What salary can a graduate consultant expect?

The salary and benefits you can expect to receive as a graduate working in consulting

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Long working hours are balanced by work/life balance benefits in many consulting firms

According to the latest survey by Cibyl (a research organisation owned by TARGETjobs’ parent company), the average graduate salary expected by students interested in consulting employers was £29,373. You’ll be happy to hear, however, that most of the employers on targetjobs.co.uk offer considerably more than this. Alfa, for example, offers its graduates a salary of £40,000. Newton Europe's graduate starting salaries start at £45,000.

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.

Benefits

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.

Graduate consultants have previously told TARGETjobs that their benefits have included free breakfasts (and dinners if working late), private healthcare, subsidised exercise classes (such as yoga sessions), free drinks on Fridays and access to company trips (such as skiing trips).

Work/life balance benefits

Consulting is famous (or infamous) for its long hours (but, refreshingly, its lack of ‘face-time’ culture). So, it’s not surprising to see that many firms are keen to offer ‘time off’ or ‘work/life balance’ benefits to their employees. Remote working has also become significantly more common as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Here is a sample of what you could expect:

  • Roland Berger promotes its flexible working models and sabbatical opportunities.
  • BCG runs a scheme called ‘Flex@BCG’, which allows its employees to arrange to work part time during the week (known as ‘FlexTime’), the ability to take an additional block of time off during the year ('FlexLeave') and the opportunity to access training and working abroad (‘FlexPaths’).
  • Oliver Wyman runs a non-profit fellowship scheme, allowing consultants to take leave to work for non-profit organisations.
  • L.E.K. Consulting 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.

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