Average MBA Salary | We list US MBA salaries by industry and school ©HBS Facebook
What is the average salary of an MBA graduate in the USA? Explore average MBA salary by industry and MBA salaries at Harvard, Stanford, and more
By Business Because
Wed Sep 14 2022
The cost of attending business school is undeniably steep, with top MBA programs in the United States costing an average $155,305 in tuition fees alone, according to our BusinessBecause Cost of MBA report 2022. But when it comes to MBA salaries after graduation, the return on your investment is significant.
Doing a full-time MBA may be worth an additional $20,000 a year in the US jobs market immediately after graduation—and an MBA from a top school can get you six figures of total compensation.
There’s no one answer to the question ‘What salary you will earn after an MBA?’ MBA salaries vary by industry, location, and the business school you graduate from.
While there are many more reasons to pursue an MBA than salary uplift alone, understanding MBA salaries across industries and schools will give you a better idea of what you can expect to gain from your MBA.
Here, we break down some of the latest annual salary data for full-time MBA graduates in the USA:
Read on or skip to your section of interest by clicking the links below:
Average MBA Salary in the USA
MBA Salary by industry
MBA Salary by school
BB Takeaway: Understanding MBA salaries
Average MBA Salary in the USA
If you’re an international student, getting an H-1B visa to stay and work in the US after graduation is tricky. But the good news is that salaries in the US are typically higher than elsewhere.
According to data from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), while MBA starting salaries continue to be high, inflation has caused a downward turn compared to the record highs in recent previous years. The latest GMAC 2022 report shows that the average median salary for MBA adjusted for inflation is $115,000 compared to a high of $129,000 in 2019.
There is, of course, big variation depending on where in the US you’re studying and plan to work, and what job role and industry you go into.
What is the average salary for an MBA graduate in the USA? USNews.com reports the following statistics for average starting salaries for MBA grads in the class of 2021:
US average across all schools in 2021:$106k
Average of the 12 US business schools whose MBAs net the highest salaries: $176k
Average of the 10 US business schools whose MBAs net the lowest salaries:$56k
Due to recovery from the Covid pandemic and increased salary projections across finance, insurance and real estate, class of 2021 graduates have fared better than previous years. The National Association of Colleges and Employers conducted a survey indicating that the average predicted compensation for the MBA class of 2021:$89k,an 11% increase from the 2020 class.
MBA Salary by Industry
While many MBA graduates still work in consulting and finance, you can find MBAs working in any industry in today’s jobs market.
From technology to real estate and healthcare, salaries can vary significantly by industry. There’s a big difference between how much you can earn working in finance versus nonprofit, for example.
Here, we break down salaries in some of the most popular post-MBA industries, by looking at MBA specializations on salaries website Payscale. How much do MBA students specializing in tech, consulting, finance, or marketing earn in their respective fields after graduation in 2022?
Average Salary for MBA in Technology: $111k
As the business landscape becomes increasingly data-driven, graduates from MBA programs specializing in technology can earn average salaries of $111k. Chief Information Officers (CIOs) can earn a massive £170k, while product managers earn an average of $99k and senior data analysts earn $103k.
Average Salary for MBA in Consulting: $125k
Consulting firms are competing fiercely for MBA graduates, driving salaries to record highs. The big three consulting firms (McKinsey, Bain, and BCG) haveincreased MBA hiring salaries for 2022 to a base salaries of $175k! Across the industry the increased demand has driven the average salary for MBAs focused on consulting who then land management consultant roles to $125k.
Average Salary for MBA in Finance: $102k
The average salary for a finance MBA grad working in the finance sector sits at $102k, a major upgrade on the average salary of $75k for someone with a bachelor’s degree in the same sector. Pursuing higher qualifications might take you from $62k as a Financial Analyst to $170k as a CFO.
