Consulting organizations (particularly management consulting firms) are some of the biggest employers of MBA graduates. You don’t need to look further than the latest MBA employment reports to confirm this. Almost a third of the class at top MBA programs chose consulting as their post-MBA career in 2020. However, as the war for MBA talent heats up, the top consulting firms are now not only fighting amongst themselves but also other industries such as finance and technology for MBA graduates. As a result of this, consulting salaries offered to MBAs in 2019-2020 are at record levels.
2-3 years after graduation, when MBAs move into project leader and manager roles, they can expect a base salary of $220,000. At 4-5 years, when MBAs become senior project leaders and associate principals, they can earn up to $ 250,000 – $ 320,000. At the junior partner level base salary further increases to $350,000 – $420,000. And that is not all.
At the senior partner level, you earn upwards of a million dollars annually with base salaries of $450,000-$650,000 and bonuses of $500K+.
In this article, we take a detailed look at consulting salaries earned by MBAs in 2020 and what they can expect in 2020 and beyond.
Here is a brief outline of the article:
- Consulting Salary and its Components – An Overview
- Post-MBA Consulting Salary in 2020
- Consultant Salary in India
- Consulting Internship Salaries in 2020
Consulting Salary and its Components – An Overview
The following table contains detailed consulting salary, signing and performance bonus data from 2018 vs. 2020:
|Employer||2020 Base Salary ($)||2018 Base Salary ($)||2020 Signing Bonus ($)||2018 Signing Bonus ($)||2020 Performance Bonus ($)||2018 Performance Bonus ($)|
|Bain & Company||1,65,000||1,48,000||25,000||25,000||41,250||37,000|
|Booz Allen Hamilton||1,30,000||1,45,000||32,500||36,250|
|Boston Consulting Group||1,65,000||1,47,000||25,000||30,000||41,250||44,100|
|Deloitte (Strategy & Ops)||1,60,000||1,45,000||25,000||25,000||40,000||31,900|
|Ernst & Young||1,55,000||1,45,000||25,000||25,000||10,000||31,700|
|McKinsey & Company||1,65,000||1,52,500||30,000||25,000||35,000||35,000|
* Data from previous report and current MBA salary data 2020.
Consulting salaries are generally divided into the following components:
- Base Salary
- Signing Bonus
- Performance Bonus
- Relocation Bonus
War for MBA Talent increased the Base Salary of Consultants in 2020
Base salary is one of the biggest components of the total compensation package that consultants receive annually. In mid-2019, due to increasing competition for MBA talent from other industries such as Finance and Technology, McKinsey, Bain, and BCG (the MBB firms) increased their base salaries to US$ 165,000 for MBA hires. This is an increase of over $ 12,500 as compared to the 2018 base salary in Consulting.
Signing bonuses are a one-time affair offered to consultants when they sign the contract. In 2020, consulting firms such as McKinsey and PwC and Strategy& have increased signing bonuses by $5,000 as compared to 2018. Similarly, firms like Accenture Strategy and KPMG have increased the singing bonus by $10,000.
This salary component is used to entice prospective graduates away from the MBB by rival firms. Non-MBB firms use higher pay and other perks to entice prospective MBA graduates further. For e.g. A.T. Kearney matches the MBB in base pay and signing bonuses with up to $44,100 in performance bonuses. Deloitte’s Strategy and Operations practice goes even further by offering full 2nd-year tuition reimbursement to returning interns.
Deloitte’s Strategy and Operations practice goes even further by offering a performance bonus up to $40,000 along with full 2nd-year tuition reimbursement for returning interns. This is in addition to the $185,000. Strategy& go up to $55,400 in terms of performance bonuses.
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It is important to note that these bonuses are taxed heavily, and more importantly, the maximum performance bonus figure advertised above goes only to the very best consultants.
Average performing consultants at best make only half of the maximum amount. Another thing to note is that higher pay is often due to the higher costs of living. Thus, you can optimize your take-home pay if you choose an office in a city with a lower cost of living.
With rigorous “up or out” policies at the MBB and other firms, not many management consultants make it to the partner level. However, in the USA, you also receive a pay increase of 12%-20% along with a bump in lifestyle when you leave your consulting job along with a better work-life balance.
Management Consultants who choose to go into the financial services may receive a 30%+ increase in compensation. However, this is often accompanied by a worse work-life balance.
