What are the hierarchy levels at Accenture

Management consultant: career as a partner

The success in a management consultancy, partner or not, is reflected in the position in the hierarchy of the consulting company. There are different levels of career depending on the size of the consulting firm. At the top of the pyramid is acceptance into management consulting as the partner with the highest salary. Read here whether it is worthwhile to become a partner in management consulting and how you can achieve this.

Each management consultancy and its partners have their own model for the careers of their employees and their salaries. (Image: FotolEdhar - fotolia)


What career levels are there?

The large consulting companies (McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Roland Berger and others) have clearly defined levels in their hierarchy. The names vary from company to company. Every management consultancy and its partners have their own model for the careers of their employees and their salaries. Smaller companies have fewer career levels than large companies.

The entry usually takes place as an associate or junior consultant. The salary for young professionals at large companies averages between EUR 60,000 and EUR 90,000 a year, depending on the applicant's qualifications and tasks. In the case of small and medium-sized companies in management consulting, the partners pay an average of between EUR 40,000 and EUR 60,000 at the beginning, depending on their size. The salary develops with the growing tasks. The next level in the hierarchy is the Consultant, Senior Consultant or Senior Associate. Here you are already taking on independent modules from projects as part of your tasks.
In the course of your career, you will be given more and more managerial responsibility in your tasks. You will be promoted to Project Leader or Project Manager. You are responsible for entire projects at this level of the hierarchy.

Your tasks increasingly include the expansion and maintenance of customer relationships. Before you are accepted as a partner in management consulting, prove yourself as a principal on the next level of the hierarchy. At this point in your career you will be in contact with top managers and be responsible for larger projects. Internally, too, you are increasingly involved as a mentor in responsibility for the next generation of consultants.

Your salary will evolve at every level. Variable components such as sales shares and special payments are added and make up an ever increasing proportion. At this stage of your career, your salary at the large companies is around 180,000 EUR to over 230,000 EUR per year, depending on the variable components, and accordingly lower for smaller companies. After all, if you have the appropriate qualifications, you can become a partner in management consulting and thus reach the top of the hierarchy to crown your career.

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Is it worthwhile to become a partner in management consulting?

Become a partner in management consulting and your salary will grow significantly. You become a partner in society and are at the top of the hierarchy. Not everyone can become a partner in management consulting because of their performance and personality. Not everyone wants this too. Those who place more value on their work-life balance in their tasks may decide against this path.

If you are a partner and shareholder in management consultancy, you and your partner colleagues will manage the company. In the hierarchy, you are the contact person at the company's board level and work with your company's top clientele. You take on full management and personnel responsibility. However, all of this is not free. Your workload is heavy. 70 to 80 hours a week and more are the norm. You and your partners bear the risk and responsibility for the entrepreneurial success of your consulting company.
It is definitely financially worthwhile. The partners of large, market-leading consulting firms achieve a salary of well over EUR 250,000 per year with variable components. With a corresponding profit sharing, this can range up to EUR 500,000 and above. It is also worthwhile for the smaller companies, even if the salary there is correspondingly lower than the turnover. In addition, there is a high degree of recognition and reputation if you can call yourself a partner in management consulting.

How do you become a partner in a management consultancy?

If you have gone through various levels of the hierarchy in your career, assuming the appropriate commitment in your tasks and success, you will have qualified in the end and will rise to the top of management consulting as a partner.

The yardstick for fulfilling your tasks is basically the turnover you have achieved or acquired. As a rainmaker, be it through particularly high own sales or through special achievements in acquisition, you climb the ladder of your career faster and reach the top positions in the hierarchy more quickly. You have to fit as a personality. As a rule, your development is carefully monitored by the partners. Suitable candidates for the partnership are promoted accordingly. The decision about who is accepted as a partner in the management consultancy is made by the partner meeting.

Those who have ambitions for a partnership without reaching this position often leave society and look for new tasks.
If you have the appropriate experience, you can apply to be a partner at another company. If you have been able to build up your own base of clients, they may follow you, which makes you attractive to competitors from your previous employer.

Depending on your financial possibilities, there is also the option of acquiring a share in a management consultancy as a partner. Smaller companies in particular often look for successors in this way when their partners reach the age limit. Finally, founding your own business consultancy as a partner comes into consideration. This path is often chosen as a spin-off by teammates who have previously worked well together on their tasks.