My MBA Career - Advancing your learning

Find MBA Schools

Get Connected with the best MBA school and program for your needs.

MBA Salary Information

MBA salary facts Many MBA students decide to pursue graduate degrees in order to boost their job prospects. In addition to opening up new opportunities, however, earning an MBA degree will also lead to substantially higher salaries. With an MBA degree, your earning potential will far surpass that of workers with no college education–and even those with bachelor degrees.

On average, you can expect to earn 50 percent more than you were earning before you received your MBA. That's no small incentive for furthering your education. Your investment of time and tuition will pay off in dollars, recognition and job satisfaction.

First Year MBA Salaries

According to The National Association of Colleges and Employers, in 2006, average MBA salaries were $90,000. First-year MBA graduates' salaries average between $50,000 and $75,000–with more than 40% earning $75,000 and up.>

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) compiled salaries of first-year MBA graduates in different career fields. The average 2006 base salaries plus additional compensations were as follows:

  • Health Care – $111,477
  • Finance – $103,122
  • Consulting – $101,736
  • Energy/Utilities – $100,263
  • High Tech – $98,621
  • Manufacturing – $98,417
  • Products/Services – $94,558
  • Non-Profit/Government – $73,125

As a potential employee, you will have to weigh the benefits of accepting a position with a higher base salary against a position with a lower salary that offers bonuses and other perks. These perks can include annual bonuses, car allowance, tuition reimbursement, relocation costs and more.

MBA Salary Factors

Of course, average salary information is just a guideline to help you know what to expect. Starting salaries could be much higher or much lower, depending on many different factors that affect salaries. These factors include:

  • Your school's reputation
  • Post-MBA role
  • Geographic location
  • Industry you are employed in
  • Cost of living
  • Pre-MBA experience
  • Undergraduate major

Years of Experience

Experience is a great teacher, and the more time you spend working in a company, the more vital you become to the organization. Because most companies recognize this, starting salaries for MBA program graduates are generally lower than those of their co-workers with more time on the job.

According to the majority of MBA graduates can expect to earn on average $50,427 in their first year. As your length of time on the job increases, so will your income. Here is a sample of average salaries you can expect as your time on the job increases:

  • Under 1 year – $50,427
  • 1 to 4 years – $56,090
  • 5 to 9 years – $74,053
  • 10 to19 years – $94,038
  • Over 20 years – $103,600

Geographical Location

The geographic location of your employer plays a large role in the salary you can expect. You'll need to decide if you're willing to relocate to earn a higher income. Different states and cities throughout the U.S. have different average incomes based on their economy, the vitality of their businesses and the cost of living in that location. Here are some average salaries of MBA graduates based on state:

  • California – $96,599
  • New York – $95,083
  • Massachusetts – $89,267
  • Illinois – $83,998
  • Pennsylvania – $78,536
  • Texas – $78,532
  • Florida – $67,130

Average MBA Salaries Based on City

  • New York City – $102,869
  • Boston – $95,605
  • Los Angeles – $94,243
  • Chicago – $89,495
  • Atlanta – $82,410
  • Houston – $80,711
  • Dallas – $80,595

An MBA Salary Offers a Great Return on Your Investment

While there are many factors that go into determining your earning potential as an MBA graduate, one thing is certain: your investment in your education will be rewarded. Find MBA schools that interest you, and take the first step towards higher income and increased job opportunities.

Featured MBA Schools