Consulting Salaries offered to MBAs in 2020
Base salaries are subject to a 10-20% increase every year, outpacing compensation growth as compared to other industries – a major point of attraction to consulting careers. These numbers grow more pronounced with each step in a consultant’s career post-MBA.
The average base salary for an MBA in 2020 at top Consulting firms is $157,364. Among the MBB, the difference between total pay offered ranges from $12,500 – $21,250. All three offer a $200K pay-check in the first year itself.
Notably, the highest total pay, as well as the second-largest increase in total compensation, was offered by Strategy&. Booz Allen Hamilton offered the highest growth in total pay – $33,250.
Here is the total Consulting Salary comparison between top consulting firms (2020 vs. 2018):
|Employer||2020 Total Pay||2018 Total Pay||Difference (Total Pay)|
|Bain & Company||2,06,250||1,85,000||21,250|
|Booz Allen Hamilton||2,14,500||1,81,250||33,250|
|Boston Consulting Group||2,06,250||1,91,000||15,250|
|Deloitte (Strategy & Ops)||2,00,000||1,76,900||23,100|
|Ernst & Young||1,65,000||1,76,700||-11,700|
|McKinsey & Company||2,00,000||1,87,500||12,500|
As compared to undergraduates, MBA graduates in top Consultancy earns between 55,000-78,000 more base salary. Here is the data:
|Employer||2020 Undergrad Base Salary||2020 MBA Base Salary||Difference|
|Bain & Company||90,000||1,65,000||75,000|
|Booz Allen Hamilton||75,000||1,30,000||55,000|
|Boston Consulting Group||90,000||1,65,000||75,000|
|Ernst & Young||75,000||1,55,000||80,000|
|McKinsey & Company||87,000||1,65,000||78,000|
Consultant Salary in India 2020
According to PayScale, the average Management Consultant salary in India is ₹1,149,770. Some of the top employers are Deloitte Consulting LLP, KPMG, Accenture, and EY.
A senior product manager in Consultancy can earn ₹2,254,402 on an average, whereas Management consultant in IT earn on an average ₹1,504,283.
The salary mentioned does not include other components such as bonuses, commission, and profit share.
Similarly, according to Glassdoor, an entry-level consultant can earn on an average ₹413,000, whereas an associate Consultant can make on an average ₹6,50,000. The national average salary for a consultant is ₹9,50,000 in India. Here is the data:
|Consultant Salary in India|
|Entry Level Consultant||₹413,000|
Consulting Internship salaries in 2020
Internship pay, on the other hand, saw no increases in 2020. The MBB firms offered $32,500 for 10-week internships as standard. Boutique firms offered performance and signing bonuses to attract internship talent. Accenture Strategy offered up to $50,000 tuition reimbursement for returning interns. This is on top of the $30,000 it offered interns as base pay.
From the data given below, only three companies provided reimbursement for returning interns – Accenture, Deloitte S&O, and E.K.
Following are the salaries offered for consulting internships at different firms:
|Accenture Strategy||$30,000 + $5,000 relocation|
|AT Kearney||$12,300 per month|
|Bain & Company||$32,000|
|EY Strategy||$28,000 +$5,000 signing bonus
|EY-Parthenon||$28,000 + $5,000 signing bonus
|IBM Global Business Services||$25,000 + $4,500 relocation
|IQVIA Consulting Services (formerly IMS)||$11,500/month + $5,000 signing bonus
|EK.||$28,125 (9 weeks)|
|Kalypso||$25,000 ($10,000/month for 10 weeks)
|KPMG||$66/hour ($99/hour for overtime)
|McKinsey & Company||$32,000.
|NERA Economic Consulting||$7,500/month + $1,250 bonus
|Simon & Kucher||$9,750/month + $3,510 guaranteed bonus
|ZS Associates||$11,500/month + $5,000 signing bonus
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Here are a few more articles you may like:
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- Post-MBA Careers and Salaries (Industry-wise)
Consulting Salary – FAQs
The big four consulting firms that account for nearly 40% of the industry are Deloitte, EY, PwC, and KPMG. These are followed by BCG and McKinsey & Company. Check out the Top 50 Consulting firms to work for in 2020.
An MBA graduate at McKinsey earns approx. $165,000 total salary
as a Management consultant in 2020.
Some of the highest-paying consulting jobs are Marketing Consultant, Technology consultant, Associate consultant, and Investment consultant.