Graduate consulting salaries

What salary can a graduate consultant expect?

The salary and benefits you can expect to receive as a graduate working in consulting
Many firms are keen to offer ‘time off’ benefits to their employees

According to the latest biannual survey from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), the average starting salary in the consulting sector is £26,750. You’ll be happy to hear, however, that most of the employers on offer considerably more than this average. Alfa, for example, offers its graduates a salary of £40,000 plus a £5,000 sign-on bonus. IBM's graduate starting salaries start at £30,000+.

You'll find that most consulting employers are tight-lipped when it comes to talking about money before they offer you a job, preferring instead to leave it to your imagination with descriptions such as ‘competitive’ or ‘highly competitive’. It’s safe to assume their offers will be similar to the above, however. Reports suggest, for example, that applicants at McKinsey & Company could earn over £40,000 in their first year.


Base salary is not everything, of course. Here’s an idea of some of the typical benefits you could be offered in your first year (some of them will be optional, which employees can choose to suit them personally): 

  • private health cover and dental insurance
  • subsidised gym membership
  • pension scheme
  • performance bonuses
  • a signing bonus (a golden hello) and relocation expense reimbursement for new starters
  • life assurance.
  • season ticket loan
  • opportunity to buy extra holiday
  • free staff restaurants for breakfast and lunch
  • retail vouchers
  • childcare vouchers
  • health screening
  • cycle lease scheme
  • laptop and smartphone on joining
  • sponsorship for an MBA programme

Work/life balance benefits

‘You expect long hours in consulting,' says a graduate consultant on TARGETjobs Inside Buzz. For a sector famed for its long work hours (but, refreshingly, its lack of 'face-time'), it is not surprising that many firms are keen to offer ‘time off’ benefits to their employees. Here is a sample of what you could expect: 

  • Roland Berger promotes its part-time working models and home-office jobs.
  • BCG offers its employees the opportunity to take an additional block of time off during the year (known as 'FlexLeave').
  • Oliver Wyman runs a non-profit fellowship scheme (up to six months working at a non-profit organisation on 40% of salary) and offers sabbaticals of up to six months
  • L.E.K. allows staff to take a break from case work and go on secondments, temporarily working within a client's organisation.

Money, benefits and perks should not, of course, be the reasons you enter the profession – but if you do decide that consulting is the career for you, the salary and benefits are certainly attractive