The American economy is showing strength and resilience more than 10 years after the last financial downturn. This fact can be seen in a 2015 report by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, which found that 27 million Americans are starting or running their own company. The report also stated that 24% of entrepreneurs expected to hire 20 or more people in the next five years.
The stronger job and business environment for entrepreneurs is why more people are thinking about getting an entrepreneur degree. If you are considering this degree, it is natural to want to know how much money you can earn with it. Major factors that will influence your salary with this degree are:
- Whether you earn an undergraduate or graduate degree in entrepreneurship
- The type of job that you choose
- How many years of experience you have
- Where you live and work
When you have this information, you will have a good grasp of how much you can earn with a degree in entrepreneurship.
Level of Entrepreneurship Degree
Research over the past decade has shown that you can earn a higher salary over time if you have a master’s degree, generally speaking. Bureau of Labor Statistic data states the median wage for full time workers with a bachelor’s degree was $56,000 in 2013. For full time workers with a master’s degree, the median salary was $68,000.
How much you will earn with a master’s degree of course will depend upon the speciality. BLS data does not have information about how much an entrepreneur can earn with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. But the Bureau does have the following salary information about various business occupations. Depending upon the industry in which you are an entrepreneur, this information can provide useful insights about what you could earn with a bachelor’s vs. master’s degree in entrepreneurship:
- Transportation, storage and distribution manager: $62,000 vs. $90,000
- Financial manager: $78,000 vs. $110,000
- Market research analyst: $65,000 vs. $90,000
- Marketing and sales manager: $80,000 vs. $110,000
- Logistician: $54,000 vs. $82,000
- Information security analyst: $85,000 vs. $100,000
Payscale.com also provides some interesting data about what you can earn with a master’s degree in entrepreneurship, or an MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship. The data they have is for the following occupations:
- Product Manager of Software: $97,400
- Marketing Director: $107,900
- Senior Product Manager: $126,000
- Business Development Director: $127,500
- Product Management Director: $153,500
- Business Development Manager: $79,900
- Chief Financial Officer: $133,800
- Operations Manager: $73,400
- Director of Operations: $88,100
- Management Consultant: $106,600
For those with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship, Payscale.com reports these salaries:
- VP of Sales: $107,900
- Executive Assistant: $55,500
- Financial Analyst: $55,200
- VP of Operations: $61,800
- Legal Manager: $53,800
- Underwriter: $51,500
Type of Entrepreneurship Career
There is a wide variety of occupations that you may have with a degree in entrepreneurship. Below are the most common options and the salary that you can expect:
A top executive for a company devises strategies and policies to ensure that the company meets its sales, production and other goals to ensure profitability. Top executives are responsible for planning, directing and coordinating operational activities for their company or organization.
The responsibilities of a top executive with an entrepreneurship degree will largely depend upon the size of the organization. For instance, the owner of a small company may be responsible for hiring, training, purchasing, quality control and general management duties. In a big company, the top executive may focus more on forming policies and strategic planning. General and operations managers usually focus on the day to day operations.
The most common role for a top executive is a chief executive officer or CEO. He or she may also be known by the title of executive director, managing director or president. They provide overall direction for the company, including the management of operations, forming and implementing policies, and ensuring all company goals are met.
BLS reports the median salary for chief executives is $183,200 as of 2017. The lowest 10% earned less than $68,000 and the top 10% earned more than $208,000. Median salaries for top executives were as follows for these various industries:
- Professional, scientific and technical services: $208,000 or more
- Manufacturing: $208,000 or more
- Healthcare and social assistance: $160,900
- Government: $107,100
Chief Operating Officer (COO)
The chief operating officer for a company is a top executive that is usually the #2 ranking manager in the organization. The COO is responsible for handling the daily operations of the company and is normally second only to the CEO. The job of the COO is to establish standards for the company, and to work with managers and directors to make sure that training, processes and quality of goods and services are high. COOs are also responsible for executing the overall vision of the company and also uphold the mission of the CEO’s mission statement.
Payscale.com reports the salary range for COOs is between $69,000 and $243,000, with a median of $138,700. Many COOs also receive bonuses on top of their salary that can range from $2941 to $84,500 per year.
A financial manager is responsible for the financial health of his company. They are responsible for the production of financial reports, directing activities for investments, and also developing plans and strategies for the long term financial health of the company. The role of this manager is changing in business as technological advances are increasing. The amount of time that it takes to make financial reports is being reduced. Thus, financial managers often spend less time monitoring the finances of a company and do more intensive data analysis to provide more information on increasing profits.
BLS reports the median salary for financial managers in 2017 was $125,000, with the top 10% earning above $208,000. Salaries for financial managers varied in different industries:
- Professional, scientific and technical services: $147,000
- Management of companies and enterprises: $141,800
- Manufacturing: $124,000
- Finance and insurance: $123,200
- Government: $110,600
With an entrepreneurship degree, you can definitely earn more money over time as you gain more experience and expertise. For example, Payscale.com reports the following salary information for COOs based upon years of experience:
- COOs with less than five years of experience earn an average salary of $101,000.
- COOs with five to 10 years of experience earn an average salary of $124,000.
- COOs with 10 to 20 years of experience earn an average salary of $155,000.
- A COO with more than 20 years of experience earn an average salary of $185,000.
Where you live and your company is based will influence the salary that you earn. Payscale.com states the average salary for COOs is $149,300, but salary can vary widely according to which city you live in:
- New York City: +31%
- Atlanta: +30%
- Houston: +24%
- Seattle: +24%
- San Francisco: +23%
- Chicago: +16%
- Washington state: +15%
- Los Angeles: +13%
- Minneapolis: 0%
- Miami: -5%
Professionals with an entrepreneurship degree can earn a very good living. Their salary can be very high, but the exact amount will depend upon the above factors. You can expect to have plenty of good work and business possibilities with this degree in the coming years as the US economy is showing substantial strength with low unemployment and strong growth.
- Entrepreneurship Job Market. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.sokanu.com/careers/entrepreneur/job-market/
- Should I Get a Master’s Degree? 2015). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm
- Top Executives. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm