Consulting salaries revealed: 15 firms that pay recent grads 6-figures right out of college

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MBAs aren’t the only grads who can make high salaries working for a management consulting firm.

Candidates with bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees can also earn six-figures. 

Consultants at Accenture Strategy, for example, can make a $79,500 base salary — and that doesn’t include performance, signing bonuses, and relocation reimbursements, which typically are $51,500. Smaller firms such as Booz Allen, Altman Solon, Avencore, and Galt & Company are also paying some of the highest salaries to young graduates. In fact, employees with a four-year degree can earn as much as $153,500 at Galt & Company. 

Management Consulted, a careers-resource company that helps graduates land consulting jobs, released its 2021 salary report documenting the pay ranges, bonuses, and compensation packages at consultancies like McKinsey, Bain & Co., and Accenture. The company has 5,000 job-seeking clients and more than 4 million subscribers. The company’s data are based on its users who have received offers. 

Insider compiled a ranking of the highest-paying firms for college and master’s grads based off of salaries. The “potential total compensation” listed includes the base salary, any signing and performance bonuses offered at the firms, and relocation reimbursements. You can read the full salary breakdown here

Here are the 15 highest-paying firms for people with college and graduate degrees, ranked by total potential compensation, lowest to highest.  

SEE ALSO: The 17 consulting firms where MBA grads earn the most money, ranked

15. Booz Allen Hamilton

Potential total compensation: $107,000

Booz Allen Hamilton is a government-focused consulting firm, and the company is in growth mode. With about 27,200 employees, the firm has clients in all the cabinet-level departments of the US government. Booz Allen’s global-defense division supports the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force, the company said.

The consultancy added 208 people in the three months ending June 30, 2020 and increased its head count by about 1,000 over the past year, Insider previously reported

In an interview with Insider, Patricia Porter, vice president of global talent acquisition at the firm, shared that Booz Allen is continuing to invest in the recruitment for tech-focused and cybersecurity roles. The firm is also looking to hire healthcare consultants, she added. 

While new associates in the US earn $79,000 when combining base salary with performance bonuses, employees located in the Middle East earn $92,000. Additionally, these consultants get a $15,000 reimbursement for relocating and an up to $32,000 additional allowance, according to the report. 

14. Cornerstone Research

Potential total compensation: $108,500

According to Management ConsultedCornerstone Research has four main areas of expertise: consulting for law firms and attorneys, financial analysis, finding expert witnesses, and the preparation for trials and depositions. The firm is known for its specialty in the litigation process. The company works closely with attorneys and lawmakers to come up with solutions. 

Cornerstone Research not only covers 100% of employees’ moving expenses, but it also pays for broker fees and four hotel nights while new hires house-hunts, the report noted. Staffers with a four-year can earn a $85,000 base salary. 

13. Oliver Wyman

Potential total compensation: $109,000

Oliver Wyman is a $2 billion consulting business unit of Marsh & McLennan Cos., and it is most known for its client assistance in the financial-services sector. Additionally, the consulting firm is also the fastest-growing firm in the past five years, with 3,400 employees, according to Management Consulted

Employees with a bachelor’s or master’s degree can earn a $87,000 base salary at Oliver Wyman. That doesn’t include a $20,000 performance and signing bonus, $2,000 of relocation reimbursements, and 17 days of paid vacation days, the report noted. 

12. EY-Parthenon

Potential total compensation: $111,000

EY-Parthenon is a boutique strategy consulting division within EY, one of the so called “Big Four” accounting and consulting firms. The giant accounting and auditing advisory acquired Parthenon, a smaller consulting company, to expand its global reach within a niche market. 

EY has other consulting divisions other than its client work within Parthenon. Consultants working in other departments can make earn up to $79,500 in total compensation, and every employee gets unlimited paid time off, according to the salary report. 

In the midst of a global pandemic, the firm brought in 85,000 people worldwide and increased its global headcount by more than 5%. Dan Black, the firm’s global leader in talent attraction and acquisition, further added that it has already brought in 45,000 new hires this fiscal year. 

Black recommended that candidates follow four best practices to increase their chances of landing a six-figure job: develop a routine, leverage your networks, prep for the interview, and reflect on your values.

11. Kearney

Potential total compensation: $115,000

Kearney was originally a part of McKinsey & Co. before splitting off and becoming its own firm in 1937. Since then, it has built up a reputation as an operations consulting firm. 

Management Consulted’s salary report pointed out that employees a $80,000 in base salary, up to $20,000 in performance bonuses, and $5,000 in signing bonuses. 

10. PwC Strategy&

Potential total compensation: $115,000

Also known as one of the “Big Four” firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is a global professional services firm with more than $42 billion in revenue.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the firm welcomed 3,500 summer interns for a virtual 10-week long program and offered them full-time offers. A company spokeswoman recently told Insider that PwC typically brings in 13,000 entry-level and experienced hires each year, and its hiring volume will be similar in 2021. 

Rod Adams, US talent acquisition leader at PwC, explained that consulting positions have become increasingly tech-focused. Candidates should mention digital skills in their résumé and cover letter, he said.

“The way that we work now is very different from how we worked five years ago,” he said. “It was already very different prior to the pandemic. Showing that you have a flexible mindset is really important to us as a firm.” 

PwC Strategy& employees make a $90,000 base salary in the US, $57,313 in the UK, and more than $61,000 in Australia, according to the report. 

