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International Business Salaries

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Four professionals at a table talk on a video conference call with colleagues

International business offers a multitude of career opportunities with varying salaries that will depend on your field, education, experience, and more. The exciting thing about international business is that you can take your skills just about anywhere.

In this Article

A Wide Range of Salaries

There are many careers to choose from in international business—accounting, finance, and marketing to name a few. Here's a look at median annual salaries for some common roles from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Career Median Annual Salary
Marketing Managers $135,030
Financial Managers $131,710
Sales Managers $127,490
Human Resources Managers $126,230
Logisticians $77,030
Accountants and Auditors $77,250

Factors that Influence Salary

The duties and responsibilities that come with a role can significantly influence your salary. But there are other factors that also matter.

Education

You can work in international business with several degrees, including:

In general, the more education you have, the more responsibility you'll have and the more you'll make. To become a manager, you'll typically need a bachelor's degree in international business or a field related to your area of expertise—such as human resources, business administration, hospitality, and public administration if you work for a government agency. To quality for director, executive, or leadership roles, you'll typically need a master's degree.

Experience

Your education will provide you with knowledge and expertise, but real-world experience is crucial to learning your profession and commanding higher salaries as you move up. Your experience can begin with a college internship, which can help you can stand out from other entry-level candidates.

Your education will provide you with knowledge and expertise, but real-world experience is crucial to learning your profession and commanding higher salaries as you move up.

"What will help you advance in international business is knowing the technical skills particular to the function that you're doing, whether it's marketing, operations, finance, or whatever it is," says Ralph Jagodka, MBA, EdD, professor of business management at Mt. San Antonio College. "In addition, there's value to the cultural skills that makes you able to communicate effectively, within the organization as well as externally."

Certification

Professional certification can help increase your chances of earning a higher salary because it demonstrates that you've mastered skills and knowledge related to your profession beyond a traditional degree.

The Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) credential awarded by NASBITE International is the key credential for professionals in international business. Earning professional certification related to your specific role, such as certified public accountant (CPA) if you're an accountant, can also help boost your earning potential.

Specialty

An international business may need people who specialize in many fields, including areas you may not immediately think of, such as real estate development and project management.

Higher-paying careers that require a unique set of technical, professional, or scientific knowledge tend to offer the highest salaries. Having skills in a specialty in which there's a shortage of workers can also increase your value to an employer.

What's the Job Outlook for Careers in International Business?

Jagodka, who has extensive professional experience in international business management in the private sector, says there's limitless potential for a career in international business. As more developing countries grow and expand their international business needs, there are more opportunities for professionals in all specialties. "Because of globalization, international business is infused in almost everything we do," says Jagodka.

Job Outlook Comparison Through 2031

The BLS projects overall job growth for the decade at 5 percent. Growth for some business professions is in line with that projection, but others far outpace it:

How Much Competition Will I Face in the Job Market?

Your education will provide you with knowledge and expertise, but real-world experience is crucial to learning your profession and commanding higher salaries as you move up.

The more knowledge and experience you have with computers and software, as well as working and interacting with people, the better.

Similarly, you will need to prove your tech-savvy and willingness to keep up with new processes and systems that emerge for communication and business management. The more knowledge and experience you have with computers and software, as well as working and interacting with people, the better.

Having traveled, studied, and worked in countries outside the U.S. will complement your knowledge and professional skills. "When you have a full multicultural background, the people hiring for positions are going to look at you as a person that has the ability to adapt to different cultures and different situations and different locations, so if they send you anywhere, you're going to do fine," says Jagodka.


anna giorgi

Written and reported by:

Anna Giorgi

Contributing Writer

ralph jagodka

With professional insight from:

Ralph Jagodka, MBA, EdD

Professor of Business Management, Mt. San Antonio College

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