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How Much Do Business Majors Make?

By Charlene Lattea, WVU Online | Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Thinking of earning a business degree? Explore how much business majors make and where there is the most growth and opportunity in the years ahead.

What kind of salary would you like to make?

To get the most out of your career, business is one of the most versatile and high-paying professions you can go into. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), business and financial professionals earned a median annual salary of $76,570 as of May 2021.

Business is one of the most popular degrees in the United States because business majors across the board make a higher salary than workers in any other occupation.

For this reason, the job market in business has become very competitive, with many jobs now requiring even more education.

Is A Business Degree Right For You?

Just because business is a good degree that pays well, that doesn’t mean it is the right degree for you.

To figure that out, you have to consider your own interests that may translate well into a business career, as well as your interest in learning the skills that a business degree has to offer.

After all, you will be making a significant investment of both time and money if you decide to pursue a business degree.

It may take four years or even longer to get the kind of business education you want and years of experience to reach the salary level you desire.

To maximize your investment, you should decide in advance what things you enjoy doing and how they will make you happy working in business.

Only by doing this kind of evaluation can you decide whether or not a business degree is worth it to you.

New technology and a shift in the work culture throughout the world are other reasons business majors need more knowledge and experience, especially with the technology that has been developed in just the past few years, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, data analytics, blockchain development, cloud computing, user-centric design, and more.

Today’s business degrees will provide you with this training, and they can open up a world of opportunities for you.

How Much Do Business Majors Make?

When we talk about high-salary jobs, it is always a range of salaries that depend on many factors. Also, some business majors, such as an MBA, might get you into a higher salary bracket more quickly than others.

When looking at potential careers and related salaries, remember to look at projected job growth because this will make a big difference in the long run.

Let’s look at some starting salaries, as of May 2023, for popular high-paying jobs within the business field, along with salaries for more senior positions that you could aspire to in the future.

Accountant – As of 2023, the entry-level salary for an accountant in the United States is approximately $57,031 per year. With ten years of experience, you can expect to make $70,817.

Financial Analysts – As of 2023, the median entry-level salary for financial analysts averages $68,411 per year, but with ten years of experience, it raises to $87,947.

Sales Manager – In May 2023, the average entry-level salary for a sales manager is $78,450, but with ten years of experience, it raises to $92,864.

As you can see, experience makes a big difference in your expected earnings, but so do many other factors. Read on to find out what other things influence salary ranges and earning potential.

Factors That Influence Earning Potential in Business

There are many factors that will determine the salary ranges and earning potential you will encounter as a business professional, both early in your career and later when you take on senior status.

As you think about what kind of salary you could make, consider the following factors:

1. Specialization

Marketing, data analytics, cybersecurity, finance, human resource management, healthcare management, and economics are some of the areas of specialization that are popular in business and pay the most right now.

2. Years of experience

As we discussed earlier, projected job growth and the number of years you have been working in a career field will make a big difference in your salary.

3. Job sector

Some of these include manufacturing, healthcare, education, online services, and finance/banking. In general, working with investments and accounts leads to higher pay, but you should take into account what job sectors are growing right now, and there are many new opportunities available.

4. Location

Some of the highest-paying jobs for business majors have traditionally been located on the East or West Coast, specifically in California, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia. This is also changing as job seekers look for a better work-life balance, and new technology allows workers to be located anywhere in the world.

5. Work environment

Jobs that require long hours and extended travel and are fast-paced usually pay a lot more. In these positions, you will probably also be interacting with top management as well as influential clients.

6. Job performance

Are you ambitious, able to handle your workload, and always asking for more? Do you represent your organization well, do good in the community, and take on outside projects as part of the team? If so, you are performing at a high level which will also get you a higher salary.

7. Your education level

Possible degrees in the business field include associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or MBA, and doctorate. The higher the degree, the higher your salary is likely to be.

This will also determine the types of jobs you’re qualified to do. An MBA holder has different job opportunities than someone with an associate degree.

8. License and Certification

This is required in some business fields and proves that you have the qualifications to meet your professional obligations. Some of these include certified supply chain professional (CSCP); certified public accountant (CPA); salesforce administrator certification (SAC); certified financial planner (CFP); and certified financial analyst (CFA).

