Top Paying States For MBA Graduates 2024

Written by James Mielke
Published on November 27, 2022 · Updated on May 28, 2023

Top Paying States For MBA Graduates 2024

Written by James Mielke
Published on November 27, 2022 · Updated on May 28, 2023

From coast to coast, regardless of location, business professionals often turn to MBA degrees to enhance career options and increase pay. Why? MBA grads earn more than $29,000 annually than students completing a bachelor’s in business. And while the cost of an MBA can be high, students continuously turn to this academic path to hone their business, leadership, and management skills.

In the following guide, we spotlight the states with the highest MBA salaries. Additionally, we list our top MBA programs and zero in on what you need to know when applying to business schools. Keep reading to see what states pay MBA grads the most.

10 Best Schools That Offer MBA Programs

Not all business schools are created equal, and their academic rigor, reputation, and networking opportunities can influence career trajectories and earning potential. For students interested in top MBA programs, we highlight our top 10 below. 

  1. University of Pennsylvania
  2. Washington University in St. Louis
  3. Cornell University
  4. Bentley University
  5. Boston College
  6. University of Miami
  7. University of Southern California
  8. Tulane University of Louisiana
  9. University of Georgia
  10. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Preparing For Your MBA Program

Enrolling in an MBA program is a common academic choice for professionals wanting to enhance their business, management, and leadership skills. But how do you get into an MBA program? From undergraduate work to the MBA application process, we highlight the steps leading to an MBA program. 

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

First thing first: if you plan on earning an MBA, the process starts with completing an undergraduate degree. Even though MBA applications are often reviewed holistically, undergraduate academic performance can affect what MBA program accepts you. 

In addition to traditional coursework, internships in a business setting can help boost your resume while often acting as a pathway to securing your first post-bachelor’s job. 

Gain Business Experience

Alongside prior academic performance, MBA programs often require several years of professional experience. Applicable to various for-profit, non-profit, and governmental environments, MBA programs provide students with the theoretical and practical skills needed for effective management and leadership.

Recognizing that MBA students come from various professional backgrounds, degree-seekers can select MBA concentrations in areas such as accounting, healthcare management, real estate, public policy, and environment and sustainability.

Take the GMAT

Most of the best MBA programs require you to submit GMAT scores. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) typically takes 3-4 hours to complete and comprises four elements: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, integrated reasoning, and an analytical writing assessment.

Considered alongside other factors, including personal essays, academic transcripts, and professional experience, the GMAT helps graduate programs gauge an applicant’s potential for academic success. 

When preparing to take the GMAT exam, it’s a good idea to schedule your test a few months before your MBA application is due–this leaves you enough time to retake the exam if aiming for a higher score.

Apply to MBA Programs

Whether you’re considering an in-person or online MBA, submitting a thorough, thoughtful, completed application is essential to your admissions process. While specific application requirements vary between schools, certain parts of an application are relatively common. We highlight some standard application requirements below:

Almost every MBA program in the United States requires that applicants submit either GRE or GMAT exam scores. Build-in time to study for your test, and if your results fall below a school’s average scores, consider retaking the exam.
Your undergraduate performance plays a role in admissions decisions, and prospective schools consider both your grades and the academic reputation of your college. Additionally, many MBA programs focus on courses like calculus, microeconomics, and statistics.
Most business school applicants have at least three years of professional experience. Your resume should showcase accomplishments, leadership skills, and experience in team-based settings. Additionally, be sure to include volunteer, community service, and civic activities.
Submitting expertly crafted and well-written admissions essays not only give you a chance to showcase your professional writing skills but provides an opportunity for program officials to get to know you as an individual. Admissions committees are often drawn to well-rounded, interesting applicants who display passions outside of the classroom.
While your essays show what you think about yourself, letters of recommendation give space for outside opinions. Usually pulling from academic and professional sources, these letters often help reinforce the attributes that make you a quality MBA candidate. Allow your references ample time to craft a thoughtful recommendation letter.

