The truth behind management consulting salaries: from analyst thru partner

Consultant salaries are a topic many readers are dying to learn more about.

We’ve gathered the data from our own experiences, clients who land offers, consulting colleagues, and public sources. They won’t be 100% accurate but should be pretty close.

One resource we’ve found valuable is the Consulting forums at WallStreetOasis.

If you have already decided that you want to break into consulting and want the best odds possible, take advantage of our world-class interview prep and resume prep services. We work hard to offer world-class services, and as a result, over 55% of our Black Belt clients receive offers from top management consulting firms.

First year out of undergraduate:

  • Base salaries: $50-65K
  • Signing bonuses: $5-10K
  • Relocation/moving expenses: $5-10K
  • Year-end bonus: $5-10K depending on firm.

That’s an average of $70-75K in first year consulting pay. As a summer intern, you can expect a comparable, pro-rated salary minus bonus. This does not include retirement contributions.

We did a whole post on 2017 consulting salaries  – read it for specifics on offers from firms like Bain, BCG, A.T. Kearney, Deloitte, etc.  It includes summer internship figures and offers from EMEA and Australia.

First year out of business school/MBA:

  • Base salaries: $110-140K
  • Signing bonuses: $20-40K
  • Relocation/moving expenses: $10-20K
  • Year-end bonus: $20-40K depending on firm.

That’s an average of $160-200K in total first year consulting pay. Again, consulting summer interns should expect a pro-rated portion minus bonus. This does not include retirement contributions. Our original estimates were a bit lower, but have been adjusted upward based on emails and the comments below.

Progression track through partner:

Our numbers have a higher risk of being inaccurate as this is only from personal anecdotes, so if you have better information, email us or comment below

  • Engagement manager/Project leader: $175-250K
  • Associate principal/Senior project leader: $250-400K
  • Partner/Principal: $500-800K
  • Senior partner/Director: $1M plus

Senior consultant salaries becomes increasingly variable and performance-based

How consulting salaries lose to finance:

At almost every level, your salary will be 30-50% lower than a comparable position in investment banking. This is variable by year and median salaries in non-banking departments (such as research, asset management, sales & trading) are lower than in banking. But as mentioned in the consulting versus banking post, consulting is not a profession to make big bucks.

How consulting firms compensate for the lower salaries:

  • Better benefits – healthcare, life insurance, etc
  • Retirement contributions – this one is important because at MBB, they’ll contribute an added 5-10% of your base salary to your retirement funds, effectively a 5-10% year-end bonus! (A reader just informed me that his MBB retirement contribution starting fulltime in ’09 was 4.5%, which is lower than we’d seen in previous years)
  • More generous expense/reimbursement policies, travel perks, etc

Love our insider information on salaries? We have more insider information on what to expect and how to prepare to hit the ground running in our 3 Month Mastery resource. We will train you on what to brush up on and how to avoid fatal mistakes in the first 3 months of your career as a management consultant.

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  • Consultant99

    I think your post-MBA numbers are low. The b-school placement reports indicate base of $110K-$120K.

    Where consultants really lose to bankers is in the bonus in good times at the post-MBA level through junior partner. As the song says, “you can’t buy Cristal with Starwood points.” But once you’re a consulting partner for a couple of years, you actually have a pretty good life relative to a banking MD. You have far more job security, you work far less, you travel less (assuming you can cultivate some clients near home), and you work with fewer assholes in a less stressful environment.

    And this year consultants typically made more than bankers. Take a 2nd year associate in a bank making $100K base and $200K bonus, or $75/hr assuming an 80-hour week. Except there was no bonus this year for many in banking, so if they weren’t fired, bankers took home only $100K, or only ~$25/hr. By contrast a 2nd year post-MBA consultant might make $130K base and $30K bonus for his 60 hour weeks, or $53/hr. And the consultant will make about that same $160K in good times and bad. Thus consultants do worse than bankers in good times and better in bad times.

  • misshighnetworth

    Mergers and Inquisitors referred me to this site.. I already love it

  • rustyconsultant

    yeah, the post mba numbers are low. i have a few friends who accepted offers about a month ago and the base ranges from 125K~145K. also signing bonuses range from 20K~40K for this year post mba recruits.

  • kgao

    Thanks Consultant99 and rustyconsultant. I’ll adjust the post based on your inputs!

  • kgao

    @rustyconsultant those numbers feel a little high (particularly the 145/40). i’ve been talking to a few folks across the MBBs. do you have any other information you can share (like what firms)?

    Thanks for your comments btw. And if you’d prefer to keep that private, feel free to email me as well.

  • banker03


    A mid-tier 2nd year banking associate took more than $275k in 2008 unless fired. Your “no bonus” assumption is too harsh.

  • Consultant99

    I know several people in the top banks in ’08 who got little to nothing in their bonus and were told to be happy they had a job. And some of the folks fired in late 2008 got zilch in bonus. Some associate-level bankers still got nice bonuses, but many did not, which any real estate broker in NYC or London would tell you. P.S. I would love to see any data people have on banker bonuses this year.

  • Holmes5

    My questions are about the 3 Bigs:
    Why does Bain appear some years among the best companies to work for and the other two not?
    Is there any important difference in salaries between Bain, McKinsey and BCG?

  • kgao

    @Holmes 5:

    Second question first – I’d say no in the early years. Some boutiques are much more aggressive about promotions/salary increases to retain talent, which will start to make a big difference in your 3rd year and beyond. Plus, there are significant differences in how firm profits are distributed once you’re a partner.

    To your first question – a lot of the lists of “best companies to work for” can be arbitrary. Bain has a reputation as being the most “fun” of the Big 3, which is a function both of current firm culture and their hiring process. This would be the only explanation I could come up with, because each of the others has their respective positives for employees (such as BCG’s reputation for encouraging entrepreneurialism, McKinsey’s reputation for providing a strong, formal training platform)

  • Holmes5

    Thanks Kevin!

  • Mirabeau

    A salary 100% lower than an investment banker’s salary is really going to hurt. If not income, do they at least provide food and shelter?

  • kgao

    Haha good catch. You know what I mean, but better to play it safe. Post updated.

  • Holmes5

    Kevin, you’ve said “there are significant differences in how firm profits are distributed once you

  • kgao

    Take what I say with a grain of salt – having not been a partner at either firm, I don’t have the direct experience. From what I’ve heard, salary is highly-performance based (how many clients you develop, engagements you initiate, etc). I don’t expect the median to be significantly different across firms, but some have a greater focus on pooled profits by practice and group while others have a greater focus on individual performance.

  • wahine

    I accepted an offer this year with a top Consulting Company (post MBA in June) for $115 base, 20% bonus, and $10K signing. Consulting companies are not offering starting packages this year as high as they did the in the past 3 years. I expect to “catch up” in the next few years as times get better.

  • kgao

    @Wahine – thanks for that data point. I’ll have to pass on the news. Am not surprised that offers (particularly bonuses) are lower this year than years past.

  • tr

    While on the subject, as someone who has been on both sides of the fence, don’t forget that just because your salary may not be as high as an I-banker, its still great money and among the top of all profession choices. You aren’t going to starve. At the lower levels it may feel like a bigger difference — 150k means a much different lofe than 75k, but once you pass certain income levels it starts to become gravy.

  • kgao

    @tr – point well made. The important thing is to take about 3, 5, 10 year goals and beyond and which industry places you best to achieve those goals.

  • ho_ty

    Do anyone has a rough number on salary in operation consulting specifically?

    Are salaries very different between functional areas (e.g. strategy vs operation) and firms (e.g. M/B/B vs. other smaller, boutique firms)?

  • Kevin


    I don’t have specific data but its most likely comparable to slightly lower. With respect to salaries by firm, the numbers I’ve seen indicate that salaries are comparable but lower for most boutiques relative to the big guys.

  • FC

    How could I know about Bain, BCG and McKinsey salaries in Spain? (without being rude :))

  • Kevin

    FC, I don’t have that personal information. Reach out to friends in industry – most likely top consulting firms across Spain will pay comparably.

  • VI

    What about Economics PhD graduates (HYP Ivy) but without industry work experience: do they get analyst positions on-par with undergraduates or associate with MBA’s (who typically have 2yrs of industry experience to get into MBA to begin with)?


  • Kevin

    In general, you can expect associate-level seniority/pay. You may find upward progression slightly slower than an MBA with prior business experience who joined the firm at the same time, however.

    Hope that helps!

  • fcarr

    Hi Kevin- I’ve read in a Vault Guide that the BCG salaries are more stagnant than McKinsey ones. Is that true?

  • Kevin

    I’m sure what you mean by “stagnant”. If you’re implying that BCG salaries increase less frequently than those at McKinsey, I’d be hard-pressed to give you an accurate answer. Anecdotally, it seems like the Big 3 (MBB) do a good job keeping pace with each other at the more junior compensation levels.

  • fcarr

    Hi Kevin- that’s exactly the point about ‘stagnant’. Thank you very much for your answer.

  • summer1

    Hey Kevin,

    I’ve enjoyed the site immensely. I’m starting an undergrad internship at MBB soon and have found it helpful.

    I was wondering:

    1) in your experience or knowledge, is it common for an intern at one of the MBB firms to switch to another one of the big three firms for full time? Or are there marginal/little differences in terms of the actual work at these firms?

    2) I am interning at what is considered a “flagship city” MBB office. If I do well, for full time I am interested in transferring to another US office within the firm (for lifestyle reasons). Do you know if this is very doable?

    3) I’ve heard anecdotally (but not officially/reliably) that the exit opportunities to PE and VC for ACs/BAs at Bain and McK tend to be better than BCG. Is there any truth to this? If so, do you happen to know why?

    I realize these questions may be hard to answer. I appreciate your response!

    A loyal reader,

  • Kevin

    Summer1, thanks for your comment!

    1) It happens, but not often. There is some difference in culture, somewhat less difference in the actual day-to-day

    2) This is doable. I’d encourage you to start speaking with analysts and consultants early about this, and make sure you kick ass at your internship

    3) I don’t have any data on this but can see where you’re coming from. It probably has to do with 2 factors – less alumni from BCG in VC/PE, and fewer BCG consultants who are interested in those types of careers

    Good luck with all, and stay in touch.

  • 10+ yrs Experienced candidate

    Does anyone know the entering salary level for someone with 10+ years industry experience going into consulting? Also the position that ppl with experience normally get.
    I have both technical and business experiences, and was contacted recently by one of the top 3 companies for career opportunity.

  • Kevin

    That’s really a case-specific answer (with respect to the position and salary). Depending on the position, the same ranges will apply as per above. Good luck!

  • Jahmal

    Hi Folks. I have been following these threads with intense interest. Currently, I am on active duty with the US Navy and will be starting my MBA (accelerated program University of Maryland. Can anyone advise me about going from the service to Management consulting, particularly in terms of what level a firm would likely start me at and what sort of compensation I could expect? Thank you.

  • Kevin

    Jahmal – it depends on number of years of service and education level. If its a couple of years with no MBA, you can expect the standard analyst/associate position. If its more than a couple of years and/or an MBA, you can expect the post-MBA position. If it’s more than a couple of years, that presents a more uncertain situation that will differ by firm.

  • Scientist

    Good information here.

    I was wondering if you could give us some insight into how the hiring, career progression, problems, etc are different for those with non-traditional backgrounds. I am currently a Ph.D. student at a top-ranked school in the Bioengineering/biotech field and am seriously considering management consulting as a career.

    Are there instances where having a lot of background information and research experience in a specific area is helpful? Or will someone like myself basically be treated the same as a recent college graduate?

  • Kevin

    Scientist, thanks for your readership. It’s less about domain expertise (unless you have expertise in a particularly relevant consulting field such as healthcare or pharmaceuticals). It’s more about how successful you’ve been in your field – with respect to publications, recognitions, etc. You won’t be treated the same as a recent college graduate – generally PhD applicants enter management consulting at a comparable level to MBA graduates or those with several years of business experience.

    Hope that helps!

