Are you considering a career as a financial consultant? Leaving a full-time position isn't an easy decision to make. However, senior-level consulting comes with benefits of its own, including a consultant salary that usually matches or exceeds that of a similar full-time position.
Trends suggest we may be entering a golden age for consultant jobs. Organizations are increasingly relying on interim professionals and consultants to supplement in-house staff during busy periods, fill gaps caused by employee turnover, evaluate workers for potential full-time hires, and spearhead strategic financial initiatives for projects such as systems conversions.
Cash in on your skills
As an in-demand, specialized interim professional, you can expect to earn a competitive consultant salary, especially if you work with a specialized staffing agency. Salaries for skilled accounting and business consultants are on the rise. This is especially true for senior-level finance professionals experienced in risk, compliance and technical accounting, or with expertise in reporting, financial analysis and internal auditing.
Business systems consultants — such as business systems analysts — are also highly sought, as many organizations look to maximize efficiencies while monitoring costs. Many of these businesses seek to hire consultants with a financial or accounting background and expertise in enterprise resource planning (ERP) packages and corresponding software and applications.
For advanced-level accounting, finance and business systems roles, a master's degree in business administration often goes hand-in-hand with a higher pay rate.
Know what to expect
Below is a list of midpoint salaries for a number of senior-level positions in the United States. More detailed information is featured in the 2019 Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals. (Note: Additional experience and in-demand certifications typically boost the amount of compensation for a senior-level consultant.)
- Chief financial officer: $196,750
- Vice president of finance: $180,250
- Director of finance: $148,750
- Corporate controller: $173,750
- Senior IT auditor: $92,500
- Budget analyst: $81,500
- Business analyst: $88,500
- Business intelligence analyst: $93,750
- Financial analyst: $82,500
- Financial reporting: $82,000
- General accountant: $$77,750
- Cost accountant: $78,750
- Tax accountant: $87,250
Your consultant salary will correlate to the size of the organization you work with, as well as your overall experience, certifications and graduate degrees. You can use the Robert Half Salary Calculator to refine the salary ranges for your local area and specific consulting position.
With organizations looking to hire skilled consultants to help support key initiatives, it's a good time to launch your consulting career. And whether you decide to pursue the consulting path on your own or work through a reputable staffing firm, you'll likely find opportunities to earn just as much as — and perhaps, even more — than you would in a full-time position.
This post has been updated to reflect more current information.