Business Administration Salary: Requirements, Education, and More

Business Administrator

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If you’re curious about a career in business administration, it’s probably the business administration salary that’s attracted your attention. It’s true that business administrators are well paid, and the work they do is in high demand. It should be no surprise that these jobs are challenging and competitive, too.

Some are attracted to being ‘the boss’ and see business administration as the fast track to a top position. It’s true that business administrators oversee and manage other employees as part of their job, but they’re also answerable to bosses and clients. 

They have to carry a lot of responsibility to earn their lucrative business administration salary.

If you’re currently enrolled in college, but you don’t know what you want to study, or you’re looking ahead and trying to decide what career you might be interested in, business administration is a flexible choice that allows you to fit into lots of different roles.

You can work in all different sectors of the economy, work from anywhere, travel as part of your job, and work for top companies.

A career in business administration can take you anywhere. As international trade becomes more commonplace, more business administrators are needed abroad.

If you’ve got a fascination with learning about other cultures and want to see the world as part of your job, then being a business administrator might be the job for you.

What is a Business Administrator?

Business administration isn’t a trade unto itself. Rather, business administrators work in many different industries. Any business from finance to medicine, sales or marketing needs to have a business administrator on the team to help the business expand and run smoothly.

Global trade often involves navigating various regulations and complying with local laws wherever a business operates. Business administrators need an in-depth knowledge of things like logistics, supply chain management, maritime law, and more.

A World of Business Administration

Many business administrators work with international companies whether those are American companies operating overseas or foreign companies with domestic offices.

Either way, a business administrator needs to work with people from a diverse range of backgrounds, which is why a sensitivity to cultural differences is a must.

CEOs often have a background in business administration. Many begin working in management roles and then move up the chain of command as they gain more knowledge and experience.

It’s the job of both a manager and CEO to set goals that organize workers around a common purpose. Business administrators are the ones running the “game plan” and adapting their strategies as they go.

Business administration requires flexibility. Strategies that work wonders in sales might be counterproductive when applied to healthcare objectives.

Lastly, business administrators spend years studying their business, both on a small-scale and macroeconomic level. They need to be prepared for the challenges facing their respective industries, including competition and regulation.

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Understanding Your Business

Business administrators need a working knowledge of all the tasks performed by workers they oversee, even if they don’t have all the technical knowledge necessary to perform these jobs. It requires a broad understanding of how each of the professionals they work with fit together to accomplish important tasks.

For example, a hospital administrator doesn’t need to know how to perform open heart surgery, but he or she does need to know what performing an open heart surgery will cost, how much the hospital can charge, what sort of licensed professionals would need to be present, the liability performing such a procedure will expose the hospital to, etc.

Like medicine, securities trading involves managing risk and operating in a heavily regulated industry. Business administrators need to understand all the laws and statutes that they’re obligated to observe as part of transacting business.

For example, stock traders need to pass exams like the Series 7 to earn certifications before they can execute trades or give advice to clients.

Knowing relevant regulations means staying current on changes in the regulatory landscape. This can be complicated, as traders often operate overseas.

Changes in tax codes or a loosening of restrictions in a country or territory might set off a cascade of investment that business administrators need to anticipate if they want to stay competitive.

Education & Certification

Before being able to earn a business administration salary, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree at the minimum. Many don’t stop there, going on to get their Master’s in Business Administration.

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Graduate degree programs prepare students for the real-world scenarios they’re likely to encounter. Quality education is essential, and it must involve practical hands-on training.

Business administration demands a set of skills that must be honed with practice and experience. You’ll need to be able to communicate your ideas clearly and directly, using tools like Microsoft PowerPoint to create presentations.

You must be able to read and interpret highly technical sales or marketing data and use your knowledge to track and extrapolate trends.

An MBA shows employers that a candidate is willing to attain a level of dedication and knowledge, but sometimes even that isn’t enough.

As qualified business administrators compete for high-paid positions, the bar is raised, and many find they need a doctorate to stay competitive and earn a top-tier business administration salary. Sometimes this involves working and taking classes simultaneously, which is difficult to maintain.

Usually, entry-level jobs are obtainable with a bachelor’s degree, but since higher education is a gateway to advancement, many business administrators find themselves juggling a demanding full-time job with school so that they can advance to the next stage in their careers.

Of course, job experience helps managers rise through the ranks, but education can sometimes offer an edge.

Career Path

A business administrator typically starts by selecting a field to work in and looking for management positions available in that sector. There are so many choices available to you. If you want to work with people, you can fill a Human Resources position in a hospital, private company, or in government.

Maybe you’re fascinated by economics and want to track trends in financial markets. If so, insurance companies, banks, and companies that trade in securities are looking for your skills and expertise.

If you know how to use computer software to drive traffic to a given website or page, then this is another role you can fill as a business administrator.

Additionally, if you have your sights set on a job as the CEO of a major company, you should anticipate long hours, years of training, and possibly extensive travel.

The Institute of Certified Professional Managers offers certification programs that aspiring CEOs can use as a stepping stone. Many managers voluntarily become certified, so they have more doors open to them.

Some managers prioritize a home-life balance and feel the demands of a CEO or higher-level aren’t in line with their goals. If this is the case for you, there are plenty of lucrative, challenging and engaging jobs as a business administrator that don’t require hectic schedules and years of post-secondary education.

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Average Business Administration Salary

Business administrators enjoy high salaries when compared with many other workers. It’s often this factor which attracts so many students to the field of business administration.

Because one manager might oversee dozens or hundreds of employees, there are fewer jobs available than there are for lower paid positions, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of administrative positions open.

With a bachelor’s degree, a business administrator can expect to earn as much as $86,000 annually on average. This figure may be higher or lower given such factors as geographic area and the nature of the work performed.

Some business administrators who are willing to move temporarily or permanently to another country might see their compensation rise.

CEOs can command much higher salaries, earning roughly $175,000 a year on average. Naturally, salaries like these come after years of experience in highly competitive fields where opportunities for advancement are highly coveted.

The number of new CEO positions created by the market grows more slowly than other kinds of managers; 6% rather than an average of 10% for securities traders.


If you feel you can work with people from all different backgrounds, delegate tasks, interpret data, communicate effectively and can track trends to predict future outcomes, then a business administration salary could be within your reach.

The growth forecast for business administrators is encouraging for new job seekers. Healthcare and marketing are expected to grow to need 10% more managers in the next ten years, and in finance, the number is almost twice as high at 19%.

Foodservice and sales are slightly lower, at 5% and 7% respectively, but there will still be plenty of new jobs in these sectors for years to come.

A business administration salary isn't only decided by their education or even the number of years working. It’s the tangible value business administrators bring to their employers that helps them negotiate a pay raise.

Look for every opportunity to create value for the people you work with, and you’ll have no problem securing a highly desirable salary as a business administrator.

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