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Business Manager Job Description, Education and Salary Outlook

Business management and administration professionals direct a broad range of services that enable organizations to run effectively and efficiently. They plan, coordinate and oversee many different aspects of their employers’ operations.



By U.S. News University Directory
Posted 2010

The individual job roles of business managers vary greatly according to the size of their organization and the area(s) they are charged with overseeing. Some business managers are responsible for multiple departments, such as human resources, facilities management, telecommunications management, materials scheduling and distribution, transportation services, security and others. Many business management and administration professionals are also responsible for ensuring that the organization is following government regulations and safety protocols, and for verifying that all contracts and insurance requirements are up to date.


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Business managers and administrators perform other duties, as well, such as planning for the long-term maintenance, modernization and replacement of facilities and business equipment, or evaluating technology usage and energy consumption patterns. The jobs they do integrate the principles of business management with those of other areas, such as information technology, engineering or architecture. They may deal with the purchase and sale of real estate, as well as plan building renovation projects to improve energy consumption or reduce production waste.

Business Manager Job Summary

  • While there is likely to be strong competition for upper-level business management jobs, candidates may experience less competition for lower-level positions.
  • Business management and administrative professionals work in government and private industry, and have a wide range of educational backgrounds, experience, earnings and responsibilities.
  • Strong communication, leadership and decision-making skills are essential, and the best candidates will also be flexible, analytical and detail-oriented.

Work Environment for Business Management Professionals

Professionals employed as business managers and administrators generally spend most of their time in a central office. However, they may visit multiple departments or satellite facilities to oversee operations in other areas of the business. Technological advancements are increasingly allowing business management and administration professionals to monitor business operations from a central location and meet with offsite colleagues via teleconferencing.

About half of all business management and administration professionals work a 40-hour week, while the rest typically put in longer hours. Many may be required to put in unpaid overtime to address problems and stay on top of deadlines. Some managers are on call to help with problems any time of the day.

Business Manager Degree Requirements

While smaller companies may promote individuals with an associate’s degree and relevant work experience, most employers prefer business management and administration candidates to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, accounting or human resources. Executive-level roles often require a master’s degree in business administration, engineering, facility management, architecture or construction management. Courses in computer applications, business law, human resources, accounting and technology are advantageous to candidates in this field.

Depending on their job role, business management and administration professionals may hold relevant professional business certifications. For example, an executive overseeing accounting and finance departments might hold the CPA designation, while an HR director may be certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®). Facilities managers typically have a Facility Management Professional (FMP) or Certified Facility Manager (CPR) credential.

Business Management Salary Outlook and Earnings

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) findings, administrative services managers held about 243,580 jobs in May 2009. However, because business management and administration professionals’ titles vary widely by job role, there are thousands of additional jobs covered under other employment categories.

The BLS predicts job growth in this field to be about as fast as average for all occupations. There are likely to be more openings for lower-level manager positions than for executive leadership roles.

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Based on BLS findings for May 2009, the median annual wage for administrative services managers was $75,520, with the middle 50% earning between $53,820 and $100,560. The lowest 10% had an income of around $38,690, while the highest 10% had incomes in excess of $131,730. However, those numbers increase with progression through the upper management levels of an organization. Business management and administration professionals who hold chief executive roles have a median salary of $160,820, while those in the top-paying industries earn average salaries upwards of $200,000 per year.


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