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Decoding Salaries and Working Hours of a Management Consultant

Career insights by GGI is a new series by GGI sharing hacks and tips around management consulting, MBA, product management and public policy.

In this GGI career insights, we will be sharing insights into: salary and working hours of a management consultant.


In this career insights article, I will be uncovering a topic that has generated curiosity in the minds of most management consulting enthusiasts- the work and the reward. Before I begin, you must be mindful of the fact that salaries and hours vary in accordance to roles and geographies. And hence, in this article I will be majorly talking of consulting industry in India.

1. Hours

The hours have a high probability of fluctuating. And that's why it is particularly hard to put a single number to it. Each project brings forth its own demands, causing a variation in the hours. Few consultants tend to clock more than 70 hours a week or few as low as 50 hours a week. These consulting hours are typically based upon your team, case partner, case timeline, problem statement and, of course, the client. Hence, simply put, it is a volatile time frame.

For providing you some clarity, I am splitting the companies ecosystem into 2 categories :-

Category A includes premium consulting firms such as BCG, McKinsey, Bain and akin

Category B includes Big 4, namely: Deloitte, Ernst and Young, KPMG and PwC

On an average, 70% consultants in category A clock around 60-70 hours/week.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Big 4 consultants clock 50-60 hours/week.

This is not inclusive of the airport travel and on road time, which in itself is substantive and can be tiresome.

These ball park hours are representative of working 5 day work week. Thus, it comes as a surprise that the intensity of the work load tends to get over-shadowed by the rather picturesque lifestyle. Therefore, it is advised that the extent of world load is definitely something that each aspirant, such as you, must consider and prepare for as you take the next steps.

2. Salaries

With great work comes great rewards. Moving onto the more exciting and anticipated section- the salaries.

It is no secret that the management consulting gets its ostentatious name from these exuberant perks and salaries. Here, we discuss the roles and their subsequent recompense.

To begin with you must know the hierarchy of positions in the firm:

1. Analyst,

2. Consultant,

3. Managers and

4. Partner.

A typical undergraduate gets the role of an analyst in MBB. As referenced before, from a Category A consulting firm, these analysts earn about 13-15 Lakhs per annum, inclusive of the bonus. I do know that this is a promising number for one to kick start your career and utilize the launch pad that management consulting brings.

Moving up the hierarchy, onto the consultants. They are typically post graduates, bagging about 28-33 lakhs per annum. It can be noted that IIMs tend to get a lower package than ISB since an average IIM graduate has lesser work experience. Though, in the grander scheme of things, the difference between the net evaluations is minute and insignificant.

Higher up the pyramid, the manager (mid layer professional) can draw around 70-80 lakhs per annum. The point to note for you is that though the bonus could be as high as 100%. The rewards get better as you come closer to the apex.

Jumping to the very top, the partner ( senior layer professional) checks in an average base salary of 1.2-1.8 Crores per annum. There is no end to the bonus here. As they are now holding a share of equity, the performance of the entire firm reflects back to them. If the entire year was good, then their pay gets even better. They own a share of all the profits. There may be a slight plus or minus of 10% in all categories with the other Category A companies.

Noe similarly, the Big 4 match 70-80% of salary of the Category A premium companies.

It logically makes sense also since the number of consultants per team at these Category B firms are more, they tend to work lesser hours and get compensated accordingly.

Do you think the reward is worth the hustle? At Global Governance Initiative, we support you through the hustle of getting into management consulting. by being taught and mentored by top CEOs, you get an exclusive sneak peek into the culture and demands of management consulting.


Author: Shatakshi Sharma, Co-CEO Global Governance Initiative, Ex-BCG Management Consultant, Former Policy Advisor, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.


If you need more help to get into management consulting, feel free to check GGI's MBA Scholar program, here.

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