  • KK

    Indeed a great discussion, gentlemen.
    How about salaries in PE firms comparing to the ones listed? Moreover, how feasible you think the switch from Management consulting (Accenture) into PE for a 4+ yrs consultant is? Would you advise on change in the current economic and employment climate? What salary expectation could one set?
    I’ll apreciate your answers. ..and will definitely get back regularly to this great site!

  • MS

    Found this thread incredibly informative. Wondering if anyone has insight on pre-MBA work experience. Recently graduated with a Bachelor’s in management and I would really prefer some experience before getting my MBA. However have yet to find a solid position (not surprising), which makes me think I should go directly for my MBA. But would I still be able to find a job with a consulting firm assuming I have an MBA from a non-Ivy B-school and no prior work experience? Or would it be more beneficial to settle for a mediocre business position (non-consulting) for two or three years and they do my MBA? Thanks

  • Aris

    I was wondering whether anyone can answer this question: I have a good undergraduate degree from the UK (first class honours in computer science), and this year I am studying at a top business school for a masters in management (but not an MBA). I have no work experience, besides internships. What would be my entry level in consultancy?

  • alejandro

    I have been reading this post and must admit there’s some pretty good information here. The salary question is always a big one. Nobody really knows what consultants get paid. Although they do try and live like they get paid boatloads.

    I’m surprised nobody mentioned the most notable difference between consulting and banking which every MBA should take into account when deciding which career path to pursue.

    While consulting salaries are good, the fact remains that consulting is for pussies. I’ve worked in both banking and consulting and can confirm this. Consulting really is for pussies only. There’s a bunch of McKinsey types at my MBA and they’re always trying to find the optimal solution to every problem, even with questions as silly as who gets the next round of drinks. You do!

    You can’t have a normal conversation with them that doesn’t eventually lead to both of you trying to estimate the height of something or the length between two points.

    Bankers are cocks, they say. Vampires. I actually heard someone refer to bankers as vampires in class. I don’t know about vampires but yeah there are quite a few cocks. But I’d rather be a cock than a pussy, personally.

    Still sending my application to Bain and BCG just in case. Even worse than being a pussy is being unemployed.

  • Shlok

    Hi Kevin,
    I am currently in my 2nd year as an associate with BCG. I had an average CGPA during law school (under grad), how much will that hit me in applying to top business schools? The plus points are that I have my own startup company, tie-up with World Food Program (of the startup) and strong internships( World Bank, Supreme Court judge etc) and publications. Any tips/pointers would be fantastic.
    p.s.- Your website is a one stop shop for all consulting information. Maybe you could add something on consulting jokes/anecdotes also.

  • Birch

    How many years would one have to work in order to earn 1M+?

  • toby

    How hard is it to move up the ranks of MBB?

    I am a sophomore at a top school (HYP/stanford/MIT) strongly considering and I am wondering about career tracks.

    What are typical GPAs (Mostly 3.9/4.0 or are 3.5-3.7 applicants successful?) and extracurriculars for MBB undergrad hires?

    Thanks for

    What percent of these hires make their way up the firm?
    What percent of hires (of the ones that want to stay in consulting) make it through to a top B-school, Engagement Manager/Principal/Director?


  • Bert

    Concerning the pension contributions, can you get them paid out in cash once you leave the firm or do you have to wait until you retire to actually get the money?


  • 3rd year

    Does anyone have some numbers on analysts with 2 years experience? i.e. senior analyst level

    I’m interviewing with several boutique consulting firms and am wondering what I should be shooting for.

    I’m thinking somewhere around 80K base, and 20% bonus?

  • anon

    2 years exp should be 70-90K with 10-20% bonus. The bonus will be hard to follow through however in this economy.

  • anon


    1. Does anyone have figures for Booz at the post MBA levels? (wondering why there has been no mention of booz till now??) Is it significantly different from MBB?

    2. Also, are the growth prospects better at Booz than MBB? (in the Asia region)


  • Anonymous

    Is it possible to switch from Systems Integration Consulting (Accenture) to Management Consulting (Accenture)? I got an offer from Accenture for SI&T but would like to switch to Management Consulting as soon as possible.

  • ACN Analyst


    It’s possible but very difficult. You’ll have to do at least some time in SI&T first. You need major support from your Career Councilor to pull it off. If your CC is not completely behind you find a different one ASAP. If possible ask for a CC in MCIM. Also try to do your best to get as many MCIM roles as possible. This will make you case stronger.

    Unfortunately there are a lot of people in SI&T that try to move to MCIM. I started the grad program in Feb09. Out of the 15 or so grads that started with me about 5 tried to move from SI&T to MCIM. So far none have been able to. But I don’t think any of them have been proactive enough. I think if you talk to the right people and go on the right projects you can pull it off.

  • anon

    Hi there, just wanted to add a datapoint. What is in the post now seems pretty accurate, according to my personal info. I just accepted an offer to start with an M/B/B firm in the fall, as an APD (I have a social science PhD). I will be entering at the Associate level – before I started applying, I actually asked a consultant friend what would happen if I didn’t look “good enough” to be considered for the associate level (that is, on the same level as MBAs) and he said they would not bother considering me for an analyst position.

    Anyway, my offer was for the following: 120k salary, 20k sign-on bonus, 12% retirement (that’s what they said has been the average in recent years) and around a 25k end of year bonus (but dependent on performance). Coming from an academic background, I was pretty happy with it!

  • Drew


    I recently graduated from a top 3 PhD program in biological science (Ivy), and am currently contemplating either the MBA or consulting route. Although I have an Ivy league degree, my undergraduate degree was from a state school, where my GPA was a 3.7. A concern I have is that some of my peers may have more stellar pre-PhD pedigrees (3.5+ GPAs from HPY-MIT-Stanford), so I wonder how much my pre-PhD education may affect job prospects at the Big 3 consulting firms (M/B/B).

    Per standardized achievements and admissions, I scored a 730 (49Q 41V), which is a decent but not exceptional score. How are standardized test scores used? (i.e. 700+ is sufficient or does having 770 versus 700 dramatically increase chances for an offer?) In addition, how helpful is it to have other achievements (i.e. Publications in top journals, patents, chapters in books, work experience, etc.) in the hiring process?

    Any response would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • D

    I worked in IT for almost 6 years, then did my MBA.
    I have a post-MBA experience of 19 months, in IT + Business Consulting.
    What should be my salary in Systems Integration Consulting in the UK IT Consulting market, in 2010 ?

  • KK

    Hello guys,

    I’m in search of specific salary information for my personnal purposes: What’s the salary you can get in Accenture:
    1a) in USA as a Consultant (5yrs exp.)
    1b) in USA as a starting Manager (6yrs exp.)
    2a) in Canada as a Consultant (5yrs exp.)
    2b) in Canada as a starting Manager (6yrs exp.)

    Thank you very much indeed, guys.
    All the best,

  • Omar

    What are the chances of becoming partner/principal? Is it a slim chance that the very lucky few get or does everyone who shows good performance have a shot at it? Thanks for your help.

    – Omar

  • AB

    Hi anon – I’m in a social science PhD program and although I’m still 1-2 years away from being on the job market, I’m thinking about options outside of the university. just wondering if by ‘social science’ you meant econ, and whether you went straight in to the M/B/B from the PhD or had a teaching/post-doc position beforehand. also, what would you say were your biggest academic assets from the M/B/B perspective (e.g. publications, specific expertise developed in your dissertation, etc.)? thanks!

  • Michael

    I am a 3rd year PHD student in Management (with a focus on strategic management) at a medium sized mid-western University (a good school, but not on par with the Harvards of the world). As a bonus, I have five years of experience in software development prior to this.

    I look forward to a career as a professor, but I am curious as to what options I have in industry. Can I get hired as a management consultant at a major firm? If so, what type of salary would I expect? Starting management faculty average about $105k for a nine month contract as a comparison. Finally, how would I begin my application process? My PHD program is not a big name school, so I am not sure if the Deloitte and Touches of the world even recruit here.

    I would appreciate any advice.

    PS, would any of the companies care that I have one academic pub in a major journal to my name thus far?

  • Carlos

    You stated that “consulting is not a profession to make big bucks”. What about the partners who pull in 500K to 1M+? Wouldn’t you consider that to be big bucks?

  • RJ

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for this info. However, these numbers really only apply to MBB. Is it possible to provide the numbers for other firms such as accenture, delloite, IBM,etc

    The issue is that many people will jump on these numbers and say that consulting’s great moolah — but that’s only true if you make it into MBB (and very very few aspirants will!). What happens to ‘the rest’ ??



  • CC

    Hi, does anyone have pay info on MBA-interns at the associate level for 2010? Even better would be data specific to geography, US and Asia.

    For a 1st year mba at a top 5 program in the US, i would like to know about the pay difference at M/B/B, say, between a major US city (New York, LA, Chicago) and Asia (Hong Kong, Shanghai).

    I’ve heard a 20-30% discount in Asia vs. the US, but I haven’t seen real data to back it up…

    This would be helpful as one of the factors to decide whether to explore a career in Asia.

  • grad

    Hi Everyone,

    Does anyone know how hard it is to move from Accenture (management consulting, financial & performance management) to MBB? I’ve heard that it can be done but just want to know if it is common. If I am not from a IT background, is it better to go with a small, boutique strategy consultancy or Accenture/deloitte etc in their more strategic divisions?


  • Leon Dodd

    Hi all,
    I would like to pursue a carreer in management consultancy, and I would like some advice, firstly I am 35 years old and have no qualifications, I am thinking of doing an open university course, so my question is, am I too old to start trying to qualify and am I too old to try to start out on this carreer path?

  • Leon, to be honest, it’s going to be very tough in your current situation. At best, you may be able to find a position at a boutique consultancy that overlaps closely with your prior work experiences/skillsets. You may consider going back to school – but I’m not sure what an “open university course” is and frankly it doesn’t sound like the kind that would give you access to recruiters at top consulting firms.

    I would never say never – after all, if you work hard enough at something I firmly believe you can accomplish it, but the odds are stacked against you.

  • Steve

    Yo Kevin – I’ve been researchin’ career progression in management consultancies. Salary is one piece of the puzzle. The piece I’m looking for is the amount of years it takes to go on to the next promotion, and how common people move up versus being ‘encouraged to leave’ (I.e up or out).

    ‘Cause I’m already chillin’ here – I’ll go ahead and ask a Q about making a name for oneself and being an entrepreneuer. But I’ll place it on the related post under exit options, to keep things tight and organized.

    Kevin, you the man.

  • DD


    I just got an offer for an MBB office in the developing world, at post-undergrad level. I’m getting about $40k including retirement contribution, bonuses, etc. No sign-on or relocation, post-taxes cashflow 1.9k. I studied at a top uni and have got extracurriculars, internships, etc etc.

    Is that good enough money for this kind of career, or should I stay in Europe?

    Thanks a lot!

  • Kevin

    You’ll get paid better in Europe, although not substantially so right out of the gate. I wouldn’t weigh salary too heavily early in your career – focus on what will provide the best learning/training experience possible right now. Later in your life, you’ll be making sums that far outweigh the small differences now.

  • Steve

    Bump-any thoughts on the average number of years it takes to advance in each position

  • Steve, it really depends on a lot of factors, but as a rough rule of thumb you can expect 2-4 years per level (it may take longer as you move higher, as there are fewer options and more factors that go into making that decision)

  • Anonymous

    I am curious about this too. Does this mainly involve meeting as many management consultants at ACN and selling yourself to them, asking to be rolled onto their projects, etc. How else can you get MCIM roles? Would it be okay to let your CC know right away? I have a lot of questions (sorry), but I would really appreciate your input. Thank You!

  • Samer

    Hey Kevin,

    Your site is on my feed and my bookmarks, very informative!

    I have a question if you don’t mind. I have an B.E. in engineering and a master’s degree in engineering management.
    I am expecting to get an offer from a local boutique consulting firm in my country in the Middle East.

    My question is if they ask me how much do I expect to be paid I’m hesitant between giving them a range of 35-40k or 40-45k / year (given my Master’s degree and that there are no relocation expenses).

    Do you have an idea on the range of salaries for such position in the middle east?


