Business Administration Salary and Job Outlook

Compare popular careers in business administration and learn why salaries are higher than some other business careers.

hero-business-administration-salary-and-job-outlookUnlike many business fields that channel directly into a predetermined set of careers—accounting, for example—business administration provides the general skills that can transfer into a wide array of careers in business.

Median Annual Salaries

Focused on the management and operational skills that are crucial to running a business, a business administration background can apply to almost any industry within the business world.

Here are some statistics on salaries, job growth, and employer types for business administrators.

Take a look at some of the salaries for popular careers in business administration:

Business Administration Career Median Annual Salary*
Sales Management $110,660
Financial Management $115,320
Human Resources Management $102,780
Food Service Management $48,560
Health Care Administration $92,810
Marketing Management $123,450

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

What is my earning potential?

It is difficult to know what to expect from a business administration salary, as the discipline opens up many possible career paths, each with varying levels of supply and demand.

As with almost all careers, the higher degree you hold, the higher your salary: A bachelor’s degree in business administration can add $2,000 to $5,000 or more per year in earning potential, while an MBA can add yet another $7,000 to $11,000, though many MBAs start out in higher-level management jobs with more responsibility, and consequently earn a larger salary that may include a bonus package.

Is there demand for this career?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for business administrators is expected to grow about as fast as average for all occupations. However, job growth will vary by the area of business administration in which you choose to specialize.

What is the job growth for the field?

Take a look at how some of the business administration occupations compare as far as job growth:

Job Outlook Comparison Through 2024

  • Sales Management—5 percent, slower than average
  • Finance Management—7 percent, as fast as average
  • Human Resources Management—9 percent, slightly faster than average
  • Food Service Management—5 percent, slower than average
  • Health Care Administration—17 percent, much faster than average
  • Marketing Management—9 percent, slightly faster than average

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook

How much competition will I face for a job?

The job market for those in business has become increasingly competitive, and what once worked for job-seekers now requires more education and credentials. For example, an MBA was once a near-guarantee for a great career in business administration. Employers are now seeking candidates with a DBA and certifications as business becomes more global and fast-paced. Technology plays a big factor in business, so the more knowledge and experience you have with computers and software, the better you may fare when it comes time to find a job.

What kinds of companies hire business administrators?

Here are the most common places where business administration professionals can be found according to the BLS:

Sales Managers
Management of Companies and Enterprises—31,720
Car Dealers—25,000
Wholesale Electronic Markets—15,890
Computer Systems Design—12,200
Department Stores—11,260

Financial Managers
Depository Credit Intermediation—79,020
Management of Companies—65,830
Accounting, Tax Prep, Bookkeeping and Payroll Services—23,000
Insurance Companies—18,870
Local Government—18,850

HR Management
Management of Companies—18,200
Local Government—7,790
Hospitals—4,510
Employment Services—4,390
Computer Systems Design—3,470

Marketing Management
Management of Companies—33,330
Computer Systems Design—10,870
Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting—10,460
Insurance Companies—5,600
Advertising and Public Relations—4,590

How do I advance in my business administration career?

The ability to spot trends and patterns and to conduct business within a code of ethics would at one time have taken you far. But with the world becoming smaller thanks to technological advances, business administration is more complicated and complex than ever.

While you might be able to find an entry-level job—such as office administrator—with an associate’s degree, you’ll need to keep up with industry changes, and earn an advanced degree in order to climb the corporate ladder.

Earning at least an MBA could increase your career options and give you access to management and administrative roles, but earning a doctorate will open avenues in areas such as academia and research. If you want to be considered for that great promotion, you might want to think about one (or both) of these tips:

  • Learn a new language—business isn’t just confined to English-speaking countries. Places such as India and China are huge market opportunities.
  • Get computer savvy—take some IT and computer science classes, and learn the different software applications you’ll need to do your job better and faster.

Also, earning certification or licensure shows potential employers that you are a qualified and accomplished professional in your chosen career, and may play a role in employment decisions or promotions.

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