Highest Paying MBA Careers In 2023

Written by Katy Mcwhirter
Published on December 11, 2022 · Updated on May 28, 2023

Highest Paying MBA Careers In 2023

Written by Katy Mcwhirter
Published on December 11, 2022 · Updated on May 28, 2023

Data from the Graduate Management Admission Council's 2020 survey found that MBA graduates earn 115% higher salaries than their colleagues with bachelor's degrees. Professionals who completed undergraduate studies but are considering going back to get their MBA can select from myriad specialties to build advanced, niche knowledge in their chosen field. 

Before committing to more studies, however, prospective students should learn about salary outcomes. Keep reading to learn about the highest paying jobs for MBA graduates.

[click_table instance="6102dc4fac7e990008e21351"]

Highest Paying MBA Careers

1. Computer and Information Systems Managers

Also known as information technology managers, these professionals oversee all activities related to computers within their companies. They determine computing needs, create update plans, change out old machinery as needed, and ensure networks remain secure.

Professionals in these roles earned annual median salaries of $151,150 as of 2020. Those working in information-based positions earned the highest annual wages at $166,770 while managers in manufacturing earned the least at $150,930.
As with other positions rooted in technology and computer systems, these roles are set to grow by an impressive 11% between 2020-2030. This growth should lead to nearly 53,000 new roes added to an existing 482,000.

In addition to completing a bachelor's degree in computer and information technologies or a related subject, many employers require these professionals to hold an MBA in computer information management. 

Given the managerial nature of these positions, most also look for candidates with several years of professional experience in information technology.

2. Financial Managers

Financial managers ensure their companies stay profitable and financially healthy long-term. Typical responsibilities include overseeing investments, creating plans around short- and long-term financial goals, overseeing other financial staff, and creating reports highlighting financial activities.

Financial managers earning the median annual wage for their position brought home $134,180 as of May 2020, though those working in professional, scientific, and technical services received average salaries of $154,790. Conversely, financial managers in government positions earned only $117,940 per year.
The BLS projects these roles will grow substantially over the next decade, leading to a 17% growth overall. In addition to the existing 681,700,000 roles, this growth should add nearly 118,200 new positions.

Becoming a financial manager takes a number of years due to educational and experiential requirements. Students should first complete a bachelor's degree in business, finance, economics, or a related subject. Some positions also look for candidates who hold an MBA in finance.

The majority of employers expect candidates to possess at least five years of experience in a related financial or business role before moving into a financial management position.

3. Sales Managers

Sales managers oversee the sales activities of their organizations, setting goals for sales representatives and ensuring they are met by providing ongoing training and performance reviews. They also work closely with marketing managers to create strategies for increasing sales.

Working as a sales manager provides qualified candidates a well-paid salary. These professionals earned median annual wages of $132,290 as of May 2020, but those in finance and insurance earned substantially more at $163,630. Working as a retail sales manager nets the lowest wage at $92,950.
Although more sales now take place online without the help of these professionals, the BLS projects these positions will grow by 7% between 2020-2030. This should lead to the addition of 27,900 new jobs in addition to the existing 397,900.

Sales managers come from a variety of academic backgrounds, including business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Most positions require a bachelor's degree, but some larger companies may look for candidates who possess an MBA in sales, business administration, or finance.

Sales managers must possess 3-5 years as a sales representative and/or supervisor before they qualify for a management role.

4. Compensation and Benefits Managers

Situated within the realm of human resources, compensation and benefits managers develop and manage the structures used to set pay rates and administer benefits to employees. They identify vendors to provide benefits, monitor regulations to ensure compliance, and create budgets.

A career as a compensation and benefits manager provided a median annual wage of $125,130 as of May 2020. The top 10% of earners commanded salaries in excess of $208,000, while those in the bottom 10% received just $70,920.
Although some companies have contracted out these positions to consulting firms in recent years, the BLS still projects that positions should grow by approximately 4% in the coming years. This growth should lead to an additional 700 roles by 2030.

Compensation and benefits managers usually start their careers by pursuing a bachelor's degree in business, human resources, or a similar field. Pursuing an MBA in human resources can provide the specialized training to work in senior-level positions. 

Before becoming a manager, these professionals typically work as assistants or specialists for 3-5 years. Those looking to boost their prospects may decide to pursue certification from one of several respected human resources certifiers.

5. Human Resources Managers

Human resources managers oversee the administration of companies. They handle the hiring and firing of staff, manage training programs, oversee benefits, and consult with departments on human resources issues such as employee discipline, sexual harassment, and other challenges.

Working as a human resources manager netted professionals median salaries of $121,220 as of May 2020. Working in professional, scientific, and technical services offered the highest average pay at $138,030. Working in healthcare and social assistance provides workers an average salary of $101,990.
Roles for human resources managers are projected to grow by 9% between 2020-2030 thanks to new employment laws requiring professionals who can interpret and implement them. The field currently has 161,700 existing roles but should grow by 14,800 positions in the coming years.

