2019 Management Consulting Salaries for Undergraduates, MBAs/PhDs, & Interns

Welcome to 2019, and our annual management consulting salaries report!

The consulting industry has been evolving rapidly over the last few years. Consulting business models have adapted as firms respond to their clients’ needs for digital solutions, advanced analytics, and AI. Big players in the consulting industry have expanded their capabilities through strategic acquisitions. Boutique players continue to enter the market, threatening the bigger players with their lower fee offerings. Additionally, large corporations have increased their reliance on in-house strategy houses.

Amidst structural changes in the consulting industry, the industry has continued to grow. Many notable players have seen growth in consulting revenues between 5-16%.

Amidst structural changes in the consulting industry, the industry has continued to grow. Many notable players have seen growth in consulting revenues between 5-16%.

Overall, the impact of these changes on consulting salaries has put upward pressure on U.S. MBA/PhD salaries this year. For example, MBB have increased their MBA/PhD base salaries to $165,000, and other firms have increased MBA/PhD salaries to follow suit. And if they haven’t yet, many firms are actively considering raising them. However, although MBA/PhD salaries have increased, undergraduate/master’s salaries have remained relatively stable.

McKinsey Bain Boston Consulting Group Salary Comparison 2018-2019

The type of hiring consulting firms are conducting is also changing. This year, many consulting firms have increased their recruitment of specialists (especially those with technological expertise), experienced hires, and candidates from non-target schools.

Below are salary figures for those joining management consulting positions in 2019. The data comes from our interview prep clients who received job offers, our website readers (like you!), and firm representatives. The salary data is for those recruited straight from an undergraduate, master’s, MBA, or PhD program. All salary figures are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated.

If you have any management consulting salary data you would like to share, we would love to hear from you. You can fill out this anonymous form, add a comment below, or send us an email. As always, your anonymity is guaranteed.

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Salaries for Incoming Undergraduate/Master’s Full-Time Hires

AArete Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $67,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $3,350 (5% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $70,350
  • Signing Bonus: $5,000
  • Retirement: 3% match for 401k

Accenture Strategy Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $85,000 (Canada: C$75,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $8,500 (10% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $93,500
  • Retirement: 6% match for 401k after 1st year
  • Stock: 15% discount on Accenture stock
  • Signing Bonus: $12,500 (Canada: C$10,000)
  • Relocation: up to $5,000

Alvarez & Marsal Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $65-82,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $16,400 (uncapped bonus if in restructuring/turnaround group)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $98,400
  • Signing Bonus: $5-10,000

A.T. Kearney Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $80,000 (Canada: C$70,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $16,000 (20% of base in U.S. and Canada)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $96,000
  • Retirement: 6% match for 401k
  • Profit Sharing: up to $8,000 (10% of base depending on firm performance)
  • Signing Bonus: $5,000 (Canada: C$5,000)
  • Relocation: up to $10,000 (Canada: up to C$10,000)

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $66,000
  • Signing Bonus: $4,000

Bain & Company Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $90,000 (UK: £45,500)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $22,300 (25% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $100,300
  • Retirement: 4.5% of base + bonus into 401k, no contribution required
  • Signing Bonus: $5,000 (UK: £3,000)
  • Relocation: $5,000

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $90,000 (Canada: C$82,000) (Aus: A$67,000) (Germany: €68,500)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $16,800
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $106,800
  • Retirement: Profit sharing deposited into 401k account
  • Profit Sharing: up to $4,400
  • Signing Bonus: $5,000 (Canada: C$8,000) (Aus: A$15,000)
  • Relocation: $2-8,000 (Germany: €3-10,000)

Booz Allen Hamilton Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $75-101,000 depending on experience (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Beirut, Riyadh: $60-80,000)
  • Performance Bonus: $6,060-11,250 (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Beirut, Riyadh: $9-12,000)
  • Allowances: 40% of base paid in Dubai/Abu Dhabi/Doha; 30% in Riyadh
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $112,250 
  • Retirement: 6% match for 401k (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Beirut, Riyadh: 1 month of latest salary per year of service)
  • Relocation: up to $5,000 (Dubai, Abu Dhabi: up to $15,000)

Cognizant Technology Solutions Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $65,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $3,000 
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $68,000
  • Retirement: 50% 401k match for first 6% of salary (after 1st year)
  • Signing Bonus: $5,000
  • Retention Bonus: $5,000 (after 1st and 2nd years)

