How much does a consultant earn

Consulting salaries: what a consultant earns

Consultants have a diverse and demanding job. More than half of them have a degree in economics.

Men earn around 64,000 euros gross annually in counseling, women with 57,500 euros per year significantly less.

With a technical college diploma, consultants earn an average of 80,000 euros annually - more than with a doctorate.

It was once considered an industry for people without time: consulting. There are numerous clichés that still accompany consulting activities today. The high workload, uncompromising cuts in companies, a mobile life with daily flights to customers and casual clothing only on Casual Friday are part of it.

There is still a lot of work to be done, but mobility has changed. In the year of the 2020 pandemic, the consulting business collapsed by a total of four percent - in the 2009 financial crisis it was 3.8 percent. This was the result of surveys conducted by the consulting experts Bianca Knoblach and Dietmar Fink.

Diverse tasks with a high degree of change

The branch's diverse range of tasks remains the same. Juniors and experienced alike work as consultants in a team on diverse, often complex challenges for companies and organizations, the self-employed or authorities.

A company wants to digitize itself? A new market product should be tested? Restructuring or transformation is imminent? New cloud concepts are to be rolled out? Consultants are on board. As an external party, they often have a decisive role.

What consultants and their client companies have in common: the high dynamic of change. In times of digitization, it is great in all industries. But also in the public sector: in the first three quarters of 2020, for example, the federal government spent 344.3 million euros on advice from external consultants.

Salary of consultants: 64,000 euros gross on average

The German consulting industry has been doing more and more in recent years. According to the Federal Association of German Management Consultants (BDU), the industry's turnover in 2018 was 33.8 billion euros. The demand for consultants also increased accordingly. Overall, the job is considered crisis-proof. More than half of the consultants have a degree in economics. The Stepstone * job platform found that 60 percent of the consultants have a degree in business administration, economics or economics.

High commitment brings money: This applies to this professional group. Consultants earn around 64,000 euros on average, according to analyzes of Stepstone's 2021 salary atlas. Even consultants without a degree still earn an average of around 60,000 euros. Only the gender pay gap could dampen the joy of high workload: women earn an average of 57,500 euros in wages, far less than their male colleagues with almost 67,000 euros.

High volume of work and high investments in further training

“Consultants traditionally earn a relatively good salary,” says André Schaefer, salary expert at Stepstone. “This is mainly due to the high level of qualification and the working environment. In the renowned management consultancies, the volume of work is usually relatively high - which is financially rewarded accordingly. ”Pressure and competition are also considered high in the consultancy profession.

Updated knowledge is everything in the industry. Studies show that digital skills and entrepreneurial thinking are becoming increasingly important for consultants. Compared to the economy as a whole, management consultancies spend four times as much on further training at an average of 4,400 euros, according to a survey by the BDU from 2020.

Most lucrative degree for consultants: the FH diploma

The earnings of a consultant are based on their qualifications, the level of experience and hierarchy level, the size of the consulting company and its location. The industry in which a consultant works is also decisive.

What unites the professional field is the necessary university degree. A surprise follows: Those who have not received a doctorate earn the best among consultants (76,700 euros on average per year). Not even consultants with a university degree (77,900 euros). A diploma from the University of Applied Sciences (FH) or university brings in the most with a good 80,000 euros.

“Diploma courses expired some time ago,” says salary expert André Schaefer. “That is why people with a diploma have on average more work experience, which, for example, often goes hand in hand with more personal responsibility. This is then reflected in higher average salaries. ”The salary group of the doctorate consultants also includes younger people who have not yet reached their salary peak. “In contrast to the diploma, more people with a doctorate come onto the job market every year,” says Schaefer.

Consultants with bachelor's and master's degrees can expect an average of 57,500 and 61,900 euros per year, respectively.

78,300 euros wages per year in management consulting

There are around 16,000 consulting firms in Germany. Its annual turnover is 30 billion euros. A distinction can be made between management and strategy consultancies such as the Boston Consulting Group or McKinsey, important and often lesser-known specialist consultancies such as Alix Partners or Vocatus and large auditing companies such as Deloitte or EY. Special consultancies are mostly medium-sized and often less well known, but highly valued by customers because of their expertise.

When it comes to wages in consulting, the Stepstone experts have taken into account areas such as project management, operations or planning as well as the consultants' different levels of experience, such as junior positions, senior positions or department heads. For example, there can be different salaries within a consultation, depending on the area of ​​responsibility.

According to the salary atlas, an annual average of 78,300 euros can be earned in management consulting. In the area of ​​regulatory affairs, where consultants regulate approval procedures for products for customers from the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, they receive an average of 65,100 euros. In the operations area, which deals with the organization of supply chains or productive processes in the production of a company, their wages are 62,800 euros per year.

The wages of change managers, in-house consultants, technical consultants

Change managers are one of the popular consulting jobs that Stepstone lists in the 2021 Salary Atlas. You will accompany change or transformation processes in companies. That brings them an average of 72,700 euros a year. In-house consultants who work in an advisory capacity in their own company can expect 66,600 euros per year. Consultants who, as business analysts, examine the quality of internal company projects, processes and systems receive around 62,300 euros annually. In corporate customer consulting, consultants receive 64,600 euros a year.

The best paying sectors for consultants are the areas of energy and water supply as well as waste disposal. They bring in an average of 69,700 euros a year. This is followed by mechanical and plant engineering (69,500 euros), insurance (69,400 euros), banks (69,200 euros), vehicle construction and suppliers (68,600 euros) and telecommunications (68,400 euros).

Most lucrative places for consultants: Munich, Frankfurt, Essen

Traditionally, anyone wondering where in Germany consultants get the best salary has to look south. The best salaries for them are in the federal states of Hesse (average 67,700 euros), Bavaria (67,300 euros), Baden-Württemberg (66,300 euros), North Rhine-Westphalia (63,600 euros) and Hamburg (63,400 euros).

The five top cities by salary for Consultants are Munich, where an average of 69,300 euros a year, Frankfurt am Main (69,200 euros), Essen (68,900 euros), Mannheim (68,700 euros) and Stuttgart (68,300 euros).

As in many other professional groups, the same applies to consulting: the larger the consulting company, the higher the earnings. In small consultations with 1 to 10 employees, consultants earn an average of 56,400 euros, in companies with 500 to 1000 employees they earn 64,500 euros.

The “big ones”, who operate internationally and have more than 10,000 employees, pay best with an average of 70,000 euros per year. However, the different conditions must be taken into account: Smaller, specialized consultancies may not offer quite as much, but they often offer good working conditions.

*Like Business Insider, Stepstone is part of Axel Springer SE.