What are the 15 highest-paying jobs for business majors? In its 2016–2017 College Salary Report, PayScale listed them and their expected salaries, which reflect median pay for someone with a bachelor’s degree 10 or more years after graduation. The jobs are listed in descending order of salary amounts. Note that these are medians; at large corporations, compensation could be considerably more.
As you look at them, pay attention to which areas of business study are recommended. (For more, see Business Grads, Land Your Dream Job.)
The 15 Highest-Paying Jobs for Business Majors
- Chief Investment Officer (CIO) – As a CIO you would be responsible for your company's investment portfolios, including managing investment activity and pensions. The most common business major for CIOs is finance, and the median salary is $187,000.
- Chief Accounting Officer (CAO) – CAOs oversee all accounting functions and make sure that they are operating efficiently and effectively. They typically major in accounting and earn $176,000.
- Accounting Firm Partner – There are two levels of partner: equity and salaried. Equity partners typically have personal money invested in the firm; salaried partners do not. Both help set goals and lead fellow employees. Partners often have an accounting background and earn $168,000.
- Tax Director – The tax director is responsible for tax planning, tax compliance and accounting procedures related to income taxes. An accounting background is also common for tax directors. Median salary is $159,000.
- Vice President of Finance – These executives direct the entirety of accounting operations for their companies. Accounting is the most common major for this job as well. The salary is $147,000.
- Director of Financial Planning and Analysis – Your duties in this position would include overseeing the review of statistical studies and helping with financial planning. An accounting background is common for directors of financial planning and analysis, and the salary is $141,000.
- Internal Audit Director – This job calls for you to evaluate and fine-tune the financial function of your company. A major in accounting is common for internal audit directors, who command a median salary of $140,000.
- Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – CFOs are senior level executives tasked with managing all the financial systems within the company. A majority majored in accounting in college; median salary is $136,000.
- Chief Credit Officer – These executives work in a bank or other financial institution that makes loans. Their job is to continuously review the company’s loan portfolio to prevent losses and make sure that documentation is in compliance with all standards and regulations. Most chief credit officers major in finance and earn $131,000.
- Director of Accounting and Financial Reporting – This position involves overseeing both the general accounting and the financial reporting operations in a company. Most people with this job major in accounting and make $122,000.
- Stock Plan Administration Manager – Your responsibilities here would include setting up and overseeing the system that provides compensation, bonuses and incentives for employees. Business administration is the major of choice for this job, and the salary is $120,000.
- Regional Controller – As a regional controller you would oversee financial and accounting operations in a specific geographic area. It requires an accounting background, and you could expect to earn a salary of $118,000.
- Bank Examiner – Most bank examiners work for the U.S. Department of Treasury or at the state or regional level for bank reserves or agencies as auditors and ethics enforcement officers for the banking system. They typically major in finance and make $117,000.
- Finance Director – This job requires you to control all financial aspects of your company’s business strategy. Finance directors usually major in accounting and the salary median is $115,000.
- Budget Director – The duties of a budget director include overseeing the implementation of the budget within your organization. As with many jobs on this list, accounting is the major of choice. The salary is $113,000.
The Bottom Line
There’s more to picking a job than the amount that you make. Job availability, your qualifications and your interest in the position matter greatly. Perhaps your long-term goal is to become a chief executive officer (CEO). Almost nobody starts out as a CEO, but the jobs listed here could help put you on the road to CEO. (For more, see America's Top CEOs and Their College Degrees.)