Cornerstone Research Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $82,500
  • Performance Bonus: $8,250 (target 10% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $90,750
  • Retirement: 50% match for first 6% of individual contributions in 401k
  • Signing Bonus: $15,000
  • Relocation: 100% of moving expenses; 4 nights in hotel while house hunting; all broker fees

Deloitte Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $79,000 (UK: £33,000)
  • Performance Bonus: UK: up to £1,650
  • Total Cash (sum of above): $79,000 (UK: up to £49,050)
  • Retirement: 150% match for individual contributions

Deloitte S&O Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $80-94,000 (Canada: C$70,000) (UK: £39,500) (Germany: €50,500) (NZ: NZ$47,000)
  • Performance Bonus: Only after 3rd year (15% of base) (Canada: up to 10%) (UK: up to 5%)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $80-94,000
  • Retirement: 25% match for first 6% of individual contributions in 401k
  • Signing Bonus: $12,500 (Canada: C$5,000) (NZ: NZ$2,000)

Deloitte S&O Government and Public Sector Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $84,000
  • Total Cash (sum of above): $84,000
  • Signing Bonus: $10,000
  • Relocation: $2,500

EY Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $75,000 (Canada: C$65-70,000)
  • Performance Bonus: None (1.5x overtime pay instead)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): $75,000 + overtime
  • Retirement: 6% match of base into 401k
  • Signing Bonus: $3-7,500
  • Relocation: up to $2,000

EY-Parthenon Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $92,000 (UK: £46,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $9,200 (10% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): $101,400
  • Signing Bonus: $10,000
  • Relocation: up to $2,000 (local)

FTI Consulting Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $68,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $10,000
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $78,000
  • Signing Bonus: $7,000
  • Relocation: up to $1,000

Grant Thornton Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $72,000 (Business Consulting)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $7,200 (10% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $79,200
  • Retirement: 25% 401k match for first 6% of salary (after 1st year)
  • Signing Bonus: $5,000

Huron Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $67-72,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $7,200 (10% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $79,200
  • Retirement: 6% match of base into 401k
  • Stock: $5,000 (25% match of personal investment up to $20,000)
  • Signing Bonus: $5,000
  • Travel Bonus: up to $3,750 (typically $3,000)
  • Relocation: up to $2,000

IBM Global Business Services Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $75,000 (Canada: C$68,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $8,400 (12% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $83,400
  • Retirement: 5% match of base into 401k
  • Signing Bonus: $7,000 (Canada: C$5,000)
  • Relocation: up to $3,000

IQVIA Consulting Services (formerly IMS Consulting Group) Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $74,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $7,400 (10% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $81,400
  • Retirement: 0.5% match for every 1%; up to 3% max match
  • Signing Bonus: $5,000
  • Relocation: None

KPMG Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $75,000 (Canada: C$62,000) (UK: £32,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $8,160
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $83,160
  • Signing Bonus: $7,500
  • Relocation: up to $2,000

L.E.K. Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $74,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $14,800 (20% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $88,800
  • Signing Bonus: $7,500
  • Relocation: up to $2,500

McKinsey & Company Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $85,000 (AUD: A$67,000) (Canada: C$82,500) (Germany: €67,000) (UK: £43,000) (Taipei: $38,876)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $15,000 (Australia: up to A$15,000) (Taipei: up to $5,000)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $100,000
  • Retirement: $7,500 (Canada: C$10,000 to RRSP)
  • Signing Bonus: $5,000 (Canada: C$5,000) (UK: £$3,000) (AUD: A$2,000)
  • Relocation: $2-10,000 (Germany: €3-€5,000)

Mercer Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $68,000 (Canada: C$61,000)
  • Performance Bonus: U.S.: No bonus, instead 1.5x pay for hours over 40/week. Canada: ~5% target bonus, no OT pay
  • Total Cash (sum of above): $68,000 + overtime
  • Signing Bonus: $3,000
  • Relocation: up to $2,000

Navigant Consulting Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $72,000
  • Signing Bonus: $6,000

Novantas Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $72,000 (Canada: C$72,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $14,400
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $86,400
  • Retirement: 401k – 4% match
  • Signing Bonus: $5,000 (Canada: C$5,000)
  • Relocation: up to $5,000

