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Business Development Officer Career

How to Become a Business Development Officer

As businesses of all sizes attract new customers and foster dynamic professional partnerships to maintain growth, business development professionals play an important role in their success. “Business development” refers to ideas, initiatives, and activities that improve the ways companies operate. By building strategic partnerships and making calculated decisions, business development works to increase revenues, promote business expansion, and increase profitability. 

Business development officers, also known as business development managers, are typically tasked with carrying out strategies and leading a team of professionals to identify new business opportunities and create proposals that support their company’s objectives. 

Generally, business development officers have excellent attention to detail and are proficient in customer service. They must also be strong communicators with knowledge of business administration and financial services. Continue reading to learn more about why becoming a business development officer may be the right career choice for you. 

What Is a Business Development Officer?

male DevOps engineer

Within an organization, a business development officer assumes an executive or marketing role and is responsible for identifying, developing, and potentially closing new revenue and profit streams. Senior business development professionals take on a range of responsibilities, from finding new customers and negotiating deals to managing existing business relationships and training junior development officers. 

Business development officers have in-depth knowledge of what a company offers, including pricing and policies, and work to improve existing sales proposals. Using their strong business acumen, these professionals can negotiate business deals and make sound decisions that ultimately benefit the company. 

What Does a Business Development Officer Do?

As part of a corporate team in the business development department, business development executives and officers design strategies that help drive business with a range of day-to-day responsibilities that include: 

  • Developing and sustaining solid relationships with company stakeholders and customers. 
  • Analyzing customer feedback data to determine whether customers are satisfied with company products and services. 
  • Recruiting, training, and guiding business development staff. 
  • Providing insight into product development and competitive positioning. 
  • Analyzing financial data and developing effective strategies to reduce business costs and increase company profits. 
  • Conducting market research to identify new business opportunities. 
  • Collaborating with company executives to determine the most viable, cost-effective approach to pursue new business opportunities. 
  • Meeting with potential investors to present company offerings and negotiate business deals. 

How Do I Become a Business Development Officer?

The field of business development is a great choice if you’re interested in pursuing a dynamic career where you can foster professional relationships with stakeholders, earn higher than average pay, and explore opportunities for career advancement.

Generally, employers will look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in an area related to business such as finance, business administration, marketing, or management. Some employers may offer prospective candidates' internships to gain the required skill set or professional experience that can lead to future hiring opportunities.  Pursuing an MBA or a master’s in marketing or finance may be a good choice for professionals looking to advance their careers in the field of business development. Once you’ve gained adequate experience or have completed your formal education, you can begin to apply for jobs as a business development officer. 

Best Degrees for a Business Development Officer

Marketing – B.S. Business Administration

For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:...

For those who want to lead brands and steer...

For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:

  • Time: 67% of graduates finish within 36 months.
  • Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Marketing and PR manager
  • Director of marketing and communications
  • Director of publications
  • Customer intelligence manager
  • Marketing sales manager

Marketing is a creative and exciting field—and one where an undergraduate degree will open better opportunities.

Master of Business Administration

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management, strategy, and leading teams:

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months.
  • Tuition: $4,755 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • President and CEO
  • Vice president
  • Executive director
  • Chief strategic officer

Our competency-based model gives you an innovative learning experience you won't find anywhere else—and our MBA grads tell us they loved accelerating their program to see a faster ROI.

Finance – B.S.

This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain...

This online finance program is career-focused so...

This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain relevant industry skills.

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish similar programs within 42 months.
  • Tuition: $3,575 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 41 courses in this program.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Financial analyst
  • Finance director 
  • Investment banker
  • Insurance agent
  • Accountant

The competency-based model at WGU allows you to move as quickly as you can master the material, and do your coursework on your schedule. Flexibility is key with the B.S. in finance at WGU.

Marketing – M.S.

Two online marketing master's degree options with a focus on...

Two online marketing master's degree options with...

Two online marketing master's degree options with a focus on either digital marketing or marketing analytics.

  • Time: 70% of grads finish master's programs within 24 months.
  • Tuition: $4,530 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 11 total courses in this program
  • Specializatin: Students choose from two specializations to focus their marketing studies on digital marketing or marketing analytics.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Marketing manager
  • Marketing analyst
  • Marketing director
  • SEO manager
  • SEM manager
  • Email manager

A marketing master's degree will help you prepare for a wide range of exciting marketing careers.

Next Start Date

Start the 1st of any month—as soon as you complete enrollment!

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Our Online University Degree Programs Start on the First of Every Month, All Year Long

No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!


Learn about online college admissions at WGU.

What Skills Does a Business Development Officer Need?

female business professional standing while she leads the meeting

Effective business development officers must hone a certain skill set, including: 

  • Understanding customers’ buying patterns and trends.
  • Business development and account management.
  • Marketing and customer service skills.
  • Market research and ability to create proposals.
  • Strong business acumen. 
  • Ability to interpret and present financial data.
  • Setting goals and developing action plans. 
  • Analytical, problem-solving, and management skills. 
  • Keen negotiation and decision-making skills. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. 

How Much Does a Business Development Officer Make?


There are many advantages to working in business development, including opportunities to earn competitive salaries. According to industry experts, the average salary in the U.S. in 2023 for a business development officer is $71,000 per year. Professionals in the top 25%, however, earn between $151,000 and $193,000 per year on average.

What Is the Projected Job Growth?


As the business field continues to grow, so does employment in business development. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of training and development managers is projected to grow by 7% between 2021 and 2031, and 3,700 openings for these roles are anticipated each year through the decade.  

Where Does a Business Development Officer Work?


Work environments for business development officers vary. Professionals in this role have opportunities to use their skills to promote the growth and longevity of corporations in a number of industries, including:

-Software and hardware



-Banking and financial services 





Interested in Becoming a Business Development Officer?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this lucrative career.

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