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The 19 Highest Paying Business Degree Jobs in 2021

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A degree in business is an academic key to a valuable and rewarding career.  Versatile, expansive, comprehensive, the best business degrees push the complex world of industry, marketing, finance, and sales forward.

While mapping out your business career, you may come across the question, what does one do after completing a business degree?  The short answer is anything, and there are many business degree jobs that offer excellent pay, benefits, and steps toward leadership roles.  In this article, GetEducated has constructed a list of the 19 highest paying business careers for the business school graduate with an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in business.

The Skills You Get from a Business Degree

Throughout your business education you will fine tune your knowledge and begin applying new skills to key areas of industry.  

An associate’s degree or bachelor’s in business administration guarantees excellent skills in interpersonal communication, leadership and management, critical thinking, and technical skills.  Upon choosing a concentration, say, in marketing, accounting, finance, or human resources, your skills will meet a considerably higher demand in a competitive marketplace.

As you progress, you may enroll in a MBA program wherein your knowledge and skills can propel you into higher paid and higher responsibility roles.  Master’s degrees in business could concentrate in operations management, international business, business analytics, project management, and so on.  Many master’s programs in project management can supply students with PMP or CAPM certification, applicable to any career stage.  Other quality certification through master’s programs can be found in business analytics, supply chain management, salesforce, and more.  

A business degree will give you the tools and resources you need to thrive in different areas of the market.  All of these skills can be applied to multiple industries and sectors, desired by employers all across the country, giving you greater freedom on where, how, and why you work.

Best Jobs for Business Majors: Associate’s Degree

Because business degrees and business careers are not regulated (no bar exam or mandatory state certifications) there are top-quality positions available requiring no more than an associate’s degree. The following three entry-level business titles generally require only a high school diploma, with chances of landing the position enhanced by an associate degree in business.  Each median level salary comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 analysis.

#1   Advertising Sales Agent

Median Salary: $54,940

Advertising sales agents are responsible for locating and contacting clients to offer a firm’s advertising services. These agents network by communicating and collaborating with businesses and other organizations to best promote their products and services.  This career requires basic media knowledge, skills in statistical analysis, promotional planning, contracting, and more.  The top earners in this field can bring in over $124,000, but advertising sales agent positions currently hold a 3% outlook in the market through 2030.  This makes it all the more imperative to earn a business associate degree to land this position.

#TRENDING: Strayer University

#2   Insurance Sales Agent

Median Salary: $52,180

Insurance sales agents guide clients to the right plans to protect themselves from significant financial loss.  A sales agent may sell auto, home, life, business, or other forms of specialized insurance.  The job requires effective skills in  planning, marketing, communication, and finance.  An associate degree in business administration, accounting, human relations, or business management can aid agents in building these skills and enhance the trust of their clients.  The top salaries for this position can be around $127,800, making it highly profitable for the top earners, with a job outlook of 7% through 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

#TRENDING: Champlain College

#3   Real Estate Broker

Median Salary: $51,220

Real estate Brokers are licensed sales agents who have completed real estate or college courses and passed a state licensing exam.  An associate’s degree in real estate, business or marketing can promote success in this career, which requires high levels of client communication, project management skills, contracting know-how, and more. Real estate brokers in particular earn a sizable income, with the top 10% bringing in over $174,000 a year. Since this career currently holds an outlook of just 4% through 2030, earning a degree can enhance your chances of entering this career and working towards becoming a top earner.

#TRENDING: American Public University

Best Jobs for Business Majors: Bachelor’s Degree

#1   Advertising, Promotions or Marketing Manager

Median Salary: $141,490

For business majors, transitioning into advertising and promotions is a profitable decision. Marketing managers coordinate advertising plans, monitor team progress, negotiate contracts, and evaluate marketing efforts. A business degree in marketing or management builds skills in leadership, research, strategic analysis, and communication, highly valuable traits of an up and coming promotions manager. The top earners in this category commanded an average salary of up to $208,000 annually in 2020, and the job outlook is expected to grow by 10% through 2030.

#TRENDING: Southern New Hampshire University

#2   Financial Manager

Median Salary: $134,180

With a large average salary, financial management is one of the top business degree jobs available to the business graduate. Financial managers prepare financial statements, monitor financial details, supervise financial employees, and analyze market trends for their employers.  A bachelor’s degree in accounting is essential, although a business degree in management can also enhance the chances of earning this position. Many companies may prefer hiring candidates with master’s degree level education, but starting with a bachelor’s is step one. Top financial managers command an average salary of $208,000, and job growth is rocketing forward through 2030 at 17%.