Average Salary for MBA in Marketing: $97k
Salaries for MBAs in marketing cover a wide field, from $59k for a Marketing Specialist to almost three times that, $168k, for a VP. A range of positions crack $100k a year, including Senior Marketing Manager ($112k), Marketing Director ($117k) and Senior Product Manager ($133k).
MBA Salary by School
While MBA tuition fees can vary vastly between institutions, at most top schools you get what you pay for. Employers know this too and are willing to pay a premium for graduates who’ve proved their mettle in the most demanding, and most rewarding, MBA programs.
Here are the three US schools whose graduates consistently bag the highest salaries. The figures below are for average MBA salaries three years after graduation and taken from our list of 20 Business Schools Where Graduates Earn The Most. The average salaries are the latest figures from the Financial Times Global MBA ranking 2022.
Average Salary for Harvard MBA graduates: $207k
Graduates from Harvard's MBA can expect to earn $207k ©HBS Facebook
According to Harvard’s latest recruiting data, 51% of graduates in the class of 2021 scored a signing bonus, averaging $30,000. Another 65% received other guaranteed compensation in their employment packages, worth an average $37,000.
Average Salary for Stanford MBA graduates: $219k
Graduates from Stanford's MBA can expect to earn $219k ©Stanford GSB Facebook
Graduates from Stanford's MBA can expect to earn $219k ©Stanford GSB Facebook
Stanford has an established track record as the business school whose MBA graduates snag the highest average salaries. According to Stanford’s latest MBA careers report, 52% received signing bonuses averaging $29,148, and 70% expected performance bonuses of $78,373 straight after graduation.
Average Salary for Wharton MBA graduates: $237k
Graduates from Wharton's MBA can expect to earn $155k ©Wharton Facebook
Graduates from Wharton's MBA can expect to earn $155k ©Wharton Facebook
77.6% of Wharton’s class of 2021 sought out new jobs after graduation and 35.1% wound up in financial services. For the 27.2% who entered consulting, the average salary hit $165,000 before any other perks or bonuses. Only 0.9% entered the legal and professional services sector, which earned them a whopping $190,000 base.
Understanding MBA salaries
Ultimately, the actual compensation you secure will depend on variables such as your location, seniority, industry and work experience.
Schools outside the US can also be attractive options, offering a broader educational and networking experience that will also secure a generous salary. Take, for example:
INSEAD, where MBAs earn $189k three years after graduation. According to salary website emolument, the highest-paid INSEAD alumni are insurance professionals at $221k annually; R&D, pharmaceuticals and biotech professionals at $181,000, and those employed in the public and not-for-profit sectors at $169k.
Or, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad and Bangalore where MBAs earn average salaries of over $185k and over $161k respectively, three years after graduation. Not only do IIM MBAs earn well, the Institute has recorded a 100% employment rate for its MBA students in the three months following graduation.
Wherever you go to business school, bear in mind that an MBA is an investment that pays off over your whole career—remember that these projections apply to your first job after graduating, and it should be onward and upward from there.
The pursuit of an MBA is part of a broader journey towards bigger and better things.
Read more about career opportunities after your MBA.
