Management consultants at all levels are paid well. As a consultant, you'll be able to lead a very comfortable life and provide comfortably for your family.
However, until you reach senior levels, consulting is not extravagantly paid. Consultants at all levels are paid less than their equivalents in financial services (e.g., banking), despite also working very long hours and travelling more.
What does this mean for you? If you’re primary aim is to become as rich as possible as quickly as possible, consulting is not be the right career for you. Go and become an investment banker or work at a hedge fund instead. If however, you’re not solely money orientated, there are plenty of good reasons to become a consultant instead of a banker.
What does this mean in number terms? Below are my estimates for what you can expect to be paid as both a junior and senior consultant in 2014:
Note, that these numbers are for top-tier UK consulting firms and are in Great British Pounds. The numbers will be broadly the same in the US and other European markets.
Also remember that these are starting salaries- after every year in a role, you can expect both a 'cost of living increase' (typically slightly above inflation) and also a 'seniority increase' (often about 10% but this can be higher for strong performers). This means that consulting salaries rise quickly- you can expect year-on-year raises of 15% and substantially more if you're promoted.
There are a few other benefits you can expect:
There are many good reasons to become a management consultant and the pay is certainly one of them. Consulting remuneration is very good, and whilst consultants may not earn as much as hedge fund managers, a career in consulting will allow you to lead a very comfortable life and also open up many doors to you should you eventually decide to leave.
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I'm a ex-McKinsey London EM who recently left the Firm