Your education level, along with any licensure or certification, are among the most important factors guaranteeing a high salary.

According to Indeed (as of May 2023), the average salary for accountants in the United States is $61,508 per year in the United States.

If you become a certified public accountant (CPA), you can expect to earn about 30% more, and if you become a certified internal auditor, you can expect to earn approximately 48% more.

15 Highest-Paying Business Majors

These are some of the highest-paying business majors, with the average salaries.

#1 Marketing

  • Marketing Manager Average Salary: $73,240
  • Average Low Salary: $46,280
  • Average High Salary: $115,904

Popular jobs in marketing: marketing research analyst, marketing manager, social media director, brand manager, advertising and promotions manager, public relations manager, search marketing strategist

A marketing degree gives students analytical skills in product merchandising, consumer behavior and effective campaign organization.

They learn how to gather and interpret consumer information in order to make strategic decisions with current or new products. They also explore the psychology behind consumer decision-making and learn how to engage with customers and use technology to make marketing decisions.

#2 International Business

  • Foreign Exchange Trader Average Salary: $92,871
  • Average Low Salary: $50,726
  • Average High Salary: $170,030

Popular jobs in international business: management analyst, economist, policy analyst, foreign exchange trader.

Earning this degree helps students understand international politics and trade, global business practices, and world cultures.

Graduates often work abroad for international organizations, after starting their careers in a domestic company in order to gain basic skills. These professionals work in the private, public, or nonprofit sectors.

#3 Accounting

  • Accountant Average Salary: $61,508
  • Average Low Salary: $42,848
  • Average High Salary: $88,294

Popular jobs in accounting: accountant, tax examiner, forensic accountant, internal auditor, government accountant, certified public accountant, bookkeeper, account manager.

With this versatile degree, accounting professionals can work for individuals, businesses, or government agencies.

Students gain technical skills with databases and spreadsheets and learn to prepare financial statements, oversee accounts payable, maintain records, scrutinize budgets, audit information, and analyze financial information.

#4 Logistics

  • Supply Chain Manager Average Salary: $91,761
  • Average Low Salary: $59,696
  • Average High Salary: $141,048

Popular jobs in logistics: manager, field director, logistics planner, logistics manager, supply chain manager.

A degree in logistics prepares you for a career as part of the supply chain management, dealing with the efficient movement of goods and services from point of origin to the point of consumption, according to the needs of customers.

You will become proficient in areas such as transport planning and distribution, logistics management, statistics, micro and macroeconomics, transportation management, accounting, and design and analysis of logistics systems.

#5 Finance

  • Financial Manager Average Salary: $103,656
  • Average Low Salary: $76,955
  • Average High Salary: $139,623

Popular jobs in finance: financial analyst, financial advisor, insurance agent, stockbroker, budget analyst, financial manager, credit counselor, loan officer.

A degree in finance gives you the skills to plan, direct, or coordinate accounting, banking, insurance, securities, and other financial activities of a branch, office, or department.

Finance majors explore financial management, capital markets, taxation, investments, personal finance, professional ethics, organizational change, and accounting fundamentals. They also learn general business principles.

#6 Investments and Securities

  • Investment Consultant Average Salary: $76,042
  • Average Low Salary: $35,615
  • Average High Salary: $162,358

Popular jobs in investments and securities: financial service sales agent, investment consultant, strategy investment manager, certified financial planner, certified financial analyst.

If you would like a fast-paced career involving the financial markets, a degree in investments and securities may be for you.

With this degree, you will study topics such as investment planning, hedge funds, financial reporting and policy. Some students choose to obtain certification as a certified financial planner or certified financial analyst in order to advance their careers.

#7 Human Resources Management

  • Human Resources Manager Average Salary: $80,003
  • Average Low Salary: $55,103
  • Average High Salary: $116,155

Popular jobs in human resource management: human resource manager, training and development manager, labor relations specialist, human resource specialist.

Graduates with a degree in human resources are prepared to implement strategies to establish a strong relationship between employees and the management of an organization, and to handle questions, interpret and administer contracts, and help solve work-related problems.

You will gain a wide variety of business skills, including communication and organizational skills.

