McKinsey & Company is one of the most popular career destinations for aspiring consultants, and ranks among the top employers of MBA graduates globally.
McKinsey recruits from many of the top US business schools, such as Columbia Business School and Chicago Booth, as well as European business schools, including INSEAD, where McKinsey hired 131 MBAs from in 2019, and London Business School.
In 2020, McKinsey hired more than 1,500 new consultants, and over 1,000 interns. 2021 looks equally promising, with McKinsey promising to hire a record number of MBAs, offering some of the biggest salaries in the consulting industry.
So what do you stand to earn at McKinsey?
McKinsey Consultant Salary & Bonuses
McKinsey consultant salary prospects are particularly strong for MBA graduates, who can expect a base salary of $165,000. Master’s graduate salaries at McKinsey aren’t quite as strong, but still come in at an impressive $90,000.
Compensation doesn’t end at salary. MBA graduates at McKinsey can earn performance bonuses up to $35,000, and a signing bonus of $30,000. For master’s graduates, performance bonuses cap at $30,000, with a signing bonus of $5,000.
These numbers are just starting salaries. McKinsey consultant salaries and bonuses tend to grow by 10-to-20% each year, according to ManagementConsulted. Each promotion up a level will also coincide in a salary leap.
Master’s-level hires tend to come in at the McKinsey business analyst salary level while MBA hires come in at the McKinsey associate salary level.
Two-to-three years out of an MBA program, McKinsey manager salary prospects are around $200-to-$220,000 in base salary and $90-to-$130,000 in bonuses.
A McKinsey associate principal salary sits at around $250-to-$320,000, while McKinsey partner salary prospects start at around $350,000 and go up to $450-to-$650,000 for a senior partner with potential bonuses of over $500,000.
You’ll find similar colossal consultant salaries across all of the Big Three consulting firms: Bain, Boston Consulting Group, and McKinsey.
The figures in this table are median figures in $ based on the ranges mentioned in the text above. 0 years starts at MBA hiring level (associate). Master’s level graduates would typically take more time to reach the same levels. These are approximate figures and salaries and bonuses may exceed the figures mentioned.
Working at McKinsey
The perks of working at McKinsey don't stop at the hefty salary and bonuses. Glassdoor ranks McKinsey in its top 25 companies to work at, a strong indicator of its appeal to MBAs.
Both MBA and master’s-level hires at McKinsey get PTO vacation of 19 days per year. You can receive up to $10,000 for relocation.
One big differentiator is for returning MBA interns, for whom McKinsey will pay 50% of MBA tuition fees. McKinsey also makes a 401(k) retirement contribution of 7.5% for MBA consultants.
If your heads been turned for a role at McKinsey, make sure you do your research and think about your personal fit. Business school students turned McKinsey consultants interviewed by BusinessBecause say the learning doesn't stop once you've landed a job at McKinsey.
“Be super prepared for the process. You need to talk to people who did it before, practice cases, and be at the top of your game for the interviews. Every consulting company has its own fit, so you need to know if your profile and skills are right for the company you are pursuing.”
“You’re using the summer to really build those relationships. Bring your full self—a lot of people see the internship as the company deciding if you’re right for them, but it works the other way too. The big things to focus on are coming in prepared to learn and grow; having the humility to know you don’t understand everything; and tapping into the broader network of the firm.”
How to get hired by McKinsey
We asked Brian Rolfes, global recruiting partner for McKinsey & Company, what McKinsey looks for in potential consultant hires.
Brian looks for the same three main qualities in any candidate: problem solving, the ability to work in teams, and the ability to develop strong relationships. “These are at the core of what our consultants do every day and how we work with our clients,” Brian says.
He also looks for soft skills—”I encourage them to focus on their aptitude for collaboration, teamwork, empathy, and leading others. In the long run, those are qualities that make for success.”
Digital skills—knowledge of coding, programming, and other aspects of tech will help candidates stand out.
And Brian values candidates who bring personality to the interview—”“Think of examples of when you led a project, solved a problem, or used your entrepreneurial mindset. This portion of the interview is a great opportunity for candidates to stand out, show who they are, where they excel and what’s not on their CV.”