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How much does an MBA raise your salary? ›
Perhaps a better question to ask is, what is a reasonable MBA salary increase to expect? While an MBA program is a considerable investment in both time and money, research indicates the average base salary and compensation increase for MBA graduates may be as high as $20,000 per year.Which MBA is highly paid in USA? ›
|Top MBA Programs with the Highest Graduate Salaries|
|School||Country||Avg. salary (3 months post-grad, US$)|
|Columbia Business School||United States||$150,000|
|Harvard Business School||United States||$148,750|
|The University of Chicago Booth School of Business||United States||$145,000|
MBA salary in India ranges from INR 7,00,000 to INR 12,00,000 per year for various MBA programmes. The average MBA salary in India in 2021, according to payscale, was INR 7,71,801. MBA is the one of the most well-paid postgraduate courses.Which MBA pays highest salary? ›
Three of the most paid MBA specialisations include- MBA in Business Analytics, MBA in Finance and MBA in Entrepreneurship. The salaries for each of these disciplines broadly lie in the range of 70,000 USD to 90,000 USD or 60,00,000 INR to 90,00,000 INR per annum.Is doing MBA worth it in USA? ›
Earning your MBA can qualify you for higher salaries and more job opportunities. According to a 2022 survey of corporate recruiters, the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) projected that MBA graduates working at US companies would earn a median annual salary of $115,000 in 2022.Is an MBA better than a masters? ›
Both a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Science (MS) degree can offer a comprehensive graduate-level business education, however an MBA will provide an interdepartmental look at how businesses run, while an MS will provide a nuanced understanding of one particular area of business.Why MBA graduates are paid high? ›
Why is the MBA salary so high? MBA salaries are high due to the valuable education, experience, and specialized skills graduates possess. Additionally, MBA programs have established networks with top companies, leading to high-paying job opportunities.What is the minimum salary after MBA? ›
The average starting salary for an MBA graduate in India is Rs. 9 lakhs per year. However, with experience, this number can go up to Rs. 16 lakhs per year.Which MBA is most in demand? ›
- International Management. ...
- Strategy. ...
- Consulting. ...
- Finance Leadership. ...
- Entrepreneurship. ...
- Marketing. ...
- Operations Management. ...
- IT or Technology Management. A specialized MBA in IT or Technology Management puts MBA graduates at the cutting edge of UX, design, and the flow of information technology.
Having an MBA degree on your CV can have a substantial impact on your career path. When you're job hunting, an MBA degree from a top business school could make you stand out from other job applicants. Seven in 10 recent full-time MBA graduates said they could not have landed their jobs without their graduate degrees.
Is it easy to get a job with an MBA in USA? ›
Yes! MBA graduates find it easier to land a job rather their non-MBA counterparts. The MBA degree increases the employability of the candidates; they are seen as an asset by the employers also they get considered for higher positions and leadership roles.Is an MBA worth it later in life? ›
Demand for MBA Degrees
The skills gained in an MBA program can set you up for success—and organizations recognize the value of hiring MBA graduates. According to a report from Statista, in 2021, 97 percent of surveyed companies hired MBA graduates, up from 80 percent in 2020 and 50 percent in 2009.
An MBA is only worth the expense, time, and effort when the graduate plans to work in a business-related field, in management, or as a company founder. An MBA may not be useful for those working in other industries unless they are in management or leadership roles.Is MBA job stressful? ›
When it comes to job security, MBA graduates have to constantly justify and measure up to the expectations of their employers to maintain their job positions and salaries. Does that make life stressful? You bet it does!Can I make 100k with a MBA? ›
Nearly all of the top 50 MBA programs reported starting salaries of over $100,000 per year. And other factors — including location, experience, and industry — can play a significant role in your MBA salary.Who earns more MBA or engineer? ›
This report also says that while the expected remuneration of an IT graduate is ₹945,852, the salary expectations of an MBA graduate are at ₹924,660.Is MBA worth it at 30? ›
Cost vs Opportunities – MBA after 30 viability. An MBA is quite an investment with the total cost of attending the top-50 programs starting from $80K going all the way up to $200K. Besides the cost of going to B-School, older candidates must factor in the opportunity cost of an MBA, which includes foregone salary.What are the disadvantages of MBA? ›
|Increased job opportunities||Cost of study|
|Personal and entrepreneurial skill development||Time commitment|
|Specialized in the field of interest with management skills||Lack of practical and applied learning|
|High salary||Risk of ROI|
Higher pay scale
The average income for an individual with an MBA program is much higher than a person with an MS program. You can expect to earn a lot when you have an MBA degree.
We'll get straight to the point: Starting salaries for graduates of MS programs are around $20k lower than starting salaries for MBA graduates. So while a specialized master's degree may cost less up front, it may cost you way more in lower wages.
