Top consulting firms win pay race in a walk

eFC logo

When it comes to pay in management consulting, it’s the big three and then everyone else. Compensation for McKinsey and Co., Bain & Co. and Boston Consulting Group dwarfed that of competitors in 2013, but that’s not much of a surprise. The three firms have seemingly topped every different industry ranking for years. What is a bit surprising, however, is the difference in pay – or lack there of – between some other big names and the rest of the herd.

Average total compensation for all levels at the McKinsey, Bain and BCG – from intern up to management – was roughly $109k in 2013, according to a new survey from Wall Street Oasis. People with title of consultant took home an average of $168k, with managers making deep six-figures.

The average base and bonus for “other notable firms” – Accenture, Booz and Co., Deloitte and Oliver Wyman – was just $73.5k, with consultants earning around $94k.  That’s 86% less than the average take-home comp at the big three.

Meanwhile, all the “other firms” – those that weren’t classified as “notable” – paid an average of $75k, with consultants earning roughly $102k – more than what was paid to respondents who worked at notable firms. Painting with an admittedly broad stroke, it appears name recognition means quite a bit when it comes to compensation, but only when we’re talking about three firms.

New York

If you are working for McKinsey and Co., Bain & Co. and Boston Consulting Group, New York appears the place to be. Average compensation across all levels was $143k in New York. Chicago was second at $108k, with other major cities like San Francisco and Boston trailing closely behind.

Interestingly, the same doesn’t necessarily hold true at other consulting firms. New Yorkers aren’t the highest paid at either “notable” or “other” firms, which include PwC, Wells Fargo, IBM, Booz Allen Hamilton, Prudential and any other company mentioned in the survey. New York finished second to Chicago in one ranking and San Francisco in another. Location doesn’t seem to matter as much if you’re not talking about McKinsey, Bain and BCG.


Wall Street banks, consulting firms quietly gaining in popularity amongst undergrads

The case for consulting over banking

Bain to hire more than 400 consultants – humility required

Popular job sectors


Search jobs

Search articles