The 10 Industries Paying MBA Grads Six-Figure Salaries |

The 10 Industries Paying MBA Grads Six-Figure Salaries

By Linda M

Updated April 5, 2021 Updated April 5, 2021

Everybody knows going to business school is expensive, and you may be wondering whether a six-figure price tag is worth it in the long run.

Figures prove it is. Research by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) revealed that the median starting salary for an MBA graduate in 2019 amounted to a whopping US$115,000 – and that’s just for new graduates. With bonuses and promotions, after a few years you could easily earn an upper six-figure salary and a top-tier job title.

However, you should also take into account that MBA grads make different amounts depending on the industry they’re in.

If you’re still trying to decide which path to take and want to maximize your return on investment (ROI), take a look at the top 10 industries paying MBA grads the highest salaries according to U.S. News’ data.

10. Manufacturing

Average MBA Salary: US$102,867

Manufacturing is one of the industries with the widest range of sectors and jobs available. Depending on your interests, you could land a job in food, beverages, textiles, apparel, paper, oil, computers, machinery, electronics – all essential products in people’s daily life.

And there’s more: manufacturing is one of the most vital industries to economies worldwide. In the US alone, it employs over 12m Americans and produces almost 75 percent of all privately funded research and development in the country.

9. Consumer Packaged Goods

Average MBA Salary: US$108,328

Consumer packaged goods is another lucrative sector, valued at roughly US$2tn per year in North America alone. The industry has seen a consistent growth since 2014, surviving periods of global and localized economic hardship, making it a great field to land a job in.

Between small, medium, and large manufacturers, your options after graduation are endless.

8. Energy

Average MBA Salary: US$108,547

The eighth most profitable field for MBA grads is the energy industry. This sector is very popular amongst b-school students and usually requires a sustainability and/or energy specialization, as it combines both business elements and knowledge of the interactions between politics, money and the environment.

Here are the world’s top 10 business schools for sustainability education.

7. Media/Entertainment

Average MBA Salary: US$108,849

While a career in media and entertainment might not seem like an obvious choice for an MBA grad, it’s still a very attractive career path. After all, who wouldn’t want to land a job at household names such as SONY, Paramount or Warner Brothers?

An MBA can open doors to this highly lucrative and sought-after industry and guarantee you a six-figure salary amongst other perks. However, if you dream of working in film, media, music, or the arts, you might need a specialization.

6. Healthcare (including Products & Services)

Average MBA Salary: US$109,866

The healthcare industry is an extremely valuable component within societies and economies worldwide. Even though healthcare systems differ depending on location, MBA grads across the world with a healthcare management specialization can easily land top-tier leadership positions with six-figure salaries.

MBA jobs in healthcare span from hospital and clinic management to insurance and pharmaceutical consulting.

5. Real Estate

Average MBA Salary: US112,086

Real estate is an exciting sector with a wide range of career paths for b-school grads to pursue. You might be fascinated by real estate finance or by commercial and real estate entrepreneurship – either way, having an MBA qualification will help you get your foot in the door.

The employment of real estate brokers and sales agents is also expected to continue to grow through the 2020s. Better get started now!

4. Retail

Average MBA Salary: US$115,370

The retail industry boomed in the 2010s thanks to the emergence and growth of e-commerce platforms, making it a highly lucrative field to start a career in.

Whether as an entrepreneur, a manager or a chief financial officer (CFO), there are many high-end positions you could land with an MBA under your belt, reaching a whopping salary of over US$110,000.

3. Technology

Average MBA Salary: US$120,784

Demand for IT and tech skills is currently soaring across the job market, making it the perfect time to specialize in technology management. MBA graduates who can tackle business challenges with analytical and tech skills can land top-tier jobs as programmers, information systems managers, system analysts and chief technology officers (CTOs).

If innovation is your passion, a career in this field is guaranteed to be professionally and financially rewarding.

2. Financial Services

Average MBA Salary: US$130,001

Between fintech, challenger banking and wealth management and investment, the financial services industry boasts some of the highest salaries in the world, making it a great and varied sector for MBA grads to start a successful career in.

Some of the most advanced positions you could land with an MBA include financial manager, financial controller, budget analyst, financial analyst, and chief financial officer (CFO).

1. Consulting

Average MBA Salary: US$140,187

Last but not least, and with the highest average salary on the list, is the consulting industry. A consulting position at a top global firm is the Holy Grail for many graduates, as it is one of the most varied and rewarding career paths an MBA can pursue.

A consulting specialization can help you kick-start your career in this popular and lucrative field. Here are the top 10 MBA programs for a consulting career. 

This article was originally published in July 2020 . It was last updated in April 2021

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Written by

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 


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