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Business Development Officer Career

Reviewed by Victor Aluise, Former Vice President and Dean for the School of Business


What is a Business Development Officer?


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. 

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
  • Cybersecurity
  • Healthcare
  • Banking and financial services 
  • E-commerce
  • Marketing
  • Manufacturing 
  • Hospitality


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


Finance – B.S.

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

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

  • Time: 62% of graduates finish similar programs within 24 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:

  • Management
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Spreadsheets
  • Financial Analysis
  • Problem Solving

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.


Business Management – B.S. Business Administration

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:...

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:

  • Time: 61% of graduates finish within 19 months
  • Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 40 total courses in this program

Skills for your résumé this program will teach you include: 

  • Business communication
  • Product development
  • Decision making models
  • Project management strategies
  • Budgeting for business

This online degree program is an excellent choice for kick-starting your organizational management career.


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 consumer markets:

  • Time: 60% of graduates finish within 19 months.
  • Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 41 total courses in this program.

Skills for your résumé you will learn in this program include: 

  • Communication
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Management
  • Project Management
  • Product Management

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 management,...

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
  • Courses: 11 total courses in this program

Skills for your résumé you will learn in this program include: 

  • Leadership strategies
  • Talent management
  • Communication
  • Data collection and interpretation
  • Financial statements

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.

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.  


What Skills Does a Business Development Officer Need?

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. 

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!

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Interested in Becoming a Business Development Officer?

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