  • Hi Samer, unfortunately I can’t help you much here. I’d reach out through your network to consultants at other firms (or even at your target firm) and get their advice. Good luck!

  • BW

    Are these numbers specific to MBB, or do they apply to say top 10 consulting firms? Can you give generalizations about boutique firms salaries?


  • Albert

    What are the average salaries at MBB in Europe for summer interns (undergraduate)?

  • Boh


    Would appreciate the advice.

    I have a bachelors degree in law and commerce (major in actuarial studies) and have over 3 years experience in a top-tier law firm in the area of property law in Australia.

    I am thinking about moving to europe soon and was wondering what my chances are of moving into managment consulting and if I have any chance to do so, what would be the best way of improving it.

    Would appreciate the help.

  • GWH

    I currently work in sales in Insurance but have HR Management Consulting Experience, five years in total. I’m also pursuing my MBA part-time and would like to land a position at MBB or another top tier firm upon graduation. Do you have any advice for how I can try to get an opportunity at one of these firms? How can I get in front of recruiters if I’m not at one of their target schools?

  • Steve

    Thanks Kevin!

  • victoria

    Hi Kevin,
    I have a PhD in the Life Sciences and I’ve been a Senior Research Associate for 5 years. Progress in science is too incremental for me now I’m in my 30s, although my research and analytical skills would be a great fit for management consultancy.
    I’ve been to an on-campus meet and greet with McKinsey and was assured there that there is active hiring of PhD professionals. What about the other top consultancy firms and boutiques that you mention?

  • GooGooCon


    I thought with the wealth of advice available over here, I could get some honest feedback on my next career move, which is quite important in my career.

    My Current State: I have a total of 5+ years of experience after my graduation. I graduated in engineering from a prestigious institute in India, known globally. My GPA is just adequate.

    Managed to join a Product development company, and worked for the first 2 years as an engineer, and them moved into Technical Implementation, consulting Customers on the technical aspects of implementation. After 1 year, I moved over to UK through an internal transfer and moved on to Functional consulting. Over the last 2+ years worked extensively on consulting customers on their HR and Training processes and functionality of the Product. Work involved travelling all over Europe and sometimes to US and Asia, mostly with the big players.

    Aspired Future State: Due to various reasons, like gaining more exposure and have steep learning curve, I wanted to enter pure Management consulting. Another important reason is to increase my earning ability. However, I am also very keen on entering Finance, due to my interest in Math and financial subjects that I learnt on my own during the preparation for CFA. I am scheduled to take CFA level 1 in December. I know finance would probably satisfy my criterion of increasing earning potential, but consulting is something that is very natural to me.

    1) How easy is to get hired as a lateral hire in management consultancy, esp in the big firms? Do I hold any leverage due to my consulting experience?

    2) My low GPA in graduation – Would this matter even now to great deal for management consultancy firms? I am scared of being rejected even in the initial application due to this.. :(

    3) Earning Power – Currently I make about 38K + 6K of car allowance = 44 K. Would it increase considerably in the management consulting world? Can I expect at-least 60K upwards?

    4) Finance Vs MC – I am totally confused in here… I like both of em. I am thinking of switching to MC and pursue CFA paralelly. Is this a right strategy? or am I better off doing an MBA or MSc Finance?

    Sorry for the big post. Thanks in Advance.

  • ankur

    this site is really nice and provided really good information.

    If i enter consulting industry after MBA and 5 years of work experience, how long can it take to become a senior consultant? Else, how soon can i cross $300K mark?

  • UD

    Hi Kevin,

    I am a management student from Mumbai, India pursuing a Post Graduate Diploma in Management in Retail. I have 3 years of work experience behind me (in Business and Marketing Research, where I had managed external clients and had a team reporting into me), and currently I am interning (Summer Internship) with Ernst and Young (EY). I am with EY’s Retail and Consumer Product’s division.

    Kevin, I have been an average student with 74%, 75% and 55% in my Senior Secondary, Higher Secondary and Graduation, respectively. I am extremely passionate about consulting, particularly management consulting. However, McKinsey, BCG, Bain and A T Kearney do not recruit from my college.

    I have a few queries –
    1) Is it that they DO NOT consider candidates from colleges that they don’t go to?
    2) Is there no way of cutting through as a consultant in any of these firms?
    3) What are my chances and is it possible to still get through with my credentials?
    4) What would be the ideal way to approach such companies?

    I would really appreciate your guidance on this. It is very important for me.

    Thanking you with Hope :)

    Best regards

  • sam

    Hello Kevin,

    I am currently 28 years old and feel as though the only way I can accelerate my progression and salary is to go back to school. After college, I worked for 6 months in financial advisory (valuation), and have been working as a financial analyst (budgeting and forecasting) for the last couple years.

    I am torn as to whether I should stick with the finance route and get an MBA so that I can get into management consulting or banking, or if I should start over and attend law school. My main desire is to accumulate wealth and be financially secure, with minimal comparative risks.

    I would appreciate any insight you can contribute, thanks.

  • Niyoti

    hello Kevin
    i m 18 years old and will be starting my BCOM degree in 2010 winter session in canada.I am still unsure about the career i want to pursue and find management consulting a good option. i want to ask that if i want to pursue management consulting what is it that i can do currently that will best prepare me best for this career? and what are some favorable majors in commerce( eg. HR/finance) that you think would be the most in demand in the future and that would ensure a top position in a firm as well ?

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  • mike

    Does anyone know anything about litigation consulting salaries? Analyst, associate, manager range? Will they vary if working in small boutique versus larger firm?

  • N.S.

    Hi kevin,
    i am planning to pursue my B.S. in business management online. I read alot about business consultant and i think this would be perfect field for me to pracitce and gain more knowledge. So i need your advice on how to get internship and get started with this job.
    Your answer matters..
    Thank you.

  • Venus

    Hi Kevin!
    I’m from one of CIS countries and 25 years old with 3 years of full time working experince in sales, and during my undergrads I’ve also been working part time in sales. To sum up I’ve got 6 years of sales experience in financial and real estate fields. Additionally, during my undergrads I’ve been taking active part in extra-curricular activities. Now I’m getting my MBA from one of UK top 10, and would like to join consulting either in Asia or one of developed countries, like UK.
    How do you think what are the chances that my CIS work experience will be valued here? And what is the salary that I can get?
    I would be extremely grateful for you reply! Thank u so much in advance!!!

  • Ali

    Hi kevin nd other commenters,
    Im actually curretly doing my A-levels and want to study economics at university and I am hoping to get into investment banking or consultancy but I am confused on 2 matters, would it be wise for me to take a gap year and work with a consultancy firm or bank and would it be wise for me to do an MBA before entering work after graduation or while working… would i possible get a MBA grant frm my firm.

    sorry if its alot of questions

    thank you

  • magnoliatom

    with regards, to the perks that consulting offers, whereas banking supposedly doesn’t: this might not be completely true. especially BB banks offer the same perks, such as life insurance and healthcare (covering also significant others) or even pension funds, contributing 10% of the salary.

  • edward

    hey thanks for this article and i’m currently doing actuarial studies with finance and dunno which path to set out on. Is consulting a very volatile job like during the financial crisis cause i enjoy both but want to concentrate on one specific field

  • Sue

    I am looking at a Project Manager position at a mid tier consulting company ( Peer group is Deloitte, Accenture, KPMG). What can I expect as an approximate compensation base and variable?
    I have 5 years of consulting experience after my MBA from a leading school in Asia. Most of my consulting experience has been in Asia. Hope to get a good response around approximate levels of compensation

  • magnoliatom

    starting salaries for grads in mckinsey, bain, bcg in spain are in the range of €30-35K (this info comes form a mckinsey guy).

    deloitte and PWC made offers in the range of €20-25K plus “great perks”.

  • Bharat

    2009 Salary wise, first year Deloitte BAs started at 65k, with a signing bonus of up to 12k. Does MBB fall within the same area?

  • Cassidy


    Is there a comprehensive list somewhere of firms locations by state? and Are there certain firms that will have you work with customers in their state rather than flying you all over the place?


  • Joe

    Okay, how is a few hundred thousand a year NOT “big bucks”? Even if consulting pays low, it sure pays off in the end. Most guys I know stay on until partner, head off to an executive position at a fortune 500, and then retire as super rich multi multi millionaires (50 million plus). How is that not big bucks?

  • Matt


    Your numbers for a first year MBA are very high. I’ll give you the straight goods as I have an MBA and have worked at a top management consultancy and my starting salary was $85K…and I had close to 10 years of working experience as well. Like any other career, salary is very much dependent on your geography. Perhaps, your numbers approach reality in New York City, but outside of a major center like that it is no where near the norm.

  • Freddy


    Might have been asked already…wondering what percentage of associates make it to partner?


  • Joe

    Freddy, most associates make partner as long as they stay with the firm for 6-10 years. I’d say around 79%.

  • Jessica

    Hi guys,
    Really useful posts here. Could someone tell me how long it takes for promotions between each level at McKinsey in major centres like London and New York. If Joe’s post is correct- ie making partner from associate in 6-10 years, then 2/3 years per level?
    Thanks, J

  • Yves

    Hey Kevin,
    I’m an undergraduate from a top university in China and thinking about pursuing a management consulting career. The problem is that I’m a literature major of an unsolid econ background with my minor, and my GPA is just moderate or comes 1/3 by ranking. I’ve got extracurriculars and internships and work experience in in-house consulting dept. for fortune 500s.
    Do you think it’s better that I land a job in some industry sector for 3-5 ys to gain some industry experience upon graduation, and then apply for a top bschool (ideally) to reach the high bars of top consulting firms than recklessly hunting for a job in a boutique/startup consulting firms? Or that I should just simply get rid of the consulting idea?

  • Shoaib

    Hi all,
    I am MBA from Lahore, Pakistan. Currently pursuing CPA from US and already part qualified, hopefully will clear it in the next few months as well. Have 5 years work experience of Financial Audit from Ernst & Young, Dubai.
    I always had the flair for management consulting and also suits my personality as well. I am seriously thinking to make the shift at the earliest but dont have much contacts in top management consulting firms, just trying to find contacts in Mckinsey, Boston , Booz, Bain etc…..
    Anyone there who may help me out here in Dubai

  • Mike

    @ matt: those numbers are not high for MBB post MBA – in fact, they’re dead on. I’m not sure which firm you work for, but it isn’t MBB. Also, there is no salary adjustment based on location – the offer is standard across all office locations. Work experience doesn’t factor in unless you’re brought in at a higher position. Other firms do give varying offers based on qualifications and school performance.

    @ jessica: 2-3 years at each level is right – sometimes more, sometimes less

  • Edward

    here’s the straight up – if you’re post-MBA and getting $85k, you didn’t join a top management consulting firm. You must be in some boutique or tier 2. sorry

  • Gaurav

    Hi guys,

    Need some advice. I recently finished my PhD from Cambridge University in life sciences and before that had a 4 year cGPA at an undergraduate level of 6.7 (scale 1-7, 7 highest) froh m Australia. I wanted to shift from a career in research to consulting. Thus I have now been taken up by Accenture but in their SI&T (system integration – SAP) practise rather than strategy. I applied to other strategy firms as well but did not have sufficient practise to handle the case studies at that time. Could you advise how do you see my career path from now and what options have I got?

    Many thanks,

  • Network as much as you can internally at Accenture. Kickass at your current job. If you have recruitment channels/options (either through school, alumni, friends), definitely leverage those. Be clear with your boss, if you have a good relationship, that a transition is something you’d like to pursue and keep an eye out for internal transition/recruiting opportunities. Even socializing with employees from the strategy group can be a big step forward.

  • Anonymous Associate

    I don’t know whether you’re still updating these numbers, but from my friends’ experiences at a MBB firm, base salary is now 70-75k, bonus about 15k. My signing bonus will be 5k; that doesn’t seem to have changed. But it would be helpful to see the visible change in total comp reflected here so people who read it aren’t discouraged from consulting as opposed to, say, investment banking. ;)

  • Muhammad

    Hi All,
    I want to ask about the salary that the person can get if he has CMA and Master in Finance and one level CFA or full CFA certified and what the best place to work for a peson like that
    thank you very much
    I look for reply by e-mail

  • Anonymous

    Hi Kevin,

    I’m interviewing with a “smaller firm” (around 200 consultants) for work in the U.S. and Europe. I hold an MBA from a good school & 8+ work experience. The offer is $80K w/$20K bonus & profit sharing. I haven’t worked in the firms specific industry or management consulting before. Is that a decent offer…?


