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Choosing to be a management consultant puts you on a path to enviable earning potential. It’s not your typical 9-to-5 profession. It comes with equal amounts of challenge and opportunity. The high earnings are then balanced out.

When most people think about consulting, they often think of management consultants from large consulting firms like Bain, Boston Consulting Group, and McKinsey. Management consultants dock some of the highest earnings in the world. But they are top performers who are aces at handling pressure, communication, networking, and problem-solving.

Management consultants can be broadly divided into 5 categories. In this article, we’re going to look at the lucrative earnings of management consultants in each of these categories.

Strategy Consulting

Strategy is usually the domain of the top management or the C-suite of a company. They concern themselves with high-level decisions like the vision of the company, growth plans, and streamlining departments. These decisions are heavy ones that affect the future of the company, and it is natural for company leadership to want to do thorough due diligence.

For this purpose, they will often involve a strategy consultant to evaluate their options. Strategy consultants will deep dive into every option and provide their recommendations to the business.

According to data from, the median salary of a strategy consultant in the United States as of the end of 2020 was around 95,000 dollars a year.

Operations Consulting

The term operations is an umbrella term encompassing procurement, supply chain management, manufacturing, and other processes that directly relate to the delivery of the product or service. 

Usually, senior business executives have to take these decisions relatively quickly and routinely. However, there are times when unexpected circumstances like shifts in management, new technology, or economic cycles will leave them at a loss for what decision to take. In these situations, they may choose to take the advice of an operations consultant.

ZipRecruiter reported as of the end of 2020 that an operations consultant in the United States made an average of 90,000 dollars a year.

Financial advisory consulting

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While every businessperson does know a fair degree about finance, some high-level decisions are better off taken after consulting an expert. These decisions come with a lot of moving parts and can get extraordinarily complex. That is why we have such a vast market for financial services that include corporate finance, forensics, litigation, restructuring, and transaction advisory.

Financial advisors work with clients to help them make sense of the numbers side of a transaction or business venture. They may also run complex analyses to present their recommendations to executives. In the United States, financial advisors obtain certain qualifications to enable them to give advice.

Data from reports that a financial advisory consultant makes an average salary of 83,000 dollars a year.

Human resources consulting

Managing people well is a big part of running a successful company. Businesses need to consider pay package structuring, training and development, employee engagement, and conflict resolution. Companies want to know they are using their employees in the best way possible and getting the best return for what they are paying.

Human resources consulting emerged to tackle these specific questions with a human eye, but with the savvy to understand business. Human resources consultants are knowledgeable in a myriad of subject fields, including accounting, marketing, organizational psychology, and labor laws. They are able to then understand human resource problems that occur in various parts of a company. reported that a human resources consultant in the United States earns an average salary of 68,000 dollars per year.

Risk management consulting

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Businesses face lots of threats such as regulatory, market-based, competitive, the list goes on. Large businesses with a lot at stake like to take measures to mitigate these risks as much as possible. Take legal compliances, for example. All businesses have to comply with laws that apply to them, or they risk coming face to face with lawsuits, penalties, or legal proceedings.

They might be interested in setting up company policies that encourage compliance and risk management. Risk consultants step in to advise businesses on these issues and may even develop systems around the management of risks.

The average salary of a risk management and compliance consultant in the United States is 76,000 dollars a year.

Variable factors influencing management consultant earnings

There are different kinds of consulting firms, and they each pay differently. Top strategy consulting firms include the likes of Bain, Boston Consulting Group, and McKinsey. These firms have diverse clients across a wide range of industries. Their clients tend to be large organizations who prefer to put their trust in a large, established consulting firm.

Boutique consulting firms tend to specialize in a certain industry. They may expect recruits to also gain knowledge of that industry or may hire on that basis. Boutique consulting firms also tend to target small- to mid-market players. Some boutique firms are an exception to this rule. Many remain small out of choice and continue to serve a few big-ticket clients.

Boutique consulting firms generally pay lower salaries than large consulting firms, but they are still high-paying consultant careers. Believe it or not, some boutique firms offer higher pay packages than large consulting firms. However, this higher pay often come with higher expectations and responsibilities.


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It’s probably clear from this article that consulting is a lucrative career. But, as with any career option, you have to weigh it for more than just the money. The job comes with its own high pressures which may or may not be for you. In addition, management consultants often consider getting business insurance to protect themselves from potential risks. However, consulting gives you an opportunity to live a great life, achieve financial security, in addition to a great career path to chart for yourself.

The industry of management consulting is not slowing down any time soon, and salaries are continually on the rise.