What are the top-ranked management consulting firms? By what metrics? Which is the most suitable for you?

Those are all difficult questions. There’s definitely no right answer. But we hope through many of these “data” in this article, you can have some raw materials to form your own opinions and preferences.

So here we are. A collection of rankings of the best management consulting firms based on 3 main dimensions: size, compensation, and reviews. Read and enjoy!

1. Top Consulting Firms by Size

The Gartner, a global analyst firm, released a report on largest consulting firms in the world 2016 based on revenue. But please keep in mind that the definition of “management consulting” can be interpreted in a number of different ways. But it’s still interesting to see how these all firms stacked up together.

Through this research, the Big Four accounting firms are the world’s largest consulting firms, accounting for nearly 40% of the industry’s $150 billion global market. PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG are followed by McKinsey & Company and The Boston Consulting Group.

McKinsey & Company and BCG (known as the most prestigious and highest-paying companies) completed in top six in this ranking.

Ranking by revenue Company Revenue in 2016 ($million) No. of global offices
No. of employees
#1 PwC 15,963 743 46,000
#2 Deloitte 15,360 111 40,513
#3 EY 14,537 30+ 1,300
#4 KPMG 11,545 700+ 30,000
#5 McKinsey 7,650 110 23,000
#6 BCG 5,040 88 14,000
#7 Accenture 4,681 120 411,000
#8 Booz & Company 2,345 57 3,200
#9 Bain & Company 2,300 55 5,700

Sources: Data from Gartner and Vault

2. Top Consulting Firms by Salary

Top management consulting firms generally pay handsome salaries thanks to their high-margin businesses based on a relatively small workforce. McKinsey & Co. and Boston Consulting Group may not be the biggest, but they certainly pay big salaries.

To come up with this ranking, we collected data from a number of source, e.g: industry insiders, readers’ reports, and other independent sources.

The ranking below is classified for both Undergrad level as well as MBA level. The data is mainly applicable to US offices. Other offices around the globe generally pay the same level of salaries with some adjustments for the local cost of living.

Ranking of Salary of entry levels, US ($ thousand per year)

Ranking 1st Year Out of Undergraduate Program 1st Year Out of MBA/ Graduate Program
#1

Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

  • Signing Bonus: $5,000
  • Base: $80,000
  • Relocation: $2-$8,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $16,500
  • Profit Sharing: up to $4,400

Total Compensation: up to $113,900

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 

  • Signing Bonus: $25,000
  • Base: $147,000
  • Relocation: $2-$5,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $42,000

Total Compensation: up to $219,000

#2

McKinsey & Company 

  • Signing Bonus: $5,000
  • Base: $80,000
  • Relocation: $2-$9,000 
  • Performance Bonus: up to $18,000

Total Compensation: up to $112,000

McKinsey & Company

  • Signing Bonus: $25,000
  • Base: $145,000
  • Relocation: $2-$9,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $35,000

Total Compensation: up to $214,000

#3

Bain & Company 

  • Signing Bonus: $5,000
  • Base: $80,000
  • Relocation: $2-$8,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $12,000

Total Compensation: up to $105,000

Bain & Company 

  • Signing Bonus: $25,000
  • Base: $140,000
  • Relocation: up to $8,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $35,000

Total Compensation: up to $208,000

#4

Deloitte 

  • Signing Bonus: $12,500 Base: $72,500 
  • Relocation: $2,000-$5,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $11,250 (15% of base)

Total Compensation: up to $101,250

PwC 

  • Signing Bonus: $25,000 (+$10,000 if you interned)
  • Base: $135-140,000
  • Relocation: $2,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $27,000

Total Compensation: up to $204,000

#5

Oliver Wyman

  • Signing Bonus: $10,000
  • Base: $75,000 
  • Performance Bonus: up to $15,000
    • (20% of base salary) for 1st year
    • 40% of base for 2nd years

Total Compensation: up to $100,000

EY 

  • Signing Bonus: $25,000
  • Base: $140,000
  • Relocation: $5,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $30,000

Total Compensation: up to $200,000

#6

PwC 

  • Signing Bonus: $5-10,000
  • Base: $70,000
  • Relocation: $2,000
  • Performance Bonus:  up to $10,950 (Canada: 5-15%)

Total Compensation: up to $92,950

KPMG 

  • Signing Bonus: $35,000
  • Base: $135,000
  • Relocation: $2,000
  • Performance Bonus: up to $25,000

Total Compensation: up to $197,000

Besides that, we also collected the salary data for higher level: Managers, Principals, etc. of some notable management consulting firms. That data is summarized here.