#8 Organizational Leadership

  • Management Analyst Average Salary: $74,927
  • Average Low Salary: $49,576
  • Average High Salary: $113,241

Popular jobs in organizational leadership: management analyst, project manager, corporate communications specialist, strategic planner, business consultant, training and development specialist.

Organizational leadership helps influence companies or organizations and manage change in fast-changing work environments.

With this degree, you obtain a thorough understanding of the leadership practices that help organizations become successful. Courses cover evidence-based decision making, group dynamics and facilitation, and organizational change.

#9 Project Management

  • Project Manager Average Salary: $85,839
  • Average Low Salary: $55,104
  • Average High Salary: $133,719

Popular jobs in project management: program manager, project manager, business analyst.

If you like to manage workflows, people, costs and supplies, this degree would be a good fit for you. With this program, you will learn how to plan and complete small and large projects, finding ways to improve efficiency and lower costs, and focusing on project leadership, teamwork and project risk management.

Graduates with this degree oversee the completion of projects for organizations, coordinating schedules, timelines, supplies, staffing and budgets. They work in virtually any industry.

#10 Health Care Management

  • Hospital Administrator Average Salary: $73,521
  • Average Low Salary: $43,109
  • Average High Salary: $125,388

Popular jobs in health care management: health care manager, health care administrator, hospital administrator, health care consultant, health services manager, medical and health services manager.

A business degree in health care management is designed for those who want to manage the business activities of a hospital, nursing home, physician group practice, public health agency, or other healthcare organization.

In these positions, you will manage staff, create long-term plans, and coordinate services. Healthcare support occupations are projected to grow the fastest of all occupational groups, at 17.8 percent from 2021-2031, in response to the growing elderly population.

#11 Economics

  • Economist Average Salary: $109,416
  • Average Low Salary: $63,286
  • Average High Salary: $189,169

Popular jobs in economics: economist, investment banker, credit analyst, market analyst, statistician.

A degree in economics prepares you for a variety of careers, not only in business, but in areas such as government, healthcare, and law.

An economics degree will help you develop your skills in researching and evaluating data related to production, such as raw materials, labor, machinery, natural resources and finished products.

This degree gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to changing careers and you can work in a wide variety of industries.

#12 Management

  • Chief Executive Officer Average Salary: $133,208
  • Average Low Salary: $68,451
  • Average High Salary: $259,226

Popular jobs in management: chief executive officer, management analyst, construction manager, general and operations manager.

Business management degrees incorporate general business principles with a focus on management strategies.

You will learn efficient business operational practices and effective leadership skills and will find a very versatile work environment where these skills are in demand in any industry.

All kinds of organizations can benefit from strategies to operate more efficiently and effectively, as well as from problem-solving and communication skills.

#13 Computer Systems

  • Chief Technology Officer Average Salary: $195,141
  • Average Low Salary: $111,648
  • Average High Salary: $341,070

Popular jobs in computer systems: computer and information systems manager, digital forensic analyst, software developer, computer and information systems technologist, chief technology officer.

With a degree in this field, you may become the chief technology officer for an organization, planning, directing, and coordinating activities in fields such as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming.

You will have the skills to research new technologies and recommend strategies. Managers in this field coordinate daily operations and project activities such as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming.

#14 Industrial Production

  • Transport Manager Average Salary: $74,154
  • Average Low Salary: $49,580
  • Average High Salary: $110,907

Popular jobs in industrial production: industrial production manager, transport manager, storage and distribution manager.

Industrial production is an industry that focuses on manufacturing products and with this degree you will create and maintain efficient operations for an organization, while ensuring a safe working environment that meets strict regulations.

With this degree, you will become proficient in supply management and procurement, manufacturing control and planning and logistics management.

#15 Entrepreneurship

  • Business Owner Average Salary: $103,746
  • Average Low Salary: $49,057
  • Average High Salary: $219,404

Popular jobs in entrepreneurship: sales managers, business manager, business owner.

An entrepreneurship degree helps you develop the planning skills necessary to bring a business idea into reality.

You will learn how to reduce the risk that is involved with most new business ventures, by acquiring skills in statistics, macroeconomics, international entrepreneurship, new venture creation, and public speaking.

This this degree, you will be able to manage a business effectively, start and run your own business, or buy an existing business.

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