommending possible upgrades, ensuring network security, performing cost and benefits analysis, overseeing the work of other professionals, and negotiating prices with vendors.
  • Lodging Manager - $114,006
    Lodging managers are responsible for ensuring that guests have pleasant experiences at hotels, motels, and other forms of accommodation. They spend most of their time planning, directing, and coordinating activities, as well as establishing procedures that make facilities more efficient and profitable. They may also inspect guest rooms, answer questions, hire staff members, set budgets, and resolve problems.
  • Regulatory Affairs Manager - $108,879
    Regulatory affairs managers review manufacturing, testing, and marketing policies in order to ensure they are efficient and safe. They are also responsible for verifying activities comply with all regulatory statues at the state, national, or international levels. They provide upper management with advice regarding relevant regulatory developments.
  • Budget Director - $103,937
    Budget directors oversee budget implementation for companies. They often analyze budget proposals provided by various departments before approving overall disbursements based on program priority and may help identify ways to cut spending, direct daily spending activities, and/or develop long-term plans for fiscal success based on data analysis.
  • Natural Sciences Manager - $93,460
    Natural sciences managers are responsible for supervising the work of scientists such as chemists, physicists, and biologists. They spend most of their time directing research activities and coordinating tests, quality control efforts, and production and may budget resources, hire/supervise staff members, monitor project progress, ensure equipment is stocked, provide technical assistance, and communicate research findings.
  • Risk Manager - $92,852
    Risk managers check a wide variety of potential threat areas for organizations, providing guidance for all hazards detected. They may assess financial or material risks and assess adherence to safety policies. Depending on the situation, they may also perform staff audits, recommend policy changes, and provide training.
  • Management Consultant - $92,320
    Management consultants take steps to help companies improve their productivity, management, and overall public image. They often start this process by identifying problems and potential risks and then they use various strategies and techniques to help overcome the identified issues.
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager - $92,144
    Compensation and benefits managers are responsible for planning, developing, and overseeing employee payment programs for employers. They are typically responsible for coordinating and supervising staff work activities, as well as establishing pay and benefits structures. They may also choose benefits vendors, oversee information distribution, maintain budgets, and ensure plans comply with federal and state regulations.
  • Information Technology Manager - $90,222
    Information technology managers oversee the computer infrastructure for companies. This often entails supervising various worker teams responsible for network technology, information technology security, and software platforms. They may also be tasked with establishing data storage infrastructure and assessing various protocols and rules.
  • Training and Development Manager - $80,873
    Training and development managers are responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing programs that enhance the knowledge and skills of staff members. They often start by assessing worker needs, organizational goals, and budget expectations. They develop and implement appropriate programs by reviewing and/or selecting materials and ensuring information is relevant. Taking steps to evaluate training effectiveness is also common.
  • Risk Management Specialist - $78,818
    Risk management specialists take various steps to minimize financial risk for their employers, often in relation to safety and material loss. They typically work to develop comprehensive management plans and to direct the implementation of their final products. They may also coordinate benefits and re-integration for injured workers.

Other Business Career Options

There are many other professions available to individuals with a background in business administration, as well. Even those with limited education and experience may be able to find entry-level employment. It’s important to realize, however, that some jobs are more closely related to business than others. Some of these opportunities are only tangentially connected to the field. Regardless, these occupations can function as a way to enter the workforce, gain experience, and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for more advanced employment in the future.

  • Advertising Manager - $78,468
    Advertising managers plan and execute promotional programs for companies and organizations. They often coordinate tasks and scheduling with subordinates to ensure goals and deadlines are met and they are typically responsible for assigning, supervising, and reviewing activities, as well as interacting with internal and external partners to develop more effective campaigns.
  • Industrial Production Manager - $74,278
    Industrial production managers ensure plants and factories achieve sufficient quality output. They oversee a wide variety of operations and evaluate production equipment and procedures. In some cases, their findings lead them to make modifications in order to enhance production. They may also lead trainings, troubleshoot machine repairs, or provide assistance when needed.
  • Medical and Health Services Manager - $72,702
    Medical and health services managers oversee all or a portion of assigned medical facilities. They work in hospitals and small medical practices performing various clerical tasks. Responsibilities commonly include accounting, creating budgets, devising rate plans, and generating reports, but they may also establish new health programs, pinpoint important training areas, and implement worker education opportunities.
  • Purchasing Manager - $72,194
    Purchasing managers strive to find productive cost savings opportunities for their employers. This can entail reviewing proposals for new projects, interacting regularly with marketing teams, and developing various marking strategies. They may also handle contract negotiations, maintain relations with vendors and clientele, and supervise purchasing agents.
  • Human Resources Manager - $71,612
    HR managers are generally in charge of employee policies, procedures, and compliance for companies. They work to ensure all local, state, and federal laws are met, as well as overseeing various benefit and initiative programs.
  • Healthcare Manager - $71,604
    Healthcare managers oversee the daily operations of medical facilities. This often entails ensuring that budgets align with financial goals, community needs are met, and overall operations meet compliance standards. They may also coordinate the purchase of medical equipment, interview new staff members, and holding press conferences.
  • Facilities Manager - $69,929
    Facilities managers oversee the physical functionality of commercial or residential properties. They are generally responsible for maintaining various building aspects including electrical, heating, cooling, plumbing, carpentry, and painting. They may also coordinate landscaping and grounds-keeping, as well as responding to emergency maintenance issues.
  • Administrative Services Manager - $68,302
    Administrative services managers coordinate office personnel and services, ensuring all aspects run efficiently. They are often responsible for planning and managing various administrative aspects of their workplaces such as distributing mail, scheduling office machine maintenance, keeping records, conducting supply inventories, and scheduling interviews. They may also perform a variety of reception-related duties like setting appointments and answering phones.
  • Financial Planning Analyst - $68,103
    Financial planning analysts work to develop accurate budgeting assumptions and predictions to help organizations plan. Responsibilities include preparing reports for senior management and explaining possible financial variances that occur. They also create financial strategies, manage client relationships, assess trends, and manage portfolios.
  • Sales Manager - $65,804
    Sales managers oversee sales teams and support various operational processes for their employers. They are often responsible for implementing new tools and structures, as well as setting short and long-term goals for revenue growth. These professionals may also spend time monitoring industry trends, business environment, competitors, and customer preferences to enhance sales performance.