How to Become a Business Developer

Overview & Salaries

Median salary:

Expected growth from 2012-2020:

Specialization Options:
Manufacturing, automotive, medical, technology, advertising, business services, and home goods.

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you depends on the industry and company you apply for. Usually an associates or high school diploma is required for most positions. If you are looking to get into a competitive position, then a bachelors degree may be useful for you. Higher level management positions may require a masters degree or an MBA along with significant work experience. Learn more by clicking our “Education Required” tab up top.

(all information above provided by Sales Manager BLS page)

Discover the Best Places to Become a Business Development Manager

For business development managers, California offers the highest employment opportunities in the nation, employing nearly 3,000 people in the career with an average yearly salary of $123,960. New York offers the highest yearly salary at $132,890, with roughly 2,500 business development jobs.

In recent years business development jobs were most visible in the manufacturing and finance sectors. Today, the hotbed of business development is wherever technology businesses are booming.

  • Silicon Valley (San Francisco Bay Area, California)
  • Silicon Alley (New York City, New York)
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Houston, Texas
  • Los Angeles, California

Employment and Salary Information by State for Business Development Managers

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in business development. All data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a highly credible government agency.

Why Business Development

In the popular imagination, business development jobs are exciting positions filled by swashbuckling speculators out shopping for opportunities and deals. In reality, most ‘Biz Dev” jobs are sophisticated sales and marketing roles filled by hardworking and skilled professionals who understand that building long-term value for their company means providing consumers value through any number of channels.

Recommended Business Development Courses

  • Leadership and Organizational Behavior
  • Marketing
  • Entrepreneurial Management
  • Business Development for Technology
  • Strategic Decision and Risk Management
  • Accounting
  • Communications
  • Business software
  • Finance
  • e-Commerce

Degrees for Business Development Careers

This is where the big fish swim and if you’re planning on jumping in the deep end you’ll need some preparation. For starters, a bachelor’s is going to be minimum barrier to entry unless your brother owns the company or you somehow managed to create a track record somewhere else. Landing a more senior position usually requires an MBA plus previous experience.