Management consulting has emerged as one of the most desirable careers out there. Not just for top MBAs, but for scientists, doctors, lawyers, and undergrad humanities majors alike. It’s true – we are unashamedly partisan in our bias towards consulting. To us, it is a career well worth pursuing.
Beyond the compensation, which we’ll get to in a minute, it’s one of the best business training grounds there is. You’ll work hard, cut your teeth to grow in core skills (analysis, presentation, stakeholder management, and more), and open yourself up to incredible business leadership opportunities once you leave.
Now, let’s talk about the money. MBA students – and mid-career switchers – seeking to enter the consulting workforce will want to know the salary they can expect as a senior consultant. Consulting firms may also want to scope out what the competition is paying in order to benchmark their compensation packages. If you’re at a firm, you’ll want our downloadable Consulting Salaries Report. Without further ado, let’s dive into what you can expect for a senior management consultant salary.
What is a Senior Consultant?
Before we dive into salary details, we must begin by defining what we mean by “senior consultant”. Management consulting position titles are like the Wild West; every firm has different titles for the same levels. When it comes to titles, consulting is dissimilar to a career in banking or law. The career paths in banking and law are clearly laid out and haven’t changed much over time. It’s not so cut and dry in the consulting world.
We’re here to create clarity, not spread confusion, so let’s define “senior consultant”. We define senior consultant as the role that is 1 promotion past the post-MBA entry level. That is the position the data in this article references. Keep in mind that in top consulting firms, promotions usually come every 2-3 years and represent substantial increases in salary. In addition to pay raises coming through promotion, you can expect a 10-20% salary increase each year. Essentially, the level of senior consultant is typically reached 1 level above the initial post-MBA/PhD/MD/JD level.
Once you move 1 promotion cycle past post-MBA, you move into a more hybrid role. You become more responsible for leading case teams, managing clients, and are beginning to get involved in the selling process as well.
What Is The Title Of Senior Consultant At MBB And Big 4 Firms?
MBB and boutique firms are wild cards when it comes to titles. At McKinsey, a senior consultant is an Engagement Manager. While at Bain, it’s Case Team Leader. At Boston Consulting Group, the title is Project Leader. Big 4 firms are more consistent at naming their positions. At Big 4 firms, the position of Senior Consultant is equivalent to what we are defining as a senior consultant.
How Much Is A Senior Consultant Salary?
We’ll be looking at base pay only. Performance bonuses are not included here, which can affect overall compensation quite a bit. These numbers are meant to give you a general idea of what you can expect to make as a senior consultant. You can take a look at our in-depth write-up on management consulting starting salaries for more information on entry-level comp packages.
MBB Senior Consultant Salaries
- Bain & Company: $250,000
- BCG (Boston Consulting Group): $250,000
- McKinsey & Company: $250,000
Big 4 Senior Consultant Salaries
- Deloitte: $230,000
- Deloitte Government & Public Services: $220,000
- Deloitte S&O: $240,000
- EY (Ernst & Young): $225,000
- EY-Parthenon: $250,000
- KPMG Strategy: $225,000
- PwC Strategy&: $250,000
Notable Boutique Senior Consultant Salaries
- Accenture Strategy: $235,000
- Analysis Group: $220,000
- A.T. Kearney: $240,000
- Booz Allen Hamilton: $230,000
- Capgemini: $220,000
- IBM: $220,000
- L.E.K. Consulting: $250,000
- Oliver Wyman: $240,000
- ZS Associates: $240,000
Consulting Salary Progression Throughout Your Career
Now that you’ve been given a target for what you could take home as a senior consultant, you’re likely wondering “what next”? When you look at the consultant salary progression from an entry level consultant salary to a Partner salary, there is remarkable growth at the top firms; 15-20% growth every year and 30-40% in a promotion year. Here is the typical management consulting career path: Business Analyst (entry-level undergrad), Sr. Business Analyst (what we see as a senior consultant), Associate/Consultant (entry-level MBA), Manager/Project Leader/Senior Consultant, Principal, Partner. Note: You can get full compensation data in our 2020 consulting salaries report.
If an attractive salary is what you are looking for in a career, management consulting is a great choice. We hope these numbers give you an idea of what to expect for a senior consultant salary – AKA 1 level above post-MBA entry level. McKinsey, Bain and BCG are far and away the most prestigious firms in the industry, and they also tend to pay a small grade above the rest of the firms (along with firms like EY-Parthenon and PwC Strategy&).
That said, salaries at the Big 4 and boutique firms are nothing to look down upon. They are higher than what you’ll make in comparable professional service roles. Keep in mind that numbers will vary moderately depending on the firm, geographical location and practice area. A career in management consulting is worth chasing after. If you’re looking into it, we’ll be there to cheer you on until the finish line!
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