Unlocking the Secrets of Consulting: How Do Consultants Make So Much Money?

This is the moment when you begin to analyze all the available information and decide what is important (or not). Researching doesn't necessarily mean Googling things on the desktop (though there's definitely some of that), but it can mean a variety of things, such as reading reports, financial statements, or interviewing your client and their customers. As a consultant, you'll usually work from a hypothesis. Instead of “boiling the ocean” (a metaphor for exaggerating and, in this case, doing endless research), a hypothesis-based approach allows you to focus on proving (or refuting) a particular argument.

In a typical strategic consulting project, once you've done relevant research, it's time to get your hands dirty and start opening Excel spreadsheets. The analysis phase takes all the information you have collected and consolidates it to continue testing or refuting your hypothesis. It forms the backbone of your final recommendations. Consultancies don't exist without clients, so a significant amount of time is spent generating new business.

As you develop and move up the consulting hierarchy, you'll spend more time attracting new customers or selling projects to existing ones. As a junior consultant, you're expected to help by doing some research, calculating numbers, or developing presentation materials. This is the most common way, and it is for people who know from a very early age that they want to dedicate themselves to consulting. And we'll also see people who just stay for years and years at their consulting firm and progress up that ladder.

Many of those low-income consultants could be doing the work part-time, without ever striving for higher incomes. So how much do consultants earn? That answer depends entirely on the type of consultancy you're interested in and the value it brings. There are also people who will gain a lot of work experience in an industry, get an MBA, and then be hired for a consulting firm. These are also large consulting firms that focus more on management consulting, specifically strategy consulting, while the “big four” are accounting firms that also offer consulting services.

In the case of other consulting firms, it is likely that they will do some type of test before you submit your application or while you apply. Due to the fast-paced nature of the industry, a social media consultant must know everything from the latest iOS updates to how to create TikTok content that generates views. Remember that, even if the annual average is a little lower than you were looking for, there are part-time consultants who could be skewing the salary figures downwards. I joined as an associate consultant, which is the entry-level of my company, and I wanted to work at the consultant level.

These management consulting firms can be difficult to break into because recruiters choose from an elite group the best MBA graduates from Ivy League universities. At the end of the day, junior consultants with between zero and five years of experience do much of the work that companies pay big money for. The typical path that people see in consulting is to work at a large consulting firm for two years, and then going and doing whatever else they want to do, whether it's working in a startup company or working internally in a large organization and being on the client's side. The fee you may charge will depend on the number of aspects of the project you can consult about and the value of those results to the customer.

A systems consultant has the experience necessary to evaluate a customer's IT systems and then improve functionality. With so many different types of consultants out there offering their services at different rates, it can be difficult to determine how much money consultants make in total. However, with some research and understanding of what each type of consultant does and how much value they bring to their clients, it's possible to get an idea of how much money consultants make in total.

Ernest Oesterling
Ernest Oesterling

Certified tv guru. Passionate social media aficionado. Infuriatingly humble music buff. . Lifelong tv junkie. Professional food expert.

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