A Bain consultant salary is one of the most competitive in the management consulting industry. The consulting industry has been booming in recent years, and going hard after top talent. But an increasing number of boutique firms are appearing on the stage with traditional players. Competition for talent is high, and it has driven salaries up.
The Bain and Company salary has kept pace with the other top consulting firms: McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, and more. But there’s no single answer to the question of what a Bain salary is, of course. The Bain and Company salary differs for each employee, in accordance with a variety of factors and of course levels within the firm. Key factors include education/certification, work experience & seniority, and each employee’s personal profile. Salary also varies by location, and there can be stark differences from one country to the next.
In this article, we’ll tell you just about everything there is to know about a Bain and Company consultant salary. We’ll tell you how much you can expect as an entry-level employee. Additionally, how quickly and sharply you can expect your salary to rise as you progress in the firm. We’ll also take a look at the nature of the career path at Bain, as well as employee reviews.
Bain Salary: Some Context
It’s worth noting that your financial compensation- though excellent – is perhaps the least important way, in the long run, that you are compensated for the work you do at Bain. In exchange for putting in some long hours at Bain, you will learn an incredible amount from highly intelligent and knowledgeable people – clients and colleagues – across a wide range of business functions. You’ll build a powerful network in the process. And the Brain “brand” is very strong. It’s on the level of McKinsey or an Ivy League education. For the rest of your career, your tenure at Bain will signal to future colleagues and customers that you are a top performer. Bain only hires motivated, intelligent, creative, and highly competent people.
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Bain Salary: The Basics
There is a lot of room for growth at Bain, both in terms of role and in terms of growth above your Bain starting salary. But compensation is competitive from the beginning. For new hires coming out of undergraduate or master’s degree programs, the base salary averages $90,000 per year. That’s not to mention all the add-ons. These include: performance bonuses of up to $22,500, a housing allowance up to $5,000, a relocation bonus up to $5,000, 4.5% salary contributions into a 401k, and a signing bonus up to $5,000.
The Bain consultant salary situation is even more lucrative for new hires with an MBA or a PhD. These employees earn an average base salary of $165,000 a year to start. On top of that, employees are eligible for up to $41,250 in performance bonuses. Though the full bonus isn’t guaranteed. It’s also possible to get a relocation bonus of $8,000 if you’re coming from under 400 miles away and $16,000 if you’re coming from more than 400 miles away. And then there’s the 401k contributions up to $8,000, and a signing bonus up to $30,000. All of those can add up to a nice sum, making competition for these roles extremely competitive.
Bain Salary by Role
Let’s take a look at how the Bain consultant salary varies by role.
Bain Associate Consultant Salary
Associate consultant is the title new undergraduate hires typically start working under at Bain and Company. The salary information is posted above, where we note an average base salary of $90,000. That figure, like all the figures here (except for the final section), reflects the Bain and Company salary in the US only. The Bain salary in other countries varies for obvious reasons. Also, certain employees will earn a different actual base for a variety of reasons. The reported global range for the Bain consultant salary at this level was $40,000 up to $110,000.
Bain Case Team Leader Salary
The Case Team Leader at Bain and Company oversees project streams and the various consultants working on them. At this level, the average global Bain consultant salary is $165,000 a year, with a range of $147,000-204,000.
Bain Manager Salary
Managers at Bain design and oversee projects for clients. When you rise to this level, your Bain and Company consultant salary averages $188,000 a year. Yet, top performers can rise to $220,000 at the high end.
Bain Partner Salary
By the time an employee rises to the level of Partner, their Bain salary becomes extremely formidable. The average Bain Partner Salary is in the neighborhood of $322,000 per year! However, top partners can make $1M+ or more – comp at this level is variable, with the biggest factor being the amount of work you sell. At this level, you’re expected to leverage your professional network to bring in clients.
Bain Career Path
As with any consulting firm, your Bain consulting salary will rise as you climb the pre-defined career paths. Bain salary progression is quite steep relative to the corporate world. It’s one of the benefits of consulting – but it is in line with other top-tier consulting firms. The Bain career progression usually begins with the role of Associate Consultant, as the firm hires a lot of consultants right out of undergrad. Employees maintain this role for 6-24 months before rising to the level of Consultant. They will usually remain at that level for up to two years. After two years as a Consultant, employees who remain with the company and perform well are promoted to Case Team Leader for another two years. From here, two years reflects the average amount of time spent in each level before employees climb to each of the following ranks: Manager, Principal, and finally Partner.
There is some flexibility to this schedule in comparison with some other top consulting firms. Bain promotes a culture that values each employee’s ability to exercise autonomy over the pace of their own progression. However, employees say that in practice, Bain tends to adhere to the average schedule detailed above. They also tend to honor the standard “up-or-out” policy, even if it’s not a hard and fast rule.
Bain Glassdoor Reviews
The Bain and Company Glassdoor reviews are remarkably consistent in their enthusiasm for the experience of working at Bain. Most of them cite a similar array of pros, which include a supportive, collaborative, and friendly environment among colleagues, an endless stream of opportunities for career development, the excellent Bain consultant salary, and a constantly stimulating & educational environment.
The Glassdoor reviews also tend to cite many familiar cons—the hours are long and there is a lot of travel involved. There is some polarity when it comes to work-life balance. Some employees say there is more support for maintaining a healthy work-life balance than at many of the other top consulting firms. However, still more employees claim that this is at best a dream for most employees, who often struggle to maintain this balance in actual practice.
Still, the overall reviews are extremely positive, with an average Glassdoor rating of 4.6 stars out of 5. A staggering 94% of Bain employees and alumni would recommend the experience to a friend.
Bain UK Salary vs. Bain Salary US
The difference in the Bain consulting salary in the US versus the UK is instructive, as it reveals how big a role the location of your home office makes in your actual Bain salary. Let’s compare the entry level salaries between both countries. In the US, Associate Consultants with an undergrad or master’s earned an average base salary of $90,000. In the UK, the average Bain and company salary at this level is £45,000, with a performance bonus of up to £11,250. According to the exchange rate at the time of writing, this equated to a base Bain and Company consultant salary of $58,000, with up to $14,500 in performance bonuses.
The significant difference also holds true for new hires with an MBA or PhD. These employees in the US earned an average base salary of $165,000 a year. In the UK, these employees earned an average salary of £90,000, with performance bonuses of up to £41,250. This equates to $116,000 in base salary and $53,000 in performance bonuses.
Lots of factors contribute to this difference, most notably the differing tax and benefit structures in the two companies. The UK offers its residents significantly more social protections than the US does, offsetting some of the difference. The cost of living also balances things a bit, as cost of living in the UK is 7% cheaper, with rents in particular 30% cheaper than they are in the US.
Finally, the competition for top talent in the US is more pronounced, as Bain competes with Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and other top consulting firms to keep its talent pipeline full.
If you’re considering a career in management consulting, especially at a top firm like Bain and Company, you’ve probably been attracted to the competitive salaries offered in this field. The Bain consultant salary is extremely compelling, even for entry level hires with only an undergraduate degree. And if you happen to thrive in a challenging but supportive environment like Bain’s, you could easily see your Bain and Company salary rise to truly staggering figures as you advance along the promotion schedule.
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