Doctor of Business Administration Careers: Salary Info & Job Descriptions

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Learn about careers in business administration. Get job descriptions, salaries and education and training information. Get straight talk about the pros and cons of a business administration career.
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Careers in Business Administration

Business administration refers to the management of a business's operations, including its financial, budgetary, human resource, marketing and technological concerns. Explore the careers a graduate degree in business administration may prepare you for with this table.

Business Professors Top Executives Financial Managers Management Analysts
Career Overview Teach college and university students about the field of business administration Direct a company's operations to ensure goals are met Consider and implement the financial investments and direction for the company Analyze companies and provide advice on how to best manage and re-organize the administration
Education/Training Requirements Doctoral degree or master's degree for community colleges Bachelor's to master's degree, doctoral degrees for academic organizations Bachelor's degree, but some employers prefer master's degrees Bachelor's degree, but some employers prefer master's degrees
Program Length Two years for master's degree, six years for doctoral degree Four years for bachelor's degree, two years for master's degree, six years for a doctoral degree Four years for bachelor's degree, two years for master's degree Four years for bachelor's degree, two years for master's degree
Certification and Licensing Not applicable Optional certification through the Institute of Certified Professional Managers Optional certification through the Certified Financial Analysis Institute Optional certification through the Institute of Management Consultants USA, Inc.
Experience Requirement Teaching and research experience during doctoral program, some outside consulting work in the private sector Several years of managerial experience Typically, five years experience in financial analysis or financial lending Several years experience working in information technology, human resources or general management
Job Outlook for 2014-2024 Faster than the average (9%) for all occupations* Average (6%) for all occupations* Average (7%) for all occupations* Faster than the average (14%) for all occupations*
Median Salary (2014) $74,090* $173,320* $115,320* $80,880*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Business Professors

Business professors teach courses to undergraduates and graduate students about various topics related to business. In addition, business professors research and publish studies or books that are peer-reviewed. Business professors balance their weekly schedules with courses, business department responsibilities and personal research. They also help graduate students with their academic development and consult with businesses or individuals.


Professors typically need a Ph.D. to teach at colleges and universities. However, community and junior colleges often allow professionals with master's degrees to teach courses. Business professors learn their research and teaching skills from their time at graduate school. Being able to teach several classes a semester while conducting research is a general requirement for all professors with a doctorate.

Based on December 2012 job ads, some colleges and universities looked for the following:

  • A New Jersey college needs a business professor to fill a tenured-track position. The business professor should be knowledgeable in international business. The candidate needs to have teaching experience and be comfortable teaching undergraduate and graduate-level courses.
  • A West Virginia college needs a professor in business administration for a tenured-track position. The candidate needs to teach courses such as introduction to business, business communications and business and technology. Prior work experience in the private sector is desired.
  • A Tennessee college needs a professor to teach about management. Besides teaching experience, private sector experience is also desired from the candidate.

Standing Out

Gaining tenure or being hired for a tenured-track position is one of the main goals of any professor. To achieve this, recent graduates from graduate school need to show high-quality academic research and have an excellent teaching history from their graduate school experience. The BLS recommends that outside consulting work, such as with private businesses or enterprises, can be helpful supplements to on a resume.

Top Executives

Top executives, also known as Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), presidents and vice presidents, coordinate all business activities at a company. They oversee and analyze the company's administrative and financial performance and lead business departments with policies they craft. In addition, if the CEO works for a publicly-traded company, he or she must answer to the shareholders of the company. Although work schedules are flexible, top executives work long hours each day and most days throughout the week. They must often travel to meet with shareholders or with particular departments or regional offices of a company.


Top executives hold a bachelor's or master's degree in a business-related subject, such as business administration. Jobs that are in education, such as superintendents or presidents of universities, typically require doctoral degrees in education administration. Top executives typically have several years of lower-management experience before they are promoted or hired as a top executive. However, the range of years required varies by company.

