How to Become a

Management Consultant

The complete career guide to be a Management Consultant: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $91,770
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 13.6%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Fast Paced Career
    Career Attribute

Companies hire management consultants to identify problems and recommend solutions in order to improve efficiency and increase profitability. Specific objectives can be as simple as analyzing existing procedures and then streamlining company policy or more widely defined to include a general reorganization of a corporation’s business practices.

Recommended Schools

What is a Management Consultant?

Management consultants have to be accomplished analysts, attentive listeners, and firm but tactful communicators. They are thinkers and problem solvers who know how to convince others that change is needed. Compensation is at the higher end of the spectrum, but hours are correspondingly longer and frequent travel is typically required. Satisfaction is generally high in this career, despite its demands.

In the course of their jobs, management consultants typically fulfill the following responsibilities:

  • Gather and organize information about the client in order to identify the problem(s) at hand and create solutions
  • Make improvements to the existing procedures or recommend new systems or organizational changes
  • Conduct onsite observations and interview personnel to determine the particular needs of the client, from methods to implementation, inventory and personnel
  • Analyze data, including but not limited to revenue, employment reports and expenditures

Day in the Life

Management consultants provide strategic and dispassionate advisory services to assist companies in improving productivity and overall performance. Advisory expertise includes areas such as HR, financial performance, marketing and business restructuring, with an emphasis on calculating risks versus costs. Consultants generally work in teams while on assignment, with each team consisting of a partner, a manager or senior consultant, associates (typically experienced consultants or those with a MBA) and analysts (typically those without MBA postgrad degrees).

Regardless of self-employment or the size of consulting firm, the day-to-day work of a management consultant varies enormously from assignment to assignment. Some projects will necessitate an entire team of consultants, each specializing in a particular area. Other times, consultants must operate independently from one another and/or in close contact with the client’s managers.

A typical project will involve meeting with clients, assessing needs, research, analyzing data and subsequently giving recommendation to the clients, after which a time table is set to implement improvements.

Typical Work Schedule

Management Consultant usually have to work beyond the standard working hours of about 40 hours almost all the time especially for larger projects with tight deadlines. This makes the job quite demanding as it often requires working on evenings and weekends. Also, the job includes constant travelling, sometimes for extended periods of time, between the office and the clients to provide consultation when required. However, some firms try to provide options to achieve the work-life balance by offering benefits to alleviate stress like offering part-time schedules and conditional leaves when necessary. Independent freelance work is also a choice with more flexible working schedules, but it requires enough experience and large network of clients to prosper.

Projected Job Growth

According to the US bureau of labor statistics, the employment of management consultants is expected to increase by at least 11 % in the period between 2019 to 2029 which is much faster than the expected growth of other jobs. The growth rate is expected to be especially strong in specific fields like healthcare to be able to efficiently handle hospital costs and health insurance. Other fields include IT technology which is expected to demand more management consultants to be able to provide higher levels of cyber security and increase the efficiency of the IT systems. Accordingly, graduates should not find much difficulty to start their career in the field. You will need to continue your financial education and improve to analytical skills and specialized expertise to be enough to secure an advantage in the midst of the competition for higher position.

Typical Employers

Management consultants work for management consultancy firms which can range from the large fortune 500 firms to smaller and medium firms. These firms provide services ranging from strategy consulting, human resources, IT and outsourcing when necessary, smaller firms often focuses on a particular service. These firms can be a good steppingstone for any consultant considering to run his/her own business. Management Consultants Can also work for many industries and corporations. The most famous management consulting firms including McKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group, Inc., Bain & Company, and Deloitte Consulting LLP.

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How To Become a Management Consultant

There are no definitive academic prerequisites for management consultant positions, however employers are overwhelmingly likely to desire a bachelors degree as the minimum level of education required. While no specific field is rated above another in this regard, many areas of study provide a suitable education due to the wide range of focus that management consultants encounter on the job. Typical fields of study include business, management, statistics, economics, political science and government, accounting, finance, marketing, psychology, computer and information science, mathematics and English.

Employers look quite favorably on MBAs, though oftentimes these are acquired after initial employment, and which are necessary requirements for upward mobility within the field. The top companies in the industry will often pay for their best employees to attend a top twenty business school on the condition of continued employment.  A majority of consulting businesses offer a clear career progression, and high-level performers can expect to reach partner within ten years.

Management Consultant Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Management Consultant salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Management Consultant's can make an average annual salary of $91,770, or $44 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $60,450 or $29 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #92 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Management Consultant. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Management Consultants

  • 7.2%   Doctorate
  • 29%   Masters
  • 41%   Bachelors
  • 5.1%   Associates
  • 12.4%   College
  • 4.9%   High School
  • 0.5%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Management Consultant job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 103,400 jobs for a total of 861,400 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 13.6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #121 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Management Consultants

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 165,500 45,600 46%
Self-employed workers 144,400 28,600 29%
Federal government, excluding postal service 61,200 -5,900 -6%

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