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MBA Salary: How Much Do MBAs Make?

Discover what an MBA salary looks like and which MBA specializations lead to the most financially rewarding careers.
doug-wintemute
Written by Doug Wintemute on

The median annual MBA salary was $115,000 in 2021, according to a recruiter survey from Graduate Management Admission Council. After dropping to $105,000 in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, median annual salaries have returned to a pre-pandemic and all-time high.  

Having an MBA degree creates opportunities for professionals to access many desirable and high-paying positions in organizations around the world. This guide breaks down the MBA salary potential within popular specializations and career paths. 

What's the average salary for an MBA graduate?

While MBA graduates can expect competitive wages in general, many factors help determine what professionals in this field make. 

Your MBA concentration, chosen industry and position, and practical and relevant experience can give you an advantage when you negotiate salary. The MBA program and school prestige can also influence employer decisions.

Students should consider all these factors when pursuing specific training and career paths. To help make your MBA worth it for you, look at the fields that provide the best growth opportunities and MBA salary potential. 

MBA Salary: Average Base Pay

ProfessionAvg Base SalarySample Job Title

Information Technology
$111,000IT Director

Real Estate
$105,000Development Manager

Consulting
$101,000Strategy Consultant

Finance
$101,000Finance Director

Cybersecurity
$98,000Program Manager

International Business
$98,000Development Director

Marketing
$95,000Senior Project Manager

Supply Chain
$95,000Director of Operations

Management
$89,000Director of Operations

Sustainability
$86,000Project Management Consultant

Healthcare Managment
$85,000CNO, Executive Director

Accounting
$77,000Senior Finanace Manager

Human Resources
$70,000Senior HR Manager

Top-paying MBA jobs, by specialized field

MBA salaries depend on the industry. Specialized careers offer more limited job openings but high salaries. 

Here, we explore the top-paying MBA jobs by specialization and industry and highlight a few of the top careers in these areas. 

Accounting

With accounting MBA, you can access accounting and financial management positions. According to PayScale, the average base salary for professionals in this field is $77,000. The positions below pay the highest MBA salaries in this discipline, all exceeding an average annual wage of $128,000.

  • Chief financial officer (CFO)

  • Vice president of finance

  • Senior finance manager

Consulting

A consulting MBA can lead to many management, analyst, and consulting careers. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $101,000. The positions below pay the highest salaries in this discipline, all exceeding an average annual wage of $106,000.

  • Management consultant

  • Strategy consultant

  • Senior managing consultant

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity MBA concentrations open the door to computer, data, and security management careers. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $98,000. The positions below pay the highest MBA salaries in this discipline, all exceeding an average annual wage of $135,000.

  • Information security manager

  • IT program manager

  • Chief information officer (CIO)

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship MBA concentrations can lead to careers in all areas of business management. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $103,000. The positions below pay the highest MBA salaries in this discipline. Each exceeds an average annual wage of $117,000.

  • Chief operating officer (COO)

  • Chief Executive officer (CEO)

  • Business development director

Executive

An executive MBA may lead to opportunities in the highest levels of business management. The average base salary for professionals in this discipline is $120,000. These positions pay the highest salaries in this discipline, all exceeding an average annual wage of $159,000.

  • Chief executive officer (CEO)

  • Chief financial officer (CFO)

  • President

Finance

A finance MBA concentration prepares graduates for many financial management careers. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $101,000. The positions below pay the highest MBA salaries in this discipline, all exceeding an average annual wage of $138,000.

  • Chief financial officer (CFO)

  • Finance director

  • Vice president of finance

Healthcare management

With a healthcare management MBA, graduates can access many senior-level management careers in the healthcare industry. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $85,000. The positions below pay the highest salaries in this discipline. All exceed an average annual wage of $106,000.