9. Altman Solon

Potential total compensation: $120,625

In 2020, Altman Vilandrie & Company and Solon Management Consulting — two strategy consultancies — merged and became Altman Solon.

With about 300 employees and a client footprint in over 100 countries, Altman Solon is a boutique consulting firm that focuses on the $3 trillion technology, media, and telecom (TMT) sector.

Employees with a bachelor’s or master’s degree make a $87,500 base salary, and they can earn up to $13,125 in performance bonuses, the salary reported noted.

8. Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Potential total compensation: $121,000

BCG was named a premier employer for five years by Fortune’s “100 Best Places to Work” ranking. Amid the pandemic, it revamped its summer internship program, changed new hires’ start dates, and extended full-time offers to all interns.  

Joe Davis, North America CEO and chairman at BCG, previously told Insider that the firm will likely reach out to more schools — perhaps smaller and less “elite” universities — for prospects.

“We scan through every résumé anyways,” he said. “Now that everything is turned virtual, it’s really fair game. And that’s going to make it even more attractive for the young folks who are interested, and they can find us more easily.”

College graduates get 15 days of paid vacation days each year, as well as up to $8,000 in relocation reimbursement — just like MBA hires at the firm. While US employees earn a $90,000 base salary, consultants make about $64,000 in Canada, $82,000 in Germany, and $50,000 in Australia. 

7. Bain & Company

Potential total compensation: $122,500

In 2021, management consulting firm Bain & Company was named the best place to work by Glassdoor’s annual employee choice ranking for the fifth time in a row. 

The consultancy has more than doubled its anticipated summer internship class during the pandemic, and it also extended full-time offers to more than 450 MBA and undergraduate students. 

During a live webinar event with Insider, Keith Bevans, the firm’s global head of consultant recruitment, advised applicants to have clarity of their own career vision. In other words, you should know how Bain differentiates from other consulting firms that you might have applied to, and how a full-time position would help accelerate your own goals. 

Employees with a bachelor’s or master’s degree make a $90,000 base salary in the US and about $63,000 in the UK. 

6. OC&C Strategy Consultants

Potential total compensation: $128,200

OC&C Strategy Consultants is a London-based firm founded by Chris Outram and Geoff Cullinan, two former partners at Booz Allen Hamilton. With more than 500 employees, OC&C’s consultants advise their clients through corporate strategies and mergers and acquisitions. 

Employees earn a $89,000 base salary, according to the salary report. On top of a $26,700 performance bonus and $7,500 signing bonus, consultants can receive $5,000 for relocation expenses. 

5. Accenture Strategy

Potential total compensation: $130,600

Accenture is a leading consultancy with a footprint in over 40 industries and more than 500,000 employees worldwide. The firm pays its strategy consultants the highest salaries, according to Management Consulted’s report. 

Accenture made job cuts, reduced promotions, and put hiring on pause in response to the pandemic. Last August, the firm told employees that 5% of Accenture’s workforce could be cut. 

While consultants make a $79,500 base salary at Accenture’s consulting practice, employees working within the firm’s strategy division earn up to $87,000. 

4. McKinsey & Company

Potential total compensation: $135,000

McKinsey & Company is one of the toughest firms to break into, as applicants’ odds of getting hired are less than 1%. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, McKinsey welcomed more than 1,500 full-time employees and 1,000 summer interns for a virtual onboarding in 2020. 

The consulting firm is one of the so called “Big Three” firms that include Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Bain & Company. 

Danielle Bozarth, senior partner and the lead partner of North America recruitment at the firm, told Insider that hiring managers are interviewing for open positions in 2022. 

“We consistently look for folks with great problem-solving skills, the ability to work well with teams, and the ability to develop strong relationships with their peers and clients — we still look for those qualities and that aspect hasn’t changed because of COVID-19,” she said.

Consultants at McKinsey can make a $90,000 base salary, $30,000 in performance bonuses, and $5,000 in signing bonuses. 

3. Deloitte Consulting

Potential total compensation: $146,250

Deloitte is also one of the “Big Four” firms, and it’s organized into three main service areas that offer different salaries. These areas include the human capital division, the strategy and operations division, and the technology division.

Though being one of the highest-paying firms, Deloitte has slowed down some of its recruitment in response to the pandemic.

It delayed many of its full-time hires’ start dates, shortened internship programs for students, and laid off 5,000 US workers and 200 people in Canada. 

Management Consulted’s salary report noted that employees working for Deloitte’s consulting division have the highest potential compensation of $146,250. Other employees can earn $97,500 working at Deloitte Strategy & Operations, $77,500 at Deloitte Tech, and $91,000 at Monitor Deloitte. 

2. Avencore

Potential total compensation: $150,000

Avencore is a global boutique firm that was created in 2009. The company’s consultants specialize in helping mid-market industrial clients with cost optimization, performance improvement issues, and international competition.

Consultants with a bachelor’s or master’s degree make a base salary of $100,000 at Avencore. They also receive an up to $25,000 performance bonus, $15,000 signing bonus, and up to $10,000 for relocation expenses, the report noted. 

1. Galt & Company

Potential total compensation: $153,500 

Galt & Company is a management consulting firm that helps C-suite leaders and management teams from the Fortune 500 companies. 

Management Consulted’s salary report revealed that consultants earn a $85,000 at Galt & Company. They also receive up to $60,000 in performance bonuses. 

 

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