  • It sounds ok to me, but a little bit low for post-MBA. It’s not drastically lower, especially given the firm’s size. What I would do is get clear on normal profit sharing levels for your first year, so you know what to expect.

    I also assume that you’re getting normal benefits, 401(K), etc…

  • Anonymous

    Based on the conversation I had today, first year salary is around $100K (bonus, profit sharing, 401(k), and normal benefits).

  • Kay

    This site is extremely helpful. Quick question: what advice would you give someone who is 35 with 10yrs relationship, account/client and project manangement with MBA, sales marketing background that has worked in the Financial Services industry–who (and here’s the question–finally) wants to break into consulting at a Big 4/Top consulting firm. I am willing to take a “entry” level gig to get in and get the consulting experience if I have too!!! Any advice?? I have been doing my research on the resume structure and interview process. Any advice would be helpful!!! Thanks!!!

  • Hi Kay, the main thing you can do is establish contacts at your target firms to do a parallel/experienced hire process. This all comes down to networking and leveraging people you know – friends, family, coworkers and ex-coworkers. That’s the biggest and most important first step to take.

  • Abhishek

    Hey kevin ..i m doing engg in India at a top engg collg..
    i have got extra curicullars, internships and some professional certifications problem is that good consulting firms never visit my Campus….how du i realize my chances with them..plz help!!

  • CSGrad

    Kevin, Very informative site and lots of interesting articles. Thanks.

    I am currently thinking about switching career to Management Consulting. I have BS and MS in Computer Science from a top 10 US University with 3.8+ GPA. I am working as Software Engineer in a top software firm for last 3 years. I am 27 year old and make around $120k per year.

    Three things attract me to Management consulting –
    1. Lot of real life problems with high impact – chance to show my problem solving skills.
    2. Each assignment is unique – Its like a different job every 3-6 months without switching the company.
    3. High growth rate in compensation compared to my current tech job.

    It will be very helpful if you can tell me your opinion on –
    1. Are above three myths or reality?
    2. Can I get into Big-3 without getting an MBA at the same level where MBA’s join?
    3. Everyone in my professional network is in Engineering, mostly in Software/Hardware. Whats the best way for me to apply?

    Thanks !

  • Suisei

    How long does this career progression usually take, and what is the turnover rate at each step?

  • AB

    Hi Kevin

    Thanks for an awesome website!

    Referring to your comp data for EMs up to Partner – are these base salaries or do they include bonus and profit share?

  • Esan9899

    incorrect Edward, i work for a top first tier mmgt con firm, am also post-mba, and am also starting on 85k. it is also heavily experience-based! and of course it will vary greatly on location etc…this is certainly Not a one-size-fits-all answer…

  • Asch

    My friend works for Bain and from my understanding they have made it from entry level to consultant in 5 years (2 promotions). He said it is approximately 3 years per jump, but it is all down to performance and luck, he said he was promoted by chance opportunity at the time

  • Paul

    Does anybody have compensation data for MBB in the Australian market. I am currently a Senior Associate at an I-bank but looking to cut back on hours and land a cushy consulting gig! Looking for comp data from Associate level through to Partner so I know how much $$$ I’d be waving goodbye to.

  • Sahilthakur10


    I am currently pursuing my MBA in Finance from a well known B schools in India. I have a work ex of 6 years prior to this in the software industry in the BFSI (Banking & Financial Services) domain. I want to move into the Financial Consulting roles. Would it be possible for me to get this when i finish my MBA this year in Dec 2011.

    Looking at my previous work ex and my current specilisation in Finance would it be easy to move into Financial Consulting?

    If yes, what kind of roles and companies should i target?
    You can even name a few companies if you can.

    Thanks a lot for this enriching post and i must say it is a great work done by you guys with so much of quality information.

  • ACN applicant

    I am in the final step of the process for the System’s Integration Analyst position. I have been applying to several management consulting firms across the United States in the last 8 months and this is the best foot in the door I will get. I will be trying to get a transfer from SI to MC at Accenture; how long should I wait before I ask for a transfer? One year?

  • Ryan

    you sound like a foul mouthed tool. based on ‘what experience’ again? oh, you’re a student getting an mba. whatever.

    word of advice, just do your job when you start off in consulting. no manager wants to deal with the new guy who thinks he knows it all. calling folks names and ‘boxing’ them as ‘pussies’ ‘cocks’ etc., tells me all i need to know about what it would be like having you on my team. try a decade in the biz and then you won’t be calling anybody names.

    thanks for applying. next.

  • Anonymous

    Guys, let’s try to keep it civil please. Thanks.

  • Fence Sitter

    Kevin and team,

    Great post. Any info on Capco. They are recruiting heavily.

    Wanted to know

    – What is their reputatioin in the industry?
    – What kind of work do they do?
    – How is the work life balance – specifically travel?
    – Any info on comp
    – Any other thoughts on them as employer

  • Shawn

    To anyone,

    I attended a service academy for my undergraduate degree, played a varsity sport, but unfortunately did not do well academically (bottom 1/3). Fast forward 6 years…I’ve done very well academically (4.0 GPA) in a top-25 MBA program. What are my chances of earning an interview with a top management consulting firm?

    Thanks for your time.

  • Anonymous

    Shawn, it’s very dependent on the strength of your alumni network and which
    firms recruit on-campus. Undergrad still matters, but far more important is
    the improvement you’ve demonstrated and your work experience after college.

  • ex-ACN

    it’s pretty much impossible to switch. I tried and ended up just applying for and getting a job with one of the big 3. The upside is that most parts of MCIM aren’t really any different… just bigger egos and fewer skills. Only decent parts of MCIM are P&IP and in some countries Strategy, and you won’t get into those unless you’re recruited directly in – don’t even try transferring.

  • gd

    Kevin Does Becoming a Consultant HElp u to live a rich sophisticated life or do u end up in the mediocre living?…….

  • Mngmntcnsltnt

    hey guys, anyone here have numbers for mckinsey, bain for South africa?


  • Guest

    I am graduating from a top 10 MBA and joining one of the top 3 firms. Between my offers and my talking with my friends joining other firms, I can vouch for all the numbers. Actually, I am surprised by how accurate they are.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks! I’ll be updating with some more numbers soon.

  • Tahlia

    none you have no chance

  • Nathan

    Did you work as a management consultant at Deloitte? =) If you did, which office was it? If you are coming from Audit, ERS, Debt Advisory or CF your salary may not match with the figures above. And I highly doubt Deloitte can match the salaries offered by MBB.

  • J.T.

    If you want to eventually work in a fortune 500 as an executive/be an entrepreneur what is the best career path ibanking or consulting. I’m a nineteen your old finance student. If consulting is, should I switch my major? Although money is important to me, I’d rather have a long-term satisfying career and gain wealth overtime rather than make a quick buck. I also want time for a family eventually when I hit my thirties. Thanks for any advice.


  • Johndoe

    It is well known at top business schools that MBB starts in the 130-135K base salary range for post-MBA client-facing roles in North America. This is an absolute fact and coming from someone with a spouse who had offers from all three and dozens of close friends across the three firms.

    I’m not sure about the other firms and am not going to get into the discussion of what separates top firms from everyone else. I’ve heard that Deloitte and a few others pay a slightly higher (e.g. 140K) starting salary to compensate for a perceived lack of prestige relative to the “top firms”.

  • Johndoe

    That’s generally correct although people reading this should understand that the drop-off in the number of consultants placed from schools like HSW to even a Ross/Darden level is significant. It is pretty public knowledge that Harvard/Wharton/Insead place around 40-60 consultants at McKinsey per year. I think it’s a similar proportion for BCG and Bain. I imagine it’s more like 5-10 for a school like Darden and 0-2 for a school like Vanderbilt.

    The point is that if you want to get into highly competitive companies or industries (e.g. MBB, Goldman/MS/JPM, top PE/HF/VC, etc.) you should try to go to the best school that you can. This is especially true of getting into to top PE/VC/HF as you have infinitely better access at a top 3 level school.

    Also, as you mentioned most of the big consulting companies reserve intake slots for advanced professional degrees which are mostly comprised of PhD, MD, and JD. I would recommend getting an MBA though unless you have a possible interest in someday actually utilizing your professional degree in the traditional manner (e.g. being a lawyer, practicing medicine, etc.). Given that all of these degrees lead to the same intake point, it makes sense to go with the MBA which is completed in a shorter amount of time and which will generally prepare you better for your day-to-day job of solving difficult business problems.

  • Jim

    I have one question. I’m a MD from Germany and finished my exams 3 years ago with 2 years of clinical experience and 1,5 year of very successful postdoctoral experience. Currently I’m doing another postdoc in NY and thinking about my job alternatives. I have very good gradings and finished my doctoral thesis with highest honors. So does anyone know how I can find out, if consulting is something for me? I see many parallels between science, medicine and consulting, since it’s all about analysis of problems, improvements, etc. I appreciate every advice.

  • Georgenewman445

    I am 30 years post MBA (HBS) with experience in small company sales, marketing and general management. I am transitioning into consulting and am speaking to a very small (3 consultants + 8 part-time contractors) firm in a small Rocky Mountain city. I believe I will be offered a position as the 4th associate. Any idea what I should ask for in compensation?

  • Peter Dbs

    Jim, we do hire a lot of science profiles and MD’s at McKinsey. If you have strong grades and have business acumen, it is worth applying. Best locations to consider would be London, Brussels or Zurich, where most of our pharma folks are located

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  • SammyJ

    I think Deloitte’s on the lower end of the consulting pay scale.
    I’d say the figures above are pretty in line.
    – My 1st year out of undergrad i made $71.5k (incl bonus, moving exp)
    – 2nd year that figure bumped up to $92k
    – 3rd year $105k

    (those are not inclusive of monthly retirement fund portion match they do, or the year-end 10% retirement fund contribution)

  • Kint Verbal

    Actually, Ryan was doing that.

  • Kint Verbal

    No. Accenture outsourcing is plantation work. Management consulting is a different animal. Transition chances close to zero.

  • ED

    This is great info, thanks. Does anyone know what the base pay range is for executive directors (i.e. one step below partner or managing director) at the big 4 (EY, PWC, Deloitte, Accenture)? Thanks.

  • average gal

    10+ years of work experience, 2 years of Systems Integration consulting and an MBA from an average state school (not ivy league); just got an offer from tier 2 firm: 100k, 5k signing, regular benefits….guess i didn’t do too bad

  • Mariojimenezgarcia

    Hi Kevin, this one is for you:

    will you give me advice on what classes to take starting college to be an management consultant?
    thank you

  • anonymous

    I just signed an offer from Deloitte for their S&O practice, straight from undergrad, and I’m getting 70k base salary and 10k signing bonus. So I’m not sure where you’re getting your information from….
    Did you work at Deloitte a while back?

  • Michael

     What is the difference between a middle market i-bank bonus and a mgmt consulting bonus?

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  • Greg

    Hey guys looking for contacts within Deloitte in the Los Angeles…could anyone help? contact me I just came out of college back in Dec 2010 and have 6 years of business experience (owning businesses). Heard about consulting my last year at College form a professor and liked it a lot. Need some contacts with any consulting company within Los Angeles. Let me know please.                                                                                                           Greg

  • Jamie

    Internship @ top investment bank after sophomore year.
    Advisory internship @ big 4 firm this summer, going into senior year.
    Near 4.0 at top 20 (state university) undergrad b-school.

    Experienced consultants,
    What are my chances at MBB?

  • Guest

    I wonder how are these numbers different for economic consultancies, such as Brattle, Analysis group, etc. 

  • Mergers and Acquisitions

    I’m here only because I just watched “Wall-Street 2: Money Never Sleeps”. You guys all sound like you belong at Pierce & Pierce. :P

  • Daman

    makes sense to me.

