How Much Do Analysts & Consultants Earn?

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The job or position of management analyst is synonymous with management consultant according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Management consultants suggest ways that a company can improve its efficiency, revenue, expense controls, and profitability.

As of 2018, the average salary for management analysts was $87,000, and 90 percent earned between $56,000 and $142,000.

Management consultants are typically tasked with analyzing, modeling, and identifying areas where improvement is needed. The analyst may develop a strategy and help the business implement the steps necessary to improve sales, revenue, cost controls, or operational efficiency. The consultants may also need to train employees on implementing and working with a new process. 

Management analysts can be self-employed whereby they are hired on a contract basis or for a particular project. The project might have a particular specialization such as inventory controls or eliminating duplication through reorganization of a company's structure. Some analysts work for large consulting firms where their role is to help the firm's clients make any necessary improvements.

Requirements and Training Needed

An advanced degree such as an MBA as well as several years of related experience is needed to be considered for a management consultant position.

Those interested in improving their credentials can opt for certification from The Institute of Management Consultants USA (IMC USA), which offers a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation. In addition to education requirements, consultants must also have a number of years of experience to achieve certification.

Pay Options

Consultants with leading firms can earn very handsome pay packages that far exceed the BLS averages. For example, according to job website payscale.com, management consulting associates with McKinsey & Co. earn an average of $102,000 per year, within a range of $72,000 to $174,000.

The same management consultants at Deloitte earn an average of $90,000 within the range of $83,000 to $121,000 per year. Consulting managers and partners draw even higher pay. However, there are caveats. 

Billing Practices

Consulting firms, as well as independent consultants, typically bill by the hour. This practice has many downsides, for individual consultants and consulting clients alike, and has come under attack in some quarters.

Job Prospects

The BLS counted more than 800,000 management analysts in 2016, and the number is expected to exceed 900,000 by the year 2026. 

Work Environment

The BLS notes that frequent travel is a typical part of the job. See our discussion of health and business travel. However, the BLS also claims that only about 25 percent work more than 40 hours per week. The figure is likely understated, at least for the most prestigious consulting firms. Work weeks of at least 60 hours are sometimes the norm, and 70 to 80 hours are not at all unusual.​

In addition to reading the above-referenced articles on billable hours and utilization rates, also see our discussions of living to work and the up or out policy. All of these matters are significant for the prospective consultant. In short, those who succeed in this field live to work and thrive under pressure.