Salary Outlook for International Business Degree

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - May 11, 2018
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Earning your degree in international business can provide you with the international business management skills that you need to land a high paying job with a major corporation, or to start or grow your own international company. With the appropriate education in international business, you should be able to make your mark in the global business market of the 21st century.

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To get an idea of what your salary could be with an international business degree, this article provides details of the following factors that could be important:

  • Whether you earn your bachelor’s or master’s in international business
  • The type of international business career you choose
  • How many years of work experience you have
  • Geographic location

Once you have this information, you should be able to understand the possible salary you could enjoy with your international business degree.

Level of International Business Degree

There has been substantial research performed that suggests that getting a master’s degree can give you a higher salary every year of your career in many fields. The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS states the median salary in 2013 for all employees with a master’s degree of all kinds was $68,000. It was $56,000 for people with a bachelor’s degree. That is a $12,000 difference in salary on average that can mount up to a lot of money over a 30 year career.

BLS data also shows how many workers in business related careers can earn a higher salary with a master’s degree in business. Some of these jobs could be in international business.

Below are some common business job titles and the salary you can enjoy with a master’s degree (most commonly an MBA, with a possible concentration in international business):

  • Financial manager: $78,000 bachelor’s/$110,000 master’s
  • Marketing and sales manager: $80,000/$110,000
  • Distribution manager: $62,000/$90,000
  • Property manager: $56,000/$76,000
  • Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agent: $90,000/$170,000
  • Logistician: $54,000/$82,000

Other major business occupations also had premiums for a master’s degree, such as accountants, auditors, operations managers, and HR managers. also sheds light on what you can earn in international business with different degrees. For an MBA in international business, this website reports the following average salaries:

  • Project manager: $77,800
  • Business development manager: $89,000
  • Operations manager: $72,000
  • Marketing manager: $78,200
  • Business development manager: $136,600
  • Account manager: $72,500

For bachelor’s in international business, reported these average salaries:

  • Buyer: $42,800
  • Territory sales representative: $53,500
  • Area operations manager: $54,600
  • Sales specialist: $57,300
  • Recruiting specialist: $36,600
  • Online marketing director: $78,300

The data shows that generally you can earn a higher salary with a master’s in international business.

Types of International Business Careers

The type of profession you choose in international business will affect your salary, too. BLS and other data sources offer insightful information about the median salary you can expect in different international business-related professions.

Financial Manager

Financial managers work both domestically and internationally as they oversee the financial health of an organization. Financial managers are responsible for producing international financial reports, directing international investment activities and developing strategies that help the long term financial goals of the international company.

Financial managers today do a lot of in depth data analysis and provide advice to international, senior managers on how to increase profits both domestically and overseas. There are several basic types of financial manager positions:

  • Controller: Prepares financial reports that both summarize and forecast the financial position of the company
  • Treasurer or finance officer: Directs the company’s budget to meet financial goals
  • Credit manager: Provides oversight of the company’s credit business
  • Cash manager: Monitors and controls how cash flows in and out of the company to meet investment and business needs
  • Risk manager: Provides control of financial risk
  • Insurance manager: Decides the best ways to limit the losses a company experiences by getting insurance against various risks

This is a fast growth position, with BLS reporting jobs will increase by 19% by 2026, much faster than average. BLS also reports the median salary in the field is $125,000 per year, with the top 10% earning more than $200,000 per year.

Financial Analyst

An international financial analyst provides guidance to international companies and individuals to make proper investment decisions. This is an especially important role when companies and private individuals are thinking about investing in overseas markets. A financial analyst can be employed by an international bank, pension fund, mutual fund, international securities company or a variety of other international businesses.

Financial analysts often work in trends that affect certain industries, or they may focus on a region of the world. Thus, many people with an international business degree often work as financial analysts all over the world. Understanding foreign markets is important, such as knowing how new regulations, policies and political situations affect various investments.

There are several types of financial analysts who can work in international business:

  • Portfolio manager: Selects the type of industries, products and parts of the world for the investment portfolio for a company.
  • Fund manager: Works with mutual funds or hedge funds to make buy and sell decisions based upon changing international markets.
  • Ratings analyst: Evaluate how well a company or government abroad can pay debts, including bonds.
  • Risk analyst: Evaluate risk level in various investment decisions and how to manage unpredictability.

Management Analyst

A management analyst is a consultant who proposes ways to improve the profits and efficiency of a company either in the US or overseas. They provide advice to upper level managers about how companies can be made more profitable through dropping costs and boosting revenues.

Some management analysts are employed by the company they are studying, but many work for national or international consulting companies. Some of these projects may need a large team of consultants from different industries and parts of the world, but others may have just a single consultant.

Many management analysts specialize by industry, geographic region or specialty. Some might focus on companies in Asia or in manufacturing, while others focus on inventory management in healthcare organizations.

The median salary for management analysts was $82,450 in 2017, according to BLS. The top 10% earned $152,000 per year.

International Business Work Experience

The number of years of work experience you have is important to determine your salary. has the following salary break down for management analyst by years of experience:

  • Less than five years of experience: $59,000
  • Five to 10 years of experience: $70,000
  • 10 to 20 years of experience: $73,000
  • More than 20 years of experience: $79,000

International Business Location

The area where you work is the last major factor that can influence your international business career salary.

US News and World Report states the following cities have the highest salaries for business operations manager, which can be closely related to work in international business:

  • Bridgeport CT: $179,690
  • Newark NJ: $174,500
  • New York City: $169,700
  • Trenton NJ: $166,500
  • San Francisco: $164,000

These states have the highest salaries for business operations managers:

  • New Jersey: $168,500
  • Delaware: $149,100
  • New York: $148,100
  • Washington DC: $146,700
  • Connecticut: $144,200

These international cities also are known to have higher business salaries:

  • Zurich: $206,000
  • Shanghai: $202,000
  • Mumbai: $217,000
  • Jarkarta: $152,000
  • Hong Kong: $148,000
  • Paris: $139,000


Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

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