The job outlook for business professionals in consulting is excellent in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS reports that the growth of many business and finance-related occupations will grow by a solid 10% through 2026, which is faster than average. In all, 773,000 new jobs will be created during this time. Demand for many business and financial professionals, including business consultants and management consultants, will increase because of the generally stronger economy, and more competition in the domestic and global business sector.
Also, a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey found that 55% of CFOs in 2016 said they will need more management consultants in general finance and accounting in the upcoming year. Some CFOs planned to outsource some of the most specialized business work, such as taxation, risk, governance and compliance. More than 50% of those surveyed stated they wanted to hire a management consultant from the outside to enhance the performance of the company.
With the higher job demand for consultants and related business professionals, now would be a great time to earn your consulting MBA degree. Before you do so, you may wonder what your potential MBA salary could be with this degree; after all, earning your MBA takes at least two years and usually tens of thousand of dollars. We have conducted extensive research, and have determined the following important factors influence your salary in this field:
- Whether you earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business
- Your job title
- Years of work experience
- Where you live geographically
After these factors have been accounted for, you will be able to have a better idea of what your salary will be with a consulting MBA.
Level of Degree
Many business professionals want to earn their master’s in business administration or MBA because of the higher potential salary. BLS reports that people who earn a master’s degree generally will earn a higher salary. In 2013, the median wage for full-time workers 25 and older who had a master’s degree was $68,000. It was $56,000 for those of the same age with a bachelor’s degree. But not every worker with any master’s degree will earn more; it depends upon the exact degree and job.
BLS finds the following occupations have higher salaries with a graduate degree, such as an MBA:
- Marketing and sales managers: $80,000 vs. $110,000
- Property and real estate managers: $56,000 vs. $76,000
- Transportation, storage and distribution managers: $62,000 vs. $90,000
- Securities, commodities and financial service agents: $90,000 vs. $170,000
Also, research shows that workers with an MBA can expect to generally earn a higher salary than workers with a bachelor’s in business only. Forbes has reported that people with a BS earn an average salary of $54,000, while professionals with an MBA can expect a salary between $70,000 to $90,000.
Meanwhile, Payscale.com reports an average salary of $94,000 for professionals with an MBA in management consulting. Salaries for related job titles with this degree are:
- Management consultant: $98,000
- Marketing manager: $78,800
- Business consultant: $85,500
- Project manager: $76,700
- Data analyst: $60,500
Payscale.com also reports the average salary for a bachelor of science in business/management is $75,000, with salaries as follows by occupation:
- Financial analyst: $60,200
- Business analyst: $56,300
- Senior accountant: $77,000
- Management consultant: $82,600
- Operations manager: $71,200
Business professionals in consulting usually earn higher salaries with an MBA in consulting or a related specialty, compared to those with a mere bachelor’s degree. Bear in mind that most consulting specializations in business school are for people earning an MBA or another type of business master’s degree.
Another important factor in your salary is the type of job that you have with your MBA. The most common job title for a professional with this degree is management analyst or management consultant. Management consultants propose ways for companies to enhance their efficiency and profits. They also give advice to managers about how to make their companies more streamlined to improve overall business operations.
Management consultants may specialize in certain job functions, such as inventory management. Or, they can specialize in an industry, such as healthcare management or IT. Some management consultants are self-employed, but many work for management consulting companies. Some of them are very large, such as Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers, but there are many smaller consulting firms you can work for, too.
The median salary for a management analyst or consultant according to BLS is $82,500, with the top 10% with the most experience and education earning $152,000 per year. Management analysts in 2017 were found to earn the following salaries by industry:
- Professional, scientific and technical services: $87,400
- Management of companies and enterprises: $82,900
- Finance and insurance: $81,700
- Government: $78,100
Payscale.com reports the following salaries by company for management consultants:
- Booz, Allen and Hamilton: $71,700
- Accenture: $94,200
- Deloitte: $93,800
- EY: $107,000
- PricewaterhouseCoopers: $83,500
- Slalom Consulting: $116,000
- KPMG: $84,600
These are some related job titles reported in BLS data and their median salaries:
- Budget analyst: $75,200
- Financial analyst: $84,300
- Financial manager: $125,000
- Administrative service manager: $94,100
- Cost estimator: $63,100
- Market research analyst: $63,200
- Operations research analyst: $81,300
- Survey researcher: $54,200
Management Consultant Work Experience
According to recent Payscale.com data, pay by experience for management consultants has a positive trend. It is reported that entry-level management consultants with fewer than five years of experience earn $78,000 per year. These professionals with five to 10 years of experience earn $107,000, and management consultants with 10 to 20 years of experience earn $132,000 per year. With 20 years or more of experience, they earn $155,000 per year.
The salary for management consultants also vary widely by geographic location in the US. The national average salary reported for this job by Payscale.com is $91,400. For various cities across the US, the salary can be higher or lower by these percentages:
- Los Angeles: +30%
- San Francisco: +28%
- Minneapolis: +24%
- Dallas: +14%
- Houston: +14%
- Denver: +13%
- Seattle: +12%
- Washington: -12%
- Arlington: -14%
Your salary also will be affected as a management consultant based upon the business certifications you hold. The most common business certifications in this field than can add thousands of dollars to your salary annually are:
- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
- Certified Business Analysis Profesional (CBAP)
- Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- SAP Certified Application Associate – Business Planning and Consolidation
With a consulting MBA degree, you can be certain that you will have strong demand for your business skills, as well as an ample and rising salary over the balance of your career.
- Many Benefits of Consulting Careers. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.roberthalf.com/blog/job-market/the-many-benefits-of-consulting-careers
- Should I Get a Master’s Degree? (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm
- Undergraduate vs. MBA Salary. (2016). Retrieved from https://education.seattlepi.com/undergraduate-vs-mba-salary-2908.html
- Management Analysts. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm
- Business and Financial Occupations. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm