Top 10 Highest Paying Management Jobs & Salaries 2024

Joe McGoldrick
March 20, 2024 · 17 min read

In 2024, the business world continues to reward leadership and expertise with substantial paychecks. From executives to financial managers, explore the top 10 highest paying management jobs that define success in the modern workplace.

Oh but to be a manager. The top dog. The head honcho. The person who calls the shots and commands a very decent salary for their efforts. For some it's the pinnacle of success and one of the stepping stones to the absolute top of a company. But, of course, with anything in life, not everybody can be one. You have to earn it, but once you do, you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. 

There are so many jobs to choose from and based on experience and degrees and certifications, management roles are well paying and include a Compensation and Benefits Manager, Human Resources Manager, Training and Development Manager, Public Relations Manager, and Architectural and Engineering Manager. 

Degrees that can help open the door to a top job include a bachelor's degree in technology, accounting, master's degree in finance, or a master's degree in engineering if you are looking to be a construction manager.

With that being said, let's jump into discussing which are the highest paying management careers.

Top 10 Best Paying Management Jobs & Careers 2024

1. Chief Executive Officer 

A CEO, or Chief Executive Officer, is the highest-ranking executive in an organization, typically a corporation or company and one of the highest of the high-paying jobs. They are responsible for the overall strategic direction, management, and performance of the company, and their role is to lead the organization, make important decisions, set goals, and ensure that the company's vision and mission are effectively carried out. The position of CEO is one of the most prominent and highest-paying executive roles in a company, and those who hold this position often have extensive leadership experience and a strong track record in the business world.

Becoming a CEO is a prestigious and challenging career goal that often requires a combination of education, experience, leadership qualities, and the right opportunities, but there are certain proven steps you can take to work towards becoming a CEO. They include: First and foremost holding advanced degrees, such as an MBA (Master of Business Administration) or other relevant master's degrees. Gaining experience in different aspects of the business, such as operations, finance, marketing, or sales.

Developing leadership skills by taking on management roles, leading teams, and mentoring others. target roles that are closer to the executive level, such as vice president or director positions. These roles often involve decision-making, strategic planning, and leadership responsibilities. Considering entrepreneurship. Some individuals become CEOs by starting their own companies. Or, serving on the board of directors of a company.

The average annual salary for a CEO in the US is $140,977.

2. General and Operations Manager 

A General and Operations Manager, often referred to simply as an Operations Manager or Project Manager, is a senior management position responsible for overseeing and coordinating the day-to-day operations of an organization or business. This role is crucial for ensuring that the company functions efficiently and meets its goals and objectives. General and Operations Managers are found in various industries, including manufacturing, retail, healthcare, hospitality, and more. The specific duties of a General and Operations Manager can vary greatly depending on the industry, the size of the organization, and the nature of the business. In smaller companies, this role may encompass a wide range of responsibilities, whereas in larger organizations, it may be more specialized.

Becoming a General and Operations Manager typically requires a combination of education, experience, and skills, but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in business administration, management, operations management, or a related field. Starting your career in an entry-level position within the industry or field where you aspire to become a General and Operations Manager.

Depending on the industry, acquiring technical knowledge related to the specific operations and processes of your field, which might include familiarity with supply chain management, quality control, inventory management, or other relevant technical skills. Considering pursuing relevant certifications, such as Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), or other certifications that are specific to your industry. 

The average annual salary for a General and Operations Manager in the US is $72,934.

3. Information Systems Manager 

An Information Systems Manager, also known as a Computer and information systems manager, is a professional responsible for planning, coordinating, and overseeing the technology-related activities and resources within an organization. Their role is critical in ensuring that an organization's information systems and technology infrastructure are aligned with its strategic goals, secure, efficient, and effectively support its operations. These specialized individuals can be found in a wide range of industries and organizations, from small businesses to large corporations. Last but not least, they should have a strong understanding of technology and its applications in the organization, excellent leadership and communication skills, and the ability to manage a team effectively.

Becoming an Information Systems Manager typically involves a combination of education, experience, and skills development, but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in information technology, computer science, management information systems, or a related field. Beginning your career in entry-level IT positions, such as a network administrator, systems analyst, or helpdesk support.

Developing a wide range of technical skills related to information systems, including proficiency in operating systems, databases, programming languages, and network management. Obtaining relevant industry certifications, such as CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, Cisco CCNA, or certifications specific to your field, like Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) for security management. Learning project management principles and methodologies, such as Agile or Scrum, which are important for managing IT projects effectively. 