Is MBA math heavy? ›
Although most of your MBA math courses will not require a great deal of mathematical calculations, it is important to understand that you will have to work with numbers and apply mathematical principles such as averages, percentages and ratios throughout your online MBA program.What is the best job after MBA? ›
- Business operations manager.
- Financial manager.
- Human resources manager.
- Information technology, or IT, manager.
- Management consultant.
- Marketing manager.
- Medical and health services manager.
As of Mar 1, 2023, the average annual pay for an Entry Level MBA in California is $78,231 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $37.61 an hour.What is the easiest school to get an MBA? ›
|Appalachian State University||84.4%|
|Missouri University of Science and Technology||84.8%|
|Northern Arizona University||96.2%|
MBA in operations management is also one of the most demanding specialization in MBA.Is MBA difficult for average students? ›
Many potential students ask why MBAs are so difficult to graduate. But they ask the wrong question, the truth being: for the average student, MBAs are quite easy to graduate. But as you'll probably learn during your Master's in Business Administration: your attitude makes up over 50% of your professional success.How do people afford top MBA? ›
- Apply for Scholarships or Assistantships. ...
- Look into Work-Study Programs and Tuition Reimbursement. ...
- Determine a Realistic Budget With Some Flexibility. ...
- Explore International Opportunities for Better Options. ...
- Consult With MBA Financial Aid Officers. ...
- Seek Free Business Advice and Knowledge on Twitter.
Full-time program students average about 27 years old when starting their MBA programs. This fits in with the three to six years of work experience most graduate students have before starting their MBA. Most full-time U.S. MBA students have an average of five years of work experience.What is the unemployment rate of MBA? ›
93 per cent MBA graduates are unemployable: Problems with management education in India.Why MBA graduates are not getting jobs? ›
Reasons for a decline in Jobs for MBA Graduates
To further add to his point, he states that in the majority of cases, the training acquired by the students don't match the core demand of the job. However, the outdated MBA curriculum is the main reason for the decline in the job for MBA degree holders in India.
Do MBA jobs pay well? ›
802,000 per annum. Apart from Operations Manager, there are different MBA jobs as well which pay well. A management consultant gets an average of Rs. 1345,000 per annum.Can MBA get you a job in USA? ›
All you need is to possess key skills the top corporations in the USA demand and the right approach. So the answer is Yes, it is very much possible for business administration graduates to secure a high-paying job in the US.Do MBA earn more than engineers? ›
On the other hand, MBAs who are paid much more than engineering graduates possess great strategic/decision-making capability. However, while most engineers get a handsome salary package, successful business leaders who may or may not be armed with an engineering degree, often earn significantly more.Is an MBA worth it financially? ›
According to GMAC's Corporate Recruiters Survey, in 2021, the average starting salary for MBA holders was between 22 percent and 40 percent higher than for bachelor's degree holders. Seventy-one percent of corporate recruiters agree that employees with a business school education earn more at their companies.Which MBA is in high demand? ›
Traditionally, finance, marketing, HR, operations, and entrepreneurship are some of the most sought-after and the best MBA specializations and are considered safest by many students.Is MBA tough in USA? ›
Earning your MBA will be difficult; however, it should be an experience that challenges you to take risks in pursuit of higher learning, Beaver says. “Grad school is a collaborative setting where both faculty and students help you to be successful throughout the journey.”Why do MBAs get paid so much? ›
An MBA professional is usually important in their organisation and maintains contact with the board of directors. Several international corporations in India and worldwide hire MBA degree holders. The management industry is one of the highest paying.Does MBA pay more than masters? ›
MS: Salary after graduation. Median starting salaries after completing an MBA are higher than those of an MS, though this salary discrepancy is likely tied to the fact that most MBA recipients have already spent a few years in the workforce, while most business masters recipients have not.How many students pass MBA every year? ›
We have an average of around three and a half lakh students passing out from the thousands of B-schools in India every year. With such massive numbers in play, a lot of myth and misconception have gradually surrounded this most aspired course in India and we want to do a reality check.