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How much does a management consultant make?

Posted by Khaled Kteily on in All About Consulting
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Management Consulted has recently published a list of salaries at major consulting firms (one of the most interesting posts they come out with once or twice a year). Without commenting on the accuracy on any of these, I'd like to reproduce some snippets their blog post below:

For undergraduate students, take a look at the following numbers, organized by total base + signing bonus figures (ordered by total in Canada):

  1. Oliver Wyman: $75k base with $10k signing bonus ($85k)
  2. Bain: $70-75k base with $5k-$7k signing bonus ($75k-$82k)
  3. Booz: $72k base with $5k signing bonus ($77k)
  4. BCG: $72.5k base with $5k signing bonus ($77.5k)
  5. Accenture: $67-$68k base with an $8k-$10k signing bonus ($75k-78k)
  6. McKinsey: $70k base with $5-6k signing bonus ($75k-$76k)
  7. A.T. Kearney: $65k ($70k in Toronto) base with $5k signing bonus ($75k)
  8. Deloitte: $72.5k base ($60k in Canada) with $10k ($3k in Canada) signing bonus ($63k)

A few interesting notes:

1. Oliver Wyman has the highest base and signing combined

2. BCG, Bain, and McKinsey are most likely to benchmark with one another; notice the small variations in base and signing bonus

3. Deloitte is trailing its competition in Canada, but not the US. It will be interesting to see if this changes at all post-Monitor-acquisition, especially as ex-Monitor folks are likely to be making a fair bit more than their Deloitte counterparts.

4. If you assume that salaries increase by around 5-10% per year, then the difference between a $70k base at ATK and a $75k base at Oliver Wyman will add up.

Still - it's always interesting to see firms' compensation strategies, but salary should be the absolute lowest of your priorities when making a decision between firms. In the long run, your success professionally is far more contingent on factors like your fit at the firm and how well you connect with your peers and the partners there.

Lastly - if you are trying to compare apple to apples, don't forget that firms have other benefits as well (such as contributions to RRSP's) and different bonus structures that will impact your take-home pay.


  • Sam Jackson Jan 14, 2013

    Interesting list - is the source Glassdoor or expert knowledge? Remember that total comp structures after signing up can differ a lot, and can make a big difference. Though perhaps not so much within the 2 year time frame.

    I remember one firm tried to pitch itself based on its partner proposition, which is fine and accurate if you take their logic that 'most of your time as a consultant is as a partner [if you stay a consultant forever]' but that's something which obviously doesn't get borne out for most people...

    Captcha works now.

  • Khaled Kteily Jan 14, 2013

    It's meant to be based on tips and info that the Management Consulted team receives. Without giving away any details, the numbers seem fairly on-par. To me the biggest takeaway is that you will make a similar amount as a consultant at almost any firm. Especially in countries with high tax (ahem, Canada) the difference between $70k base and $75k base is not especially high.

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