31 Most Lucrative Jobs in Business (With Salaries and Duties)

Updated July 27, 2023

Jobs in business offer a range of opportunities in areas like marketing, finance, development and corporate leadership. Many of these positions pay competitive salaries with a high earning potential. Learning more about jobs in the business sector can help you determine the best career path toward a high-paying position.

In this article, we learn what makes jobs in business lucrative and explore the duties, requirements and salaries of the most lucrative jobs in business.

What makes jobs in business lucrative?

Business jobs can offer rewarding careers for professionals with hard and soft skills in areas like analysis, finance, communication and marketing. Typically, these are high-paying jobs that compensate employees for their expertise and specialized work, especially those who hold advanced degrees in fields like business administration and human resources.

The most lucrative jobs in business provide opportunities for growth and development, including through professional collaboration and organizational partnerships, which are beneficial for earning promotions and wage increases. Additionally, many of these positions include leadership roles, and you can earn additional credentials to pursue these types of high-paying jobs.

Related: 18 Business Career Paths To Consider in 2023 (With Roles)

15 of the most lucrative jobs in business

Here are some of the highest-paying and most lucrative jobs in the business sector. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries:

1. Marketing manager

National average salary: $73,615 per year

Primary duties: Marketing managers are responsible for business promotion. They use analytics to inform business marketing decisions. Usually, the data that marketing managers rely on comes from both customers' purchases at their own business as well as competitor information. They are responsible for assessing the weaknesses in a business and formulating ways of increasing the value of the company, increasing profits and share price as a result.

Requirements: A bachelor's degree in public relations or marketing is the base requirement for this role. Additionally, experience in the field allows marketing managers to determine creative solutions to overcome challenges.

Find marketing manager jobs

Read more: Learn About Being a Marketing Manager

2. Business operations manager

National average salary: $74,064 per year

Primary duties: Business operations managers focus on finding solutions for common company challenges. By determining where a department can improve its efficiency or effectiveness, they can advise the department on how to solve problems. Business operations managers can offer insight for every department, from human resources to marketing. Utilizing their knowledge of business practices and understanding of how to best incorporate information from other areas of the company, a business operations manager tries to increase efficiency within an enterprise.

Requirements: A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a standard requirement for a business operations manager role.

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Read more: Learn About Being an Operations Manager

3. Financial analyst

National average salary: $74,763 per year

Primary duties: Financial analysts help businesses make decisions regarding investments. They advise them on what stocks to buy, hold or sell depending on how the economy is performing. They are experts in business trend analysis as well as the overall outlook of their company's future. Financial analysts gather and review data and statistics based on past decisions and future trends, then generate reports to present to companies' decision-makers.

Requirements: A bachelor's degree in a finance-related field is usually required. Many analysts opt to complete a graduate degree to increase their employability.

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Read more: Learn About Being a Financial Analyst

4. Financial adviser

National average salary: $81,535 per year

Primary duties: Personal financial advisers are concerned with managing the long-term returns of their clients. They manage investments from clients, putting them into funds and stocks or bonds that they see as most lucrative. Their goal is to maximize the profits of their clients while minimizing the risk that they expose them to. They are typically knowledgeable in state and federal taxation systems to ensure that they can offer sound advice to their clients.

Requirements: A bachelor's degree in any of the fields of law, mathematics, accounting, finance, economics or business financing allows an individual to seek employment in this field. Financial advisors also need certifications and licensure to practice.

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5. Sales manager

National average salary: $82,493 per year

Primary duties: Sales managers are responsible for developing and leading a team of representatives to meet goals. They hire and train new sales associates and ensure each of the teams under their supervision meets predetermined sales goals. Additionally, a sales manager crafts sales reports to share with upper management.

Requirements: There are no minimum requirements for sales manager positions, though most candidates have a bachelor's degree in business administration, marketing or a related field. A proven sales record and experience can also be useful in this position.

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Read more: Learn About Being a Sales Manager

6. Portfolio manager

National average salary: $87,113 per year

Primary duties: Portfolio managers work to secure the most lucrative returns on a client's investments. Portfolio managers may work with individual clients or perform services for an organization. These professionals navigate the stock market and understand the complexities of investment opportunities. They meet with clients to advise about financial opportunities and offer analysis of the performance of a client's total assets.

Requirements: After earning a degree in a finance-related discipline, look for internship opportunities with investment firms to gain experience and learn to manage clients.

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Read more: Learn About Being a Portfolio Manager

7. Business systems analyst

National average salary: $90,531 per year

Primary duties: A business systems analyst reviews company processes to determine how to make an organization more efficient and increase profits. They complete financial reports to share with company leadership and stakeholders. Business systems analysts also produce budgets to help maximize the contributions of every department. These professionals communicate with leaders throughout the company and develop an understanding of the organization's business processes to make accurate recommendations for fiscal success.

Requirements: Earning a bachelor's degree in business administration or a related field can prepare you for the complex role of a business systems analyst.