OC&C Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $83,000 (UK: £45,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $20,000
  • Total cash (sum of above): up to $103,000
  • Retirement: 401K – up to 3.5% match at start of second year
  • Signing Bonus: $7,500 (UK: £7,000)
  • Relocation: $5,000

Oliver Wyman Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $85,000 (Canada: $75,000) (UK: £43,000) (Amsterdam: €58,000) (Singapore: S$90,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $16,000 (Amsterdam: up to €27,000)
  • Total cash (sum of above): up to $101,000
  • Signing Bonus: $10,000 (Canada: C$10,000) (UK: £7,000)
  • Relocation: up to $2,000 (Singapore: $10,000)

PwC (including Strategy&) Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $85,000 (Canada: C$65,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $17,000 (20% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $102,000
  • Signing Bonus: $5,000
  • Relocation: up to $2,000

Simon & Kucher Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $75,000 (Dubai: $70,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $4,500
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $79,500
  • Retirement: 3% match for 401k
  • Signing Bonus: $5,000
  • Relocation: up to $1,500

West Monroe Partners Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $77,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $3,850
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $80,850
  • Signing Bonus: $7,000
  • Travel Bonus: Additional $4,000 for every 30 nights on the road

ZS Associates Undergraduate/Master’s Salary

  • Base: $70,000 (Canada: C$75,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $7,000 (10% of base) 
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $77,000
  • Retirement: 3% match for 401k
  • Signing Bonus: $6,500 (Canada: C$5,000)
  • Relocation: up to $4,000 (Canada: up to C$2,500)

 

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Salaries for Incoming MBA/PhD Full-Time Hires

Accenture Strategy MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $150,000 (Canada: C$135,000)
  • Performance Bonus: $30,000 (all 1st years out of MBA) + $15,000 for top performers
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $195,000
  • Retirement: 6% match for 401k
  • Tuition Reimbursement: up to $80,000 ($50,000 after taxes)
  • Signing Bonus: $25,000 + $17,500 early sign on for returning interns (Canada: C$25,000)
  • Relocation: up to $10,000

AlixPartners MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $160,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $60,000
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $220,000
  • Signing Bonus: $25,000 (Canada: C$25,000)
  • Relocation: up to $10,000

Alvarez & Marsal MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $120,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $48,000 (40% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $168,000
  • Signing Bonus: $10,000

A.T. Kearney MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $158,000 (Canada: C$153,000) (Germany: €85,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $44,100 (Canada: up to C$45,900) (Germany: up to €16,000)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): $202,100
  • Retirement: 401k contribution up to $8,000
  • Signing Bonus: $25,000 (plus $10,000 for summer interns). Canada: C$20,000
  • Relocation: up to $10,000 (Canada: C$5,000) (Germany: up to €5,000)

Bain & Company MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $165,000 (UK: £85,000) (Thailand: ฿3,600,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $41,250 (Thailand: up to ฿700,000)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $206,250
  • Retirement: 401k contribution up to $8,000
  • Signing Bonus: $25,000 (Thailand: ฿980,000)
  • Relocation: up to $5,000 (Thailand: ฿230,000)

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $165-170,000 (UK: £90,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $45,000 (UK: up to £25,000)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $215,000
  • Retirement: $10,260 into 401k 
  • Signing Bonus: $25,000 
  • Relocation: $2-8,000

Booz Allen Hamilton MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $140,000 (Middle East)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $35,000 (25% of base; Middle East)
  • Allowances: 40% of base ($56,000) only paid to Dubai/Abu Dhabi/Doha  | 30% for Riyadh
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $231,000 (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha). Up to $217,000 (Riyadh)
  • Relocation: up to $25,000 (Middle East)

CCG Catalyst Consulting Group MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $150,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $15,000
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $165,000
  • Retirement: 5% match for 401k

Cognizant Business Consulting MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $125,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $15,000
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $140,000
  • Signing Bonus: $20,000 (Dubai: $30,000)
  • Relocation: up to $6,000

Deloitte Consulting MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: Canada: C$80,000 (Toronto)
  • Signing Bonus: C$10,000

Deloitte Human Capital MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $140,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $32,200 (23% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): $172,200
  • Retirement: 1.5% match of first 6% into 401k

Deloitte Federal MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $128,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $7,600
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $135,600
  • Signing Bonus: $15,000

