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10 Top Organizational Leadership Jobs by Salary

Organizational leadership is a management approach where leaders implement change by strategically motivating individuals within an organization. It is a high-paying field if you have an organizational degree and experience. Students considering a career in organizational leadership want to know what jobs you can get and how much money you’ll make. This list of top organizational leadership jobs by salary will help guide your decision.

Our editors first ranked organizational leadership jobs by salary in July 2023. This ranking was updated in March 2024.


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How We Ranked the Top 10 Organizational Leadership Careers

We compiled a list of top-paying organizational leadership jobs for students and professionals researching careers in this field. This is list for:

  • Students considering a degree in organizational leadership
  • Students currently enrolled in an organizational leadership program
  • Professionals wanting to change roles in organizational leadership
  • Professionals wanting to shift from their current position to a career in organizational leadership

Our top 10 list reports job titles and mid-career earnings collected from the most recent data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We ranked the top 10 organizational leadership jobs by annual pay, with the highest-paying job in the #1 position.

RankJob TitleDegree RequiredAverage Annual Pay
#1Sales ManagerBachelor’s$130,600
#2Human Resources ManagerBachelor’s or Master’s$130,000
#3Training and Development ManagerBachelor’s$120,000
#4Industrial Production ManagerBachelor’s$108,790
#5Top Executive/Corporate ManagerBachelor’s/Master’s$107,680
#6Medical and Health Services ManagerBachelor’s$104,830
#7School PrincipalMaster’s$101,320
#8Postsecondary Education AdministratorMaster’s$99,940
#9Management AnalystBachelor’s$95,290
#10Nonprofit Executive DirectorBachelor’s$69,481
Data collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Top 10 Organizational Leadership Jobs


Annual Average Pay: $130,600

The highest-paying organizational leadership degree job is in sales management. The organizational leadership degree salary for a sales manager is about $130,600. As a sales manager, your role is to lead a sales team or sales department to meet a company’s sales goal. They also provide technical training to their sales teams to ensure success.

As a sales manager, your daily tasks include things like:

  • Establishing goals for your team
  • Setting quotas
  • Working closely with your company’s marketing department
  • Seeking out new customers
  • Recruiting and hiring


  • 4% employment growth through 2032
  • 43,200 new jobs expected each year for next 10 years
  • Highest-paying organizational leadership career
  • Wholesale trade industry hires 20% of sales manager workforce


  • High stress factor due to performance expectations
  • Long hours, some weekends


Average Annual Pay: $130,000

A career as a human resources manager is another top organizational leadership degree job. As a human resource manager, you your role is to ensure that the employees of an organization are taken care of. This means instituting policies that govern behavior, setting up compensation packages, and overseeing hiring operations. Human resource managers act as the moderator between the business and its employees.

Human resources managers and specialists work in an office or remotely through telecommuting. Many work from home and visit the office one to three days per week. Jobs tasks vary by the organization where the HR manager works.


  • High pay with only bachelor’s degree required
  • 5% employment growth through 2032
  • Hybrid or work-from-home model
  • Regular business hours with little to no overtime


  • Office politics and bureaucracy
  • Stress when acting as mediator


Average Annual Pay: $120,000

Training and development managers have another high-paying role in organizational leadership, especially development managers with a master’s in organizational leadership. By working in this career path, your role will include finding new hires and bringing them into an organization. From there, you will help train them and develop new talents to help them reach their full potential. Training and development managers are vital to the healthy function of all businesses.

The role is similar to an HR manager or HR specialist. Training and development managers help incorporate new hires into a company and help find people who are the best fit to work there. As a training and development manager, you will likely be working upwards of 40 hours a week. Often, you will be working directly with people. 


  • 6% job growth through 2032
  • Advancement opportunities
  • High pay (over six figures)
  • Low entry barrier (bachelor’s degree required)


  • Limited number of jobs available
  • Some certifications required


Annual Average Pay: $108,790

Industrial project management is one of the highest-paying organizational leadership jobs available. As an industrial production manager, you will oversee massive production jobs. You will work at the highest level of factories and manufacturing plants. And you will ensure that organizations operate at maximum capacity. 