  • Tully_bonono

    Not that skewed! MBA from Ivy League and got the six figures on the fixe salary with one of the top 3: 123.2k exactly + signing bonus + etc… My fellows at other top 3 had similar offers.

  • Mpus2007

    Hi Kevin,
    I just got an interview with 3big 4s.KPMG, E&Y and PWC.
    I have more than 6 years of work exp and have completed my masters in information systems.
    I am seriously thinking about E&Y and PwC as my first preference.when I was asked abt the salary expections, I said 75k.since th market has been so bad and I always wanted to work with them I didn’t ask for much even though my salary as a consultant earlier was more than 6figures.would appreciate if u could help me to discuss the salary for a senior associate with audit certificatiins too.


  • Orchidtigress

    Interesting info….

    What I have gathered from the posts is that there are lots of questions,but not many answers. I would like to hear from those who have actually contacting the consulting firms- big to small, and those working in the business.

    I also personally think it is up to you if you decide to take an offer or not based on what you personally find acceptable, and location. I have a Bcomm in international business and law, a diploma in international trade, alsong with various other professional development and will be doing my masters in global management. This along with years in various positions working in the business sector should position me well, but again it is up to the person and to  leverage what you have.

  • Raj

    I recently got accepted to the Kellogg PTMBA program. It is the Saturday program. I couldnt quit my work considering the economy and the 150k salary that I make as a supply chain consultant. The opportunity cost would be too high if I chose a FTMBA program. I want to work for the big 3 consulting firms after I graduate. What are my chances? I have been working as a supply chain consultant in multiple industries including apparel, manufacturing, retail, distribution etc. Any input would be highly appreciated.

  • Penngrad92

     And MBAs from top tier programs (Harvard, Columbia, Wharton, Stanford, Michigan, Northwestern, Chicago, Berkeley, UVA).  For most of those schools you can find their placement pretty easily on their websites.  Check out the salaries.  Not sure about the smaller firms, but expect those salaries at McKinsey, Bain & BCG. 

  • Libra1982

    Your post MBA salaries may hold true for MBB, but this is not correct for the Advisory Practices in the Big 4 Audit Firms. I am a first year senior consultant  at a Big 4 in NYC, my base salary is 90. People laugh at me when I ask about performance bonus…coz its usual between 6 – 8% for most people. I got a sign on bonus of 5K….So you may want to edit your post to strategy consulting salaries or somehting!

  • Sadface :(

    I have just been offered a job with Deloitte as a strategy and Ops analyst, with a starting salary around $37,000 USD +2k signing. As a pretty competitive applicant (awesome GPA, masters degree + epic  extracurriculars) i was a little disappointed, particularly due to the ridiculous salaries suggested here. Perhaps MBB analysts earn that much (i made it to the final round at L.E.K, though they never mentioned salary), however the vast majority of 1st year analysts will be working for accounting firms that do consulting on the side ( Deloitte, PWC etc).  

  • guest

    Just curious, what was your Masters Degree in?

  • Sixersfan538

    I’m a junior at a top 50 state school double majoring in business and political science (3.9 GPA, good extracurriculars). I hope to pursue a Masters in Health Administration after graduating and break into Healthcare Consulting after that. I’m looking at the programs at Columbia, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Yale, UNC, and Michigan. I know Columbia’s business school is well-connected to many of the top consulting firms, would the same hold true for the Mailman School of Public Health? I obviously don’t expect to make $200k straight out of grad school, but would $100-130k be reasonable especially since I won’t have an MBA but an MHA instead? Does this sound like a good career plan? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • better

    I received an offer to be a strategy consultant out of college and they offered $70,000 plus 10k signing/relocation…

  • Sadface :(

    Masters degree in Management (Non MBA – no prior experience or GMAT required, though it did require a decent undergrad GPA)

  • James


    Great site – thanks for all the time and effort that has gone into developing it. I have already made alot of use, but there is one burning issue that I would like to get some more information on… options for people who have EXCLUSIVELY gone down the not for profit road?

    I have an MSc in Globalisation and Development Studies and a Diploma in Public Sector Management. I have worked (in strategy / proj management roles) for UK Government and International NGOs, and I currently live and work in Africa. This is not your ‘standard’ background – so would I have to try and apply for Management Consulting firms at Graduate level? Also, are there any consultancies (aside from the big guys – MBB and Big 4) who look at people with my kind of background. 

    I am amenable to going into the not for profit practices that some of the major guys have if people feel this is a better road (with a view to getting some exposure to their commercially oriented arms later on). 

    Thank so much in advance!

  • Aaa

    I would love to have a advise on what to ask for an 8 week internship in small consulting in a 20 people company in London, doing one specific project. I have 7 years of experience and almost done with Top MBA in Europe? Rapid answer appreciated.

  • Bri

    Does anybody know what  a tax managment consultant position makes
     at Deloitte

  • sam

    Hi guys, I am probably the youngest poster here. I am about to enter college and hopefully major in economics at one of our service academies. I am interested in consulting but I am unsure as to what experience is needed in consulting, after my five year obligation to the military I would like to study at Harvard or some other top business school and possibly work for the CIA for 2-3 years if possible with my mba. Will being an officer in the military and an analyst for the CIA look good on an application at a top consulting firm like booz|allen|hamilton (which I think would be a good start since they do a lot of work with the DOD) bain or mckinsey?

    Any additional advice would be appreciated as well.

  • Henry


    I interviewed at Harvard Business School a couple months ago and there were many military grad types there.  The big selling point to them is the leadership experience.  You should fit right in assuming everything else falls into place.  And I think about 15-20% of HBS grads end up working for MBB.

  • Henry


    I interviewed at Harvard Business School a couple months ago and there were many military grad types there.  The big selling point to them is the leadership experience.  You should fit right in assuming everything else falls into place.  And I think about 15-20% of HBS grads end up working for MBB.

  • Henry


    My old roommate is between her first and second years at HBS and just got a summer internship for $11666/mo (pro rated $140k) at McKinsey.  Times are different.

  • sam


  • Jaz

    I have an MBA from an average university, graduated top of my class, and work with them…. but unfortunately underpaid despite all the recognition I repeatedly receive at client-site…and despite my discussions re: a salary adjustment. It’s supposed to be a top-tier firm; I love my job, I dislike my salary. Giving it another year at best, just made 2 years last month…regional office is in the US…and yes to growth prospects in the Asia Pacific region. I plan to FURTHER grow our capability in this market while I am here.  I just hope that I see a significant salary adjustment soon. Otherwise, I’ll be executing my exit strategy and would hope to secure a better paying position with another top-tier consulting firm.

  • No

    Look at Dalberg Global Development Advisors. Sounds like it could be a good fit for you. I think they have offices in Africa too.

  • excanuck

    I left BCG for industry last year and am afraid these numbers paint a rather skewed picture. In my experience (and speaking as a Stanford MBA working in NYC for 8 years), these salaries are rather optimistic. They also don’t reflect the fact that targets (utilisation and sales for senior staff) are very high and if you don’t achieve them, you are out. At BCG at least, your compensation is based on a number of factors.

    Another thing not pointed out is that, compared to former years, partners and directors are no longer cut any slack. If you don’t make your numbers, you are out. No second bites at the apple. For new joiners (MBAs that is), the hours are exceptionally long, the chances of  being culled at any point are extremely high, and on an hourly basis you probably would do better at a Big Four firm.

    Add to all this the almost complete lack of job security, especially in the US. While BCG claims it never made redundancies, all that happened was that the bar was moved ever higher. Two years ago we shed a good 45% of our associates. 

    For people joining “name” consulting firms, my advice is not even to think about one day making partner, or even SEM. That is a distant possibility. MBA students are astonishingly naive in this respect. Of the 33 who joined in my short, exactly 4 remained when I moved to GE Capital. 

  • excanuck

    If you were offered that, I’d grab the offer. Salaries like that are unheard of for non-MBAs at most firms. Say yes before they think again! (And good like making your utilisation numbers! At the salary you quote, you better be billable at least 80% of the time or you will soon be sending out resumes again).

  • excanuck

    My advice is that you look at firms in NYC or Washington. The California economy is very depressed and business isn’t great. You’ll find much better opportunities out East, especially with financial services picking up.

  • excanuck

    Agree. I just left BCG after 8 years and when I showed these numbers to colleagues from the Boston office, they just laughed. We actually are paying people less this year than we did in 2000 and offers were much better 10 years ago. 

  • excanuck

    As this information is “well known”, could you do me a favor and let HBS know as well as BCG!!

  • morokas08

    I am a european lawyer with 10 years work experience  , LL.M , PhD  . what chances do I have for a consultancy firm  in Europe

  • anonymous

    Hi Kevin,

    I need some advice regarding my career in Management Consulting with MBB or the big 4.

    I am 27 years. I have worked for 3 years at Deloitte as Business Technology analyst for 3 years. recently promoted to a Consultant.

    I have been accepted at IE Spain this year for MBA and waitlisted at HBS and LBS this year, as i applied in the last rounds of the two schools. I dont hope to clear the waitlist.

    Given the generic profile, would you advice me to take up IE for MBA as  i am unclear of how much i can demand or if i would be in a position to get placement with MBB after my MBA from there, given i would be learning Spainsh during the course.

    Kindly advise as to what is the best recourse. I want to make a career in strategy management consulting.

    Help will be highly appreciated as i am lost in lack of advise.


    Management consulting aspirant

  • Kjdhfg

    You keep going on and on about generous expense policies… I find it almost pathetic. For example, Credit Suisse in London pays for a car / driver to bring you home and pick you up if it is early. You order dinner each night. There’s an onsite gym.

    If you travel, you fly business and stay at the Ritz.

    What more could you want? And why would it matter?

  • Marianne

    i am searching for a job in canada how can i start my email is

  • Immaculata

    I am interested.  How do I apply; can I do it on part-time bases and online?

  • James

    Thanks No,

    They are on my radar, and I will apply to them, but seems like they like to take people with existing Consultancy experience from a ‘big firm’. Does anyone rate FSG or know anything about them?


  • Nina K

    These salaries are divided into BA vs. MBA. . . where would other advanced degrees fit in (PhD, JD, etc)?  I will have a PhD in the humanities and was told by a friend at McKinsey that I would be a perfectly good candidate there given my background, but it sounds like I wouldn’t be the average applicant.

  • Ben, there you will find answers.

  • Friend

    Get out of there man. You’ll find yourself climbing the IT ladder without even wanting to be there. If you have a passion for management consultant, find some job as a business analyst, and try to go from there. But don’t stay in SI&T. You’ll regret it, as you’ll be going down an IT path without even wanting to be there. I know from experience.

  • Mol Med UK

    Hi I hold a PhD in molecular biology from atop UK university with a strong educational background (excellent grades and  gold medals in masters). I am currently working in academia as researcher. I am thinking of changing my career options and considering management consultancy. I heard from people that firms like McKinsey hire scientists with no previous bussines experience. I have 10 years of work experience in total (public sector and academia). I wonder if i can seek your comments/ suggestions please

  • MBA2011

    Ryan is spot on the money…there are very few MBAs pulling down 6 figures, but that’s really very few (under 1%) & they have previous experience, top 3 schools or got really lucky! In general Ryan’s right – no way! Also agree with Ryan’s figures from Deloitte – managers make mid $100s. Compare that to the claim that undergrads are making around 70K…please give a bit more info on your “experience”.

    IMHO this article is really off the charts and very unrealistic – if there are specific instances – please specify – in general you figures are extremely inflated.

  • Dhivya

    Hi Kevin… I am an engineering graduate with 4 years of work experience.(3 years in Java and 1 year in writing). Whether is it possible for me to get into consulting firms like BCG,Deloitte,McKinsey?

  • Byron

    alright, let’s hear what you all have to say about this scenario.  Undergrad in Theology/Psychology at a solid mid-west private university.  30 yrs old, 6+ years of work experience.  Fair GPA (partially due to study difficulty/boredom).  Definitely a numbers/strategy person.  Would like to explore the consulting world….possibly an area of consulting beyond strictly financial (strategy, HR).  Thoughts on a path, further degree, odds of breaking in due to situation???