Deloitte S&O MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $160,000 (Toronto: C$105,000) (Calgary: C$100,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $45,000
  • Total Cash (sum of above): $205,000
  • Retirement: 25% match of first 6% into 401k (a total of 1.5%)
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Full 2nd year tuition for returning interns
  • Signing Bonus: $15-25,000 (additional $17,500 for returning interns, $30K early signing) (Canada: C$15,000)
  • Relocation: up to $10,000

ECG Management Consultants MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $115,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $15,000
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $130,000
  • Retirement: up to $14,950

EY MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $150,000 (UK: £85,000) (Hungary: Ft560,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $10,000 (UK: up to 20%) (Hungary: up to 8%)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $160,000
  • Retirement: Match up to 6%
  • Signing Bonus: $25,000 (UK: £15,000)
  • Relocation: up to $5,000

IBM Global Business Services MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $150,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $15,000
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $165,000
  • Signing Bonus: $25,000 (additional $15,000 for returning interns)
  • Relocation: up to $6,500

IMS Consulting Group MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $130,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $16,250
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $146,250
  • Signing Bonus: $25,000
  • Relocation: up to $8,000

Infosys MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $122,500
  • Performance Bonus: up to $25,000
  • Total Cash (sum of above): $147,500
  • Signing Bonus: $20,000
  • Relocation: up to $3,000

Kalypso MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $124,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $15,000
  • Total Cash (sum of above): $139,000
  • Signing Bonus: $15,000
  • Relocation: up to $3,000

KPMG MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $150,000 (India: 2,100,000 INR)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $25,000 (India: up to 400,000 INR)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $175,000
  • Signing Bonus: up to $35,000
  • Relocation: up to $5,000

L.E.K. MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $165,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $17,000
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $182,000
  • Profit Sharing: up to $27,000
  • Signing Bonus: $25,000 (additional $25,000 for returning interns)
  • Relocation: up to $5,000

McKinsey & Company MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $165,000 (UK: £84,000) (Germany: €105,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $35,000
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $200,000
  • Retirement: 7.5% into 401k
  • Signing Bonus: $30,000 (Germany: negotiable)
  • Relocation: $2-9,000 (Germany: negotiable)

Mercer MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $110,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $22,000 (20% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $132,000
  • Signing Bonus: $20,000
  • Relocation: up to $3,000

OC&C MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $146,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $50,000
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $196,000
  • Retirement: 401k – up to 3.5% match at start of 2nd year
  • Signing Bonus: $25,000

Oliver Wyman MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $145,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $36,250
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $181,250
  • Retirement: 401k – up to 3.5% match at start of 2nd year
  • Signing Bonus: $45,000

Parthenon-EY (including EY S&O) MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $170,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $9,000
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $179,000
  • Signing Bonus: $35,000
  • Relocation: up to $2,000

PwC MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $150,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $35,000
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $185,000
  • Retirement: 25% match up to 6%; 1% immediate separate contribution
  • Signing Bonus: $30,000
  • Relocation: $2,000

Roland Berger MBA/PhD Salary 

  • Base: £78,000 (UK)
  • Performance Bonus: up to £23,400
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to £111,400

Samsung Global Strategy Group MBA/PhD Salary 

  • Base: $167,000 (based in Seoul)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $33,400
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $200,400
  • Starting Bonus: $40,000
  • Relocation: Included in starting bonus

Simon & Kucher MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $140,000 (PhD: $100,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $33,600 (up to 24% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $173,600
  • Retirement: full match up to 3% of base salary
  • Signing Bonus: $20,000 (half paid at signing, half paid after 1st year)
  • Relocation: up to $3,750

Strategy& MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $168,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $55,400 (33% of base)
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $223,400
  • Retirement: 4% automatic (no match required); 25% match up to 6% in a separate account
  • Signing Bonus: $30,000
  • Relocation: up to $3,000

ZS Associates MBA/PhD Salary

  • Base: $145,000 (NYC: $156,000)
  • Performance Bonus: up to $21,750
  • Total Cash (sum of above): up to $166,750
  • Signing Bonus: $30,000
  • Relocation: up to $5,000
  • Tuition Reimbursement: 2nd Year Tuition Reimbursement for returning interns

 

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Internship Salaries

Internships range from 9-12 weeks in the United States to 10-16 weeks in Canada and the EMEA. Monthly internship salaries are typically prorated based on starting salaries for new hires. Here are the 2019 internship salaries:

