A business unit leader acts as the main overseer of a company's business unit. They set the team's goals, delegate tasks to staff, train new staff, and supervise the daily activities of their unit. Their leadership ensures that all of their team's objectives are met.

The specific job duties of a business unit leader typically include supervising team members, coordinating work schedules, conducting business meetings, monitoring KPIs, and providing mentoring as needed. They also coordinate with other business units to help ensure smooth workflow within their entire organization.

A bachelor's degree in business or some other business-related field is the typical minimum requirement for this role. However, having an MBA can increase one's earning potential and chances of career advancement. In terms of experience, a business unit leader must have at least three to five years of industry experience as well as substantial experience in a supervisory role. The salary of a business unit leader ranges between $54,000 to $156,000, depending on their level of experience and expertise, as well as the size of the team they are handling.

What Does a Business Unit Leader Do

There are certain skills that many business unit leaders have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed leadership skills, management skills and problem-solving skills.

Learn more about what a Business Unit Leader does

How To Become a Business Unit Leader

If you're interested in becoming a business unit leader, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 72.5% of business unit leaders have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 14.8% of business unit leaders have master's degrees. Even though most business unit leaders have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Business Unit Leader

Business Unit Leader Career Paths

Average Salary for a Business Unit Leader

Business Unit Leaders in America make an average salary of $111,361 per year or $54 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $191,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $64,000 per year.
Average Business Unit Leader Salary
$111,361 Yearly
$53.54 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?


Business Unit Leader Education

Business Unit Leader Majors

33.9 %

Business Unit Leader Degrees


72.5 %


14.8 %


8.9 %

Top Colleges for Business Unit Leaders

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

5. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

6. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition

7. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a Business Unit Leader

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.0% of business unit leaders listed business units on their resume, but soft skills such as leadership skills and management skills are important as well.

Business Unit Leader Demographics

Business Unit Leader Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among business unit leaders, 18.9% of them are women, while 81.1% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among business unit leaders is White, which makes up 71.6% of all business unit leaders.

  • The most common foreign language among business unit leaders is Spanish at 47.4%.

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Best States For a Business Unit Leader

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a business unit leader. The best states for people in this position are New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington. Business unit leaders make the most in New York with an average salary of $133,331. Whereas in New Jersey and Connecticut, they would average $129,849 and $123,145, respectively. While business unit leaders would only make an average of $123,117 in Washington, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New York

Total Business Unit Leader Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. New Jersey

Total Business Unit Leader Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Alaska

Total Business Unit Leader Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Business Unit Leaders

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Top Business Unit Leader Employers

Most Common Employers For Business Unit Leader

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
4Gilbane Building Company$122,040$58.675
7Philip Morris International$115,069$55.326
8Campbell Soup$114,458$55.0313
10The Kraft Group$113,906$54.7623

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