Starting Salaries in Business: How Much Can you Make?

Starting salaries in business

While it’s always good to love the work you do, it’s also critical to make a living. Earning a business degree is the first step to a stable and lucrative career. But what are the starting salaries in the business field? What is the range for business salaries?

With your completed degree in business administration, you can expect substantial starting salaries. However, salaries vary considerably based on which degree you have and what area of business you choose to pursue. Here are the the salary stats you can expect for each Business degree currently available.

Associates Degree in Business Administration

Associate degree programs are generally two-year programs offered by technical institutes or community colleges. They are designed to give students a general education in business, and there are many satisfying careers available to the holder of an associate’s degree in business. Here are the starting salaries in business careers for associates degree holders.

  • Office Manager $37,380
  • Executive Assistant $41,850
  • Retail Store Manager $41,850
  • Administrative Assistant $29,893
  • Human Resources $49,821
  • Customer Service Representative $31,886

Bachelor in Business Administration

There are many rewarding careers available to the proud graduate of a bachelor’s program in business administration. Here is a breakdown of the various positions and their average salaries. Remember, salaries vary considerably with experience, so you can assume starting business salaries are somewhat lower.

  • Controller (Financial) $87,777
  • Human Resources Manager $61,526
  • Project Manager, IT $78,446
  • Project manager, Construction $76,908
  • Human Resources Director $72,806
  • Executive Administrative Assistant $36,454
  • Senior Accountant $51,272

Masters in Business Administration

Just as recruiting has increased in the United States, MBA salaries also have risen—as have tuition costs. MBA graduates want a return on this substantial investment in their education, and it looks like they’re getting it. MBA degree holders have the strongest hold on the highest business career salary.

  • Consulting $101,736
  • Energy Utility $100,263
  • Finance $103,122
  • Health Care $111,477
  • High Tech $  98,621
  • Manufacturing $  98,417
  • Nonprofit/Government $  73,125
  • Products/Service $  94,558

The Business PhD

While an MBA or business administration degree can offer extensive training, they are becoming more and more common. Earning a doctorate in business can help you get ahead of the competition and land a high paying business or teaching job. Many CEO’s today have a business administration doctorate degree, but there is also a more traditional PhD program available in business as well. Here are the differences in the two degrees and the starting salaries in business PhD holders arenas.

Doctor of Philosophy in Organization and Management. This degree PhD program in business focus intensively on preparing candidates to conduct highly specialized scholarly research. They focus on the development of new theory in management, economics and related fields. Most holders of a business PhD become faculty at Business schools. An Associate Professor at a Business School can expect a starting salary of about $110,000 a year, with a full professor eventually earning closer to $150,000 a year.

Doctor of Business Administration (which is not a PhD, but a DBA degree) programs focus on the application of theory rather than on the development of new theory. While also intended to prepare graduates for academic careers, the DBA, by virtue of its focus on application of theory, has more practical application in managerial settings than the PhD and can therefore has a much higher earning potential in the business world. Most CEO’s have beginning salaries in the range of $140,000, with a nearly unlimited earning potential—depending on the success of the corporation and experience.