Salaries in Montana for Professionals in International Business and Affairs

Montana’s $1.5 billion in exports to foreign markets in 2014 supported 13,319 jobs in the state according to the Department of Commerce International Trade Administration. That year, some 1,556 Montana-based companies exported goods and services to foreign markets.

Both companies that operate in the global sphere and Montana’s NGOs rely on the expertise of professionals with experience in international relations. Having knowledge of the political climate, regulations, and international markets of a particular country can be paramount to the success of international business ventures and humanitarian efforts. Since such expertise is not easily acquired, professionals who possess this type of knowledge tend to be highly compensated.


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Nearly 36% of the merchandise exported from Montana in 2013 went to Canada, which purchased more refined petroleum products from Montana than any other nation. Korea’s purchases of coal from Montana made it the second leading export market for the state.

Salaries for Montana’s International Business Professionals

Understanding the trade regulations, tax laws and cultural protocols of an international trade partner nation is critical for the success of international business. As a result, experts in this area routinely earn high salaries. Marketing research analysts in Missoula earning within the 90th percentile for this occupational category earned an average of $179,550 a year in 2014 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Management analysts are also key to the success of international business ventures. The median salary for such professionals in Billings was $108,750 in 2014—34.5% higher than the national median for this occupational classification.

Montana’s increase in exports led to increased employment opportunities for transportation, storage, and distribution managers. While the number of jobs in this occupational classification increased 5% nationally between 2012 and 2022, Montana saw a 13% increase during this period. This agency reported that transportation, storage, and distribution managers in Montana earning in the 90th percentile made an average of $117,600 a year in 2014.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides an analysis of salary data for a number of other professionals found in the multinational companies and local exporting companies with operations in Montana (2014):

Annual mean wage
Industrial Production Managers
Purchasing Managers
Transportation Storage and Distribution Managers
Compliance Officers
Management Analysts
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

International Relations Salaries in Montana

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported that Montana has the second highest number of nonprofits in the country on a per capita basis. Theses organizations are major employers in Montana, supplying jobs for 10.7% of the state’s workforce in 2014 according to the Montana Department of Labor. Two percent of Montana’s charitable nonprofits operated internationally in 2011 according to the National Center on Charitable Statistics, and such organizations rely heavily on employees with experience in international relations.

Many of Montana’s nonprofits are located in rural areas in the state. While the salaries for employees of nonprofits are generally higher in the larger cities, fundraisers in the Southwestern nonmetropolitan area of Montana earned a median salary that was higher than that for the state as a whole. These professionals earned a median salary of $47,420, while those earning in the 90th percentile of this occupational classification earned an average of $85,600 a year according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average salary for fundraisers earning in the 90th percentile in this rural area was 14.3% higher than for Montana overall.

Chief marketing officers for nonprofits in the Northwestern region of the country, which includes Montana, earned between $110,050 and $205,000 in 2012 according to Bluewater Nonprofit Solutions.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a salary analysis for occupational categories frequently associated with international relations work in both the nonprofit and business sectors (2014):

Annual mean wage
Urban and Regional Planners
Area Ethnic and Cultural Studies Teachers Postsecondary
Political Science Teachers Postsecondary
Foreign Language and Literature Teachers Postsecondary
Interpreters and Translators

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