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Read more: Learn About Being a Business Systems Analyst

8. Human resources director

National average salary: $99,686 per year

Primary duties: HR directors are responsible for a company's hiring practices and the onboarding of new employees. The HR director serves as the point of contact between upper management and employees. HR directors ensure that the company follows all current employment laws. They also manage the payroll and the distribution of employee benefits. Developing talent acquisition processes is another common duty for HR directors. Most HR directors are involved in high-level decisions in the department.

Requirements: HR directors typically need a minimum of a bachelor's degree and several years of experience working in human resources.

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9. Actuary

National average salary: $111,725 per year

Primary duties: Actuaries evaluate the risk associated with making a financial decision. They use probabilities to reduce the risk of financial loss for their clients. Actuaries are usually hired within the field of insurance to handle the probabilities associated with coverage. In other areas, actuaries have found employment within large companies and even within governments to mitigate risks in their long-term investments while maximizing the returns on their capital.

Requirements: Actuaries need a minimum of a bachelor's degree. They also need to earn an actuarial credential from the Society of Actuaries.

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Read more: Learn About Being an Actuary

10. Financial reporting manager

National average salary: $112,683 per year

Primary duties: Financial reporting managers oversee the general finances of a company or an agency. They collaborate with teams to produce periodic reports and profit projections. They are also responsible for offering shareholders insight into the current state and prospects of the company. Financial managers develop and present in-depth reports to the rest of the organization.

Requirements: Financial reporting managers usually have an MBA and experience in finance or a managerial role.

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Read more: Learn About Being a Financial Manager

11. Tax manager

National average salary: $113,987 per year

Primary duties: Tax managers oversee an organization's compliance with tax laws and regulations. They research the tax code to understand changes and update company policies to match any adjustments to financial reporting practices. Tax managers may also analyze the tax implications of a company's financial decisions such as mergers or acquisitions. 

Requirements: After earning a degree in finance or a related field, most tax managers complete additional training to become Certified Public Accountants.

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12. Product marketing manager

National average salary: $116,844 per year

Primary duties: Product marketing managers differ from general marketing managers in their specialized focus on a particular item. Product marketing managers focus on creating and maintaining advertising campaigns for new items or specific brand offerings. Their goal is to learn everything about a product to better understand how to market the item to a target audience. They also analyze the success of campaigns to allocate funds or reduce budgets for specific advertising strategies.

Requirements: A bachelor's degree in marketing or business-related subjects help prepare you for this role and provides opportunities for you to build experience working in product marketing.

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13. Corporate controller

National average salary: $129,680 per year 

Primary duties: Corporate controllers work for large organizations to analyze and report on the financial health of a company. They act as advisors who compile financial information, create annual and quarterly budgets and manage employee payroll. Corporate controllers lead financial accounting departments, overseeing teams of fiscal professionals responsible for reporting and securing the financial future of a company. 

Requirements: Since controllers are considered top-level leaders in an organization, many hiring professionals look for a graduate degree in a field like business administration or finance when filling this role.

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Read more: Learn About Being a Controller

14. Chief executive officer CEO)

National average salary: $136,906 per year

Primary duties: CEOs are responsible for the financing, marketing and planning of a business's operations. They are also responsible for hiring and task delegation of other heads of departments. In many cases, the CEO is also required to ensure that the business conforms to safety guidelines. Occasionally a CEO may perform public relations duties. Usually, they are supervised by a board of directors that are elected by the shareholders of a company.

Requirements: CEOs usually hold an MBA and extensive experience in their chosen field.

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Read more: Learn About Being a Chief Executive Officer

15. Director of product management

National average salary: $162,131 per year

Primary duties: A director of product management, also referred to as a director of product, oversees the development process for new items and services for a brand. Their key responsibilities include organizing project development teams, initiating research and market studies on proposed items and facilitating discussion between engineers, marketing professionals and other departments involved with the launch of a new product. 

Requirements: Product management directors typically earn a bachelor's degree in a business-related field like marketing or train in the production side as an engineer before earning experience in product development.

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Related: Director of Product vs. Product Manager: What's the Difference?

16 more lucrative jobs in business

Consider these additional roles in the business sector that can also provide substantial earning potential and long-term growth. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries:

  1. Director of communications: $83,271 per year

  2. Business analyst: $84,178 per year

  3. Sales engineer: $86,086 per year

  4. Development director: $86,263 per year

  5. Strategic project manager: $89,803 per year

  6. Sourcing manager: $97,556 per year

  7. Management consultant: $100,264 per year

  8. Consumer insight manager: $102,050 per year

  9. Strategy manager: $109,769 per year

  10. Strategic account director: $113,717 per year

  11. Chief operating officer (COO): $135,545 per year

  12. Technical product manager: $143,132 per year

  13. Vice president of business development: $143,894 per year

  14. Chief marketing officer (CMO): $144,841 per year

  15. Vice president of sales: $168,998 per year

  16. Vice president of product management: $193,249 per year

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