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 U.S. starting salary ranges for a number of senior-level positions. More detailed information is featured in the Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance from Robert Half. Additional experience and in-demand certifications typically boost most senior-level consultant salary ranges:
- Chief financial officer: $109,750 to $484,500
- Vice president of finance: $100,750 to $390,500
- Director of finance: $101,250 to $246,000
- Corporate controller: $96,500 to $128,000
- Senior IT auditor: $90,500 to $165,500
- Business analyst: $81,500 to $129,750
- Cost analyst: $60,500 to $130,000
- Budget analyst: $60,500 to $131,000
- Financial reporting: $76,000 to $154,250
- General accountant: $60,750 to $123,500
- Cost accountant: $66,500 to $121,500
- Tax accountant: $67,250 to $135,250
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 Robert Half Management Resources' 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.
Download your free copy of our annual Salary Guide to determine the type of consultant salary you can expect.