Business, consulting and management jobs

Jemma Smith, Editor
September, 2019

If you're business-minded with your sights set on a top salary and high levels of responsibility, take a look at the careers you could pursue

It's highly likely that you'll need a degree to climb the ranks in this sector - the highest paying business jobs, management roles and consultancy positions are offered at graduate level. What's more, the range of jobs you can get with a business degree is much broader than if you're entering the job market without one.

You may be able to work your way up without a degree in smaller businesses, but this can take years and you'll need extensive experience to progress.

Business adviser

You'll provide information, support, coaching, advice and guidance to business people, from individuals looking to start their own business through to supporting established businesses.

Many business advisers are graduates from a variety of disciplines, who started out in a professional and financial service such as HR, recruitment, marketing, accountancy, finance or banking. Many business advisers have worked in industry and have run their own businesses.

Entry-level salaries for start-up business advisers range between £18,000 and £25,000.

Learn more about the role of a business adviser.

Business analyst

In this typically IT-focused role you'll work with an organisation to manage, change and plan for the future in line with their goals, either for specific projects or on a more permanent basis. You'll create solutions to their problems, usually (but not always) in relation to information and software systems.

You'll not only need be an excellent communicator, with the ability to motivate others and lead change, but also well-equipped with analytical skills - ideally shown through a related degree, in a subject such as business information systems.

Starting salaries for business analysts are between £21,000 and £31,000, depending on where you work. Find out more about what's involved in becoming a business analyst.

Business development manager

Concerned with improving and growing a business, you'll foster and develop relationships with customers, suppliers and other partners. You may work to improve profitability through careful strategic planning and positioning in the appropriate markets, or to enhance the operation of the business, position or reputation in some way.

Starting salaries are in the region of £22,000 to £25,000. To be successful you'll need tenacity, excellent communication skills, initiative, good networking skills and the ability to think strategically.

Discover what else you'll need to become a business development manager.


As an economist you'll use theories and knowledge to provide specialist advice, by studying data and statistics and uncovering trends. You'll carry out research and collect large amounts of information, which will then be used to assess feasibility, produce forecasts of economic trends, determine the implications of your findings and recommend ways to improve efficiency.

You'll advise economic consultancies, major companies, banks, financial institutions, higher education establishments and investment groups.

Entry is possible with a degree in economics, or a joint degree of economics combined with:

  • finance
  • law
  • management studies
  • mathematics
  • politics.

Find out what you could earn as an economist.

Environmental consultant

Not all consultancy jobs confine you to a desk. To become an environmental consultant you'll need an honours degree in a subject such as environmental and earth sciences, environmental management, geology or hydrogeology. You'll also need sound business skills and commercial awareness.

You'll work with organisations on a range of environmental issues, offering expert advisory and assessment services to your clients with the aim of minimising or eliminating environmental damage.

Typically, you'll be employed by a consultancy firm and work on a range of commercial or government contracts, addressing a variety of environmental issues.

Graduate starting salaries typically range from £22,000 to £25,000.

Read up on how to become an environmental consultant.


By scientifically studying the relationship between people, environments and equipment, ergonomists use their findings to improve human interaction with processes and systems.

You'll need good numeracy and problem-solving skills, the ability to understand technical concepts and an interest in people's behaviour in different situations. You could work in the defence, energy, health and safety, healthcare, IT, manufacturing and transport sectors.

You'll also need an undergraduate or Masters degree in ergonomics/human factors, accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF).

Typically, salaries for new ergonomists range from around £19,000 to £27,000.

Find out more about becoming an ergonomist.

Health service manager

Working in either an NHS or private healthcare setting, you'll manage the cost, delivery and quality of healthcare services. You'll work with both clinical and non-clinical staff, as well as other partner organisations, while considering the demands of political policy and local circumstances.

As a graduate with a minimum 2:2 degree (or equivalent) in any subject, you can apply to the fast-track NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. The starting salary on the scheme is £23,125 (excluding the location allowance where this applies).

Gain an insight into the role of a health service manager.

Hotel manager

Responsible for the day-to-day management of a hotel and its staff, as well as holding commercial accountability for budgeting and financial management, you'll plan, organise and direct hotel services, including front-of-house, food and beverage operations and housekeeping. In larger hotels you'll often have a specific remit, such as guest services, accounting or marketing.

You'll work regular unsocial hours - late nights, weekends and bank holidays. Salaries vary depending on the size and location of the hotel you work for.

Read more about the role of a hotel manager and discover 6 reasons to get into hotel management.

Internal auditor

Working in the public sector, for private companies or accountancy firms you'll provide an independent guarantee that an organisation's risk management, governance and control processes are operating effectively.

Auditing includes a consulting service, advising management on how to improve their systems and processes.

The career is open to all graduates but a degree, HND or foundation degree in accountancy, economics, finance or IT may be beneficial. If you don't have a degree, HND or foundation degree, it's still possible to enter the profession if you have some related pre-entry work experience.

With one to three years' experience, you can expect to earn £22,000 to £35,000.

Discover how to become an internal auditor.

Office manager

Also known as business, administrative or operations managers, office managers are responsible for organising all of the administrative activities that facilitate the smooth running of an office. This includes organising people, information and other resources. You must make sure that office equipment is maintained, relevant records are up to date and that all administration processes work effectively.

To carry out your duties you'll need excellent organisations skills, strong IT knowledge, the ability to prioritise, team working skills and interpersonal communication skills, oral and written.

Salaries vary depending on the type of industry, employer and level of responsibility involved. Typical starting salaries range from £18,000 to £30,000.

For further information, see office manager.

Product manager

Career opportunities are available with any company which makes a product, whether the product is technical, financial or manufactured.

Working with the people who make a product, those who use the product and those who manage the business, you'll ensure that the product is being made as efficiently as possible and that the people building it have access to the latest technologies and techniques. You're also responsible for the life cycle of the product - ensuring that the product roadmap is followed and features are being released on time and are of a high quality.

As a graduate it's likely that you'll start out as a junior product manager, progressing to a more senior role - where you'll take control of a group of products - once you've gained experience.

Starting salaries for product managers and junior product managers are usually between £25,000 and £40,000.

Learn more about a career as a product manager.

Retail manager

Aiming to maximise profits while minimising costs, retail managers are responsible for the day-to-day running of stores or departments. You'll ensure promotions are run to the company's standards and make sure that staff work towards targets. It's also your job to ensure that excellent customer care standards are met.

Although this area of work is open to all graduates, an HND or degree in business studies, fashion management, marketing, and retail management may increase your chances.

Assistant positions are salaried at between £17,000 and £23,000, which can reach up to £30,000 with a few years' experience.

Gain an insight into the role of a retail manager and discover 6 questions to ask in a retail management interview.

Risk manager

Working to advise organisations on any potential risks to the profitability or existence of the company, you'll identify and assess threats, put plans in place if things go wrong and decide how to avoid, reduce or transfer risks.

Technical acumen, decision-making and problem-solving ability, planning and organisational skills, commercial awareness and the ability to understand broad business issues are all essential to the role.

Risk management is not an entry-level role. Typical starting salaries for those starting in a risk technician role are around £21,250.

Discover what it takes to become a risk manager.

Find out more

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