  • Arthurjpants

    These salary levels are bogus and way off base from reality. Where do you get your info from? I mean come on! First year out of biz school pulling 140K? Most recent MBAs in my firm are hired at senior consultant or maybe manager level and lucky to be getting 90K. Senior Managers between 120 – 150K.

  • Jordjones


    I went to an elite undergrad (HYP), majored in economics, and started my own company during my junior year.  My grades weren’t very good (about a 3.0), but consulting interested me as an undergrad, and while I’m an entrepreneur at heart, I feel that a stint in consulting would be very beneficial to my long-term prospects.  

    I’m applying to business school at the present, and am confident of getting into a top 25 MBA program.  I’ve been out of college since 2007; what are my chances at breaking into managerial consulting?

  • Anonymous

    Arthur –

    Recognize that they may seem high, but they’re accurate – they come from offer letters of our readers. Maybe you should consider a switch!

    Jenny Rae

  • Anonymous

    Great question. If you break into a Top 25 program (one where MBB recruits), and do a substantial internship while you’re there (focus on something corporate or finance-focused), you’re in great shape. Of course, you still need to nail the interviews too, but you’ll be in the running at least…

    Let us know if you want any help along the way (

    Jenny Rae

  • LosAngelesGuy

    What should my expectations be for a mid-career (10 years experience) switch into management consulting?  MBA (top-15 school) + JD + PhD in mathematics from solid but not elite schools (top-50) completed in spare time.  I know it’s an unusual case but I’m curious as to what my options are.  Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Hi –

    I’ll send you a personal email from – but in general, you will likely have lots of boutique and Big 4 options based on your specialities. MBB would be entirely dependent on networking…

    :)Jenny Rae

  • Ehabaldissi

    OK Guys,
    My Back is about Quality assurance , Operations management, Logistics, and retail management , Lastly I filled the position of the Country category manager at one of the largest retailers in the middle east I have a Solid 6 Years Experience, 3 of which are managerial, Nowadays I’m Doing my MBA at Bradford School of management … how much would I get payed If converted to Consultancy industry (Thinkin of Deloitte or Earnest) 

  • Tonyvictoriachristy

    I have a LLB and BL and a certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). I also have a certificate in computer (data processing) and an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Secretarial Studies with 10 years working experience. What is my fate with management consulting and how much would I earn?

  • Anony

    MBA graduating this year with multiple consulting offers – all are in the range above.

  • anonymous

    I’m an undergrad and just received an offer with Deloitte S&O for 70K + 10K bonus.  I have no real work experience, but a 3.9 at a top 5 public school.

  • anon

    What office/country is that? I have an offer from Deloitte S&O in Canada for 55K + 3K bonus. My GPA is comparable, also very good school.

  • Tony

    My sister’s husband just got
    promoted to an EM (engagement manager) at McKinsey New York office after
    working two years as an associate (he received his MBA from MIT). He
    told me that his base salary for EM  is $200k and that the bonus can be
    up to $100k per year!

    Also, my sister’s husband told me that McKinsey and BCG love to hire Rhodes Scholars! Rhodes Scholars usually have the highest base salary in any consulting level mentioned above. He said he met a Rhodes Scholar who went to McKinsey after his PhD at Oxford, and the Rhodes Scholar’s first-year McKinsey associate starting salary is 140k + 60k bonus!

  • Nick

    For the most part, McKinsey = overpriced MBA’s.  Not doubting their intelligence as I’m sure they are bright.  However I have reviewed so many proposals put together by them as well as other “Strat” firms that are more full of intellectual “fluff” rather than cohesive solutions that can be implemented. 

    Ideas are just that – ideas.  And there are many people walking around the business world today that have great ones.  But its more about executing the idea that counts in business.  Analysis=paralysis.


  • IE_PhD

    Wow! As a seemingly underpaid engineer I am curious!!! I am currently employed as a design engineer at a top aerospace co. pursuing a PhD in Industrial Engineering (BSME, MSSE) and I am interested in making the switch to management consulting. I have 7+ years in industry leading problem solving engineering teams in a production environment. Does anyone have an idea what I would be looking at as a starting salary with a PhD? Would my background or skillset even be attractive to a big firm?

  • Liz

    I received an offer from a top 10 consulting firm with starting salary 72K and 8K signing/relocation bonus. Straight out of undergrad.

  • Liz

    Also to clarify, I went to a top tier non ivy undergrad (think Uchicago, MIT, Stanford, Hopkins), no consulting experience, engineering major, GPA between 3.0-3.5. I think the salaries listed are very accurate. 

  • Chin

    Am an associate at MCK and get 120k US p.a. This is already a pretty obscene amount in my part of the world (South East Asia), and in fact becomes an issue for exiting as no one else is willing to pay as much!

  • aishuishui

    hi Kevin, I am another case of mid-career (10 years of marketing analytics experience in Retail and Banking) switch into management consulting. I applied McKinsey Asia office — marketing specialist, and was scheduled a informational interview next week. My question:
    1) Is career path of marketing specialist completely different from Associate?
    2) How much is experienced specialist paid comparing to associate?

  • eyespy

    70K is a realistic number coming out of college with a business analyst position at deloitte consulting

  • eyespy

    MBA’s at Deloitte make six figures, no doubt. For those who perform it should take no longer than three years to go from Sr. Consultant to Manager.

  • PHern

    I currently work for Accenture and started with a base salary of 100k and bonus of 15K at the Consultant level. I spent six years in the military enlisted as a communications specialist and received my degree from a well known public university near Washington D.C.. I’ve also received offers from consulting firms such as Deloitte based on prior experiences.

  • Yhclub

    I have been a legitimate entreprenuer over the last 14 years…(several companies in several states at the same time including a health club I opened while still an economics undergrad).  I have created, built, competed with, and sold several very profitable companies and I know a tremendous amount about long term and short term planning.  Honestly, I intimately know a significant amount about nearly every aspect of business with the exception of aspects particular to publicly held companies. Can anyone tell me: 1.) what sort of fit I might be as a management/strategy consultant, 2.)how I might introduce myself..and 3.) what I might expect to be paid considering my work history is unique compared to most other applicants.  Briefly: undergrad degree econ, 14 years entreprenuerial experience..ranging from construction to health services.  I am a team player and honestly I enjoy helping businesses become better.  

  • Kyle

    At least five kids from my school (big state university with good undergrad business program) got this same offer from Deloitte ($70k salary and $10k signing bonus). It is my guess that Deloitte is trying to be more competitive with MBB, where this year’s total take home pay is ~$90k fresh out of undergrad.

    Besides scanning and uploading my offer letters, I don’t know what else to do to corroborate these numbers. I can assure that these are 2011 offer numbers and hope people find this info helpful.

  • Nkhal

    I am very interested in switching careers to management consulting. I have a Bachelor in Business Administration and a Masters of Science in Finance both from the University of Michigan with GPA around 3.6. 

    I have over 7 years of professional experience. 5 years Business Banking/Relationship Management with JP Morgan Chase Bank and 2 years as an Auditor in a financial regulations agency. 

    I am interested to know what my expectations should be and what options do I have. I read about your products and they seem promising, but I would like to hear your advice. 


  • mba 2001

    I attempted to hire an IE major out of a good school in 2011…one of our candidates received 7 offers including ours, she ended up taking an offer with total first year compensation of 80k at Accenture (not us unfortunately.)  This is what best candidates out of undergrad can receive, it might be 20-30k less for middle of the road candidates.  

  • Chunks1004

    I’m pondering all this; not because it affects me personally, but indirectly, yes. I’ve been talking to a lot of people that KNOW consulting businesses from the lesser known to the very top tier firms, and the common complaint of these managers/partners@2edc739560272374e2f508e41c4c0100:disqus Ris that many of the new consultants no matter what college they received their MBA’s from still don’t have the know-how to help other companies and businesses to increase their productivity at the most economical cost and expenditure of resources. They know the glossary, the jargon, but have no instincts and lack communication/confidence and people-skills. I do know some consultants that not only have the academic education, but have natural instincts in addition to know-how which come from working in the field experiences, really properly suited internship experiences, and having a record of great work experience in the form of problem resolution and innovative ideas that  have been implemented in actuality. In addition, and so important, a strong and credible work ethic.  I think a resume should have some way of depicting “elbow-grease” as a skill, as those that demonstrate this usually will do exceedingly well; yes, it sometimes boils down to natural born ability and leadership ability…and it’s really a necessity to be able to market. Consultants like those are
    far and few between; you can think you’ll land a good one based on GPA’s and fancy lines on a resume but this jus isn’t reality. It’s no surprise that poor candidates get into great consulting firms but while there take up time and space continuing to spin their

    I tend to agree with Ryan, after all he worked for a top tier firm. Yes, I can’t imagine newly hired consultants unless they really showed a lot of promise from the first round interview will be making past 75K’s to start. However, if I found a candidate whose resume was sincerely authentic with a proven track record and with a brilliance beyond GMAT/GPA scores they’d be worth their weight in gold to me. And, I’d check for work ethic (elbow grease, having walked the extra mile type) as well. Personally, and I’ve seen this quite often, it’s becoming the standard; don’t any company be fooled thinking that your BEST is coming out of the top 10 B-schools. I’m imploring HR’s to continue to investigate and invest in grads that have attended “lesser” praised programs. I’ve known several Harvard, Wharton, MIT, UofC become quite lacklustre in performance at their respective firms as well as fizzle out completely. 

  • Chunks1004

    Although, you were unable to make a connection with this grad for your company, I’m sure if anything you realized her potential and sized her up perfectly. It is impressing to me that she took time to realize her potential as well as to which company she’d be doing her best learning and work at. You can also be proud of your skills of assessment. 

  • Store Recruiter

    Hi, Does anyone have an idea about hierarchy /salaries at Kurt Salmon in NY. I have an interview coming up soon. I have  10+ yrs experience. Much appreciate any help.

  • Anonymous

    Disagree that it’s difficult to switch.  I switched and didn’t even have to formally request the move.  The firm recognized that my work was in essence MC work and they recognized my strength.  I was then asked whether I wanted to switch, which I did, so it was done.

    Make sure you’re realistic about the switch; there is no blueprint to do it.  I hate to use the cliche, but if you want it bad enough then have patience and make it happen.

    The key to it all is two-fold: do your job well and work your network even better.  I’ll take a strong SI&T (TGP) analyst/consultant and put them in an MC role with me if my network tells me this person can do the work.  From the other side of the table, you should be aggressive in networking with people who share common interests so that your top of mind when opportunities arise.

    Again, no magic potion to get it done, but it’s possible if you want it

  • DocSavage

    Hello Everyone,

     I’m an MD/MBA and graduated from a top medical school, who’s currently in his last year of residency in Emergency Medicine at Johns Hopkins. I truly enjoy the science and practice of medicine. However, as an MBA and a person who’s traveled extensively, I enjoy the art of business and developing strategies to streamline efficiency. Plus the pay aint bad! Ideally, I see myself as a CEO of a Hospital while still practicing medicine 1day/week (For those of you who do not know, this is a developing trend for MD/MBAs who chose the Hospital admin. route)  Avg big city hospital CEO salaries for clinics pulling in 2Bill+ in revenue/yr  is btwn 800k-1.5m.

    My question is this: If I were offered a position at McK&Co, and stayed for 1-2yrs, which seems to be the average turnover rate, how would my experience accumulated in that time, reflect in my ambitions?

    I’m a bit worried about the paycut for those 2 years, as it would be substantial, since I have an offer to join a group in the Midwest for 350K with 6weeks paid vacation!!!…and I’m TIRED of my peanuts GME (residency) salary!!!

    Or, should I simply stay within the Hospital framework and work my way up through managerial/supervisory positions?

    Essentially, would the prestige of working at McK&Co accelerate my desire to become a Hosptial CEO faster?….do I have this ass backwards? I’m 33 years old now and I want to run that ship by age 45.

    Any insight is appreciated…sorry for the mini novel.


