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Business Administration Salary and Job Outlook

Learn why a business administration salary is sometimes higher than other business careers.

Unlike 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 business administration salary ranges, job growth and employer types for administrators.

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

Career Median Annual Salary
Sales Managers $127,490
Financial Managers $131,710
Food Service Managers $59,440
Marketing Managers $135,030
Human Resources Managers $126,230

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021

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.

In many 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 (the national average for all careers is currently 8% through 2030 per the BLS):

Job Outlook Comparison Over the Next Decade

  • Sales Management—7%, slightly less than average
  • Finance Management—17%, much faster than average
  • Human Resources Management—9%, as fast as average
  • Food Service Management—15%, faster than average
  • Health Care Administration—32%, much faster than average
  • Marketing Management—10%, as fast as average

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 Occupational Employment Statistics

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
Car Dealers
Wholesale Electronic Markets
Computer Systems Design
Department Stores

Financial Managers
Depository Credit Intermediation
Management of Companies
Accounting, Tax Prep, Bookkeeping and Payroll Services
Insurance Companies
Local Government

HR Management
Management of Companies
Local Government
Employment Services
Computer Systems Design

Marketing Management
Management of Companies
Computer Systems Design
Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting
Insurance Companies
Advertising and Public Relations

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 could decide to 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. One (or both) of these tips could help you be considered for a promotion:

  • 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.