  • Chief nursing officer (CNO)

  • Nursing manager

  • Executive director

Human resources

A human resources MBA concentration opens the door for various business management and administration careers. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $70,000. The positions below pay the highest MBA salaries in this discipline, all exceeding an average annual wage of $93,000.

  • Vice president of human resources

  • Senior human resources manager

  • Director of human resources

Information technology

With an MBA in information technology, graduates can pursue most computer systems management careers. The average base salary for professionals in this discipline is $111,000. The positions below pay the highest MBA salaries in this discipline. Each exceeds an average annual wage of $135,000.

  • Information technology director

  • Chief information officer (CIO)

  • Chief technology officer (CTO)

International business

An MBA in international business creates opportunities for business management careers within global organizations. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $98,000. The following positions pay the highest salaries in this discipline, all exceeding an average annual wage of $142,000.

  • Business development director

  • Chief operating officer (COO)

  • Vice president of marketing

Management

An MBA in management grants access to most general business management occupations. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $89,000. The positions below pay the highest MBA salaries in this discipline, all exceeding an average annual wage of $98,000.

  • Executive director

  • Director of operations

  • Quality manager

Marketing

Graduates with an MBA in marketing can pursue most marketing management careers. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $95,000. The positions below pay the highest MBA salaries in this discipline, all exceeding an average annual wage of $115,000.

  • Vice president of marketing

  • Senior product manager

  • Marketing director

Nonprofit business management

Nonprofit business management MBA concentrations lead to management careers in community, national, and international nonprofits. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $69,000. These positions pay the highest salaries in this field. All exceeding an average annual wage of $100,000.

  • Executive director of nonprofit

  • Chief operating officer (COO)

  • Chief executive officer (CEO)

Operations management/supply chain management

An MBA in operations management or supply chain management prepares graduates for careers managing logistics and production. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $95,000. The positions below pay the highest MBA salaries in this discipline, all exceeding an average annual wage of $124,000.

  • Director of operations

  • Director of supply chain management

  • Vice president of operations

Organizational leadership

With an organizational leadership MBA, graduates can access most management and organizational development positions. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $87,000. The positions below pay the highest salaries in this discipline. Each exceeds an average annual wage of $110,000.

  • Human resources director

  • President

  • Vice president of human resources

Project management

A project management MBA prepares graduates to oversee and lead large-scale projects and operations. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $84,000. The positions below pay the highest MBA salaries in this discipline, all exceeding an average annual wage of $104,000.

  • Senior project manager

  • Senior program manager

  • Vice president of operations

Public administration

A public administration MBA typically leads to management careers in organizations that serve the community and public. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $77,000. The positions below pay the highest salaries in public administration. All exceed an average annual wage of $111,000.

  • Human resources manager

  • Program director

  • Administrative director

Public relations

Graduates with a public relations MBA have access to careers in marketing and communications management. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $66,000. The positions below pay the highest salaries in this field, all exceeding an average annual wage of $81,000.

  • Marketing communications manager

  • Public relations manager

  • Manager of client services

Real estate

A real estate MBA opens the door to careers involving real estate transactions and management. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $105,000. The positions below pay the highest MBA salaries in this discipline, all exceeding an average annual wage of $111,000.

  • Real estate development manager

  • Vice president of real estate acquisitions

  • Director of property management 

Strategy

A strategy MBA concentration leads to senior-level management and large-scale project management careers. Tthe average base salary for professionals in this field is $122,000. These positions pay the highest salaries in this discipline, all exceeding an average annual wage of $151,000.

  • Director of strategy

  • Chief operating officer (COO)

  • President

Sustainability

Graduating with a sustainability MBA concentration can create opportunities managing environmental and green initiatives for organizations. The average base salary for professionals in this field is $86,000. The positions below pay the highest salaries in this discipline. All exceed an average annual wage of $111,000.

  • Sustainability director

  • Project management consultant

  • Strategic partnership manager

Unless otherwise noted, salary data is drawn from PayScale as of March 7, 2022.

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