What happens when businesses are at a loss on how to improve their bottom line numbers? There are plenty of answers to that question, but to do this most efficiently, organizations should take on guidance from management consultants. These professionals are experts at analyzing current situations and planning out solutions for a profitable future in the business. If you'd like to be the one companies turn to when seeking expertise, you might consider a career as a management consultant. We've provided some basic information you'll need to know if you plan on pursuing this path, such as typical job duties, projected earnings, job outlook and how to join this career.
Responsibilities of a management consultant
The role of a management consultant is crucial for supporting and assisting business leaders, as these professionals provide the insights and advice leaders need to improve the efficiency of their organization. To analyze and report data, management consultants often conduct studies, evaluations and surveys of corporate procedures to see how they are performing. They will then use this information to suggest potential solutions to streamline these processes. In addition to working with already existing systems, management consultants make predictions on business' future performances by using the results of their research.
Some of the duties of a management consultant include:
Management consultants work in all types of industries. Depending on exactly what the company expects from the professional, they might hire an in-house consultant or they may prefer to work with a management consultant firm. The choice is yours whether you'd like to work closely with one organization or if you'd like to work for a firm, providing services to multiple businesses.
Management consultant salary
Of course money may not be everything when you're trying to find the right career to meet your goals and interests. However, it is worth noting just how much you can expect to make depending on what type of role you're stepping into. According to PayScale, the national average salary of management consultants is $87,181. Salaries for these professionals typically fall between the range of $58,000 and $142,000. The exact amount you can expect to earn in this career depends on a number of factors, including experience and expertise level. The highest-paying specialization, according to PayScale, is IT consulting.
The exact amount of earnings you can get from a career as a management consultant – and the way this paycheck emerges – also depends on your work environment. Management consultants working in-house at a company might receive a salary alone, with a potential for bonuses. Individuals working for consulting firms typically receive base salaries and year-end bonuses based on their work with different clients. Meanwhile, self-employed consultants might charge clients on an hourly basis or by every completed project.
Currently, the job market is looking positive for management consultants. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management consultant jobs are expected to grow 14% from 2016 to 2026, at a much faster rate than the average for all occupations in the U.S. The BLS reported more specifically that there will be a high demand for consultants working in health care and IT.
How to become a management consultant
Now that you know what this role involves, you may want to know exactly how you can become a management consultant. Unfortunately, this isn't a role you can step into right after pursuing your undergraduate degree. Most management consultants have at least five years of experience in a different position, such as a business analyst or market research analyst. Depending on the industry you'd like to become a management consultant for, that's what you should try to pursue during the next few years.
Even though it's possible to get a job as a management consultant with a bachelor's degree alone, many employers will only hire candidates with an advanced degree. Though many programs do not have specific degrees for management consultant, there are plenty with a focus that will help build the skills you need to become successful in this career.
A master's degree in Business Administration might be the best way to pursue a higher degree and hone your skills in consulting. Be sure to check out many graduate schools before settling on what program can offer you the MBA you're looking for.