A management consultant helps a company or government entity become more competitive. To achieve this goal, he or she changes the organization's structure and looks for ways to increase profits and improve efficiency. Also known as a management analyst, he or she may specialize in a particular industry, for example, health care, manufacturing, or education. Alternatively, a management consultant's focus may be on a function, for example, human resources, information technology, or inventory control.
He or she identifies problems, gathers information, and implements solutions. Management consultants frequently work on teams. Most work for consulting firms, rather than directly for the company they are analyzing.
- As of 2016, management consultants earned a median annual salary of $81,330.
- Almost 806,000 people work in this occupation.
- Most jobs are in large metropolitan areas.
- 17% of all management consultants are self-employed.
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment in this field will grow more rapidly than the average for all occupations between 2016 and 2026. Consultants who specialize in health care and IT, particularly cybersecurity, are expected to have the best job prospects.
What Does a Management Consultant Do?
According to job announcements employers listed on Indeed.com, management consultants were responsible for the following job duties:
- "Quickly become familiar with client business challenges and technologies to understand the environment for change and act as a trusted advisor to client stakeholders while leading change"
- "Identify and negotiate schedules, milestones, and resources required to meet project objectives"
- "Develop program level communications, i.e., communications to the senior stakeholders and the general employee population and communications to the projects teams"
- "Conduct training classes for a variety of audiences"
- "Provide respectful feedback"
- "Work to drive faster adoption, greater utilization, and higher proficiency regarding the changes impacting employees in the organization in order to achieve business objectives"
The Downside of Working in This Career Field
- Twenty-five percent of management consultants work overtime.
- They must meet tight deadlines.
- Clients are often very demanding.
- Traveling to client's offices often requires long periods of time away from home.
- Management consultants may experience a lot of job stress because of these factors.
Many entry-level jobs require a bachelor's degree. Management consultants often major in business administration, economics, finance, psychology, management, marketing, accounting, or computer and information science. Many employers prefer candidates who have an MBA (Master's of Business Administration). Experience in the industry in which you want to consult will make you a more competitive job candidate, but many consulting firms provide training to recent graduates.
What Soft Skills Do You Need?
Management consultants must have the following soft skills, which are personal qualities that will help you succeed in your work:
- Organizational Skills
- Analytical Skills
- Listening and Verbal Communication Skills
- Writing Skills
- Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Skills
- Time Management Skills
- Interpersonal Skills
What Will Employers Expect From You?
Here are some job requirements from job announcements found on Indeed.com:
- "Ability to deal effectively with stressful situations"
- "Effectively deliver projects on-time, on-budget within scope that meets or exceeds stakeholder expectations"
- "Ability to establish and maintain strong relationships and to influence others and move toward a common vision or goal"
- "Skilled in the use of Microsoft Office products, especially PowerPoint"
- "Ability to perform business readiness assessments, including stakeholder surveys, interviewing, and related information gathering activities"
- "Strong facilitation skills"
Is This Occupation a Good Fit for You?
Always account for your interests, personality type, and work-related values when deciding whether an occupation is right for you. This career is a good fit for individuals who have the following traits:
- Interests (Holland Code): IEC (Investigative, Enterprising, Conventional
- Personality Type (MBTI Personality Types): ENFJ, ENFP, ENTJ, INTJ, ENTP, ESFJ, ESTP, ISTP
- Work-Related Values: Relationships, Achievement, Independence
Occupations With Related Tasks and Activities
Median Annual Wage
|Minimum Required Education/Training|
|Identifies, measures, and manages an organization's risks||$69,470*||Bachelor's Degree|
|Financial Quantitative Analyst||Develops quantitative financial products||$69,470*||Master's Degree|
|Fraud Examiner, Investigator, or Analyst||Investigates fraud allegations and recommends actions||$69,470*||Bachelor's Degree|
|Training and Development Specialist||Develop, implement, and administer programs that improve employees' skills and knowledge||$59,020||Bachelor's Degree|
*The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics combines employment data for these financial specialists
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook; Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online (visited December 20, 2017).