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Salary survey - are you paid enough?

#1 Salary survey - are you paid enough?
28/06/2007 16:44

Tony Restell (

I promised a couple of weeks back to post a thread when our 2007 salary survey went live. Well now it is! So for those of you that would like to know how your salary compares with others in our industry, register your details online at:

<a href=></a>

Plus a more general question for the forum - do you think consulting is losing its sheen compared with the City and with industry in terms of the earnings you can expect to achieve?

Look forward to reading your thoughts

Tony Restell

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#2 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
28/06/2007 17:38

Mr S. Kint to Tony Restell ( (#1)

The results of this survey will be very interesting indeed.

The questions about "what % pay rise did you receive" made me chuckle however. There is no option for a pay cut. A lot of us have experienced across-the-board pay cuts lately. Not a very pleasing situation at all.

I think consulting is definitely losing its sheen compared with the city and industry. The earnings are still there, it's just that employers expect you to sacrifice too much to get them (hours, travel, lack of job security, high stress, etc). Most of my clients earn more than I do. I'm in a supposedly well-paying career yet I can only just about afford the mortgage on a dingy 2 bed flat in a grim area of London. Hardly the jet-set big-bucks lifestyle I was led to believe consulting was all about when I was at university.

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#3 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
29/06/2007 12:10

Tony Restell ( to Mr S. Kint (#2)

Thanks for sharing that Mr S.Kint - I must admit it never crossed our mind to put in options for having been handed a pay cut, as that's not what we've been hearing in the market at all and hardly the action you'd expect in an industry that is struggling to retain its staff and attract in new blood.

Anyone else out there faced a pay cut in recent months - and if so who's your employer? I'm finding it hard to imagine this is very prevalent in the UK right now...


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#4 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
29/06/2007 12:39

Korn to Tony Restell ( (#3)

It astonishes me to hear that consultants get paid less than those in industry, and even more stumped that consultants get pay cuts! It is understandable that your bonuses would be less but your base salary should not decrease. This is rare!

Majority of my friends are consultants and earn roughly 3 (even 4) times than what I earn in industry. Inevitably, this is dependant on what industry you are in, and are comparing like with like.

This survey is an excellent way of capturing and understanding what consultants are paid. I eagerly await to see the results! :)

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#5 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
29/06/2007 12:54

Corporate Whore to Korn (#4)

With increases in inflation and interest rates, wouldn't it be the case that no increase in salary effectively amounts to pay cut?

Maybe not on paper, but spending power and disposable income are reduced.

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#6 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
29/06/2007 19:25

anon to Corporate Whore (#5)

I don't know anyone who's got a pay cut. If anything, there are all the contractual issues. Besides, in the current market, anyone offered a paycut would surely jump ship before it came into effect.

Consulting has definitely lost its sheen compared to the City in recent years - it hasn't demonstrated the same boost that the City has in the current boom. It is also becoming more polarised between partners/stockholders and everyone else. I have spoken to a number of Big 4 managers and their opinion is that the middle has been squeezed out of their business model - at the top, it's an attractive place to be. Then there's a vacuum because clients don't want to pay mid-level consultants. Finally, there is a wide base of warm bodies who are very cheap.

Compared to industry, consulting is less attractive than it used to be. Some of this has to do with the market's maturity. Some clients have wised-up to the idea that it's much cheaper to put consulting staff on the payroll as employees than to pay hourly rates - companies are becoming more prepared to accommodate the higher turnover culture that comes with fidgety consultants. A long-overdue shift in the wider talent market is the development of senior talent paths aside from the executive - there are more opportunities for subject matter experts, strategists, change agents, etc. to fit into the senior grades without having to sit in a slow-moving line management role.

Another factor that has come to bear over the past few years is the (re)entry of accountancies and other professions to the consulting space.

The factors above come together to dilute the value and attractiveness of consulting as a whole. However, there are structural differences between consulting-proper and other industries and there are still some good consulting jobs out there if you know where to look.

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#7 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
30/06/2007 10:44

JJ to anon (#6)

Consulting salaries are top quartile at graduate level and partner level but below industry in the middle and with greater demands e.g. travel.

There are too many consultants out there in the middle level. This may seem to be at odds with the "booming" recruitment market. However it parallels the way film companies struggle to attract A list actors.....yet there are many talented actors on the bench.

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#8 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
30/06/2007 12:09

JJ to JJ (#7)

Of course there are quite a number of redundant ex middle managers. Some are no longer earning or are earning less than they did in industry (sometimes as consultants!).

Including these people would bring the average salary in industry down significantly.

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#9 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
30/06/2007 13:58

John P to JJ (#8)

Hi Tony Restell,

Please don't forget to include a rough guide (preferably by each of the grades in the survey) the ratio of the respondents across firm types so we can gauge more accurately the reflection of the results.

