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Top 7 Consumer Products Firms for MBAs

Consumer products companies have traditionally hired a high percentage of MBA students – ranked only behind consulting and finance in sheer hiring volume. Why? The generalist MBA skill set is highly valued among these conglomerates who need, in essence, a general manager of a brand or project. But which ones should you consider? We turned to data reported by MBA students and alumni at over 6,000 companies to rank the top firms by compensation, satisfaction, and work-life balance.


As we formulated this ranking we were surprised at simply how highly satisfied our MBA users reported being in the consumer products industry. The median satisfaction score is ~20% higher than our all-MBA average, driven by significant “impact of work” scores and solid work-life balance (average hours worked/week came in at 46.1 overall, well below the 50- or 60-hour weeks pulled by many recent MBA grads).

The second thing that floored us is just how close these companies are to one another. Compensation packages are more standardized than some industries (e.g. tech), and most MBAs head into marketing, general management, or corporate finance – all job functions with pretty tight salary ranges.


#1) Clorox

Composite Score: 100

Median Starting Compensation: $167,000

Median Starting Salary: $107,000

Average Hours/Week: 44

Average Satisfaction: 9.2/10

I know, you’re thinking bleach. But this Bay Area company did $5.8B in revenue in 2016 based on much more than just their eponymous household products – they own massive brands like Burt’s Bees and Kingsford charcoal, among others. They make the top spot on this list based on solid bonus packages, decent salary, and exceptionally high satisfaction rankings from MBAs. According to our data they hire for marketing and insights-related positions.


#2) Mattel

Composite Score: 98

Median Starting Compensation: $135,000

Median Starting Salary: $105,000

Average Hours/Week: 40

Average Satisfaction: 9/10


This Fortune 500 toy manufacturer, based in LA, powers to the #2 spot on the strength of decent starting salary (relative to other CPG offers), reasonable work hours, and high satisfaction rankings. Like Clorox, they’ve hired for both marketing positions and “Insights” positions, which often blend data analytics, marketing, and research to support brand managers across the organization to make more data-driven decisions.

Apply Now: Associate Manager – Global Brand Marketing


#3) Colgate-Palmolive

Composite Score: 97

Median Starting Compensation: $157,000

Median Starting Salary: $108,000

Average Hours/Week: 45

Average Satisfaction: 9.0/10

It’s not just toothpaste and soap, folks – the consumer packaged goods giant also markets pet food, deodorant, and more.  Based in NYC, they hire MBAs for brand management positions as well – higher-than-average total compensation packages and solid work-life balance bring the firm to the #3 spot.


#4) MillerCoors

Composite Score: 95

Median Starting Compensation: $130,000

Median Starting Salary: $98,000

Average Hours/Week: 40

Average Satisfaction: 9.0/10

Owner of the 2nd-largest market share of the beer business in the US, MillerCoors hires MBAs into primarily marketing roles at their Chicago HQ.  Average compensation packages are balanced by exceptional work-life balance and some great perks (you guessed it, free beer at their snazzy employee pub).

Apply Now: Associate Marketing Manager – CCOE


#5) Wendy’s

Composite Score: 94

Median Starting Compensation: $120,000

Median Starting Salary: $100,000

Average Hours/Week: 40

Average Satisfaction: 9.0/10

MBAs have anything but a “frosty” (get it?) outlook on the fast-food restaurant based in Dublin, OH. The company makes #5 on our list due to solid work-life balance and high satisfaction scores from their Accelerated Leadership Program.


#6) The Kellogg Company

Composite Score: 92

Median Starting Compensation: $115,000

Median Starting Salary: $95,000

Average Hours/Week: 40

Average Satisfaction: 9.0/10

Located in Battle Creek, Michigan (west of Detroit for those unfamiliar with the Mitten), Kellogg produces cereals, pastries, and snacks to get your gluten fix. While the $95k/year starting salaries reported by MBA hires doesn’t exactly inspire, the cost of living in central Michigan makes that look like $203K in San Francisco, per CNN Money.  Hires also report favorable work/life balance and high satisfaction scores.


#7) The Wonderful Company

Composite Score: 91

Median Starting Compensation: $168,750

Median Starting Salary: $115,000

Average Hours/Week: 40

Average Satisfaction: 6.0/10

This aptly-named owner of a diversified food & beverage portfolio (including Fiji Water, PomWonderful juices, and even a few wineries) takes the 7th spot on our ranking, driven by robust starting compensation packages for MBA hires. Based in Los Angeles, the company offers some great health & wellness perks including yoga, subsidized gym memberships, and catered healthy food.

Apply Now: Associate Brand Manager, FIJI Water



Other top scoring companies in Consumer Products:

Johnson & Johnson (91)

Apply Now: Associate Brand Manager, Neutrogena 

Pepsico, Inc. (90)

Apply Now:  National Sales Strategy MBA Intern 

Nestle USA (89)


Full Ranking: Top 25 Consumer Products Companies for MBA Students


Target company not on the list? Don’t sweat it. There are over 6,000 employers profiled on our site, so you can easily compare the satisfaction and compensation of the companies you daydream about – and even dive into specific positions within the firm.




These companies have been ranked on data from MBAs in areas such as compensation, average hours per week, and satisfaction. All data points are from full time positions within the first two years from graduation, all from actual MBAs in our database.

Factors included:


  • Total Compensation Potential (20%) – Includes salary, relocation and performance bonuses, stock compensation, and any other earning potential.
  • Hourly Wage Equivalent (40%) – We took the median salary reported from each company and divided by the average hours worked per week to account for how fairly employees were being paid each hour. This is our work/life balance metric.
  • Overall Satisfaction (40%) – We at TransparentCareer love being happy, which is why we weigh job satisfaction so heavily. This metric measures the company environment, how impactful employees feel their work is, and simply how happy they feel working there overall.



We created an index and gave the highest scoring company an index score of 100, based each other company off of that score accordingly. Companies with low data count for MBA-level positions were left out of this analysis in order to preserve its integrity.

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