The average annual salary for an Information Systems Manager in the US is $115,330.

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4. Marketing Manager 

A Marketing Manager is a professional responsible for planning, executing, and overseeing marketing strategies and campaigns for a company or organization. Their high-paying role is to promote products or services, build brand awareness, attract customers, and drive revenue, and are essential in developing and implementing marketing plans that align with an organization's objectives, target audience, and market conditions. They play a crucial role in an organization's success by connecting products or services with customers and driving revenue. This important marketers need to be creative, analytical, and adaptable to changing market conditions, and possess strong communication and leadership skills as they often work with cross-functional teams and external partners.

Becoming a Marketing Manager typically involves a combination of education, relevant experience, and the development of specific skills but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in marketing, business, or a related field is often preferred by employers. Consider furthering your education with a master's degree in marketing or a related area to enhance your qualifications.

Developing technical skills in areas such as digital marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and marketing analytics. Learning how to analyze marketing data and metrics. Understanding data is essential for measuring campaign performance, making data-driven decisions, and optimizing marketing strategies. With the growing importance of digital marketing, become well-versed in online marketing channels, including social media, email marketing, and paid advertising. 

The average annual salary for a Marketing Manager in the US is $75,874.

5. Information Systems Manager 

An Information Systems Manager, also known as an IT Manager or Information Technology Manager, is a professional responsible for planning, coordinating, and overseeing an organization's information technology (IT) systems and infrastructure. They play a crucial role in the overall efficiency and success of an organization by managing its technology resources. They need to stay current with evolving technology trends, maintain a strong understanding of the organization's industry-specific requirements, and be adept at solving complex IT problems.

Becoming an Information Systems Manager typically involves a combination of education, relevant experience, and the development of specific skills, but generally you will need: A bachelor's degree in information technology, computer science, management information systems, or a related field. Beginning your career in entry-level IT positions, such as helpdesk support, system administrator, network administrator, or software developer. This experience is crucial for understanding IT operations and strategies.

Developing technical skills in areas such as network administration, systems administration, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and project management. Gaining project management skills, as Information Systems Managers often oversee IT projects. Consider earning certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) for security management. Gaining experience in budget management. IT Managers are responsible for budgeting and allocating resources for various IT initiatives and projects. 

The average annual salary for an Information Systems Manager in the US is $115,644.

6. Financial Manager 

A Financial Manager is a professional responsible for overseeing an organization's financial operations, managing financial resources, and making strategic financial decisions to support the organization's goals and objectives. They play a critical role in ensuring the financial health and sustainability of a business or organization. Financial Managers work in a variety of industries and organizations, including corporations, financial institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and more. They need a strong understanding of financial principles, regulations, and industry-specific knowledge. Additionally, excellent analytical, communication, and leadership skills are essential for success in this role.

To become a Financial Manager, individuals typically hold at least a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, economics, or a related field. Many Financial Managers also pursue advanced degrees, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a finance concentration.

Gaining relevant experience in financial roles and progressively taking on positions of increasing responsibility is common on the path to becoming a Financial Manager. Professional certifications, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation, can enhance qualifications and career prospects in this field. 

The average annual salary for a Financial Manager in the US is $107,984.

7. Engineering Manager

An Engineering Manager is a professional responsible for leading and overseeing engineering teams within an organization. They play a critical role in the development, design, and delivery of engineering projects, products, or services, and are responsible for managing both technical aspects of projects and the teams of engineers who work on them. Engineering Managers are often responsible for managing engineering projects in various industries, such as software development, civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and more. The role requires a strong blend of technical knowledge and leadership skills.

Becoming an Engineering Manager typically involves a combination of education, relevant experience, and the development of leadership and management skills but generally you will require: A strong educational background in engineering or a related field. Most Engineering Managers hold at least a bachelor's degree in engineering or a closely related discipline. Beginning your career as an engineer to gain in-depth technical knowledge and hands-on experience in your chosen engineering field. Acquiring management skills that are relevant to engineering management, including project management, budgeting, resource allocation, and people management.

Developing strong communication and interpersonal skills, as Engineering Managers need to interact with technical and non-technical stakeholders. If your field is subject to specific regulations and standards (e.g., civil engineering, environmental engineering), you'll need to develop a strong understanding of the relevant regulations and compliance requirements. 