#3   Sales Manager

Mean Salary: $132,290

Sales managers are responsible for organizing and monitoring the efforts of sales teams, utilizing skills beyond simply leadership and team building. A bachelor’s in business administration provides the financial prowess, statistical knowledge, and strategic planning skills needed to keep sales goals moving forward. Sales managers can work in several different areas and industries, but the top 10% in this position typically earn about $208,000. Good sales managers are always in demand, although outlook is merely decent, at 7% growth through 2030.

#TRENDING: Kaplan University

The Highest Paying Business Degree Jobs

With a business degree there is hardly a limit to available professional opportunities.  Whether you are pursuing careers in finance and accounting, management, human resources or analytics, today’s marketplace is fluctuating in your favor on an international level.  A business degree career could lead to working for large corporations or give you the tools to start your own company, building much-needed jobs for others.  The following list incorporates the top business degree jobs available in 2021, offering the highest salaries as reported by the BLS in 2020 for business jobs requiring only a bachelor’s degree for entry-level employment.

1. Loan Officers

Average salary: $63,960
Education: Bachelor’s degree
Loan officers use advanced software and algorithms to gauge whether or not an institution should lend money to an individual or company. While most of the work involves interpreting hard data, there is a certain level of one-on-one customer service required for the job. Pay for this position is relatively high, and the top 10% can expect an annual salary of over $133,850. Expected job growth for this position is only 1% through 2030, so earning a degree can enhance your chances of landing this business major career.

2. Securities, Commodities, & Financial Service Sales Agents

Average salary: $64,770
Education: Bachelor’s degree
These professionals connect the buyers and sellers in the financial sector. This business major job includes contacting potential clients, offering advice on securities and commodities, and analyzing potential profits, costs and revenues of upcoming agreements. While the average annual salary is less than $65,000, the top 10% in 2020 earned roughly $208,000. Outlook is expected to be 4%, just below the national average through 2030.

3. Market Research Analysts

Average salary: $65,810
Education: Bachelor’s degree
Market research analysts monitor and forecast the market to help companies understand consumer demand. This involves monitoring sales trends, analyzing marketing plans, gathering data, and breaking down information into graphs and charts. A degree in business administration supported by studies in statistics, research, and marketing is an effective path for these careers in business. The top 10% for this position will earn over $127,000 a year, and the expected job growth is 22%, giving the position both solid pay and long-term stability.

4. Purchasing Managers, Buyers and Agents

Average salary: $72,270
Education: Bachelor’s degree
Purchasing managers plan, direct, and manage the buying of essential materials, working to get the right items to the right place at the best price. A good purchasing manager is invaluable to a thriving company with critical skills in negotiation, finance, and communication. The average salary in 2020 was reported as $72,270, with the top 10% earning more than $112,170. Unfortunately, job growth is expected to be roughly -4%, making the position lucrative but rapidly in decline.

5. Logisticians

Average salary: $76,270
Education: Bachelor’s degree
A supply chain is the system through which products are moved from producer to consumer. A logistician is the professional who organizes and analyzes the supply chain, ensuring an organization’s products reach the right place in an efficient and accurate manner. They monitor products, direct material, develop relationships with suppliers, and more. Being a logistician is a fast-paced, complex business major career, and could require bachelor’s degrees in business, management, or systems engineering. The top 10% earn an average of $122,580, with job growth currently much faster than average at 30%.

6. Financial Analysts

Average salary: $83,660
Education: Bachelor’s degree
Financial analysts work with individuals and businesses, researching, analyzing and communicating information on stocks, bonds, and other types of investment opportunities. They are trained to evaluate financial data, study economic trends, and prepare written reports, all with the goal of steadily increasing the value of an investment portfolio. The most successful financial analysts earn over $159,000, and the job outlook sits at 6%, making it both a lucrative and in-demand job for business majors. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance is helpful for landing this job, and many of the top analysts have MBA degrees.

7. Management Analysts

Average salary: $87,660
Education: Bachelor’s degree
Management analysts work to improve a company’s efficiency by advising managers, gathering information, interviewing personnel, and developing solutions for their organization. About one in five management analysts are self-employed as consultants, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10% earn an average of $156,840 a year, and job growth is expected to rise to 14% through 2030. This position offers the opportunity to work with many different industries across numerous regions, making it one of the most versatile and engaging careers for business majors.