Based on December 2012 job ads, some employers looked for the following:

  • An Illinois behavioral health company needs a CEO that has a bachelor's degree or master's degree and has experience being the CEO of a behavioral healthcare company. Duties for the position include recruiting behavioral physicians in targeted geographic areas and supervising the creation of more out-patient and ambulatory care services.
  • A Florida water supply and drainage company needs a CEO to be the public face of the company to the region's community. The candidate must have a bachelor's degree and driver's license so he or she can travel across the region. The employee must organize and lead infrastructural development, communicate with the public about the water supply and coordinate with weather, climate and environmental officials over the sustainability of the water supply.
  • A California Chamber of Commerce needs a CEO and president. The candidate needs ten years of experience working in senior-level management, a bachelor's degree and residency in the city the Chamber is located in. The CEO must interact with businesses and citizens across the city, execute the budget of the Chamber during each fiscal period, craft public policy agenda that represents the interests of the Chamber and its business members and communicate with government officials on the local, state and national level.

Standing Out

If you are already a lower-level manager, you may want to seek certification to highlight your management skills. The Institute for Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) provides the Certified Manager (CM) designation ( To meet the CM credential requirements, you must have a college education, more than 40 hours of documented management training and at least one year of management experience or part-time work as a manager. After meeting these credentials, you need to pass three examinations in order to gain the certification. Holding this certification may help you stand out with other competitors for chief executive positions.

Financial Managers

Financial managers are top management professionals who analyze the finances of a company and suggest ways to improve efficiency and cut costs. Financial managers are knowledgeable on technological and computer trends, giving them insight on how new technology can cut costs while increasing productivity at a company. In addition, financial managers prepare financial reports that are sent to other executives and shareholders. These reports highlight the financial health of the company and make suggestions to chief executives and shareholders on the best way to ensure the company's profitability.


A bachelor's or master's degree in finance or business administration is preferred of many financial managers. The BLS reports that most financial managers have five years of experience in financial analysis or financial lending before they are promoted to financial manager positions.

Based on December 2012 job ads, some employers looked for the following:

  • A federal government organization needs a financial manager. The financial manager must meet the requirements of a background check. The financial manager is assigned to review industrial plants that have leases with the federal government. The financial manager not only analyzes the industrial plant's finances, but also needs to make sure the plant is being compliant with federal law.
  • An Oregon logistics company needs a financial manager with a finance degree. The financial manager needs to review contracts, forecast revenues and expenditures within fiscal periods and prepare financial reports for senior management. The employer prefers a financial manager that is certified and has five years of experience.
  • A Minnesota real estate company needs a financial manager. The company may consider a candidate who does not hold a bachelor's degree so long as he or she demonstrates a long career in financial analysis. The financial manager needs to create financial statements for the company and analyze the accounts receivable/collections account. The financial manager must stay in contact with real estate managers and attorneys associated with the real estate company.

Standing Out

One way that you can stand out from competitors is to seek certification from the The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA Institute). The CFA Institute offers the CFA certification, which provides you professional status related to high analytical rigor related to finance ( In order to be eligible for a CFA, you must hold a bachelor's degree or higher. Once you have your degree, you can enroll in the CFA program, which takes four years to complete. Throughout the four years, you must pass three levels of exams before you become a CFA.

Management Analysts

Management analysts consult companies on the best ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Some management analysts are third-party consultants and are focused on human resources, capital costs, company expenditures and strategies to directly increase revenue. The amount of time taken to travel to clients and the amount of clients an analyst might have causes many analysts to work more 40 hours a week.


Many management analysts hold a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration or management. The BLS indicates that it takes several years of experience in a management field for consulting firms or companies to hire a person as a management analyst.

Based on December 2012 job ads, some employers looked for the following:

  • A county in Utah needs a management analyst to help implement fiscally responsible county-wide projects. The management analyst needs a bachelor's degree, preferably a master's degree, and at least three years of professional experience. The analyst will perform analysis on the administration and operations of county-owned facilities.
  • A California hospital needs a financial management analyst who can problem-solve administrative and operations costs. The analyst needs to monitor the operations of the hospital and suggest efficiency cuts or investments. The candidate needs to hold a master's degree in hospital administration and have some experience working with hospital finances.
  • A New York information technology company needs a management analyst to help with administrative costs, client relations and technical investments. The candidate needs a bachelor's degree in finance and should have experience in CISCO networking equipment and Great Plains accounting software.

Standing Out

If you want to stand out from competitors, you can earn the voluntary certification offered by the Institute of Management Consultants USA, Inc. The Institute of Management Consultants USA, Inc. provides a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) certification if you have a bachelor's degree and anywhere between three to nine years experience in business consulting ( Higher level certifications are also available, such as the experienced CMC if you have ten or more years of consulting experience and the management CMC if you have 20 or more years of consulting experience. The CMC examination process includes a written and oral examination.

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