The average annual salary for an Engineering Manager in the US is $128,880

8. Sales Manager

A Sales Manager is a professional responsible for leading and managing a team of sales representatives or salespeople within an organization. Their primary goal is to drive revenue and achieve sales targets by developing and executing sales strategies, coaching and training their sales team, and monitoring performance. They play a critical role in sales organizations, as they help set sales objectives, provide guidance to sales representatives, and contribute to the growth and profitability of the company. They typically work in a variety of industries, including retail, B2B (business-to-business), and B2C (business-to-consumer) sales, and their roles may vary depending on the size and structure of the organization.

To enter into a career as a sales manager typically involves a combination of education, relevant experience, and the development of specific skills and leadership qualities, but generally you will require: Having a degree in business, marketing, or a related field. Demonstrating a track record of successful sales performance is essential to be considered for a Sales Manager position. Acquiring management skills relevant to sales management. Courses or training in sales management, leadership, and team development can be valuable.

Depending on your industry, consider pursuing industry-specific certifications related to sales management or leadership. For example, you might explore certifications offered by organizations like the Sales Management Association. Staying current with sales trends, technologies, and industry developments. Sales is an evolving field, and ongoing learning and adaptation are essential. 

The average annual salary for a Sales Manager in the US is $85,313.

9. Health Services Manager

A Health Services Manager, often referred to as a Healthcare Administrator or Healthcare Manager, is a professional responsible for planning, coordinating, and supervising the delivery of healthcare services within various healthcare organizations. This can include hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, outpatient facilities, and other healthcare settings. They play a vital role in ensuring the efficient and effective operation of healthcare facilities, as well as the delivery of high-quality patient care, and work in a wide range of healthcare settings, from large hospitals to small medical clinics, and may specialize in various areas, such as hospital administration, long-term care administration, or healthcare information management. Their role demands a strong understanding of healthcare operations, as well as leadership, management, and financial skills.

Becoming a Health Services Manager typically involves a combination of education, relevant experience, and the development of specific skills and leadership qualities, but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in healthcare administration, healthcare management, public health, or a related field. Gaining practical healthcare experience by working in healthcare settings. This can include roles in clinical settings, administrative positions, or healthcare support roles.

Developing management skills by seeking opportunities to take on leadership roles in healthcare settings. This can include supervisory positions, team lead roles, or project management assignments. Joining healthcare management associations and professional organizations, such as the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) or the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Depending on your area of specialization, consider obtaining relevant certifications. Some certifications, like the Certified Healthcare Administrator (CHA) or Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS), can enhance your qualifications and demonstrate your expertise. 

The average annual salary for a Health Services Manager in the US is $77,075.

10. Human Resources Manager

A Human Resources (HR) Manager, also known as an HR Director or HR Administrator, is a professional responsible for overseeing and managing the human resources department of an organization. Their role is to lead the HR team and develop and implement HR strategies, policies, and practices that support the organization's goals, while also ensuring compliance with employment laws and regulations. They work in a wide range of industries and organizations, including businesses, government agencies, non-profits, and educational institutions, and their role is essential in ensuring that an organization's human capital is effectively managed, developed, and motivated to contribute to the organization's success.

Becoming a Human Resources (HR) Manager involves a combination of education, relevant experience, and the development of leadership and HR management skills, but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in human resources, business administration, organizational psychology, or a related field. Gaining practical HR experience by working in entry-level HR roles. Common entry-level positions include HR assistant, HR coordinator, recruiter, or HR generalist.

Participating in HR-related professional development opportunities, such as workshops, seminars, and HR certifications. Consider pursuing certifications like the SHRM-CP (Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional), SHRM-SCP (Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional), PHR (Professional in Human Resources), or SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) to enhance your qualifications. Effective communication, adaptability, and the ability to manage diverse teams are key attributes for success in HR management. Develop your communication and interpersonal skills to work effectively with employees at all levels of the organization. 

The average annual salary for a Human Resources Manager in the US is $80,694


Conclusion

The decision to pursue a career in management should align with your personal and professional goals, interests, and strengths. Not everyone aspires to or is well-suited for management, and many individuals find fulfilling careers in non-managerial roles that allow them to specialize in their areas of expertise.