The first step to becoming a human resources manager involves completing a bachelor's degree in business, management, human resources, or a related topic. 

After gaining a few years of experience, students may decide to return to school and earn an MBA in human resources, business administration, or labor relations. This can help them qualify for high-paying managerial positions.

6. Training and Development Managers

Training and development managers ensure employees receive the continuing education needed to excel in their roles. In addition to working with outside educational vendors that provide training sessions, these professionals also lead training based on organizational goals and desired outcomes.

The BLS found that, in 2020, training and development managers earned median salaries of $115,640. Experienced professionals in the top 10% of earners received salaries in excess of $200,210. Newly minted managers and those in the lowest 10% of earners received $66,270 during the same timeframe. 
Positions for training and development managers are projected to grow by 11% in the coming years, faster than the average for all occupations. Although more training now happens online, professionals can expect to see approximately 4,500 new roles added to the field by 2030.

Most employers require a mix of education and experience for training and development managers. Students hoping to pursue this path should first complete a bachelor's degree in business administration, education, or human resources. 

After working as an educator or training specialist for a time, some students may decide to go back to school and pursue an MBA in organizational development, training and development, or human resources management. 

7. Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

These professionals are responsible for ensuring the name of their company gets in front of potential and current clients. They create marketing plans, book advertising slots across media platforms, develop promotional materials, and work with other professionals to keep the company aligned to marketing goals.

Professionals working as advertising, promotions, and marketing managers earned median annual wages of $133,460 as of May 2020. Those working in industries focused on advertising, public relations, and related services earned the highest wages at $150,930, while those working in wholesale trade typically earned the lowest at $96,380.
Jobs for this field are projected to grow by 10% between 2020-2030, leading to the creation of nearly 31,800 new positions.
The most common bachelor's degrees pursued by these managers include marketing, sales, communication, or business administration. After working in a related support position for a few years, some of these progressions obtain a master's degree in marketing and obtain high-ranking managerial positions.

8. Top Executives

Also known as C-level professionals, these employees may be CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, or other top-level administrators. They oversee others on their team, create departmental budgets, manage strategic planning initiatives, and work with other C-level employees to maintain synergy within the company.

Salaries for C-level executives can vary substantially based on their area of expertise, type of company, and industry they work in. That said, the BLS found that average median salaries for these professionals reached $185,950 as of May 2020. Those in the top 10% of earners received in excess of $208,000, while those in the lowest 10% earned $62,780.
Jobs for chief executives are projected to decline by 6% as new organizational structures allow for more productivity without the need for executive roles. That said, positions for general and operations managers are set to grow by 9%, creating opportunities for individuals with extensive leadership experience.
After completing a bachelor's degree in business administration or a related topic, individuals seeking C-level positions typically pursue an MBA in a specialization related to their industry. Options could include business, finance, leadership, construction, or myriad other fields.

9. Medical and Health Services Managers

Medical and health services managers work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, and other healthcare settings to oversee administrative functions. They may manage hiring processes and training programs, oversee budgetary matters, and liaise with other managers on staffing needs.

Medical and health services managers earned median wages of $104,280 in May 2020. Those working in government positions tended to receive the highest salaries at $116,380. Working in nursing and residential care facilities, conversely, offers the lowest pay at an average of $89,880 per year.
With the baby boomer population aging into the need for extended care, jobs for these professionals are projected to skyrocket in the coming years. The BLS projects a growth rate of 32% between 2020-2030, leading to the creation of more than 139,600 new positions -- in addition to the existing 429,800 roles.
The vast majority of these positions require graduate-level education, with many students pursuing MBAs with specializations such as health administration, public policy, and organizational management. Expect to work in a support role for 3-5 years before taking on a management position.

10. Management Analysts

Whether working in-house for a single company or in a consulting role for several clients, management analysts look for ways to improve organizational outcomes. They look for ways to increase profit and reduce costs, address personnel issues, and create new solutions and procedures that make companies run more smoothly.

Management analysts brought home median annual wages of $87,660 as of May 2020. Those in the top 10% of earners received salaries topping $156,840, while the bottom 10% received just $50,990 per year.
The BLS expects that jobs for management analysts will expand by 14% in the coming years, thanks in part to organizations looking to improve upon efficiency and better manage related costs. This should lead to the creation of nearly 124,400 new positions.
Many management analysts begin their careers with a bachelor's degree in computer and information technology, business, or mathematics. To continue progressing up the ranks, earning an MBA in management provides the education many employers prioritize.

Highest Paying States for MBA Graduates

Wages can vary substantially based on where you live and how much it costs to live in that place. For instance, an MBA graduate living in Seattle will likely earn more than one living in Omaha, but they will also spend more on things like housing.

What Is The Best MBA Specialization?

While there is objectively no best MBA specialization, there are individual best specializations based on student interests and career aspirations. Carefully consider which option best matches the job you hope to gain after graduating.