Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Job Description of Business Development Officer

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Building a successful, profitable business requires more than making sales. Companies need to be strategic in how they approach their sales and marketing activities by focusing on building partnerships and relationships with customers, not just making sales. Much of this responsibility falls to the business development officer, who is responsible for creating the sales strategies and positioning the company to achieve business goals. It’s a high-level, corporate position that covers a broad spectrum of responsibilities. The business development officer is usually well paid.

Job Description

In the simplest terms, a business development officer (also sometimes referred to as a business development manager) is responsible for increasing sales and profits for a company. Although the role of business development manager shares some similarities with sales, it’s different from a sales manager or sales representative position in that it’s typically more focused on finding new business opportunities and strategic business growth.

Specific responsibilities typically include building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders in the company, including customers and shareholders, analyzing portfolios to identify new opportunities, and helping to develop and communicate about the company’s products, prices and policies. The business development officer, sometimes known as the chief development officer, is part of product development teams, providing insights to help develop and position offerings that can improve the bottom line. Business development officers might analyze customer feedback and data to determine how customers are using products and services and then develop a strategic plan to increase usage – or discontinue underperforming offerings.

Hiring and training is also a part of the business manager job description. Someone in this leadership position may be involved in recruiting and hiring talent in the marketing and sales departments, and developing and delivering training and education to associates and representatives.

Education Requirements

At a minimum, most employers require business development managers to have at least a bachelor’s degree and three to five years of experience in a business role. A background in business, finance or marketing, as well as sales, is needed to be successful in this position. Additional skills and qualifications sought by employers include communication, interpersonal, analytical, decision-making and leadership skills.


There is no typical “industry” for business development officers, as they can be found in almost every type of company. However, it’s a dynamic field and one that requires its officers and managers to constantly evolve and stay abreast of changes in their field, trends and what their competitors are doing. Because business development jobs are sales-focused, officers must be constantly aware of their performance metrics and focused on meeting goals. There is typically a lot of travel involved with these careers, as business development officers meet with partners and customers on a regular basis. A chief business development officer (CBDO) regularly works long hours under tight deadlines.

Years of Experience and Salary

The average annual salary for a business development officer is about $63,500 per year, not including bonuses, commissions and profit-sharing opportunities, which can potentially add $25,000 per year or more to earnings. Years of experience have a positive influence on earnings potential, with those who have more than 20 years of experience in the field earning almost twice as much per year as newcomers to the field. One projected annual earnings trajectory for a business development officer based on experience looks like this:

  • 0-5 years: $55,000
  • 5-10 years: $74,000
  • 10-20 years: $78,000
  • 20+ years: $103,000

Job Growth Trend

Businesses of all sizes and in all industries need business development officers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the growth across all management occupations will be 8 percent between now and 2026, which is about as fast as all occupations. BLS reports that most of the growth is attributable to the development of new businesses and the expansion of existing enterprises.


An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer and editor, specializing in careers, business, education, and lifestyle topics. The author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), which covers everything from career and financial advice to furnishing your first apartment, her work has also appeared in Young Money, Lewiston Auburn Magazine, USA Today, and a variety of online outlets. She's also been quoted as a career expert in many newspapers and magazines, including Cosmopolitan and Parade. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.

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