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 the likes of INSEAD and London Business School.
The firm is popular among b-school grads, offering some of the largest salaries in the consulting industry. That's despite McKinsey freezing starting salaries in 2024, along with the other Big Three management consulting firms, Bain & Company and Boston Consulting Group.
So what do you stand to earn at McKinsey after leaving business school?
McKinsey Consultant Salary & Bonuses
McKinsey consultant salary prospects are particularly strong for MBA graduates, who can expect a base salary of $192,000. Master’s graduate salaries at McKinsey aren’t quite as strong, but still come in at an impressive $112,000.
Compensation doesn’t end at salary. MBA graduates at McKinsey can earn performance bonuses up to $40,000, and a signing bonus of $30,000. For master’s graduates, performance bonuses cap at $18,000, 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 to a higher level will also coincide with 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 $220-to-$240,000 in base salary and $100-to-$140,000 in bonuses.
A McKinsey associate principal salary sits at around $275-to-$350,000, while McKinsey partner salary prospects start between $375,000 and $450,000 at junior level, going up to $500-to-$700,000 for a senior partner with potential bonuses of over $500,000.
You’ll find similar colossal consultant salaries across all the Big Three consulting firms: Bain, Boston Consulting Group, and McKinsey.
The perks of working at McKinsey don't stop at the hefty salary and bonuses. The firm has ranked among Glassdoor's top companies to work for in the past, a strong indicator of its appeal to MBAs, and McKinsey offers a variety of jobs for MBA graduates.
Both MBA and master’s-level hires at McKinsey get PTO vacation of 19 days per year. Master’s grads can also receive up to $10,000 for relocation—this recently increased from $5,000—while it’s $10,100 for MBAs.
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 master's and MBA consultants.
If your head has 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 Sydney Streets, senior manager of North America recruitment for McKinsey, what the firm looks for in potential consultant hires.
“We’re excited about candidates with a wide variety of experiences, not just experience related to business. This includes internships, research, volunteer work, part-time jobs, and military service,” Sydney explains.
McKinsey remains committed to inclusive leadership and is looking for people who value and practice it. Key to the firm’s hiring plans are individuals who bring and respect diverse thinking and different approaches.
“We’re excited to hire stellar talent to all of our global offices. Across our campus recruiting efforts, we’re focused on ensuring we’re reaching and recruiting exceptional talent no matter their school or prior experiences,” she says.
With the ever-advancing march of technology across all sectors, digital skills are vital in consulting and McKinsey is seeing increasing numbers of candidates with programming and coding skills.
“Digitization is changing the consulting industry and therefore technology and digital skills are more necessary at McKinsey.”
The data in this article was sourced from Management Consulted’s 2024 Consulting Salary Report. The salary figures in this article are for those joining management consulting positions in 2024. This article is updated annually.