A career can mean different things to different people. Some people want a job love waking up for every day, even if it means sacrificing a little money or a longer commute. Others might put up with a job they despise because of the large paycheck associated with it.
Of course, many people fall somewhere in between those two extremes. No one wants to hate their job but you’d be lying if you said you weren’t in it for the money.
Certain professions—such as a lawyer or a surgeon—are notorious for having a generous salary. But the amount of time and money spent on the necessary education doesn’t excite you. Business is another field that offers exciting earning potential with a fraction of the time spent in school.
If you need some cold, hard salary facts before pulling the trigger on pursuing a career in business, look no further. We used real-time job analysis software from Burning-Glass.com to examine more than 80,000 business job postings.* We identified the 10 positions in highest demand and consulted the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to learn the earning potential for each.
Potential salaries in business-related careers
The chart above illustrates the salary ranges associated with the 10 most in-demand business positions we identified in our analysis.** You’ll notice that salary potential can vary greatly by position. As a general rule of thumb, earnings tend to increase with education and experience.
So how do these numbers stack up with the salary of other professions? The median annual wage for all occupations was $34,750, as reported by the BLS. Knowing these salary ranges can help you narrow down your options as you continue on the path to your dream career.
10 in-demand business careers
Now that the salary data is out of the way, let’s take a look at the actual number of jobs posted for each position over the past year, based on our analysis. The job descriptions below are courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor.
1. Sales representatives (5,405 jobs available)
Sales reps sell their company’s products to businesses or individuals by identifying customers, answering their questions and recommending products to meet their needs. This requires substantial knowledge of their respective products, market conditions and competitors offerings.
2. Financial analysts (4,297 jobs available)
Professionals in this field are responsible for monitoring and analyzing the investment decisions of public or private companies. Duties also include examining quantitative information, interpreting financial data, recommending investment opportunities and keeping track of important investments.
3. Human resources (HR) specialists (3,896 jobs available)
HR specialists are tasked with keeping track of all employee-related matters within an organization. This includes everything from recruiting new hires and handling onboarding paperwork to interpreting personnel policies and addressing employee relations issues.
4. Accountants (3,322 jobs available)
These professionals analyze financial data and prepare financial reports. They are responsible for maintaining record of all financial aspects of a company, including assets, liabilities profit and loss and tax liability.
5. Management analysts (2,675 jobs available)
Management analysts help companies operate more efficiently and effectively. They achieve this by observing current procedures, deliberating with various personnel and preparing training documents for new policies.
6. First-line supervisors of retail sales workers (2,640 jobs available)
These supervisors manage a team of employees in a retail setting. They are involved in everything from greeting and assisting customers to hiring, training and evaluating workers.
7. Auditors (2,182 jobs available)
Auditors help companies keep their finances on track by analyzing data and assets, reviewing accounting records and making sure funds are being spent appropriately. They must examine data to detect fraudulent activity or non-compliance with federal, state and company policies.
8. Sales agents, financial services (2,130 jobs available)
Professionals in this field focus on selling financial services to customers of businesses and financial companies. Other duties include developing prospect lists, preparing proposals and reviewing business trends.
9. Market research analysts and marketing specialists (2,096 jobs available)
These marketers gather information to define market conditions in local, regional or national areas. They propose marketing campaigns and sales opportunities based on their in-depth research of customer demographics, needs and buying habits.
10. Sales managers (2,061 jobs available)
Sales managers are responsible for planning and coordinating the distribution of products to customers. Job duties include establishing and monitoring sales territories, quotas and goals for the staff under their supervision.
So what now?
It’s difficult to snag a killer business career with a sizable salary without putting forth a little effort. Whether your goal is to be an accountant, financial analyst or auditor, you have to start somewhere. Often that “somewhere” is in the classroom—earning a degree in business.
If you’re ready to get the ball rolling on your career and get one step closer to a business major’s salary, check out the business degree options offered by Rasmussen College. Once you have a degree under your belt, choosing your career, earning that salary and deciding how you spend your money is all up to you!
*Source: Burning-Glass.com (Analysis of 81,287 business administration and management positions, April 30, 2013-April 29, 2014)
** Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.