Consulting Comp Trajectory in the US?

Tried to search this up but didn't find any relevant posts for the US. I was wondering what the comp trajectory was for consulting in the US, both for MBB and T2. 
Is it accurate to expect around ~$100K for first-year AC?
What are the comp trajectories for corporate strategy jobs (obvi this would be variable but trying to see if comp usually goes up or down when you exit from consulting)
Comp for Manager, Associate Partner, Partner+? 
Would appreciate any insight.


Based on the most helpful WSO content, let's break down the compensation trajectory for consulting roles in the U.S., focusing on both MBB (McKinsey, Bain, and Boston Consulting Group) and Tier 2 consulting firms. It's important to note that compensation can vary widely depending on a number of factors including firm, location, performance, and economic conditions. However, I can provide some general insights:

For MBB and Tier 2 Consulting Firms in the U.S.:

  • First-Year Analyst/Associate Consultant (AC): For MBB firms, the starting compensation package for an AC typically includes a base salary around $90,000 to $100,000, with the potential for performance bonuses that can push total compensation into the $110,000 to $130,000 range. Tier 2 firms may offer slightly lower base salaries and total compensation, but competitive packages are common, especially in high-cost living areas.

  • Manager Level: As consultants progress to Manager roles, compensation increases significantly. At MBB firms, Managers can expect total compensation packages ranging from $200,000 to $250,000, depending on performance bonuses. Tier 2 firms may offer slightly lower but still competitive compensation, with total packages often in the $180,000 to $230,000 range.

  • Associate Partner/Principal: Moving up to the Associate Partner or Principal level, compensation continues to climb. At MBB firms, total compensation can range from $350,000 to $500,000, with significant variability based on firm performance and individual contributions. Tier 2 firms also offer substantial compensation at this level, though it may be slightly lower on average compared to MBB.

  • Partner+: At the Partner level and beyond, compensation becomes highly variable and can include significant bonuses and profit-sharing components. Partners at MBB firms can see total compensation ranging from $500,000 to several million dollars annually. Tier 2 firm Partners also earn high compensation, though the upper ranges may not reach as high as those at MBB firms.

Exiting to Corporate Strategy:

  • When exiting consulting to take on corporate strategy roles, compensation trajectories can vary. In general, moving into industry can offer more predictable working hours and potentially a different work-life balance. Compensation may initially be lower or comparable to consulting, but with strong potential for growth, especially with performance bonuses and equity components in certain industries.

Remember, these figures are approximate and can vary widely. Consulting remains a lucrative career path with strong compensation growth potential as you move up the ranks. Transitioning to corporate strategy roles also offers a promising financial trajectory, with the added benefit of potentially more predictable schedules.

Sources: Comp/Culture/Hours etc at Tier 2 Consulting Firms?, Management Consulting Salary & Compensation, Average Bonus in Consulting, Q&A - Left First Undergrad with Sub 2.0 GPA====>Booth MBA/"Tier 2" Consulting, Management Consulting Salary & Compensation, Average Bonus in Consulting

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I haven't posted in a bit, but I've seen quite a few different questions on consulting. 

But I'll chime in with the early career trajectory: 

  • 1st Year Analyst/Associate (Bachelor/Master's level)
    • MBB: $100-$110k Base / 15-20% bonus structure
    • OW, LEK, Accenture: $90k - $100k Base / 15-20% bonus structure
    • Big Four Strategy: $70k - $90k Base / 15-20% bonus structure
  • 1st Year Consultant / Associate (MBA level), typically 2-4 years 
    • MBB: $150-$175k Base / 15-20% bonus structure
    • OW, LEK, Accenture: $130k - $150k Base / 15-20% bonus structure
    • Big Four Strategy: $110k - $140k Base / 15-20% bonus structure

Beyond this, it depends on the value, specialization and trajectory of the individual.

Now, keep in mind the above are the most sought after firms in the US. There are other specialized consulting firms and boutique firms that average closer to ~$70-80k US / 10-15% bonus structure on average. 


LEK undergrads are at $95 base + 5-25% bonus and the MBAs are at $185 + 5-35% not counting signing. Bonus heavily dependent on firm wide profit share.

MBB raised undergrad base to $110-112 and MBAs are at $190-195

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