Highest Paying States For MBA Graduates

1. Washington

Average Annual Salary: $95,694

Average Hourly Wage: $46.01

2. New York

Average Annual Salary: $89,875

Average Hourly Wage: $43.21

3. New Hampshire

Average Annual Salary: $87,018

Average Hourly Wage: $41.84

4. California

Average Annual Salary: $85,331

Average Hourly Wage: $41.02

5. Vermont

Average Annual Salary: $82,138

Average Hourly Wage: $39.49

6. Massachusetts

Average Annual Salary: $81,956

Average Hourly Wage: $39.40

7. Wyoming

Average Annual Salary: $80,341

Average Hourly Wage: $38.63

8. Idaho

Average Annual Salary: $80,301

Average Hourly Wage: $38.61

9. Hawaii

Average Annual Salary: $79,499

Average Hourly Wage: $38.22

10. Maine

Average Annual Salary: $79,027

Average Hourly Wage: $37.99

11. West Virginia

Average Annual Salary: $78,103

Average Hourly Wage: $37.55

12. Texas

Average Annual Salary: $77,877

Average Hourly Wage: $37.44

13. Pennsylvania

Average Annual Salary: $77,725

Average Hourly Wage: $37.37

14. Connecticut

Average Annual Salary: $77,461

Average Hourly Wage: $37.24

15. Rhode Island

Average Annual Salary: $76,234

Average Hourly Wage: $36.65

16. Montana

Average Annual Salary: $76,107

Average Hourly Wage: $36.59

17. New Jersey

Average Annual Salary: $75,915

Average Hourly Wage: $36.50

18. Alaska

Average Annual Salary: $75,696

Average Hourly Wage: $36.39

19. Maryland

Average Annual Salary: $75,360

Average Hourly Wage: $36.23

20. Arizona

Average Annual Salary: $75,324

Average Hourly Wage: $36.21

21. North Dakota

Average Annual Salary: $75,143

Average Hourly Wage: $36.13

22. Nevada

Average Annual Salary: $75,101

Average Hourly Wage: $36.11

23. Indiana

Average Annual Salary: $74,841

Average Hourly Wage: $35.98

24. Nebraska

Average Annual Salary: $74,157

Average Hourly Wage: $35.65

25. Minnesota

Average Annual Salary: $73,712

Average Hourly Wage: $35.44

26. Tennessee

Average Annual Salary: $73,682

Average Hourly Wage: $35.42

27. Wisconsin

Average Annual Salary: $73,455

Average Hourly Wage: $35.31

28. Virginia

Average Annual Salary: $73,185

Average Hourly Wage: $35.19

29. Ohio

Average Annual Salary: $73,148

Average Hourly Wage: $35.17

30. South Dakota

Average Annual Salary: $72,948

Average Hourly Wage: $35.07

31. Georgia

Average Annual Salary: $72,663

Average Hourly Wage: $34.93

32. Kentucky

Average Annual Salary: $72,224

Average Hourly Wage: $34.72

33. Utah

Average Annual Salary: $72,139

Average Hourly Wage: $34.68

34. Oregon

Average Annual Salary: $71,841

Average Hourly Wage: $34.54

35. Louisiana

Average Annual Salary: $71,486

Average Hourly Wage: $34.37

36. Alabama

Average Annual Salary: $70,964

Average Hourly Wage: $34.12

37. Kansas

Average Annual Salary: $70,794

Average Hourly Wage: $34.04

38. South Carolina

Average Annual Salary: $70,793

Average Hourly Wage: $34.04

39. Colorado

Average Annual Salary: $70,542

Average Hourly Wage: $33.91

40. Delaware

Average Annual Salary: $70,430

Average Hourly Wage: $33.86

41. Iowa

Average Annual Salary: $70,298

Average Hourly Wage: $33.80

42. New Mexico

Average Annual Salary: $69,799

Average Hourly Wage: $33.56

43. Oklahoma

Average Annual Salary: $68,923

Average Hourly Wage: $33.14

44. Florida

Average Annual Salary: $68,485

Average Hourly Wage: $32.93

45. Mississippi

Average Annual Salary: $66,324

Average Hourly Wage: $31.89

46. Arkansas

Average Annual Salary: $66,247

Average Hourly Wage: $31.85

47. Michigan

Average Annual Salary: $66,197

Average Hourly Wage: $31.83

48. Illinois

Average Annual Salary: $65,887

Average Hourly Wage: $31.68

49. Missouri

Average Annual Salary: $64,796

Average Hourly Wage: $31.15

50. North Carolina

Average Annual Salary: $60,326

Average Hourly Wage: $29.00

How To Increase Your MBA Salary

Although completing an MBA program doesn’t guarantee higher wages, academically invested students who take advantage of networking opportunities often capitalize on their MBA experience. And while b-school grads do have the potential to earn more, tackling an academic specialization within an MBA program provides additional business skills that often translate to higher wages.

Common MBA specializations include finance, marketing, strategy, operational management, and entrepreneurship. Additionally, especially in-demand concentrations include project management, cybersecurity, healthcare management, and technology and information systems.


The state-based annual salary and hourly wage information was produced by ZipRecruiter and can be found here.