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Management Consulting Salaries

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Joined: 05 Aug 2008
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Schools: Ross 2012
WE 1: 5 Years at Fortune 50 Company in Manufacturing
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Management Consulting Salaries [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2009, 12:07
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Something you should know, thought I'd share ... u-partner/

The truth behind consulting salaries: from analyst thru partner
by kgao on January 8, 2009

Something a lot of readers are dying to know.

The data is what I’ve gathered from my own experience, current consulting friends, and public sources. They won’t be 100% accurate but should be pretty close.

One resource I’ve found valuable is the Consulting forums at WallStreetOasis.

First year out of undergraduate:
Base salaries: $50-65K
Signing bonuses: $5-10K
Relocation/moving expenses: $5-10K
Year-end bonus: $5-10K depending on firm.
That’s an average of $70-75K in first year compensation. As a summer intern, you can expect a comparable, pro-rated salary (minus the bonuses). This does not include retirement contributions.

First year out of business school/MBA:
Base salaries: $110-140K
Signing bonuses: $20-40K
Relocation/moving expenses: $10-20K
Year-end bonus: $20-40K depending on firm.
That’s an average of $160-200K in total first year compensation. This does not include retirement contributions. My original estimates were a bit lower, but have been adjusted upward based on emails and the comments below.

Progression track through partner:
My numbers have a higher risk of being inaccurate as this is only from personal anecdotes, so if you have better information, email me or comment below

Engagement manager/Project leader: $175-250K
Associate principal/Senior project leader: $250-400K
Partner/Principal: $500-800K
Senior partner/Director: $1M plus

At more senior levels the pay becomes increasingly variable and performance-based

How consulting salaries lose to finance:
At almost every level of consulting, your salary will be 30-50% lower than a comparable position in investment banking. This is variable by year and median salaries in non-banking departments (such as research, asset management, sales & trading) are lower. But like I said in this post, consulting is not a profession to make big bucks.

How consulting firms compensate for the lower salaries:
Better benefits - healthcare, life insurance, etc
Retirement contributions - this one is important because at MBB, they’ll contribute an added 5-10% of your base salary to your retirement funds, effectively a 5-10% year-end bonus! (A reader just informed me that his MBB retirement contribution starting fulltime in ‘09 was 4.5%, which is lower than I’d seen in previous years)
More generous expense/reimbursement policies, travel perks, etc
I’m going to start adding funny, topical cartoons to the end of posts from now on. Here is the first:

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Last edited by GoBruin on 19 Jan 2009, 13:56, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Management Consulting [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2009, 12:22
cool site

"George is getting upset!"

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Re: Management Consulting Salaries [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2009, 16:54
Thanks for the info gobruins!

I'm in non-strategy consulting with a Big 4 firm, and my analyst numbers out-of-undergrad were pretty much inline with that. I started traveling from day one as well, so per-diems and other expenses also add a little bit (depending on project). For example, I also sold my car (and thus have no car payment), as I rent cars every weekend and can expense that instead of taking a taxi to/from the airport every week.

Question, though -- do management consulting firms take into account your pre-MBA salary at all when determining offers, or is it mainly standard packages based on your school? My pre-MBA salary currently is on the higher-end of my level, so I'm wondering if that will impact my potential starting package in any way.
Joined: 03 Jun 2008
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Re: Management Consulting Salaries [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2009, 09:49
Also as a non-strategy guy at a Big 4, I'd say that the first year base is accurate, but I wouldn't expect the bonus to be anywhere that high.

I'd say that total comp for first year would be in the $55k-60k range.

I wish we had per-diems, that'd make the money a bit better while on the road.
Re: Management Consulting Salaries   [#permalink] 28 Jan 2009, 09:49
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