What is the average consultant salary in the UK? Is compensation in the UK higher than in the U.S.?
For entry-level roles – that means folks coming right out of undergraduate/MS programs – the average base salary for consultants in the UK is around ~£40,000. At the post-MBA level – folks with an MBA, PhD, or ~7+ years’ work experience – that jumps up quite a bit to ~£85,000. Find more details in our comprehensive consulting salaries report.
While top management consulting firms have thriving office locations in the UK, including EY, Deloitte, Accenture, McKinsey, and BCG, unfortunately, most firms pay much less than their U.S. counterparts.
In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at that and compensation expectations in consulting by position. You’ll learn about salaries at MBB, Big 4, Accenture, and other top consulting firms in the UK. Let’s get started.
UK Consultant Salaries by Role
Below, we’ll explore UK consulting salary data for different roles and companies.
Junior Consultant/Analyst Salary UK
The average annual Junior Consultant salary (AKA Consulting Analyst salary) in the UK is a bit under £40,000.
- At MBB firms in the UK (Bain, McKinsey, and BCG), analyst salaries hover around £49,500.
- The EY consultant salary UK at the junior consultant level is around £35,000.
- The consulting analyst Accenture salary UK is £33,500 per year.
- KPMG UK pays £29,150.
- At Deloitte UK, the salary is £32,500.
- PwC Strategy& UK (the firm’s strategy consulting arm) pays much better than the average Junior Consultant salary in the UK at £52,000.
- Well-known boutique firms Oliver Wyman, L.E.K. Consulting, and OC&C Strategy Consultants all pay north of £45,000 at the entry-level Analyst position in the UK (more numbers here).
In sum, if you want to get paid in the UK, MBB or boutique firms will compensate you well above what the Big 4 firms will.
Consultant Salary UK
Consultant is the next level up from Junior Consultant/Analyst and a post-MBA role. The role is usually called either “Consultant” or “Associate,” depending on the firm. The average UK consultant salary is ~£85,000.
- The UK Consultant salary at MBB firms ranges from £90,000-£97,000. Bain’s consultant salary in the UK is the highest out of the three at £97,000. McKinsey and BCG pay £90,000 and £93,000 respectively.
- Deloitte Consulting in the UK pays its consultants £91,000.
- PwC UK pays Consultants a nice £85,000/year.
- Accenture Strategy Consultants in the UK have a salary that clocks in a bit lower at £83,000.
- Other top boutiques will generally pay between £80,000-90,000.
Principal and Partner Consultant Salaries UK
Principal consultant salaries are, on average, higher than salaries at many other levels (except for Partner). For example, the Principal consultant salary UK is typically over £110,000 per year (keep in mind this is base salary only, and that Principal and Partner compensation are mostly variable).
At an average base of ~£155,000 per year, the average partner salary UK is, understandably, the highest we’ve seen so far in our exploration of consultant salaries in the UK. Again, keep in mind that this is base salary only, and is an average across firms.
Technology and IT Consultant Salaries in the UK
We’ve been talking salaries for strategy consulting roles at MBB, the Big 4, and boutique firms. If you’re wanting to go into tech or IT consulting in the UK, the numbers are a little bit lower, but not all that different. The average IT consultant salary in the UK is ~£45,000. Technology consultant salaries in the UK? The number is essentially the same.
UK Management Consulting Salary Progression
Salary progression for consultants in the UK is not unlike the progression anywhere else in the world. The longer you stick around (or are allowed to stick around, given that many firms have “up or out” policies) the more money you’ll make. Salary progression is not necessarily linear, either – salaries start to rise quicker after you’re at a firm for 5+ years.
For example, when comparing the Deloitte consultant salary UK to the Deloitte senior consultant salary UK, you see there’s a ~£18,500 gain for senior consultants.
When you pit the EY consultant salary UK to the EY senior consultant salary UK, there is an approximate difference of £12,000.
UK Consultant Salary vs. US Consultant Salary
Beyond the cultural differences between the U.S. and the UK, an important contrast is salary. But the bottom line is that consulting salaries in the UK lag U.S. salaries in a significant way. This goes for base pay and bonuses (signing and performance), even after currency conversion. These industry-wide trends make jumping across the pond less likely for U.S.-based consultants, and more likely for UK-based consultants.
So, why are consultant salaries lower in the UK than in the U.S.? First and foremost, the U.S. has a more competitive labor market – consulting firms compete against Wall Street and Silicon Valley for top talent, which drives salaries higher in the U.S. compared to other economies. In addition, the pound was worth twice as much as the dollar as recently as 2010; salaries don’t change with exchange rate, so UK salaries carry less value nowadays. The cost of living in America is higher as well, as Americans find themselves paying for things many Brits don’t dream of paying, as the UK has more of a societal safety net compared to the U.S.
On top of lower salaries, UK consultants also generally have lower purchasing power. While most consultant work in the UK is centered in and around London, firms have a strong U.S. presence across cities, including New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Boston, Washington, DC and more. Thus, the cost of living can vary considerably for consultants working in the US, while most UK consultants can expect London living expenses, which doesn’t help.
The UK Differentiation
Where the UK differentiates itself – in part – is in benefits and culture. Americans, on average, work more hours with less time off than their UK counterparts. In addition, American work culture generally runs at a faster pace than UK work environments (burn the candle at both ends, anyone?), leading to burnout and retention issues.
It’s clear that if you’re in it for the money, working in the U.S. is the place to be for consultant salaries. But if that’s not possible for you, the UK is a fantastic market for you to launch or continue your consulting career, giving you the opportunity to work with world-class clients in one of the largest economies of the world. Work with our team to prepare your CV for applications today.
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