The average McKinsey salary is a widely discussed topic in the consulting world. It makes sense. McKinsey is considered by most to be the world’s premier consulting firm. It is only natural for the annual McKinsey salary and benefits to be at the top of your mind as you consider a career with McKinsey. While salary is a critical factor, it’s also important to keep in mind the indirect benefits of working at the firm. McKinsey is a renowned brand that opens up unparalleled opportunities to you for the rest of your career. In this article, our specific focus is on the annual McKinsey salary and associated benefits. Let’s jump in.
McKinsey Salary Overview
All employees on the consulting track at McKinsey are paid well and receive generous benefits. However, the exact salary range depends on a number of factors. Most notable among these factors is if you enter the firm at a defined entry point (post-undergrad, post-MBA, etc.). If you do, you are paid the same as every other incoming consultant in your cohort. This is key for multiple reasons: first, you have no room to negotiate at these entry levels. Second, this means that, initially, there is no gender pay gap at McKinsey.
If you are an Experienced Hire, the McKinsey salary you are offered will be influenced by your profile. This includes your education, experience, and the level the firm wants to onboard you at. Your starting salary may also be influenced by office location.
If you’ve done your homework, you may know that the McKinsey Glassdoor salary is upwards of $100,000 a year. However, Glassdoor can be misleading, as user-generated inputs don’t clearly assign the correct salary to the correct level. At a high level though, that $100K figure is an accurate reflection of the total comp for new Analyst hires at McKinsey.
New undergraduate hires—typically brought on under the title Business Analyst—earn an average base salary of $87,000 per year, with up to $15,000 in performance bonuses. Employees can also earn additional compensation:
- Relocation bonus of $2,000-10,000
- Retirement contributions up to $7,500 (or 7.5% of salary)
- Signing bonus up to $5,000
MBA and PhDs do even better, earning an average base salary of $165,000 in the U.S. The performance bonuses are also higher for these employees, up to $35,000 per year, with a signing bonus of up to $30,000.
Interns at McKinsey are well paid. Interns coming out of undergraduate or master’s programs earn a salary of $15,000. Interns from MBA or PhD programs earn an average McKinsey salary of $32,000, with performance bonuses up to $8,000 and relocation bonuses up to $5,000. These intern salaries, of course, are for summer work (usually 10 weeks). Annualized, internship pay aligns with the standard McKinsey salary.
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McKinsey Salary By Role
Once you’ve been hired at McKinsey, your salary will vary widely according to the level you’re at within the company. Relative to working in the corporate world, your McKinsey and Company salary will increase rapidly over time. But the McKinsey salary progression is on the same level as other top firms like Bain and BCG.
The below five roles are the “core track” of career progression at McKinsey. These are the traditional, generalist strategy consulting roles at McKinsey.
McKinsey Business Analyst Salary:
Business Analyst is the title given to new hires with an Undergraduate or non-MBA Master’s degree. Business Analysts in the U.S. earn a base salary of $87,000.
McKinsey Associate Salary:
Employees with the title Associate, which typically means you have been hired at the completion of an MBA or PhD program, earn a starting base salary of $154,000 per year. This is just an average, and the range runs from $76,000 a year all the way up to $220,000.
McKinsey Manager or McKinsey Engagement Manager Salary:
Employees at this level can also be referred to as a Project Leader at McKinsey and earn an average McKinsey salary of $175,000 a year. The range can run from $123,000-278,000. This is elevated by performance bonuses of up to $80,000 and profit-sharing opportunities of up to $30,000 a year. You typically reach this level after spending 3-6 years as an Associate.
McKinsey Partner Salary:
The average McKinsey and Company salary for employees with the title Partner is $402,000 per year, with a very wide range of $199,000 on the low end to over $1,000,000 on the high end. It takes 6-10 years to reach Partner if you start at McKinsey after earning an MBA. Partner comp is almost entirely variable – you earn a percentage of the work that you sell.
Senior Partner McKinsey Salary:
By the time an employee rises to the level of Senior Partner, their salary can be up to $5,000,000 per year. Again, a vast majority of this McKinsey salary comes from the commissions of the projects that Senior Partners sell, as well as from overall firm performance.
The next two roles are somewhat specialized. They lie outside of the “core consulting track” at McKinsey, and reflect the evolving nature of the firm and the wider range of consulting activities in which it now engages.
McKinsey Data Scientist Salary:
The average McKinsey salary for an employee with the title Data Scientist is $100,000 a year, with a range from $84,000-136,000.
McKinsey Implementation Consultant Salary:
Employees in this role earn an average salary of $158,000 a year, with a range from $152,000-173,000.
McKinsey Career Path
The McKinsey salary progression depends on experience accumulated within the company. Employees typically move from junior to senior status within a role before being promoted. They earn annual raises that are typically 90% of the performance bonus from the previous year added on to the previous year’s base salary. This equates to an average McKinsey salary progression of 20% per year! This blows away the 2-5% average increase you’ll receive in most industries!
McKinsey employees typically spend 1-3 years within each role before being promoted to the next level. However, the promotion schedule is less rigid at McKinsey than at other big consulting firms. McKinsey does not adhere to the notorious “up-or-out” policy, and they have specific policies in place to allow employees to exercise more control over their development. Many would argue this is an important “non-cash” benefit of choosing McKinsey over other firms like Accenture, Deloitte, Bain, or BCG.
McKinsey Glassdoor Reviews
As you might expect, McKinsey employees tend to rate their experience quite highly. Glassdoor reviews show McKinsey employees give the company an average of 4.4 stars out of 5, with 96% saying they would recommend their experience to a friend. It’s important to consider how this compares to other top consulting firms. At Accenture, for example, the score is 3.9. This might not seem like a huge difference, but it’s notable.
There is a remarkable consistency across both positive and negative reviews. Virtually all McKinsey alumni harp on the ample opportunities for learning and career development, the supportive employee culture, the compensation/benefits, and the frequent challenges. The cons are virtually all the same. The hours are extremely long, the work is fast-paced and challenging, there is a remarkable amount of travel, and it can be very difficult to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
McKinsey UK Salary vs. McKinsey Salary US
We’re including the difference in McKinsey salary between the UK and US employees to illustrate the powerful difference that location makes in McKinsey and Company Salary. New hires out of undergrad in the U.S. earn a starting salary of $87,000. The salary at McKinsey London is £46,775 (equivalent to ~$60,000 at time of writing). This is a significant difference which should tell you that location is an important factor to consider.
McKinsey UK employees with an MBA or PhD start at £84,000 (~$108,000 USD). Compare this to the starting base salary in the U.S of $165,000. Bonuses for McKinsey employees in the UK are also generally lower than the U.S.
These differences are reflective of regional trends within the industry – the war for talent is much fiercer in the U.S., hence the higher compensation packages. However, even in the UK, the McKinsey salary is near the top of the market for Professional Services work.
This is also balanced by the greater degree of social benefits provided by the government in the UK as compared to the US (e.g., public healthcare, paid family leave, etc.). The discrepancy is also balanced by the difference in cost of living, which is 7% lower in the UK than the U.S.
There are a variety of factors that will dictate the salary you ultimately receive as an employee at McKinsey and Company. This includes your education level, seniority within the company, and your choice of office. However, virtually every McKinsey employee is amply compensated and given the opportunity to grow into a more lucrative role, making this an attractive workplace regardless of starting salary. And again, the direct McKinsey salary is often less important than the brand you are now associated with, the business acumen you will gain, and the exit opportunities that will open up for you after your time at McKinsey.
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