What are your priorities when looking for a job? Your day-to-day duties and workplace culture? Hours or remote flexibility? While many of these traits may rank high up in your career values, it's hard to deny that the offered salary for a position will often make or break your decision to take the job.
If you're planning to get your Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree then the jobs you'll be going after will likely have pretty high average annual salaries. According to the US News & World Report, the overall average MBA degree salary plus bonus paid to 2021 graduates was $105,684.1 That's almost twice as much as someone with just a bachelor's degree.2 So if you're looking for a rewarding salary, check out the careers below for a more specific idea of how much you can make with an MBA, learn what outside factors could impact your earnings and what to look for in an MBA program.
Average MBA salary by industry
You can get an overall idea of what your future salary might be by looking at the average salary earned by other MBA graduates who work in the industry you're interested in. U.S. News & World Report gathered data from 2021 graduates of a full-time MBA program and found that most industries have average salaries in the six digits. Consulting, which could be a good role for you if you like the idea of a lot of variety in your work and day-to-day routine, features the highest salaries according to the U.S. News report. The average MBA salary for this field is $147,1781 and that's just the base salary before any bonuses or other rewards that might be a part of an employer's compensation package. When it comes to the lower end of MBA salaries in the nonprofit field or government the rates are still promising. Your MBA degree job’s salary in theses fields is likely to hover around $90,000. It's important to know that these numbers are weighted averages. That means that the salaries of MBA graduates who entered a field that their business school is known for are weighted higher than those who are potentially outliers in a particular industry coming from their school.1
Base-level MBA salaries by industry:1
- Consulting - $147,178
- Financial services - $138,834
- Technology - $128,442
- Health Care - $116,250
- Retail - $115,485
- Media/Entertainment - $114,706
- Energy - $111,080
- Consumer Packaged Goods - $109,556
- Real Estate - $108,831
- Manufacturing - $108,364
- Transportation - $92,316
- Nonprofit - $90,381
- Government - $87,675
Consider your career goals and interests when exploring MBA programs so that you can find one that will help equip you with the skills and network you need to land a job in your preferred industry.
Average MBA degree salary by role
Want to know more about the jobs you could have in a particular industry? Next we'll hone in on specific positions that MBA graduates often pursue and the responsibilities and salaries associated with them.
Business intelligence analyst
$93,000 average salary3
Business intelligence analysts (also sometimes known as management analysts) can work in pretty much any industry. These professionals are tasked with gathering and organizing information related to a firm's performance. This could include evaluating internal processes, productivity and organizational structure, or strategizing on market opportunities and technological improvements.4
$102,2575 average salary
Product management (not to be confused with "project management," another popular role for MBA graduates) is a relatively new specialization. Product managers work at the intersection of business, technology and user experience and are considered the champions of a particular product delivered by their firm. The product might be physical, like a bluetooth speaker, or it could be digital, like a particular application at a software company. Product managers need to work with several other teams at a company to constantly improve and market their products while meeting the needs of users and increasing profits.6
Director of sales
$117,7907 average salary
This MBA degree job's salary can be especially dependent on performance as the director of sales is responsible for the new business of a firm. Sales directors often oversee a team of salespeople and sometimes also will work with a customer service team to create and maintain positive relationships. Typically the highest rank in a sales department, sales directors will often work with the executive team of a company to create strategic plans to hit sales goals based on market trends and outlooks.7
Computer and information systems manager
$159,0108 average salary
MBA graduates that have a background in information technology or have worked in other mid-level information systems roles are best suited for leadership roles in this field. These high-earning jobs are at nearly every company regardless of whether the business itself is centered on technology. Especially with many companies moving to remote work, having technology that works consistently for employees is of utmost importance.8
$133,3809 average salary
Typically rising through a marketing department to achieve a position of leadership, marketing executives oversee diverse teams to maintain an organization's brand, advertising strategy and to generally generate interest in a firm's products. They may also be responsible for internal communications, media relations and a creative team (copywriters and designers).
$131,71010 average salary
Financial managers often work in banks, investment firms and at insurance companies, but can be found in other large organizations as well. Financial managers attempt to steer an organization's financial direction, set goals, direct investment activities and advise leaders on budgets. MBA graduates pursuing this role should have some experience in accounting and might want to specialize in economics if their MBA program allows.10
Factors that affect average MBA salaries
As mentioned previously, industry is one of the factors that can affect how much you can make with an MBA, but there are others to consider as well. Your previous experiences, supplemental skills, gender and location can all have an impact on the average salary you can anticipate from a given role.
Many MBA programs actually require a certain number of years of professional experience in order to apply so make sure to examine the admissions requirements before you get started. But even once you have your degree, you'll find that MBA graduates with more years of experience relevant to the desired position are likely to see higher offers.
Unfortunately, a lot of ground still needs to be made when it comes to closing the gender pay gap– even among MBA graduates. In 2021 the Forté Foundation, a nonprofit focused on women's advancement and gender equity in business and business schools, found that female MBA graduates make about $11,000 less than men. Women of minority groups are faced with an even bigger gap with salaries of about $52,000 less than men. While some of this may be in part the tendency for men to enter MBA programs with more years of experience, it's likely also due in significant part to bias faced in interviews and on the job. 11
Ostensibly, salaries are based in part on cost of living (COL). In the past this was fairly consistent across an organization and could be based on the places which a company had offices or large swaths of workers. With a rise in remote work forces, however, companies are seeing their employees distributed all across the U.S. and sometimes even abroad. This leaves organizations to determine whether pay should be determined by the COL in the city which employee is based or have a standard across the board. Especially if you work remotely, you might want to inquire in interviews whether the job you're applying to has a policy for this.
Hone your skills to aim high on salary
When you're looking for an MBA program, choose one that suits your needs and prepares you for the rewarding career you're looking for. Marquette University's online MBA offers the flexibility to continue to work and live your life while getting closer to your career goals. You'll learn the same critical business skills that you would in the on-ground program and have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Marquette's expert business faculty. You'll also have access to the Business Career Center to help you with interview prep, job hunting and more. Plus, you'll be able to connect with the Marquette alumni network of 110,000 and growing, that spans the country. Schedule a call with an Admissions Advisor today to learn more about the online MBA at Marquette.
- Retrieved on November 7, 2022, from, usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/mba-salary-jobs
- Retrieved on November 7, 2022, from nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator/cba
- Retrieved on November 7, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm
- Retrieved on November 7, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm#tab-2
- Retrieved on November 7, 2022, from https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/product-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,15.htm
- Retrieved on November 7, 2022, from atlassian.com/agile/product-management/product-manager
- Retrieved on November 7, 2022, from indeed.com/hire/job-description/director-of-sales
- Retrieved on November 7, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm
- Retrieved on November 7, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm
- Retrieved on November 7, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm
- Retrieved on November 7, 2022, from business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/female-mba-graduates-earn-11-000-less-than-male-peers-finds-global-study-121092300302_1.html