8. Administrative Services Managers

Average salary: $98,890
Education: Bachelor’s degree
This position may have one of the broadest-ranging set of responsibilities in any organization. Administrative services managers will plan and direct support services for various organizations, maintaining facilities and supervising activities. They buy supplies, supervise clerical staff, manage records, and recommend operational changes. Essentially, they are responsible for keeping the office moving in the right direction. This position often commands salaries over $100,000, and the top 10% actually earn over $169,000. Outlook is strong and the position is expected to remain consistent with the job market, growing 9% throughout 2029.

9. Medical & Health Services Managers

Average salary: $104,280
Education: Bachelor’s degree
Medical and health service managers plan and coordinate healthcare and health services for providers and patients. These professionals are found working in offices of healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, etc. A bachelor’s degree in business administration is the best way to start in this career, although health administration degrees are also effective. The pay for this career is substantial, and the top 10% can earn roughly $195,000 in a year. The job outlook is also one of the highest, with opportunities expected to grow 32% through 2030, due to the expected increase in national healthcare needs.

10. Top Executives

Average salary: $107,680
Education: Bachelor’s degree
A quality corporate executive helps organize and strategize a company, meeting specific goals and coordinating activities from operations to marketing. Their responsibilities include the management of general activities and directly overseeing budgets. While a bachelor’s degree qualifies entry into this position, it also takes considerable work experience to earn this title. The top 10% of chief executives earned a sizable income of $208,000 in 2020. Expected job growth is relatively the same as the national average.

11. Industrial Production Managers

Average salary: $108,790
Education: Bachelor’s degree
These business professionals oversee the daily operations of manufacturing and plant production across different products and materials. They work in areas such as automotive, computer, or paper manufacturing, and their overall position is closely tied to management and organizational skills. The position earns a significant income, and the top 10% command an average salary of over $181,000. Demand is projected at only 5% through 2030, limiting opportunities for this business degree job.

12. Training & Development Managers

Average salary: $115,640
Education: Bachelor’s degree
Training and development managers coordinate training efforts to enhance the skills of people in every industry. They are often found in offices and spend most of their time working directly with people. The position is directly tied to job growth, so the outlook for this position is steady, faster than the national average at 11%. There is plenty of opportunity for advancement, and the top 10% earn over $200,000 a year.

13. Human Resource Managers

Average salary: $121,220
Education: Bachelor’s degree
Human resource managers direct, coordinate, and plan administrative functions throughout organizations nationwide. HR managers will also help with employee relations, compensation plans, and benefits. Typically these professionals will have a degree in business administration with a concentration in human resources. The top 10% of this career in 2020 earned over $208,000. HR managers can expect a 9% job outlook through 2030. The relative drop in positions will largely be fueled by increased use of online recruiting and training, but a bachelor’s degree will lend to the skills in information technology to keep aspiring HR professionals in the market.

Selling Your Business Skills Outside the Traditional Job Market

While a business degree is a key to industry, it can also be a driving point for careers in government, non-profit organizations, arts, and science fields.  Work outside of the traditional business market may require different and niche skills and knowledge, but a business degree on a resume will not hurt your chances to push your career in a new direction.

As a business person, you are expected to be able to work under pressure, meet deadlines, be organized, and understand numbers whether they apply to statistics, economics, or finance.  Consider a career in government or science if you are particularly gifted in organizing teams and managing projects.  If your specialties lie in marketing, advertising, or fundraising, you could be just the person needed at a nonprofit or arts organization, especially in today’s competitive and struggling economy.

If you are currently earning a business degree online and see yourself moving into a nontraditional career, consider your flexibility in internship placement, customizable electives, and your school’s career center and online advisors waiting to help you distinguish the direction you are most interested in moving.

Continuing Education Ideas for Business Majors

While most business careers would not require recertification or renewing professional licensing, it is always a good idea to continue your education as a business major. One of the most common paths is an MBA,  with in-person or online options offered from many high-quality institutions.  It is possible that your current organization will pay for you to earn an MBA or provide scholarship funding if it is required.  Online certification is also available to those seeking to climb the industry ladder to higher responsibility roles.

However, you don’t have to enroll in a college program to reach higher levels of employment in the industry. There are plenty of seminars, training courses, and industry publications that help you stay up-to-date in the business world.

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