Salary Outlook with a Management Degree

By Henry R. Steele - December 13, 2017
Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you want a strong career path in a variety of business management occupations, earning a management degree could be the key to your success. With a management degree, you will develop the business management skills and knowledge to be successful in many business, finance, sales and marketing, and management careers.

But what kind of salary can one expect with a management degree? This will vary a lot depending upon the following key factors:

  • Whether you earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in management
  • The exact job or occupation you choose in business management
  • The number of years of business management experience you have
  • The industry that you work in

Once you have analyzed this information, you will be able to obtain a good estimate of your salary potential with a management degree.

Level of Degree

Many professionals opt to earn a master’s degree because of the possibility of earning a higher income. This is generally shown in employment data over the years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS reports that workers with a master’s degree can earn a $12,000 per year premium on average over those with a bachelor’s degree.

In a variety of business careers, earning a master’s or MBA in management or business management can serve you well in terms of salary, according to 2013 BLS data:

  • Financial manager: $78,000 salary with a bachelor’s; $110,000 with a master’s
  • Marketing and sales manager: $80,000 with a bachelor’s; $110,000 with a master’s
  • Financial services sales agent: $90,000 with a bachelor’s; $170,000 with a master’s
  • Market research analyst: $65,000 with a bachelor’s; $90,000 with a master’s
  • Accountants: Salary range between $42,000 and $120,000 per year; level of degree is a factor

Also, research indicates that professionals who earn a master of business administration (MBA), typically see a higher salary than with only a bachelor’s degree. The Graduate Management Admission Council or GMAT found in 2015 that the starting salary for a business bachelor’s degree holder was $55,000, and nearly $100,000 for the holder of an MBA.

Get a Master’s in Management or MBA?

Business professionals angling for a higher salary can choose between a master’s degree in management or an MBA. Which is the best choice? It will depend upon various factors.

See also Best MBA Concentrations for CEO’s & Executives

The MBA is the most common choice for those who want an advanced business management degree, but a master’s in management can be a good fit as well. Consider these factors when weighing your decision:

  • Your age: Master’s in management (MIM) programs often are the choice for younger professionals who just finished their bachelor’s program. MIM programs do not usually require you to have significant work experience; most MBA programs want to see at least three years and sometimes much more work experience.
  • Years of experience: Your level of business experience is not a major factor in a master’s in management program. But in an MBA program, students tend to gain value from the program largely from the higher level of professional experience that business students have in the programs. Most MIM students have one or two years of work experience at most.
  • Curriculum: A MIM program focuses more on the theory side of management. Students may find there are courses in the program that require you to possess strong mathematics and analytical skills; the final dissertation you do may be heavily focused on research. MBA programs are more focused on the practical sides of business management. The student will learn more how to apply skills in the workplace and less on the theories behind them. MBA programs typically feature team based projects on real world business management problems to provide the student with plenty of practical experience.

Type of Management Career

Earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in management will have a strong effect on your salary. But so does the exact career that you choose in business management.

See also 8 Best Entry Level Business & Analyst Jobs

Below are some of the most common business careers chosen and the types of salaries one can expect:

  • Financial analyst: Provide financial guidance and instruction to companies and individuals that need to make vital investment decisions. They are responsible for assessing the performance of stocks, bonds and various other investments. Salary range is between $50,300 and $165,100 with a median of $81,700.
  • Top executive: They devise strategies and policies to ensure that the entity meets financial and growth goals. Some of the most common top executives are general and operations managers, chief executive officers, chief operating officers and chief financial officers. The median wage for top executives is $181,000 with a range between $69,000 and $208,000.
  • Budget analyst: Assist public and private organizations to better organize their finances. They are responsible for preparing budget reports and monitoring how companies spend their money. The salary range is between $48,300 and $111,000, with a median of $73,800.
  • Management analyst: Propose innovative ways for an organization to improve their efficiency and profits. They will provide advice to managers on ways to make the company more profitable through cutting costs and boosting revenues. Salary range is between $46,600 and $149,700, with a median of $81,300.
  • Financial examiner: Ensure that companies and other entities are complying with laws related to financial institutions and financial transactions. They typically will review balance sheets, the risk level of loans and assess how effectively banks are being managed. Salary is between $46,400 and $148,000 with a median of $79,200.
  • Marketing manager: Provides an estimate for the potential demand for a product that a company is going to offer. Develop pricing strategies to assist companies in maximizing profits and their market share. Salary range is between $67,500 and $208,000, with a median of $131,000.
  • Financial manager: Responsible for the financial health of a company or other organization. They come up with effective, long term financial goals for a company, and implement the plans via financial reports, investment activities and analyzing market trends. The median salary is $121,000 with a range of $65,000 to $208,000.
  • Sales engineer: Sell complicated technological and scientific products to a variety of businesses. It is required to have extensive technical knowledge of the products. Some sales engineers come into the field with a business background only. The salary range is between $56,900 and $166,000, with a median wage of $100,000.
  • Health services manager: This is also called a healthcare executive or healthcare administrator. Responsible for the planning, directing and coordination of vital healthcare services. Also responsible for the overall business and financial side of various healthcare facilities. Salary range is from $56,900 to $172,000 with a median wage of $96,500.

Work Experience

Whatever management career you choose, it is clear that you will earn a higher salary as your career progresses.

See also 5 Awesome Entry Level MBA Business Jobs

Payscale.com reports the following salaries by experience for a business manager:

  • $49,000 average salary for a business manager with less than five years of experience.
  • $56,000 for a business manager with five to 10 years of experience.
  • $59,000 for a business manager with 10-20 years of experience.
  • $63,000 for a business manager with more than 20 years of experience.

For a finance manager, you can expect a $72,000 average salary with less than five years of experience; $95,000 with five to 10 years of experience; $99,000 with 10-20 years of experience, and $85,000 with more than 20 years of experience. See 10 best online MBA in Finance degree programs.

For an operations manager, you can expect a salary of $50,000 with less than five years of experience; $61,000 with five to 10 years of experience; $68,000 with 10-20 years of experience and $77,000 with more than 20 years of experience. See 15 top Online MBA in Operations management degrees.

Industry

The last major factor that will determine your salary with a management degree is the industry in which you work. BLS data reports the following annual mean wages for general and operations managers:

  • Management of companies and enterprises: $159,000
  • Restaurants and eateries: $75,600
  • Management, scientific and technical consulting: $157,90
  • Computer systems design: $164,900
  • Office administrative services: $136,000
  • Insurance and employee benefits: $196,000
  • Oil and gas extraction: $187,000

For management analysts, we see the following annual mean wages by industry:

  • Management, scientific and technical consulting: $103,200
  • State government: $62,900
  • Computer systems design: $99,000
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $91,500
  • Insurance carriers: $82,400
  • Securities and commodities contracts: $118,000
  • Federal government: $89,000
  • Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment: $121,000

Professionals who earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in management will have many lucrative business management opportunities available. Use the above data and information to better select your career path to maximize your financial potential.

References

Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. 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.Follow on Twitter.com

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