5 Highest Paying Jobs for MBA Graduates

5-highest-paying-jobs-for-mba-graduatesStudents interested in pursuing a master of business administration (MBA) degree typically find employment in the corporate environment after graduation. According to the financial experts at Bloomberg Business, graduates of top-ranked business school programs typically pull down much higher salaries than those who graduate from less prestigious universities. Another factor that can affect compensation for MBA students is the choice of career after graduation; certain positions attract higher salaries than others in the competitive job market. Here are five careers that deliver the highest financial rewards for MBA graduates.

Chief Executive Officer

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that chief executive officers (CEOs) are responsible for the highest level of decision making within an organization or company. Extensive experience in the managerial and administrative fields is generally required to obtain one of these top-level positions. A bachelor’s degree in business is nearly always a minimum requirement for consideration at this level of employment. Most successful CEOs have an MBA; many hold licenses and certifications related to their specific field of endeavor.

Entry-level and intermediate positions as shift supervisors, operational and general managers and departmental heads can provide opportunities for promotion and may lead to a lucrative position as a corporate CEO. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for CEOs is $173,320 as of May 2014.

Financial Manager

The BLS lists the median salary for financial managers at $109,740 per year. These jobs vary widely, however, in the degree of responsibility and the duties required of employees in the working environment. Most financial managers start their careers after graduation in a lower-level accounting, banking or analyst position and work their way up through the ranks. At higher levels, financial management professionals may be responsible for supervising others. Primary duties for these positions include preparing financial statements and forecasts, monitoring and auditing reports, determining the creditworthiness of clients, assessing investment strategies and managing risk in the stock and commodities markets. An MBA is required for nearly all positions in the financial management field.

Management Consultant

An MBA from an accredited institution can increase the chances of snagging a job as a management consultant with a reputable firm. Management consultants typically provide in-depth advice and guidance to client companies on organizational structures, morale and team building and other factors that can impact productivity in the working environment. The median salary level for these positions was $78,600 in May 2012; however, increased demand for these positions will likely drive up compensation offers in the next few years. The BLS predicts that employment for management analysts and consultants will grow nearly 20 percent over the 10-year period from 2012 to 2022. Applicants with an MBA degree will be well positioned to gain employment as management consultants and to achieve success in this highly paid field.

Oil and Gas Extraction Manager

Although an MBA degree alone will not qualify most graduates for managerial positions in the oil and gas extraction field, these advanced educational qualifications can provide real help in navigating the complex contracts and business requirements encountered in the energy industry. Most aspiring oil and gas extraction managers begin with a bachelor’s degree in geology or a related scientific field before pursuing their MBA. By combining advanced expertise in business administration with the core skills acquired during initial training in science, graduates can take on managerial responsibilities as primary decision makers regarding budgeting, staffing, methodology and research activities in the oil and gas industry. Median pay is listed by the BLS at $147,250, making this one of the highest paid professions for MBA graduates.

Human Resources Manager

While some positions may be available to students with only a bachelor’s degree, MBA graduates are generally preferred candidates in the modern human resources field. Aspiring human resources managers typically must also have acquired relevant job experience within the industry in which they are seeking employment. Coursework in social science, organizational structures and psychology can be useful for professionals who choose this career path. Duties include hiring new employees, designing compensation packages, arranging for training and educational courses and, in some cases, dealing with terminations of unsatisfactory employees. Human resources managers also serve as liaisons between upper management and rank-and-file staff members. Median pay for these positions is estimated by the BLS at $99,720 as of May 2012; growth is projected to exceed 10 percent over the next seven years.

These five career paths offer optimal compensation and upward mobility for MBA graduates. By taking the first steps toward these positions immediately after obtaining an MBA degree, job applicants can ensure the most positive outcomes and the highest salaries in the modern employment marketplace.