Undergraduate/Master’s Program Internships

  • Accenture Strategy: $32/hr + $2,000 signing bonus and overtime
  • A.T. Kearney: $12,000
  • Bain: $15,000 (10 weeks)
  • BCG$15,000 (10 weeks)
  • Deloitte: $35/hour + overtime (10 weeks). $30.77/hr + overtime (Atlanta)
  • EY: $30/hour + overtime
  • EY-Parthenon: $13,750 (10 weeks) + $47.60/hr overtime
  • Huron: $21/hour + $2,000 signing bonus
  • IMS Consulting Group: $12,000
  • Insight Sourcing: $1,100/week
  • KPMG: $29/hour
  • L.E.K.: $12,000
  • McKinsey: $15,000 (10 weeks)
  • OC&C$12,770 (8 weeks)
  • Oliver Wyman$11,750 + $2500 signing bonus (9 weeks)
  • PwC: $36-39/hour + overtime (Hong Kong: HK$7000/month)
  • Strategy&: $38/hour
  • ZS Associates: $5,000/month

MBA/PhD Program Internships

  • Accenture Strategy: $30,000 (10 weeks) + $5,000 relocation
  • AT Kearney$12,300/month
  • Bain: $32,000 (10 weeks)
  • BCG: $32,000 (Canada: C$4000/week)
  • Deloitte: $30,000 + full 2nd year MBA tuition for returning interns
  • EY: $27,500 ($11,000/month for 10 weeks)
  • IBM$25,000 + $4,500 relocation (10 weeks)
  • IQVIA (formerly IMS): $11,500/month + $5,000 signing bonus
  • L.E.K.$28,125 (9 weeks) + up to $25,000 tuition reimbursement for returning MBA interns
  • Kalypso: $25,000 ($10,000/month for 10 weeks)
  • KPMG$66/hour ($99/hour for overtime, 10 weeks)
  • McKinsey: $32,000 (10 weeks)
  • Parthenon-EY$28,000 + $5,000 signing bonus (10 weeks)
  • PwC$12,500/month
  • Simon & Kucher: $9,750/month + $3,510 guaranteed bonus
  • Strategy&$12,000/month
  • ZS Associates$11,500/month + $5,000 signing bonus

Management Consulting Salary Insights

Management Consulting Bonuses

What fun are full-time consulting offers when there is no bonus? Full-time hires can receive signing bonuses, relocation bonuses, end-of-year performance bonuses, and more. Interns are less likely to receive bonuses, although some firms do offer relocation or signing bonuses. When analyzing these bonuses, there are 6 things you should keep in mind:

  1. Consider differences in base salary more than differences in signing and relocation bonuses. Your salary during your 2nd (and sometimes 3rd) year at the firm is often a function of your initial base salary. All else held equal, we would recommend choosing a base salary of $82,000 with a $5,000 signing bonus over base salary of $80,000 with a signing bonus of $7,500.
  2. On your offer letter, the listed maximum amount of the performance bonus is usually only awarded to the top 5-10% of employees. Average performers often receive bonuses closer to half of the maximum amount, while poor performers typically only receive a small bonus if any. Also, firms that pay overtime may choose not to offer a performance bonus. 
  3. The size of the relocation bonus is primarily driven by the distance from your university to the office location. If you live in the same city as the office, you are sometimes offered no bonus or a smaller bonus (~$2,000 in the U.S.). However, if you live in a distant state or country, you are typically offered the firm’s maximum relocation bonus amount.
  4. Although the signing bonus is typically the same across all new hires into a certain position, returning interns may receive a different signing bonus (or a different base salary in some cases) as opposed to new full-time hires.
  5. Relocation and signing bonuses are commonly distributed soon after signing your contract. However, they may be distributed on your start date (e.g. at IBM GBS) or given in increments over several years (e.g. L.E.K.).
  6. Bonuses are usually taxed. Uncle Sam loves your bonuses and will make sure to get his share. So don’t forget to account for taxes when planning your bonus spending (or saving, for the wise ones). Taxes may be deducted when receiving bonus payments or they may be withdrawn from future paychecks, putting a small temporary dent in your future monthly income. 

Salary Growth Along the Management Consulting Career Path

The salaries above are for full-time hires and interns coming straight from university. Before deciding on an offer, we’d recommend considering how your salary will grow across time. Often, our interview prep clients will receive slightly higher job offers in tech than in consulting. However, the salary growth in management consulting outpaces many industry positions. Because of that, the net income after a few years in consulting can exceed those in other industries, despite an initially lower base pay. 

