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CAREER ADVICE  

Management Consulting Salaries

How much should a management consultant expect when moving within consulting is an incredibly difficult question to answer without knowing more about your personal circumstances. In general, whilst money is very important, it should not be your key driver when considering a move. If you move to a company where you are happy and there is an opportunity to grow then money should look after itself in the medium term.

However, I can provide some scenarios where it’s reasonable to ask for a good base-pay increase (15-20%), move for parity and actually move for less!  Please note I am referring to base pay only:


Good base pay increase

  • The company and type of work is similar (Accenture FS to PWC FS)
  • You have a niche and in-demand skill-set (analytics, cyber, etc…)
  • You are down-branding
  • You simply know the company are good-payers
  • Your company are genuinely low-payers (although most people do think this!)


Moving for Parity

  • There is a better and a proven bonus scheme (often happens when going big to small)
  • Progression/promotion points are quicker (get a 6 month review in place)
  • You are moving slightly outside your core area of expertise
  • Better work-life balance
  • Better culture


Moving for Less

  • Moving far outside your key industry sector/functions (you may have to drop a level)
  • Moving to a small company/start-up – you may get equity to compensate
  • Significantly better work-life balance / culture
  • Unique Opportunity
  • Moving internationally/regionally (although this could result in an increase pending the location)


There is a huge caveat against all of the above, as pay is always dependent on interview performance and how you compare against other candidates and the internal peer group. The better you perform the easier it is to negotiate a higher salary. Just because you are moving jobs does not give you a divine right of a pay rise.

You may often hear your friends bragging about 30-40% pay increases, but with 20 years’ experience behind me, this is a rarity in consulting. Be happy with 10-15% for a similar job, plus value all the other great things about your new company. If you just move for money, then you will probably leave for money also!

If you want guidance or advice on consulting salaries from a candidate or client perspective, then I’d be happy to speak. Get in touch.