  • Acechaser4

    I agree completely with this!
    I just got an offer from Big 4 Tech consulting for 87.  plus 5 sign on.
    When I asked if there was any room for negotiation, they told me that this was pretty much competitive with the market. 

    So I would assume … post MBA big 4 advisory will be around 90 starting. THIS SHOULD BE ADDED

  • Bob Evans

    Libra1982/Acechaser4: I’m assuming you’re right about Tech/IT consulting salaries as well as the financial advisory services sections at the Big 4.  And in at least one or two of the four firms, that may be the only services they provide.  

    However, I assure you that Deloitte Consulting, despite its categorization as a “Big 4,” plays in the same field as what is described in the post.  They compete directly against MBB for post-MBA hires at the top schools and therefore pay accordingly.  In some cases, they offer additional compensation to overcome the lower perceived prestige vs. MBB.  Also, given PwC’s recent M&A in the strategy consulting realm and recruiting on certain campuses, I’d expect they also compete to some degree for these kids.

    In summary, you’re right to distinguish the strategy consulting folks from the tech consulting folks and the “financial advisory” folks, but the salaries above are reflective of the strategy consultant folks at these firms based on my personal experience and second hand discussions with friends.

  • tomm

    Guys.. I read about these salaries you get straight out of MBA.. To give you a better picture how it looks in EMEA: we have in Poland all these established brands McK, ATK, RB, DTT and so on. What they pay? Here are gross salaries p.a.[net is 70% of that] to give you a picture:
    Research Analyst Mck 22k$
    Consultant Mck 50k$
    Consultant DTT 43-45k$
    Manager DTT/PwC 67k$
    Average country salary: 17k$

    these exclude bonuses which are low anyway in Europe.

  • Jsh

    I am pretty much in the same boat as you are except the residency part. I too want to play a strategy designing role in healthcare. I am looking to spend a few years in the consulting industry post mba, to acquire an out of the box picture of the industry and of strategy/management in general. I think such exposure would certainly prove useful to your career, in a 10yr time frame.

  • Guest

    US post-MBA at MBB here:

    Base salary: $135k
    Bonus (median): $25k
    Signing bonus: $20k
    Moving allowance: $25k
    401k: $20k (no company contribution 1st year)

    Note that bonus and 401k contributions are pro-rated

    Also, if you intern with the firm during your MBA and accept an offer to come back, the firm pays tuition for your second year.

  • Icarus

    That degree may have ruined things for you.  It alerts firms that you are on a suboptimal track…that you made a poor decision to do an unappreciated quasi degree.  Your choices reflect your reality. 

  • jennyrae

    Thanks for sharing…we’ll be compiling these into an updated post for this year soon.

  • jennyrae

    Thanks for sharing. I guess you can see why working in the U.S. is so competitive…

  • jennyrae

    Good point. We have anecdotal detail (tied to undergrad and grad school numbers). For where you are, you’re probably looking to transfer to something relevant based on management and topical experience vs. actual age. If you want to ask a specific question about a target firm and provide more info in a comment or via email, go for it.

  • jennyrae

    Awesome – thanks for sharing.

  • Mailgrace33

    Hi All,
    I pretty do not fit in to the bank of smart brains like you guys ;( but I strongly need your advice to be like you. I have a 1 yr internship with a consulting firm a few years back and then a customer service position in retail. I loved my experience with the consulting firm and strongly believe that will be my carrer path. My problem is, I’m graduating from a public university with a very bad below a 3.0 GPA cause of family and financial challenges. I can’t extend my graduation because of financial constraints. But I intend going for my masters. My questions are:
    1. Should I go for a masters programme or and MBA?
    2. Is there any prospect in getting opportunities with the BCG&co?
    3. In general, how would you advice I tailore my strategy

  • Guest

    Wow, he’s really trying to change the stereotype about bankers.

  • De

     My offer is $135K to start at McK. I may or may not take it……I’m experienced and make a little more now, elsewhere.

  • Andrew

    I have an offer from Accenture. 58k base salary, 2k signing bonus, 3k relocation bonus, end of year bonus up to 5k

  • BrainThink

    Hi All:

    I love this post- actually very interesting!

    Here is the deal- Also looking for valid and sound advice! :)

    My education/designations to be completed by 2013 my Masters in Global Management adding to my Bcomm (International Business and also Law specializations), along with training/certifications in: Six Sigma Master Blackbelt (SSMBB), Certified International Trade Professional (CITP), Certified Management Consultant (CMC), Certified Project Manager (PMP) and a few other alphabet soup letters.

    I also have years of experience- analyst, manager, project manager in both the private and public sectors regarding all business functional areas;thus have a wide breadth and depth of practical knowledge.

    I am trying to position myself for one of the big consulting companies or Fortune 500 as an internal consultant upon my Masters graduation. Any tips or advice?

    Does it matter I did a Masters of Global Management (MGM) versus an MBA??? (MBA courses already done in my undergrad so would not have gotten value for my money in repeating just for the MBA designation)

    Lastly, would I need to start at the bottom and work my way up, or could I start somewhere at least near middle?


  • BrainThink

    ps does age matter or that am a female? (eg glass ceiling exist?)

  • eric

    Why don’t you just practice? Find a hospital you want to lead, practice there, get respected – then reduce your clinic hrs, do some consulting on the side and use that to move into hospital administration.

  • Pingback: Which Job Is Better: Management Consulting Or Banking? Part 1 | Article Trunket()

  • C T

    you will do terribly if you haven’t already. you are in terrible majors, are way too old, and by your decisions to date (and lack of work ethic), any reasonable person would assume that your 6 years of w/e are completely worthless. if you can’t handle “study difficulty” or “boredom” in theology or psychology you have no place in professional services, and especially not in “strategy & operations” consulting, which is more often than not purely operations projects that would bore you to tears

  • Cmw6000

    I think you need to work on your spelling and grammar.

  • Great discussion everyone.  It seems like salary is dependent on how strong of a candidate you are.  I am gearing up for interviews in the fall, and I am wondering what I might expect if I was given an offer.  

    I am in a somewhat unique circumstance, I graduated with a 3.7 in social sciences at a public research university, but I had significant experience managing and negotiating ~$12 million worth of contracts, granting me entry into the MBA program at Johns Hopkins.  

    However, I am studying at Hopkins part-time.  Full time, I am a corps member with Teach For America.  

    Given my relative youth and inexperience in the business world, do you think I should be shooting for something along the undergraduate range, or since I will have a MBA, along that range?


  • David

    How much emphasis is put on where you got your MBA?

  • Anonymous

    Just received a full time offer with Deloitte S&O. Base between 130-140K, signing 40K, Incentive bonus 7.5, relocation 10K. Total approx $180K. Cushy? I think so.

  • auditjcauae

    It’s a great help by the author to the people who doesn’t have any idea about client development Dubai? It’s an amazing explanation to inform them as a story by author. So thanks for this help………

  • Truthgiver

    What does that even mean? ” suboptimal track” and “unappreciated quasi degree”

    Can you provide a study that looks at how firms evaluate applicants with MBAs vs applicants with business graduate degrees? How does one define a “unappreciated quasi degree”?

    Our intention creates our reality.

  • Anonymous

    I am a graduate of Stanford (MBA) and I will tell you that starting salaries at the big firms are most definitely in the range stated. Starting salary is anywhere from $140-$160 plus bonus. I also interviewed at Deloitte for a Strategy consulting role in their San Francisco Office and was offered in the six figures so not sure what Ryan is referring to.

  • Ya Boi

    Al, you’re the man. That was surprisingly funny.

  • Curious


    I have 18 years experience in HR and will be starting Master of Accounting Program Summer of 2013. I am interested in getting into Management Consulting Role. Can someone tell me if I would be better off with the MBA or MAC?

  • Shutup

    Sounds like you’re looking for free advice. Google the study you asked for.

  • jennyrae

    In college, look into classes that will demonstrate your quantibility such as econ, advanced math, and classes that teach strategy like game theory. Remember, a top GPA is mandatory. While it’s great to take classes to learn, it’s necessary to perform well.

  • jennyrae

    You’re probably just finishing your degree now, but if you’ve still got any specific questions, e-mail us using the Contact Form at the top of the page.

  • jennyrae

    You’ve probably already started your MHA, but we’d love to help you. Feel free to shoot us an e-mail using the contact link.

  • jennyrae

    James, if you’re interested in for-profit work, you need to make a change ASAP. Sure, going into a group like Bridgespan, which is focused on advising non-profits would be a great fit for you, but you won’t have the option to switch to commercial consulting later. Because you’re off cycle and not necessarily coming from a target school, you’re going to need to network your way in. Get started ASAP.

  • jennyrae

    You’re looking pretty far ahead, but if you choose the track you proposed here, you’re going to have a great shot at consulting. You do need to perform well in your undergraduate classes, but amongst consultants, there’s a strong network of ex-military folks. They will be a great resource for you when the time comes. Our Networking Bible shares some expertise on how to leverage shared backgrounds, so you may want to check it out.

  • jennyrae

    It is true that the firms will hire PhDs and scientists from top pedigree programs and distinctive experience. Most of them also are great networkers. Feel free to contact us about your specific experience.

  • jennyrae

    We would love to help, but need a bit more information. E-mail us directly using the Contact form at the top of the page, and we’d love to work with you.

  • jennyrae

    From what you’ve told us, you have some promising opportunities. Are you asking about expectations for which position you could be offered from what types of firms, or expectations of our services? Please e-mail us using the Contact Form. We’d love to help you break into consulting and think you’d have a good chance with the right networking and case study strategies.

  • jennyrae

    Thanks for inquiring. We will e-mail a response your way. If you don’t see it soon, reach out to us directly through our contact form at the top of the page.

  • jennyrae

    Are you still on the journey of breaking in? We’d be happy to help give some advice. Contact us directly through the form at the top of the page, and we can go from there.

  • jennyrae

    Hey Nina, other advance degrees are at the MBA level. You’d be a target applicant for McKinsey and BCG. Bain and some of the 2 Tier firms hire less frequently out of alternative degree programs.

  • jennyrae

    It is true that they hire scientists with no business experience, but they must have business understanding and evidence it through the cases in the interview. A scientist has to perform at the same level through the interview process, which may require more interview preparation. If you go that route, be sure to check out our interview prep options on the sales page. It is an ideal way to prepare.

  • jennyrae

    The LLB and BL are relevant to consulting, but you’d need to demonstrate business experience/interest on top of it. Your secretarial studies and OND are liabilities and should be left off your resume.

  • jennyrae

    1) Yes. It’s a totally different career path.
    2) No idea. Marketing specialists are in support roles where Associates are on the partner track. It will be less than the Associate role.

  • Chris

    I am a NYU Stern MBA that was a Deloitte S&O Summer Associate and signed on as Senior Consultant. All offers were the same regardless of school: $140k salary + $40K signing bonus + $7.5k early sign bonus + second year MBA tuition reimbursement ($50k) + end of year/performance pay bonus ~$15k-$20k.

  • Deloitte PPD

    Completely wrong. 70K out of school, 130K for MBAs. SM top end is about right. Partner is way off, increase of about 120 to 150K first year (pay back about 40K per year, so still big increase) and if you do well then about 75 to 100k each year for the first 3 or 4 years.

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  • Dmitry

    Hello. These figures are applied worldwide? What interests me most is what figures MMB employees make in Russia. Do you guys have any info?

  • Ppd

    They are right for sure. I’m a ppd and have access to the numbers.

  • Ppd

    Another parter here. Sm numbers r 2 high. Partners go from about.225 to 400 with 100k raises a year if they perform the first few years. Yes u pay back loan but its only 30k a year so still big raise. I’m going into my third year with 580 units or 600k.

  • Ppd

    He has no clue.

  • Didn’t

    Then you are bad. That’s what we pay. Don’t be upset you went to a crappy school or were rejected.

  • In the know

    Wow no clue. Salaries are right and it takes directors 2 years to get fired. Partners can’t get fired just bought out and you usually get 3 years of bad performance .

  • Dio

    MBA, for sure.