In top consulting firms, you can typically expect a 10-20% increase in your base pay and/or performance bonuses each year. Additionally, when promoted to the next level (which usually happens every 2-3 years), the increase in your income is substantially larger. For instance, when promoted from Associate to Consultant at BCG, your base salary almost doubles. Here’s the potential salary growth trajectory of someone working at a top consulting firm in the U.S.:

First-year out of Undergrad/Master’s program:

  • Base: ~$80k
  • Signing Bonus: ~$5k
  • Performance Bonus: up to ~$12k

First year out of MBA/PhD program:

  • Base: ~$150k
  • Signing Bonus: ~$25k
  • Performance Bonus: up to ~$44k

Manager/Project Leader (2-3 years out of MBA/PhD) program:

  • Base: $190-210k
  • Bonus: $80-120k

Associate Principal/Senior Project Leader (4-5 years out of MBA/PhD) program: 

  • Base: $230-300k
  • Bonus: $110-200k

Junior Partner/Principal (6-8 years out of MBA/PhD) program: 

  • Base: $320-400k
  • Bonus: $300-500k

Senior Partner/Director (10+ years out of MBA/PhD) program: 

  • Base: $400-600k
  • Bonus: $500k+ 

Note that most full-time recruits will not make it to Partner. Many consulting firms have an up-or-out promotion structure. Those who perform exceptionally are given the chance to be promoted while poor performers are encouraged to seek employment elsewhere. Because of the up-or-out structure and attractive exit opportunities, only a small percentage of recruits make it all the way to Senior Partner. Regardless, the salary growth is substantial for each promotion you receive at a consulting firm.

Salaries When Exiting Management Consulting

Although your salary increases relatively rapidly within a top consulting firm, you typically receive a pay increase when leaving. In the U.S., the average consultant who accepts an industry position receives a 12-20% increase in pay and a better work-life balance. Those entering the financial services industry often receive a 30%+ increase in compensation—but their work/life balance often takes a hit.

Large Salary Variation Across International Offices

There is a large variation in management consulting salaries within firms across different countries. We have observed extremely high management consulting salaries in the U.S. due to intense competition with Silicon Valley and Wall Street. The United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Switzerland, Canada, and Australia also boast relatively high consulting salaries. And surprisingly, consulting salaries in London are relatively lower given its high cost of living.

Overall, consulting salaries seem to be competitive within their country, often offering salaries over 20% above the average for other professional service firms. If you accept a consulting offer in any country, you will likely be paid more than the average local employee with a similar tenure in professional service industries. 

Small Salary Variation Across Domestic Offices

At McKinsey, Bain, and BCG, management consulting salaries are relatively flat across all offices within a country. This has two important implications. First, there is often little room for salary negotiation unless you are a hotshot or experienced hire. Second, you can increase your take-home income by choosing an office location where the cost of living is lower (e.g. choosing Atlanta over San Francisco).

In other firms, salaries are sometimes adjusted to account for living costs. For example, a Big 4 consultant working in New York often receives a slightly higher salary than a Big 4 consultant in Dallas.

Salaries for Master’s and PhD Students

Many consulting firms offer master’s students the same positions as undergraduate students. Because of that, master’s students often receive the same compensation as undergraduates. However, when a master’s student applies for a relevant technical position (e.g. data scientist), they can receive more compensation than an undergraduate counterpart. Likewise, PhDs often receive the same compensation as MBAs.

Conclusion

This year, management consulting salaries have been relatively stable at the undergraduate/master’s level, while post-MBA/PhD salaries have seen a moderate rise to keep up with industry demand. Overall, consulting salaries remain highly competitive when compared to other industries. Finance firms are a notable exception—their salaries are higher but their work-life balance is often worse. Technology firms also compete with consulting firms for talent. They often proffer higher salaries but their roles are often more siloed and the promotion trajectory is often slower.  

Do you have any consulting salary data or comments that you would like to share? You can fill out this anonymous form, add a comment below, or send us an email. As we attempt to provide quality compensation data to our readers, we appreciate any data that you share. As always, your anonymity is guaranteed.

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Interested in salary trends? Be sure to check out out 2017 Management Consulting Salaries and 2018 Management Consulting Salaries reports.

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