The Average Salary of a Business Administration Major

by Rick Suttle

Graduates with business administration degrees have the training to find work in a variety of fields, though many go on to become accountants, marketing managers, financial managers or economists. They might work for corporations, non-profit organizations or government agencies. The average salary for a business administration major can vary widely according to the type of employer.

Average Salaries

Marketing managers identify consumers who are most likely to use their products and estimate the demand for these products. They earned an average annual salary of $129,870 as of May 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Financial managers plan or coordinate accounting, investing, banking, insurance, securities and other financial activities at companies, the BLS says. They earned average salaries of $123,260 as of 2012. Economists conduct research, prepare reports or formulate plans to address economic problems or create fiscal policies. The averaged $99,480 annually in 2012. Accountants and auditors, who analyze financial reports and ensure companies comply with financial reporting requirements, averaged $71,040 a year in 2012.

Median Starting Salaries

The median starting salary for a business major in the Class of 2012 was $47,748, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, or NACE. This represented a slight increase over the median starting salary of $47,282 in 2011. Median salaries are those that appear in the exact middle of salary charts, which can vary from average or mean salaries. NACE did not report average starting salaries for business majors. Business majors' starting salaries ranked third highest among all majors listed, with engineering and computer science majors earning the most at $58,581 and $56,383, respectively.

Median Starting Salaries by Major

Economists earned the highest median starting salaries among business majors at $54,800 annually, according to the 2012 NACE survey. Finance and marketing majors made the second and third highest starting salaries at $49,700 and $49,600, respectively. Those who majored in management started out at $49,200 per year, while accounting majors averaged $47,800. The lowest starting salaries among business majors belonged to hospitality services management and international business majors, who earned $31,700 and $31,200, respectively. Hospitality services managers include those who run hotels and restaurants, while international business majors help companies conduct business in foreign countries.

Job Outlook

The BLS expects employment for accountants and auditors to increase 16 percent from 2010 to 2012, which is above the 14 projected growth rate for all occupations. Stricter laws on financial recordkeeping should drive demand for accountants. Marketing managers should see a 14 percent increase in jobs -- largely due to the importance of increasing market share in a competitive marketplace. The BLS forecasts 9 percent employment growth for financial managers and 6 percent growth for economists.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images