Management Consulting How Much Does A Consultant Make?

A quick glance

  1. Who are consultants, really?
  2. What exact value consultants add?
  3. How much does a consultant actually make?

You probably have heard of consultants and their services in everyday life or business conversations. But most consulting activities are shadowed by their confidential and non-disclosure agreements with their clients, making many people wonder who they, consultants, really are, what value they add exactly, and how much they actually make out of their service. Well, if you have those question then this article on management consultant salary is for you.

1. Who are consultants, really?

Consultants are what they are called: They are experts in the certain field that other people go to for consults – aka advice. They provide organizations with information and advice in solving problems, making decision, and optimizing performance. They also help the organization implement their proposed solutions. There are two types of consultants:

  • Internal consultants: experts who give advice to their colleagues in the same organization.
  • External consultants: firms or independent experts who give advice to other people or organization, often referred as the client.

However, when people refer to consultants in general and external consultants in specific, they are more often than not talking about management consultants. The rest of this article will focus on them.

  • Management consultants are external consultants. They may work independently, but more often work in consulting firms. The most privilege firms are the MBB (McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain).
  • They offer advice on most functions and aspects of the organization across many industries and sectors. 

2. What exact value consultants add?

Consulting firms as a whole has many roles in their company in order to provide their services. The roles are often belonged either to the front office or to back office:

Back office includes knowledge network of professionals who research, perform analytics, and develop new knowledge, etc. and other business functions such as Human Resources, Accounting & Finance, Operation etc.

Front office is consultants of all levels. They are the bridge between knowledge professionals and clients: they receive information from the client, perform diagnostic analyses, collaborate with knowledge professionals, and deliver insights and advices to clients. As consultants move forward to higher levels, their focus shift to Business Development.

Besides communicating with clients, independent consultants are also a knowledge professional in their own field.

3. How much does a consultant actually make?

With the value they add to businesses and organizations, management consultant salary is very well paid compared to average.  However, the absolute number varies by firms, fields, locations, and years of experiences.

Internal consultants

  • Salary range $56,000 – $120,000/year, with $80,000/year as the average in the US. (Link)

External consultants

  • Independent consultants: they can charge clients by commission, working hour, or by project. The average income of independent consultant is about $63,000 in the US. (Link)
  • Firms: management consulting firms in the US pays their consultants from $76,000 to $143,000/year, with an average of $105,000/year.

By experience (Souce: Glassdoor)

  • 0 to 1 year of experience: range: $55,000 – $105,000/year, average – $78,000/year.
  • 1 to 3 years of experience: range $62,000 – $120,000/year, average – $87,000/year
  • 4 to 6 years of experience: range $72,000 – $136,000/year, average – $99,000/year

If you want to find out more about the Management Consultant Salary, how much the top management consulting firms offer,  see our Top Management Consulting Salaries: McKinsey, Bain and BCG article today!

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