Industrial production managers are also responsible for the safety of their workers. If you enjoy STEM fields, you may be a natural in the role of an industrial production manager. You will likely oversee the operation of heavy machinery and industrial equipment. Your role as a manager will also require you to be a motivating leader.


  • Advancement opportunities
  • Bachelor’s degree for entry
  • High six-figure salary
  • Some on-the-job training
  • STEM-related management career


  • Long hours, evenings and weekends
  • Lower-than-average employment growth (2%)


Average Annual Pay: $107,680

Top executives and corporate officer positions are among the top-paying jobs in organizational leadership. Top executives and corporate officers make over $107,000/year. These jobs require a master’s in organizational leadership degree or higher. 

As a top executive and corporate officer, your role is to guide and lead entire companies. You also head divisions of companies. You will need to call upon your management and business skills often. Corporate officers also rank among the top organizational roles in this area of specialty.

There is variation in salary when you are one of the top executives. For example, a chief executive at a company could make an average annual pay of $186,000 or more. Yet general managers or operations managers can make around $103,000 a year. Both of these positions yield six figures but are very different.


  • Average job growth 3%
  • 280,000 jobs held by chief executives in the U.S.
  • High annual pay with bonuses and incentives
  • Highest level of leadership within an organization


  • Experience required
  • Long hours exceeding 40 hours/week


Average Annual Pay: $104,830

Medical and health services managers rank among the top-paying organizational leadership jobs. Medical and health services managers work for healthcare organizations. In this role, you work in a hospital, clinic, nursing home, or another medical facility.

This special type of manager is in charge of administering care to patients. Medical and health services managers keep hospitals and other medical centers running smoothly. Also, they manage patients and employees to ensure everyone gets adequate care. As a medical and health services manager, you need to pay close attention to detail and have excellent interpersonal skills. An approachable bedside manner is important.


  • 28% employment growth through 2032
  • 54,700 openings projected each year for the next 10 years
  • Bonuses and six-figure salary potential
  • Only need a four-year degree
  • Widespread demand


  • Evening or weekend work required (long hours)
  • On call in case of emergencies


Average Annual Pay: $101,320

An organizational leadership degree can result in a career in education. For example, you can become an elementary, middle, or high school principal. As a school principal, your organizational leadership degree will come in handy. That’s because you will lead and manage the entire staff and student body. You will need to ensure the education of your students, but you also must pay attention to job satisfaction of the teachers. And of course, you are responsible for the safety of everyone attending the school.

This career path requires at least a master’s level of education, and in most states, you’ll need to become licensed. School principal jobs rank among our top organizational leadership careers.


  • Advancement opportunities for superintendent jobs
  • School-year breaks and vacation perks
  • Six-figure salary potential
  • Rewarding career in education


  • Master’s degree and licensing required
  • 1% job growth (slower than the 3% national average)


Average Annual Pay: $99,940

One of our top organizational leadership careers is a postsecondary education administrator. In this career, you work in administrative positions in higher education. You run entire departments at the college level. This role requires you use your organizational leadership skills to manage professors and students.

Like principals, postsecondary education administrators commit to educating future leaders. This job is great for students with a particular interest in education. There are around 218,000 jobs in this field, but growth is expected over the next 10 years.


  • Above-average job growth (4%)
  • Advancement opportunities
  • 15,300 openings expected each year for next 10 years
  • Make a different in the lives of students
  • Work with diverse students and families


  • Master’s degree required for most jobs
  • Political challenges dealing with stakeholders


Average Annual Pay: $95,290

Management analysts use their organizational leadership education to help other organizations. Specifically, they help businesses to implement better management policies. Management analysts and management consultants usually work on a per-client basis. In this job, you work with businesses to assess their current management and organizational structure. You also use your expertise to offer ideas for change.

If you want to become a management analyst or management consultant, you’re in luck! The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a surge in the job market over the next 10 years. This field should grow about 10% over the next decade, which is over three times faster than the national growth.