It's important to consider what type of work you enjoy and where your skills and passions lie. As with any job there are loads of pros and cons so a a degree of investigation should be undertaken before entering into the decision to pursue a managerial role.

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FAQs

Is becoming a manager a solid career path?

Becoming a manager can be a solid career path, but its suitability and long-term prospects depend on various factors, including your personal preferences, skills, the industry, and the organization in which you work. The advantages are vast, but the top ones include: Many managerial positions come with higher salaries and the potential for performance-based bonuses or incentives.

Management roles can offer a clear path for career progression and advancement, especially in organizations with structured hierarchies. Management positions are less susceptible to automation, which can provide greater job security in the face of technological advancements. And, managers often have a significant impact on their teams and organizations, contributing to their growth and success.

What skills are needed to become a manager? 

Becoming a successful manager requires a specific set of skills that encompass both leadership and organizational abilities. But there are key skills needed to excel and they include: The ability to lead, motivate, and manage a team effectively, ensuring that team members work together to achieve common goals. Making informed and timely decisions, often in high-pressure situations, while considering various factors and consequences. Address and resolve conflicts within the team or organization, promoting a positive working environment. Then you'll need to master time management and effective communication skills.

Be adaptable, a good problem solver, and good strategic thinker. Successful managers continually develop and refine these skills. While specific industries and roles may require additional skills or specialized knowledge, these fundamental managerial skills are essential for effective leadership and problem-solving in most managerial positions.

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How can I gain the skills needed to become a good manager?

Gaining the skills needed to become a good manager is a process that involves both formal education and practical experience, and there are steps you can take to develop these skills. They include: Pursuing a bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as business administration, management, or a specific area related to your career goals. Enrolling in management courses, whether as part of your degree program or through online platforms and local institutions. Look for leadership development programs, workshops, and seminars that focus on developing management and leadership skills.

Signing up for professional development programs that include leadership training, conflict resolution, and other management-related skills. And pursuing management and leadership certifications offered by organizations like the Project Management Institute (PMI), the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), or the American Management Association (AMA). Remember that the development of management skills is an ongoing process. Building these skills takes time and dedication, and it's important to continuously seek opportunities for growth and learning throughout your career. Adaptability, resilience, and a commitment to improvement are key attributes for becoming a successful manager.

What is the highest paid job in management? 

This is one for debate, as various job sites will post their own version of the highest paying management job. That said, the on that seems to crop up time and again is a CEO. Those with the necessary levels of qualifications and experience can expect to earn an average mean salary of $185,850.

What is the best paid job in management without a degree?

Again many jobs sites will post their own version of the best paying management job without a degree, but on the whole the one that crops up time and again is a Human Resources Manager. Although a degree can be advantageous, exhibiting the right skills and know how will allow you to climb the HR corporate ladder. The average base salary for a Human Resources Manager in the US is $80,694.

How can I progress my career into a management role?

Progressing your career into a management role involves a strategic approach that combines education, skill development, and practical experience. Career progression into a management role requires dedication, persistence, and a proactive approach. Stay adaptable and willing to learn from your experiences. As you gain experience and refine your skills, you'll be better prepared to take on managerial responsibilities and advance your career. But you can do your cause the power of good by: Investing in your education. Consider pursuing a bachelor's degree in a relevant field like business, management, or a field related to your industry.

An advanced degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a master's in a specialized area, can significantly enhance your qualifications. Staying updated on industry trends, management practices, and leadership skills through workshops, courses, seminars, webinars, and conferences. Building a strong professional network by attending industry events, joining relevant associations, and connecting with experienced professionals. And, developing your problem-solving and decision-making skills by addressing challenges and complex issues within your current role.

Is a career in management the best option in 2024?

As they say in the classics, what you put in you get out. Whether a career in management is the best option for you in 2024, or any year, depends on your individual interests, strengths, and career goals. That said, there are some factors to consider when evaluating a career in management: Management positions often come with higher salaries and the potential for performance-based bonuses or incentives. Management roles can provide a clear path for career progression and advancement, particularly in organizations with structured hierarchies. Management positions are often less susceptible to automation, providing greater job security. 

About the author
Joe McGoldrick
Joe McGoldrick

Known for strategy and attention to detail

Joe has more than 10 years of marketing experience, working within the public sector, client-side, and agency side.

He is passionate about using data and customer insights to improve marketing performance.

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