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Business Manager Career Guide

How to Become a Business Manager

Business managers maintain responsibility for a company’s operations, employees, and output. They serve as the backbone behind a successful enterprise, helping steer the business itself toward long-lasting success.

At all stages of business development, business managers play a role in pursuing corporate goals. They have a hand in hiring new employees, maintaining monthly and yearly budgets, optimizing products and services for improved consumer reception, and maintaining a favorable public image.

As a role that blends interpersonal communication with corporate management, business manager careers are ideal for individuals with a business background and a passion for guiding businesses toward success.

Business manager typing on computer in cafe

What Is a Business Manager?

A business manager is essentially responsible for assembling the right pieces to help any company succeed. They work to positively assemble a winning team, a productive workplace, a feasible budget, and operational best practices to ensure minimal wasted time and maximum productivity. 

Employees and corporate directors alike depend on a business manager to maintain a clear vision for the future and execute strategies that bring the company closer to achieving its financial and cultural goals.

What Does a Business Manager Do?

The day-to-day tasks of a business manager can vary widely, from budget formation to employee management. The exact responsibilities of a business manager may include:

  • Create and implement budgets to ensure continued corporate success.
  • Hire and release employees according to relevant skill sets, current company needs, corporate and cultural fit, and other factors.
  • Secure employee training to familiarize staff with hardware, software, processes, or other elements necessary to fulfill their job duties.
  • Communicate with fellow team members, employees, and executives to provide updates on company standings, goals, and accomplishments.
  • Motivate employees toward objectives that can help the company profitably scale.
  • Identify more efficient workplace processes that can contribute to faster task completion and overall reduced costs.

These and other responsibilities define much of a business manager's job description. Given the wide range of available tasks, business managers must also be able to solve problems specific to their company, deploying creative solutions to keep employees happy and the company on track.

What Are the Education Requirements for a Business Manager?

Most important when it comes to the education of a business manager is their familiarity with a business environment. Business managers should consider earning at least a bachelor’s degree in business management, or a closely related field.

The strongest candidates for hire as business managers have usually taken steps to obtain a master’s degree for further education. An MBA or a master’s in leadership in management could be crucial in helping you be prepared for a career in business management. 

A bachelor’s or a master’s degree in business will be key in helping you have the knowledge and skills to meet the demands of a business manager role. Learning about finances, strategy, communication, and leadership will all ensure you’re ready to take the next step in your career. 

Best Degree for a Business Manager

Business Management – B.S. Business Administration

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

Hone your business acumen and garner added...

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 41 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.

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

  • Account executive
  • Business analyst
  • Program manager
  • Director or senior director
  • Vice president

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

Management and Leadership – M.S.

An online master's degree focused on change management,...

An online master's degree focused on change...

An online master's degree focused on change management, innovation, and leading teams:

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,675 per 6-month term.

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

  • President
  • Vice president
  • Director of operations
  • Executive director

Develop a comprehensive suite of leadership skills and your confidence to navigate changing business structures.

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 and fees: $4,675 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.


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.


woman helping man at computer hr

What Skills Does a Business Manager Need?

Business managers operate with a diversified skill set to help drive corporate operations in the right direction. These skills include:

  • Creative problem-solving: The ability to creatively address issues and offer solutions that rectify corporate operations.
  • Interpersonal communication: The ability to correspond with team members, company staff, and executives to relay goals and offer relevant progress updates.
  • Employee management: The ability to onboard employees, release them, and sufficiently motivate existing employees to maintain a strong corporate output.
  • Corporate leadership: The ability to lead a company, and its associated staff members, toward improved returns by implementing strategies that foster long-term success.
  • Time management: The ability to effectively manage one’s own time, and to help employees manage their timetables more efficiently.
  • Employee instruction: The ability to teach employees at all levels how to use new technology and processes intended to help improve operations.
  • Fiscal management: The ability to create, maintain, and optimize a company’s budget to control spending and maximize profitability.

These and other skills make for a successful business manager, an individual who understands the value of teamwork and who maintains transparency of communication daily.

How Much Does a Business Manager Make?

$63,072

The exact income of a business manager varies based on a wide range of factors, including employer, employer location, years of experience, years of education, and existing skill set.

On average, the salary of a business manager is $63,072. The top 10% of business managers will earn as much as $111,000 in a year, while the lowest 10% of earners will make an estimated $40,000 during that same timespan.

 

What is the Projected Job Growth?

5%

Management jobs are expected to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029, a rate faster than the average expected expansion across all occupations. This will mean an estimated 505,000 new management positions across a variety of different industries.

Exact business manager growth figures are largely dependent on the success of the respective industries hiring business managers. Because business managers are responsible for managing businesses in healthcare, educational, industrial, automotive, technological, and other markets, the outlook is difficult to forecast.

Still, the need for business managers to tie financial goals, employee management, and corporate best practices together is only expected to increase in years to come.

 

Do Business Managers Need Certifications?

Yes

Certifications can help provide additional education and separate you from the competition. These certifications include:

-Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

-Project Management Professional (PMP)

-APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)

-Certified Project Director (CPD)

These certifications distinguish business managers as specially qualified to handle a wide variety of potential projects. Skilled business managers able to help improve corporate output, employee morale, and task completion.

 

Interested in Becoming a Business Manager?

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

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