  • Dio

    A lot. The firms look for the best and the brightest but have limited time and resources to recruit. That’s why they go to places like Harvard or Columbia. Certainly not everyone from those places are amazing, but the probability is higher there than your local community college.

  • RefriedBeans

    If you have to ask strangers on the Internet how to run your life, how are you going to run a hospital?

  • G

    The article is pretty accurate. I’m a first year student in a top 10 MBA right now and I’ll intern for a management consulting firm for the summer. My salary (base only) will be ~$11,500/month + housing. Also according to my classmates $120k-140k is a typical starting consulting salary for MBA grads.

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  • Shellyj

    I was recently offered a position as a consultant. Not a senior consultant. Offered 93k, 15k sign on 5k relocation. I have an. MBA but not from a top ten but I have over 3.5 GPA and had 4.5 years of work experience before MBA- any ideas why I didn’t get a high offer?

  • Everyone seems to be pretending all people are the same and that your degree and GPA is all that matter. This is just not reality. Those are the price of entry. Consultants get paid for expertise and experience, not education. A firm is hiring you with the hope that you are worth something 2-3 years later. Let’s face it no recent grad knows diddly, or will be trusted by any Fortune 1000 executive. You will not “run” any engagemetn without close oversight and years of experience. You are doing grunt work for the first 1-2 years like discovery legwork, market research, client interface etc. No firm would ever let you really do “Consulting”. That’s just a title so they can bill you out at $150+ per hour and pay you $50.
    Anyone that thinks an MBA qualifies you to consult, do strategy, manage engagements and customers needs to rethink what an education is for. It is a foundation, not the building. Useless without experience. Consultants are EXPERTS in some area. Expert means 5+ years full-time experience, not book learning or even brilliance. All should read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell.

  • Mgmtconsultant

    I know firsthand that Booz & company’s salaries are aligned to this study. I assume by your comment that you are not in management consulting or maybe are with a firm that has less competitive rates…

  • ex-consult

    That is absolutely and categorical false. As a former deloitte consulting guy for a decade we didn’t pay analysts anything near that. Coming out of it school with your MBA you would get 70 to 75. Sticking around d and moving up is where. U start making the money.

    To give people a point of ref…analyst is at the very bottom…..analyst…consultant…Sr consultant…manager….Sr manager… dir…partner.

    it isn’t until you are a Manger that you regularly break six figures. The firm is very tight with the buck and no one including me was wowed by recent college grads who now had to be trained.

    U always wanted experienced people. That takes time and is what the firm is willing to pay for. Th e Avg person lasts 18 months in consulting….they simply won’t pay until they know it’s worth the Investment.

  • ryan.

    Yes. Do not believe the hype. And expect to be on the road. I had a few glamorous gigs to Europe San Fran. Etc. But most? Places like Wisconsin. Atlanta upstate ny….blah. one of my buddies got a gig in bermuda…saw him in office finally after months…..he hated it. Pale as a ghost in windowless office 12 to 15 hours a day. If u get an opportunity in consulting for a final 4 grab it!!!! Experience you can’t get anywhere else period. But do not make it a career…it is v. Hard to make partner and you can have a better lifestyle and potentially make close to same money doing something else

  • ryan

    That is an uninformed opinion. As someone well paid and in the strategy field I can tell you this is not true. Disregard this troll

  • ryan

    Guys…this is from actual experience at deloitte. My guess is there are 2 things going on here. First if u are coming out of a top MBA salaries from deloitte might be different. While that large a gap 30k surprises me…someone is making a calculated decision that they want top talent and will pay for it.

    There are 2 problems with this scenario….first you have a huge differential between consultant pay. People talk and eventually it gets known. People in this field are smart have big egos and rate their worth by you will have ticked off consultants from 2nd tier schools. Second u can expect nearly nothing in the way of raise in the flowing 3 years. And lastly..i love deloitte but it is not mckinsey. Deloitte ca not charge the rates of mckinsey…that impacts what they pay their people…and who they hire. Most everyone I worked with at deloitte was very bright but Stanford and hbs. Was not the norm…think tuck Wharton bc.

  • ryan

    What is your personal basis for that. ? Let me guess you are a. Babson jr. With no clue and no consulting experience at a big firm..

  • MBA2015

    I have to doubt our credentials, as I’ve seen offer letters for my MBA classmates at 135K.

  • MBA2015


  • bruce

    This is why an ‘MBA’ is just a rubber stamp, and doesnt actually reflect the ability to think critically anymore.
    Were your classmates applying for a similar position? In the same field? At a similar consulting firm? Working for Deloitte =/= working for McKinsey. What area were they working in – Kansas, or NYC? Cost of living in the local area significantly affects the base pay.

  • bruce

    If you cant figure this out, you’re an idiot, with all due respect.

  • Andrea

    What school did you go to?

  • MBA2015

    For Deloitte in S&O at an office in the Midwest(not Chicago) in the Senior Consultant position. I’ve received an offer for the same amount from a competitor firm, and its NOT location based, its set. I had a choice of offices.

  • hypras

    If you got such a low offer, one or more of the following must be true:

    1. No name consulting firm
    2. No name MBA program (ie outside top 20)
    3. Tech/IT consulting

  • Jb

    I have a GED….and guarantee I make more than you buddy……but way to be a d!cck

  • Jimmy Joseph

    LOL you got told.

    CT just dropped the hammer lol

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  • Sarah

    Ex-consult, you have no idea what you’re talking about – either that or you’re EXTREMELY underpaid. I worked at Deloitte as a consulting manager (and stayed there less than 2 years afterward) and my total compensation, not including benefits, was over 175K. Post-MBA senior consultants should expect base and bonus total of 125K or higher.

    You got 75K after your MBA? Where the hell did you go to school that entitled Deloitte to rip you off that badly? The BAs in my group made more than you did post-MBA. And by the way….Partners and Directors are in the same level…their comp. structures are just different. If you were even listening at manager training (assuming you even made it to that point), then you would’ve picked that up.

  • michael

    Don’t forget that the travel component for consulting is uncompesnated (you don’t get extra for traveling 4-5 of EVERY week) and can be totally miserable for many, leading to the absurdly high turnover and attrition at MBB and similar firms.

  • suhas

    dear all, i need a consultant who can prepared salary structure. any body help me.

  • suhas

    mostly deloitte

  • karina_s11

    great adivce

  • karina_s11

    i like it

  • Anthony

    Hi all,

    Likely the wrong thread to ask this question, but seems quite active so I thought I’d try.

    Regarding the top tier firms, are any more interested in MD candidates than others? I’ve heard McKinsey is often interested in MD candidates?

    And to create relevance to this thread, are advanced degree candidates (MD/JD/PhD) remunerated at equivalent or higher/lower levels than their counterparts?


  • freq flier

    100+ as base salary post-MBA is given if you complete your MBA from a top 10 for MBB or top 20 for big-4. If you go to a tier-2 school (Rank 25-50) because of lower GMAT, lower tuition, your work place or some other coursework related factor then be prepared to see a 70-75 as base. And they will hire you at a Sr. Analyst/ Associate level. Hence the lower pay.
    Alumni base in the target employer, distance of school from core practice area offices also matters. So, Ross / Kelly/ Mc Donough may not be in the top 10 in all the lists but IT oriented consulting cos will prefer Ross, Detroit & mfg oriented cos will prefer Ross. Some of the big-4 will prefer Kelly and some of the Public sector/ govt./defense will prefer McDonough. Candidate’s previous experience and exact profile also matters. Again, it is an exception and not the rule.
    120+ as base pay is very rare if you come out of a lower ranked school with less than 4 years of professional relevant exp. Ideal pays are for ideal candidates, folks on the wait-list need to work their way up.
    120+ is good if you are from one of the Ivys or GSB Stanford, Booth, Sloan, Kellogg or Haas. Most other schools are not preferred fishing zones for the Big-4s, let alone MBBs.

  • freq flier

    He said 70-75 k for an analyst and not consultant.
    Also PLs don’t make 500k-800k as mentioned by someone here. At max they get to 500k in a rare case.

  • freq flier

    It definitely is location based just that it doesnt change for every city. There are groups. So, SFO, NYC, BOS and LA will fall in the same group. May be even Chicago. But Boise, Cincinnati and Detroit don’t.

  • freq flier

    Pure BS. I’ve seen guys with Master’s in Management from premier schools get into PE/VC firms as Sr. Associates or even Associate Principals. Employers look for a bandwidth of credentials on your resume and NOT an exact degree. Once you are in that bandwidth, they look for PERFORMANCE in the interviews. Later, PERFORMANCE at work. They need ppl who communicate well and delivery exceptionally well.

  • Robert

    All of the firms are very interested in advanced degree candidates. I was choosing between all three this fall, and there were MDs at every sell weekend. Pay package is uniform for all entering consultants regardless of background.

  • fnkychld

    There are plenty of IT consultants making more than strategy or management consultants, they just have different titles. Tech is the cash cow of the industry, ERP is by far the biggest spend for any consulting work. At big 4 advisory firms, Accenture etc. senior consultants make 130k all in, which translates to pre mba strategy pay. Tech managers make 160k, which translates to post mba strategy pay, tech senior managers make $200k-$300k which translates to engagement manager and tech directors can make $500k+ as shown in the recent Sony hack salary leak, which is similar to associate partner or partner level at a strategy firm. Plus, there is still principal and partner above the director level at a big 4. Lots of strategy consultants like to feel elite, but they don’t really get paid that much if you compare the comp to other so called “easier” jobs. There are 25 year old sales account executives from Western Dallas Methodist University with 2.8 GPAs making $300k in Silicon Valley after all. If you really want to separate yourself from the crowd, strategy consulting isn’t the place to do it. You have to go into IB/PE.

  • Dimitris Jac

    I worked at Deloitte (in Europe) for 2 years and now I am accepted to Stern MBA starting this July. I am already looking for internship / full-time opportunities to estimate my potential salary. Looking both to work in the financial advisory or management consulting team of a Big4 or potentially consulting firm specialised in life sciences (my specialisation). Do you think I will be able to receive a 100k salary post-MBA considering my short pre-MBA experience?

  • Sarah

    Did you even read Ex-Consult’s comment? You may actually want to before responding to mine. He said that DC doesn’t pay their BAs 70K – which isn’t accurate (the BAs who report to me make about that in base salary). He also said that coming into Deloitte with an MBA, you’ll earn 70-75K. Maybe you hang out in different circles than I do, but I don’t know anyone who would be desperate enough to finish an MBA program…and then apply for an Analyst OR Consultant position at Deloitte. SC is the standard post-MBA level position just FYI.

    On top of that, he also said that it isn’t until Manager where you’ll regularly break six figures…I don’t even know any DC SCs who make less than 125K in base salary (and that’s as a starting point). And just to be clear, I’m not selling anyone on Deloitte (it has its own problems) – rather just trying to provide accurate information.

  • tamal

    my friends are senior consultant and they make 110+15K Bonus . In Manager they start at 100+30K Bonus and end in 150+ 30k Bonus. In Return 5 days out of home in hotel. So as a manager u getting 175 K+ Bonus is little exaggeration. That is the salary paid to the Senior Managers . Infact the salary you quoted is the Base for Senior Managers NOT Managers

  • tamal

    u are wrong . U need to check their pay cheque dude . There are SC who get 100K as well . It depends upon which city you are hired . U might be hanging with guys whose base Office is TIER 1 States like NJ, NY, CA , IL

  • tamal

    I AGREE . Every Company in US including Mckinsey follow that there base pay is divided into 2 categories World offices like SFO, NYC, BOS and LA and Local offices like Dallas , Tampa etc

  • tamal

    I am an Indian and my wife works in Deloitte . SC 80-110 BASE depending on city . Manager 100- 150 depending upon city Senior Manager 140-190 depending on city Director 180 – 220 and Partner 220 -400 k . But from Manager if one is Not billable for 80% of the time then the Red Flag will go up soon . Senior Manager and Partner have Targets . they will be seen for 2 – 3 years if they miss targets they are Out . Honestly none will hire after that if you get sacked from Big 4 at Senior Manager Level. So from SM level the fear of Job loss starts