Want to be a consultant? Here are the specialisms you should aim for if you want the highest salary

Emma Haslett
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These people probably work at Bain & Company (Source: Getty)

Consultants: they may come in for their fair share of flack, but it's generally worth it at the end of the month.

Consultancy may be one of the City's biggest industries - but which specialisms bring in the highest wages?

Salary benchmarking site Emolument.com has investigated, and found those working in strategy consulting are bringing home the largest paycheques - in fact, their combined annual £61,000 is 1.5 times higher than their colleagues in financial accounting.

Read more: These are the highest-paying specialisms in the finance sector

Meanwhile, those in risk and trusts and pensions are also doing pretty well, with combined salaries of £52,000 and £55,000 respectively.

The research suggested that the best-paid consultants are in the strategy consulting departments at Bain & Company and Boston Consulting Group, who can earn up to £100,000 a year.

Specialisation Salary Bonus Total
Strategy Consulting £56,000 £5,000 £61,000
Customer and Growth £50,000 £5,000 £55,000
Trusts and Pensions £50,000 £5,000 £55,000
Corporate Finance Advisory £49,000 £4,000 £53,000
Operational Transaction Services £51,000 £2,000 £53,000
Investment & Divestiture Advisory Services £50,000 £3,000 £53,000
Financial Risk Management £52,000 n/a £52,000
Economic Consulting £48,000 £3,000 £51,000
People and Change £49,000 £2,000 £51,000
Operational Transformation £48,000 £2,000 £50,000
Financial Advisory £48,000 £2,000 £50,000
Regulatory Compliance £49,000 n/a £49,000
Tax Accounting £46,000 £1,000 £47,000
Business Process Management £47,000 n/a £47,000
IT Advisory £47,000 n/a £47,000
Performance Improvement £46,000 £1,000 £47,000
External Audit £45,000 n/a £45,000
Financial Accounting £41,000 n/a £41,000

But it also warned that if it's a big bonus you're after, consultancy might not be your best bet: "Compared to bankers whose bonuses can amount to more than their annual salary, even the highest paid consultants receive relatively low bonuses (here's some advice on how to increase that, FYI).

"Consulting is a fee-based business which makes recommendations to clients while not directly benefiting from the improving performance brought about by their work. A consequence of this process is that consultants are far removed from direct bottom-line increase at their clients', which has a direct impact on their total compensation."

Read more: These banks awarded the best bonuses this year

Nevertheless, Alice Leguay, Emolument.com's co-founder, pointed out that there are advantages to working in consultancy.

"Working across industries and being embedded within different firm on a rotating basis is incredibly enriching and varied. The job does not get stale and professionals expand their networks exponentially, building relationships on every project both with client teams as well as assigned colleagues.

"Consulting might pay less than banking in the short to medium term, but is a fantastic way to build a solid professional network and dip one's toes in many industries looking to solve different problems, a certain way to open doors later on in life.'

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