  • Advancement opportunities to senior-level analysts
  • Favorable job growth (10%) through 2032
  • High pay in certain industries (professional, scientific, technical services)
  • 92,900 openings expected each year for next 10 years


  • Extended work hours (over 40 hours per week)
  • Tight deadlines


Average Annual Pay: $69,481

Another job in organizational leadership is nonprofit executive director. In this role, you use your organizational leadership education to lead a nonprofit organization. You work in the world of charity and nonprofits. You also ensure that employees get the support they need. After all, workers have some very specific needs to make an impact. Nonprofit executive directors are not the highest-paying career but do rank among our top organizational leadership jobs.

If you want to make a difference in the world around you, this is an ideal career choice. Becoming a nonprofit executive director can be a gratifying job. If you are motivated by charity and helping others, this role may be your true calling. 


  • Potential for growth and advancement
  • Rewarding career path
  • Strong sense of purpose
  • Uplifting work environment


  • Lower pay than other organizational leadership jobs
  • Small budgets and limited spending power

Organizational Leadership Degree Jobs by Degree Level

The amount you can earn in organizational leadership careers depends on your degree level. Naturally, a master’s degree in organizational leadership salary is different than a bachelor’s degree. In this last section, we examine organizational leadership pay according to degree level. Keep in mind an organizational management salary varies widely. It depends on location, experience, and other factors. The data reported in this section was collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Payscale.

Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership

With a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership, you can expect entry-level salaries to be generous. And of course, the more experience you gain, the more you can make. How much you earn with an undergraduate organizational degree depends on many factors. But these four career paths can give you some idea of what to expect.

Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership Salary

RoleSalary RangeAverage
Chief Executive Officer $55k – $154k$100,090
Human Resources Manager$65k – $112k$86,277
Sales Manager$67k – $127k$94,712
Project Manager $60k – $98k$77,091

Organizational Leadership Master’s Salary

Pursuing a master’s degree in organizational leadership can help you move into higher-paying roles in the field. The training is the next step up from a bachelor’s degree. Positions are similar, but you will have more responsibility in your role. As you can see, you have the opportunity to earn a higher-paying salary with a graduate degree.

Master’s in Organizational Leadership Salary

RoleSalary RangeAverage
Chief Executive Officer $124k – $260k$129,572
Human Resources Manager$103k – $182k$140,162
Sales Manager$82k – $206k$146,589
Project Manager  $61k – $137k$92,523

Doctorate (Ph.D.), Organizational Leadership Salary

As you might expect, a Ph.D. in organizational leadership can be even more lucrative, although not always. Those who pursue a doctorate degree in the field are usually considering the highest-paying careers in organizational leadership. This chart illustrates a few of those options.

PH.D. in Organizational Leadership Salary

RoleSalary RangeAverage
Chief Human Resources Officer$111k – $226k$163,781
President and CEO$94k – $237k$153,736
Talent Acquisition Director$72k – $150k$111,836
Data Center Manager$104k – $194k$146,167

Frequently Asked Questions


Organizational leadership is a kind of management style. It takes into account the more humanistic parts of a company and how people can work together as a team. Organizational leadership degree holders can apply their skills to any company, nonprofit, or business model. In fact, teams at all levels can implement the concepts. Organizational leaders:

  • Create programs that help boost productivity
  • Facilitate ethical business practices
  • Lead teams of diverse groups of people
  • Lead training sessions
  • Negotiate and resolve conflict
  • Promote teamwork among employees
  • Utilize tools to improve communication 


An organizational leadership degree helps you learn how to communicate better. You learn to use forward-thinking and critical-thinking skills to become a better leader. Students can get a bachelor’s degree online, but they can also pursue organizational leadership degrees at the master’s and doctoral levels. Here’s what you’ll cover in an organizational leadership degree program:

  • Ethical Issues in Organizations
  • Foundations of Leadership
  • Introduction to Human Resources
  • Mediation and Conflict Resolution
  • Organizational Development and Planning
  • Organizational Leadership and the Law
  • Organizational Theory, Design, and Change
  • Social Influence and Persuasion for Leaders
  • Training and Development

This concludes our ranking of the top 10 organizational leadership careers by salary.