A master of business administration (MBA) degree is a graduate-level degree that provides students with the knowledge to further their careers in management and leadership across multiple business areas. An MBA degree offers students an opportunity to network and expand their knowledge and skills while preparing them to take the next step in management, whether it’s to earn a promotion with a current employer or to explore greater opportunities at another organization or industry.
This article explores some of the highest-paying MBA degrees, as well as the types of programs available to students and jobs available to graduates.
Highest Paying MBA Degree Jobs
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)1, some of the highest-paying business and financial jobs that MBA grads can pursue include:
Personal Financial Advisors Average Annual Salary: $89,330
Personal financial advisors can earn an average annual salary of $89,330, and the growth rate for the role over the next 10 years is expected to be about 5%2. Personal financial advisors offer knowledge and advice to individuals regarding their financial management portfolios and help them in planning financial futures. Personal financial advisors work with retirement funds, life insurance, and stocks.
Management Analysts Average Annual Salary: $87,660
Management analysts earn a median pay of around $87,660. The expected growth rate for the role over the next decade is 14%, which is much higher than the national average3. Professionals in this career work to improve the overall efficiency and streamline processes for organizations.
Financial Analysts Average Annual Salary: $83,660
The average annual salary for a financial analyst is $83,6604. The position is expected to grow 6% over the next 10 years, which is similar to the national average. Financial analysts help businesses and individuals make decisions regarding money to build profit margins and tend to work in office settings.
Financial Examiners Average Annual Salary: $81,430
Financial examiners earn an average annual salary of about $81,430, according to the BLS. The job is expected to grow by about 18% over the next decade, which is much higher than the national average5. Financial examiners work in compliance and auditing related to financial expenditures and often work in regulatory agencies, such as insurance, or in the local, state, or federal governments.
Budget Analysts Average Annual Salary: $78.970
Budget analysts earn an average pay of $78,970 per year, and the role is expected to grow by about 5% over the next 10 years, which is slightly lower than the national average6. This profession involves financial planning and strategic forecasting for organizations and businesses as it relates to their fiscal health and profit, as well as sustainable forecasting.
Logisticians Average Annual Salary: $76,270
Logisticians earn an average salary of $76,270 per year7. The role is expected to grow at an exceptionally high rate of 30% over the next decade7. Logisticians work in the supply chain and coordinate purchasing and production of goods to ensure efficiency and maximization of resources.
Accountants and Auditors Average Annual Salary: $73,560
Accountants and auditors can earn an average annual salary of around $73,560, according to the BLS8. The position is expected to grow by 7% between 2020 and 2030, which is only slightly lower than the national average8
Labor Relations Specialists Average Annual Salary: $73,240
Labor relations specialists earn $73,240 on average per year9. However, the position is expected to grow by only 4% per year. Although the field is expected to experience slower growth, the expertise these professionals possess is still valuable in the workforce9. Labor relations specialists work with legal compliance alongside human resources to ensure employees are receiving proper labor contracts and equitable terms. They often negotiate between unions and corporations.
Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents Average Annual Salary: $72,270
The average annual salary for these roles is $72,270, but the expected 10-year growth is only at 4%, making it a tougher role for professionals to secure10. Purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents are involved in the purchasing of products, services, and labor for organizations and businesses. They often oversee the work of acquisitions and purchasing. It is an important role in certain industries, particularly in merchandising for large vendors with growing consumer bases.
Insurance Underwriters Average Annual Salary: $71,790
Insurance underwriters can expect an average annual salary of $71,790, according to the BLS11. This role is expected to see slower growth at only 2% over the next decade11. Insurance underwriters work full time with clients to evaluate and assess insurance opportunities and applications. They are involved in company or individual insurance processes and the liabilities of those insurances, including life insurance, health insurance, rental insurance, and homeowners insurance)11.
Popular Career Paths With an MBA Degree
Some popular careers paths for graduates of MBA degree programs include marketing or marketing management, medical and health services management, management consulting, financial management, and business operations management.
The Association of MBA’s 2016 Careers and Salary Survey found that 25% or more of senior management positions were held by survey respondents with MBA degrees12, showing that the highest-paying MBA degrees often lead to promotions or advancement.
Other popular MBA jobs include:
- Senior Product Manager
- Financial Manager
- Investment Banker
- Private Equity Associate
- Chief Technology Officer
- Marketing Manager
- Senior Data Analyst
Average Salary for MBA Degree Graduates
Salaries are considerably higher for master’s-level graduates ($1,545 weekly vs. $1,305 weekly) compared to those who do not hold a master’s degree, according to the BLS13. Many MBA programs provide concentrations like business management, marketing, computer science, international trade, entrepreneurship, operations, finance, and even healthcare, leading to higher pay in one of those respective fields or niche areas. Many of the benefits of an MBA degree include the opportunities to network, pursue highly-coveted internships, get involved in special projects, and meet faculty and staff from executive roles.
How to Find a Job After You Graduate
To find a job upon graduation from an MBA program, students can network with professors, find an internship, and meet with career center or academic advisor coaches from their school. Many colleges and universities provide hands-on learning experiences for graduates or connect them with former alumni to interview and gain experience.
Oftentimes, online graduate MBA programs allow students to add areas of concentration in topics such as finance, management, international trade, or economics. Some schools also allow students the opportunity to explore concepts in greater depth by offering leadership or business certificates, giving them leverage in other business niches like marketing, social media, entrepreneurship, or public-private partnerships.
Discover More About a Career With an MBA Degree
Q. Are MBA graduates guaranteed higher incomes?
Generally, an MBA graduate can expect to earn nearly 90% more than their colleagues in the same profession without the additional credential14.
Q. How do I choose the right MBA program for me?
It’s never too late to begin exploring which program is best for you and your career goals. Reach out to admissions counselors when in the exploration and discovery phase, and evaluate the strengths of each program you are considering. Many colleges offer career and major advising services to help you determine what type of master of business administration program is best for you.
Q. What MBA careers pay the highest salaries?
Some of the jobs with the highest salary involve securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents, who earn nearly 90% more than those workers in the same industries who hold only a bachelor’s degree 8. Additional business positions that pay higher for MBA graduates or provide more promotions involve accountants, human resources workers, auditors, and general and operations managers.
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Business and Financial Occupations. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Personal Financial Advisors. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/personal-financial-advisors.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Management Analysts. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Financial Analysts. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Financial Examiners. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-examiners.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Budget Analysts. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Logisticians. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/logisticians.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Accountants and Auditors. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Labor Relations Specialists. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/labor-relations-specialists.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/purchasing-managers-buyers-and-purchasing-agents.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Insurance Underwriters. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/insurance-underwriters.htm
 Association of MBAs. (2021). How an MBA Can Impact Your Career. https://www.associationofmbas.com/mba-guide/how-can-an-mba-impact-your-career/
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Unemployment Earnings and Education. https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Should I Get a Master’s Degree. https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm