How Much Money Does a Consultant Make?

by Rick Suttle; Updated September 26, 2017

Two common types of consultants include management and IT, or information technology, consultants. Both types of consultants work with major corporations, small businesses, government offices, hospitals and other business establishments. Management consultants usually help companies solve labor, payroll, operational and product issues, such as plant efficiency. IT consultants help companies run their computer networks more efficiently. Both management and IT consultants usually earn annual salaries. Additionally, these professionals may receive bonuses and profit sharing incentives.

Average Annual Salary

Management consultants earn annual salaries between $63,690 and $115,194, while IT consultants earn $56,228 to $88,772 per year, according to 2011 data from PayScale.com. Including incentive payments, management consultants earn total incomes of $73,089 to $176,411 per year, while IT consultants can earn up to $59,304 to $103,418 annually. PayScale.com data does not reflect actual ranges but rather the top quarter and bottom three-quarters of salaries.

Years of Experience

Both management and IT consultants can expect significant salary increases as they gain experience in their respective fields. For example, management consultants with less than one year of experience earn annual salaries of $55,415 to $91,957, per PayScale.com. With five to nine years of experience, management consultants can expect to earn salaries of $76,996 to $113,693 per year. And those with 20 or more years of experience earn annual salaries of $91,844 to $158,805.

IT consultants with less than one year of experience earn annual salaries of $45,852 to $60,612. With five to nine years of experience, they can expect to earn salaries of $61,156 to $88,136 per year. Those with at least 20 years of experience earn annual salaries between $79,476 and $118,337.

Employer Type

Management and IT consultants' salaries can also vary according to their types of employers. For example, management consultants that are self-employed earn some of the highest annual salaries at $75,000 to $156,339, per PayScale.com. Those working for private practice firms also earn relatively high salaries at $66,693 to $120,372 per year.

IT consultants also earn some of their highest salaries when self-employed at $40,000 to $122,449. Those working as contract employees also earn relatively high salaries at $50,868 to $98,722. However, contract employees do not usually receive benefits. Non-profit organizations also pay their IT consultants relatively high annual salaries at $48,788 to $90,757.

Salary by City

Management consultants earn some of their highest annual salaries in Chicago at $62,590 to $123,067, according to PayScale.com. Those in San Francisco and New York City also earn comparatively high salaries at $74,757 to $121,253 and $67,936 to $120,920 per year, respectively.

IT consultants earn some of their highest annual salaries in New York City at $59,553 to $96,046. These professionals also earn relatively high salaries in Los Angeles at $59,973 to $91,128 per year. Additionally, those in Houston can expect to earn salaries between $56,373 and $90,718 per year.