Corporates are one of the most common post-consulting destinations. They are often culturally and structurally similar, making for an easier transition, but offer benefits and opportunities not available within consulting.
Below, we look at one major aspect of the shift from consulting to corporates: what happens to pay.
On the face of it, those consultants who move to corporates earn on average 11.75% less than those who stay at large consultancies. However, the reality is that pay varies with seniority, and the gap between corporates and large consultancies narrows and then reverses with seniority:
At senior analyst level, consulting alumni in corporates earn 33% less than those in large consultancies.
By director level, consulting alumni in corporates earn 11% more than their counterparts in large consultancies.
The most common time to leave consulting is at the associate level, meaning that in reality most consultants making the move to corporates will earn a comparable salary to those that stay in consulting for the first few years.
Pay per hour
As soon as working hours are considered, it becomes even more obvious that moving to corporates does not usually mean a drop in pay. In fact, on average, consulting alumni at corporates earn 10% more per hour than those in consultancies:
Only at senior analyst level is pay/hour lower in corporates than in consultancies, and even then only by 13%.
From manager level, consulting alumni in corporates earn on average 11% more per hour than their counterparts in large consulting.
By director level, they can earn as much as 22% more.
Working hours continue to be a major reason why consultants move to ‘industry: improving work-life balance, as well as pay/hour, is a strong draw to corporates. Considering again that most commonly consultants exit their original industry at associate level or above, corporates clearly offer improvements to both total pay and pay per hour – and the more senior the candidate, the more marked the benefits.
For further insights on corporate pay, including compensation make-up (i.e. bonus + basic v. equity, etc) and the gender pay gap, you can download our full corporate pay PDF here. This PDF is based on our 2019 salary report, which you can request in full here.