How much does a consultant earn? “derStandard”

Vienna, Austria – Consulting is a very wide professional field, in which professionals support companies and private individuals in a wide variety of areas. The consulting needs of businesses and individuals alike have increased significantly in recent years, due to the booming complexity of professional practice.

Business consultants can charge from 1,500 to 3,000 Euros per day.

Business consultants are typically involved in strategy consulting, optimisation of business processes and organisations, IT consulting and the implementation of cost-saving measures. Companies hire recruitment consultants to research and select executives and specialists, while private individuals may consult career counsellors, life coaches or styling consultants.

The complete consultant

First and foremost, consultants need excellent communication and presentation skills. In addition, high flexibility and social assets are also important due to the diverse range of clients that make up a consultant’s caseload. Consulting is a profession that requires problem-solving skills, stress resistance and analytical thinking. In large consulting firms, consultants work in teams, so distinctive leadership and project management skills are also needed. Moreover, top management often demands an above-average work input and willingness to travel.

These days, the majority of consultancy professions also require an academic degree. Corporate or personnel consultants have often completed economic or sociological studies, and large consulting firms increasingly demand the type of analytical skills that are learned through technical studies. Many consultants who work with private individuals also hold coaching and training credentials.

It is important to accumulate relevant work experience as soon as possible. The typical management consultant career path starts with a position as a junior employee of a consulting firm, supported by experienced consultants. The most successful consultants tend not to be generalists, but to specialise in a specific subject area or industry. Focusing on a specific niche is very important in order to understand the needs and problems of the client as fully as possible. In order to become promoted to management in a consulting firm, it is important for a consultant to develop a professional network and demonstrate his or her positive impacts on sales and profitability.

Salaries around the world

The earning potential of a consultant varies widely depending on the industry. The starting salary within many corporate consulting firms is around 35,000 Euros gross per year. Large American consulting companies pay starting salaries of over 60,000 Euros gross and thus represent the highest outliers. However, private consultants are more likely to start out earning between 25,000 and 30,000 Euros.

The earning potential of an individual consultant is strongly dependent on his or her career track. Team leaders in consulting organisations that provide services to private individuals (such as career consulting) usually earn from 40,000 to 45,000 Euros gross per year, while project managers in large management consultancy firms can expect salaries exceeding 100,000 Euros gross.

Bonuses play an important role

Corporate and personnel consultants with 10 to 15 years of experience but without leadership responsibilities tend to earn a base salary of around 70,000 to 80,000 Euros annually. However, many consulting firms offer bonuses based on turnover, workloads and profit margins. On average, this bonus amounts to 10-30% of the basic remuneration.

Many consultants find that independence and increasing professional experience are greater motivating factors than remuneration. Self-employed business consultants often work for daily fees, usually around 1,500 to 3,000 Euros gross. Self-employed consultants for private individuals usually charge hourly rates of 70 to 120 Euros gross.

Pedersen & Partners is one of the fastest-growing, fully integrated Executive Search firms worldwide; it is 100% owned by its partners who all work full-time to serve its clients. The firm celebrated its 15th anniversary in January 2016, and to mark this occasion, it has created a timeline web page, featuring key milestones for the firm’s development and has released an anniversary video.

Conrad Pramböck is the Head of Compensation Consulting at Pedersen & Partners. Based in Vienna, Austria, he is responsible for consulting companies on all aspects of compensation, including providing companies with up-to-date market information on salary ranges and design of bonus systems across all industries and geographies. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Pramböck held several senior positions in international consultancy firms. He started his career with a German Consultancy firm working in management consulting and later in the Compensation Consulting business unit based in Austria. For the following seven years he worked with one of the top Austrian Executive Search firms as the Head of Compensation Consulting. He was responsible for all international compensation consulting activities and developed and maintained an international compensation database in 40 countries.

Pedersen & Partners is a leading international Executive Search firm. We operate 56 wholly owned offices in 52 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia & the Americas. Our values Trust, Relationship and Professionalism apply to our interaction with clients as well as executives. More information about Pedersen & Partners is available at

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