Salary of all levels, MBB+, US ($ thousand per year)

  Business Analyst Junior Consultant Senior Consultant Manager Principal
McKinsey 80 100 151 176 234
BCG 80 96 145 177 221
Bain 77 97 139 161 205
L.E.K Consulting 73 95 143 175 199
A.T Kearney 75 90 140 165 216
Oliver Wyman

73

86 134 153 213

For an updated, comprehensive list of salary figures from 12 major consulting firms,
for all positions and backgrounds, see this article below:

Consulting Salary 2020

Salary Figures at 12 Top Consulting Firms, by Positions and Locations

I want to know more!

3. Top Consulting Firms by Reviews

As we discussed above, management consulting is a highly-rewarding career — However, which are the best firms to work for, and why? 

Hence, based on various resources, I want to show rankings of the top consulting firms in consulting industry and other industries as well.

First, based on statista.com and vault.com, we want to show rankings of the top consulting firms in consulting industry in 2016, by prestige rating. The ranking considers a firm’s reputation as well as employees’ satisfaction with key factors influencing their work life, such as culture, compensation and promotion policies.

Thanks to raising employee satisfaction while maintaining prestige, McKinsey was the first best-rated consultancy firm to work for 2016, following by the Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company.

Here is the overall ranking for the best consulting firms to work for 2016:

The best consulting firms to work for 2016 ranked by statista.com

The best consulting firms to work for 2016 ranked by vault.com

Ranking Score Company name
#1 9.03 McKinsey & Company
#2 8.67 The Boston Consulting Group
#3 8.55 Bain & Company
#4 6.99 Deloitte Consulting
#5 6.56 Booz Allen Hamilton
#6 6.53 Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP
#7 6.2 Ernst & Young LLP Consulting
#8 6.09 Accenture
#9 5.88 KPMG LLP
#10 5.75 Oliver Wyman

Ranking Score Company name
#1 9.296 McKinsey & Company
#2 9.218 The Boston Consulting Group
#3 9.192 Bain & Company
#4 8.258 Deloitte Consulting
#5 7.730 Booz Allen Hamilton
#6 7.689 Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP
#7 7.649 Ernst & Young LLP Consulting
#8 7.589 Accenture
#9 7.520 KPMG LLP
#10 7.487 Oliver Wyman

Besides that, we also collected data from glassdoor.com and Forbes to feature where top consulting firms comparing with other companies of all industries.

These rankings are based on employee’s opinions on the reason to work for the company such as their satisfaction with their employers overall, their CEO, career opportunities, compensation and benefits, culture and values.

Though there are some differences on employees’ reviews rankings between Glassdoor and Forbes, MBB (McKinsey, Bain, and BCG) are always on the top 11 of ALL companies to work for. There is no other industries can have up to 3 companies on the top 11 overall like this (even the hot Silicon Valley “industry”).

Ranking by Glassdoor

Ranking by Forbes

Ranking Company name
#1 Bain & Company
#2 Facebook
#3 BCG
#4 Google
#5 Worldwide Technology
#6 Fast Enterprises
#7 In-N-out Burger
#8 LinkedIn
#9 Adobe
#10 Power Home Remodeling
#11 McKinsey & Company

Ranking Company name
#1 Facebook
#2 McKinsey & Company
#3 Riverbed
#4 Bain & Company
#5 MD Anderson Cancer Center
#6 Google
#7 Edelman
#8 National Instruments
#9 In-N-out Burger
#10 BCG
#11 Careerbuilder

We have provided firm-by-firm rankings for 3 main dimensions. While there is some room for controversy as which is the leading company, we hope this is a fairly good point of view for those interested in applying to work in consulting industry.

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