- Rank (Salary average)

Full service respondents: Strategy and niche respondents: other respondents


- Junior Consultant (£35,000)

240: 10: 18

- Senior Consultant (£43,000)

180: 8: 43

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#10 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
02/07/2007 12:07

Tony Restell ( to John P (#9)

John - we'll try to incorporate this suggestion in the 2007 report when it comes out in August.

FYI we're also this year running a parallel survey for IT consultants, which can be found on the new TopITconsultant site:

<a href= target=_blank>IT consulting salary survey</a>

Rgds, Tony Restell

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#11 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
02/07/2007 14:36

International perspective to Tony Restell ( (#10)

Look can someone please help S Kint out. poor chap seems to need a new job!

Internationally speaking, the view is that this is a very good time to be a consultant in London. We are finding it near impossible to recruit out of the London market but significantly easier out of some of the other European markets. London is actually attracting experienced consultants from other European markets with less robust economies. the strength of the pound is also making London based consultants appear very expensive in the international market.

The comment Korn makes about industry pay vs consulting pay does consider the different industries. As consultants you receive a consultant's pay. Whether you are paid more or less than the industry is going to depend entirely on the payscales of the industry you serve. Quite clearly a retail manager on next to nothing can be a client as can an investment banker, who earns millions.

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#12 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
02/07/2007 15:26

Recruiterman to International perspective (#11)

Absolutely agree "International Perspective". I can't imagine who S.Kint has been talking to to have come away with the impression that a pay cut is something you just have to grin and bear. The market's crying out for talent S.Kint, start looking at other options outside your current employer!!

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#13 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
02/07/2007 16:13

Mr S. Kint to Recruiterman (#12)

Hello Recruiterman and "International perspective". I have for some time been anxiously thinking about jumping ship but I am by nature a very nervous person. A few things in particular are holding me back:

1. I currently do almost no international travel and any UK travel I do rarely involves staying away from home (short stays away are OK with me, but being relocated to Dundee for 3 months for instance would not be)

2. I work for a small firm and know the team very well on a personal level. I know you shouldn't mix business and 'pleasure' but I would feel really bad about moving on because I know it would damage a number of relationships that I value

3. I am afraid of starting over again. I've built up my little niche, I know what I'm good at and what I'm not so good at, and I'm relatively content with what I do and the people I work with. I am worried about being launched into an aggressive or competitive corporate environment where I would have to re-build my reputation from square 1 again

4. I have a good work-life balance at present and am worried about going back into the 60+ hours environment again

It's such a dilemma for me. I really need some extra money but I'd be so upset if I moved jobs only to wish I had my old one back. The firm hasn't been doing well lately, hence the across-the-board pay cuts. Despite the pay cuts, unexpected redundancies are unlikely because in all fairness the employer is a relatively 'kind' one that does actually keep us in the loop. What do you think?

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#14 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
16/07/2007 16:40

Tony Restell ( to Tony Restell ( (#1)

We've had over 1,500 responses to this year's salary survey exercise, which is phenomenal in barely 2 weeks! Thanks to everyone that has taken part so far.

If you do want to participate and receive a copy of the 2007 report then please complete your entry before the end of July when the surveys will be closing...

IT consultants - <a href=>click here to take part</a>

Management consultants - <a href=>click here to take part</a>

Thanks, Tony

Tony Restell

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#15 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
16/07/2007 17:18

anon to Mr S. Kint (#13)

Stay where you are - you can't have everythimg.

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#16 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
17/07/2007 08:30

Not a consultant to anon (#15)

I personally value time at home more than money, which I think is why consultancy was never the choice for me. But it seems to me that you have to decide what you value more:

On the one side; more time at home, limited travel, great working environment, good w/l balance


More money.

I know which I’d choose. Plus if it’s well known that you’re good in your niche, if ever there is a breakaway posse formed, you could well be asked to come. Relitively poor pay and good personal relationships with people make it relatively likely that someone might decide to form his own start up. Maybe J

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#17 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
17/07/2007 08:34

Mike Control to Not a consultant (#16)

Just out of intrest S Kint, does working in a small consultancy on lower than average pay mean that you work for relatively small companies? And if so, what’s the typical size of the company you work for?

I always wanted to work for very small companies, maybe even one man bands, but of course very few of them can afford to hire consultants…

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#18 RE: Salary survey - are you paid enough?
17/07/2007 12:47

Mr S. Kint to Mike Control (#17)

Yes, we work for relatively small companies. They face some unique challenges and despite their size, the calibre of their staff is at least as good as you find in an FTSE organisation. Obviously you don't have the glamour of being associated with a £50M deal or being the line manager of 20-odd staff, but the exposure to true high-level business problems is much greater in my opinion. I have to say I do prefer this kind of environment although I'm aware that for some reason a lot of people think big companies are 'better' (maybe because the brand is more recognisable?).

The main downside is that they can be quite tight with budgets and you can't take your foot off the gas pedal like you can with big companies when you need a bit of a break. But for the most part they do go home at a reasonable hour.

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