Consulting pay is a joke

Hello monkeys,
Is it just me or do others also think Consulting pay is a joke. While our banking peers are getting substantial base raises (in addition to their already high bonuses), we are getting peanuts compared to the hours worked. I am wrapping up my first year at an MBB in NYC and will probably clear ~120k USD pre-tax including base and bonus. My hours have been terrible during WFH (and this is without the travel component -- can't even imagine what that will look like once travel to client site resumes. I'm already actively looking for exits. 

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Comments (44)

Aug 23, 2021 - 11:18am

MBB pay 90k base and up to 30k in performance bonus (Bain/BCG pay up to around 20k, McK up to 30k)

90k base comes to 58-63k net in NYC, assuming no additional contributions. If top performer at McK and you got 30k annual, you get about 15k up front and then a few grand back during tax season... safe to assume net 15-20k on 30k bonus.

So we're talking about a post-tax total of 70/80k-ish all in. For a 21/22 year old with no real skillset, that's still some awesome pay. Comparison is the thief of joy amigo

Array

  • 3
  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
Aug 23, 2021 - 11:22am

As someone who left MBB a few years ago, I concur: the compensation, especially at the analyst level, sucks compared to peers (though the vast exit options I had made it worth it in the end). 

I will say the clear upside to MBB versus banking is a faster promotion path. At M, average of ~3-3.5 YOE to get promoted to EM (probably senior ASC / maybe VP equivalent in banking since you're essentially leading & the point person for a study), and ~8-9 for partner for an average performer (~3.5 for BA-> EM, ~2.5 for EM->AP, ~2-3 for AP-> P)

  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
Aug 23, 2021 - 3:00pm

Also as others have pointed out, the pay only sucks in HCOL cities (aka the largest offices like NY, SF). Pay is actually really good in LCOL cities/offices

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Aug 23, 2021 - 2:30pm

120k isn't bad pay.  It's substantially above most post-MBA school averages. It's the hours that suck, but you're also making up those hours with "prestige" and exit opportunities.

  • 1
  • Prospect in Consulting
Aug 23, 2021 - 10:09pm

OP here - first of all, 100k base doesn't count bc they just raised base, I don't want to dox myself but my base for the past year was 80-85k. Signing bonus is a one-time thing and should be treated as a relocation bonus (unless you are living with parents, or already own an apt in the city etc.). Also, have never heard a Profit Share for a 1st year analyst. That starts in the EM/CTL/PL level.. My bonus was 30k because I was top bucket but worked quite a few weekends on Partners RFPs and internal firm initatives (gunning for a top MBA so need those good reccs so lifestyle has been terrible)...

Aug 24, 2021 - 1:49am

Why are you trying to refute the numbers of the standard campus offer? Bain has profit share for ACs.

A signing bonus is part of Year 1 compensation. It's why we say FAANG pays so much- ridiculous sign on stock grants, etc.

I told you exactly how much a Year 1 BA level makes at MBB. Year 2 is more (sign on bonus is less than the raise from BA1 -> BA2).

Aug 23, 2021 - 3:11pm

Can't speak to your hours, but mine and almost all of my colleagues at my MBB are no where near IB. 70 hours is a very bad week in consulting. 60 is much more common and experienced consultants can do less. Getting paid $120k vs $160k is 100% worth it for being able to have a life.

  • Consultant in Consulting
Aug 30, 2021 - 10:30pm

It is incomparable to banking. You have your weekends off. That means you have an off switch from work. Banking is a completely different lifestyle that shouldn't even be compared to consulting tbh.

  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
Aug 23, 2021 - 6:47pm

Current MBB 1st year analyst that lives with IB roommates and feel like there's a major difference in lifestyle which makes up for the lower salary. For example, I've worked maybe 1-2 weekends this past year whereas my roommates have been working most weekends. I have the flexibility of confirming trips / vacations with our other friends while they can't, etc.

  • Prospect in Consulting
Aug 23, 2021 - 10:09pm

OP here - first of all, 100k base doesn't count bc they just raised base, I don't want to dox myself but my base for the past year was 80-85k. Signing bonus is a one-time thing and should be treated as a relocation bonus (unless you are living with parents, or already own an apt in the city etc.). Also, have never heard a Profit Share for a 1st year analyst. That starts in the EM/CTL/PL level.. My bonus was 30k because I was top bucket but worked quite a few weekends on Partners RFPs and internal firm initatives (gunning for a top MBA so need those good reccs so lifestyle has been terrible)...

Aug 23, 2021 - 9:29pm

Can someone give first hand report on Mckinsey all in comp for first year analysts? 

Above post had an " MBB" at 153k all in. That surprised me to the upside a bit..anyone have any other data points?

  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
Aug 23, 2021 - 9:48pm

UncleSal

Can someone give first hand report on Mckinsey all in comp for first year analysts? 

Above post had an " MBB" at 153k all in. That surprised me to the upside a bit..anyone have any other data points?

That's not TC, that's all-in including sign-on bonus, 401k, etc. If we went by that metric many first year SWEs would be making ~250k comp all-in.

Base + bonus is now ~115k average (~130k for top performers) as of a recent base raise irc. Used to be ~90-95k average just 3 years ago

  • Prospect in Consulting
Aug 23, 2021 - 10:09pm

OP here - first of all, 100k base doesn't count bc they just raised base, I don't want to dox myself but my base for the past year was 80-85k. Signing bonus is a one-time thing and should be treated as a relocation bonus (unless you are living with parents, or already own an apt in the city etc.). Also, have never heard a Profit Share for a 1st year analyst. That starts in the EM/CTL/PL level.. My bonus was 30k because I was top bucket but worked quite a few weekends on Partners RFPs and internal firm initatives (gunning for a top MBA so need those good reccs so lifestyle has been terrible)...

Aug 24, 2021 - 10:34am

Above post is off. Also, signing bonus should not be treated as a relocation bonus, since there's a separate relocation bonus. 401k should definitely count as part of total comp since it vests immediately.

New base for UG campus hires is 100k, I think signing is 5k. 401k contribution (also called profit sharing) is 7.5%, so 7.5k. No performance bonus for first calendar year (usually starting mid August) and "well performing" bonus for second calendar year is about 15k. So accrued comp for average performer over first 12 months is about 123k.

Aug 23, 2021 - 9:57pm

Hey! Consultants at MNB are in it for the training and the opportunity to become c-suite leaders one day. Comp isn't what's important to young consultants, if it was you would have tried IB out of college. No complaining please.

Aug 24, 2021 - 8:29am

The overall mindset and skill set of IB and Consulting are different. It's not as if this salary should be shocking; it's already been known MBB pays $85-90k with $10-30k bonus and it's already been known that even if MBB has busy seasons, the average horus in most banks is significantly worse. I'm not making bank since I'm at a T2, but I work stable hours and enjoy my time out of work. If you genuinely believe you're underpaid for hours worked, feel free to compare hourly wage, but not just to those that broke into the most lucrative fields in the world of finance, but overall.

Accounting firms pay below minimum wage after considering hours worked at Big 4, IB firms average 80-90 hours for that salary bump, and many, many other jobs don't have salaries close to MBB not their exits.

  • Prospect in Consulting
Aug 24, 2021 - 3:10pm

Hey FinesseGod, have been following you for a while. Nice to see that you have ended up at a T2 firm, what type of work/projects are you getting exposed to in Toronto?

  • Analyst 2 in Consulting
Aug 28, 2021 - 2:42pm

What percent of Mckinsey BAs get what bucket of bonus (ie 15 vs 20 vs 30k)

Aug 28, 2021 - 5:18pm

Surprised nobody has talked about the business model. IB is all about volume and size - lucrative fees are charged up front, and that's why it's a grind factory working 80/90 hours a week on average throughout the year; you are always expected to be on and churning.

I know some consultancies do fees rather than billable hours or w/e, but it's still just not comparable given the time/demand/length of consulting engagements - you can't staff a consultant on as many engagements as you can with IBD analysts. The work is less intellectually demanding/intentful at the junior level in banking, which means more "value" can be extracted by cross-staffing analysts and just jamming through deals. 

So, of course IBD is going to pay more, what do you expect? When you consider how much more stable your lifestyle is in consulting (predictability, sleep, travel, time off, weekends, etc.) it more than makes up for the compensation gap.. IMO. Regardless, I think it's misguided and naive to complain about this when you look at it this way - consultants never made as much as bankers, and it makes 100% sense why. 

Sorry to hear that your hours have been fucked due to covid, the line between work/home has now been completely blurred - so I understand your frustration. These aren't normal times though. 

Array

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Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Aug 29, 2021 - 10:03pm

The entitlement on this website is fucking insane.

YOU ARE 22 YEARS OLD AND MAKING >$100k TO DRAFT PPT SLIDES FOR 60 HRS A WEEK.

Seriously shut the fuck up. Nobody fucking cares whether a snot nosed 22 year old gets paid a few extra bucks less than the slaves in IB or SWE nerds in tech. You have the rest of your fucking career to amp up your income. Stop counting pennies like a bitch. Save what you can, learn as much as possible and make the right career moves. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 3, 2021 - 5:10am

the perks apply to all office workers my guy, just exit to a standard Corp gig at one of those tech companies if you actually give a rat's ass. 

  • Consultant in Consulting
Sep 3, 2021 - 5:48pm

They don't during the pandemic. And I know pre-Covid, McKinsey has a cafeteria where they give free meals and snacks when you're at the office (and obviously you could expense all your meals when you travel). 

Sep 10, 2021 - 7:48am

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