Associate consultants, or junior consultants, fill a research-oriented role in the consulting industry. Their careers can vary depending upon what type of consulting work they are doing. Consulting is a career that can offer lucrative rewards to innovative and experienced professionals.
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Associate consultants work under senior consultants, usually in a consulting firm. They are responsible for gathering factual information and other data to solve a current problem for a business client. These consultants gather information as well as interpret and analyse it for presentations. The work environment of consultants is often stressful. Strict deadlines are always around the corner and long hours are usually necessary to succeed. Travel is also another challenging distinction of the job. Clients for larger consulting firms can live all around the world. This means associate consultants might spend large amounts of time away from home, which can increase stress levels.
According to a survey done by Abbot, Langer, and Associates, as of 2006 the median annual total cash compensation for associate consultants was £29,906 per year. As an associate consultant moves from associate to the level of consultant to senior consultant and upward her salary rises dramatically. Senior consultants earn about £52,000 per year while principal consultants earn about £53,701 per year.
Training and Education
Some firms hire associate consultants directly out of college, giving preference to those with higher degrees. However, college degrees are not necessarily a requirement for the profession. Consulting firms also look for driven individuals who have a proven track record for success within their industry. For example, a communications professional who's known for his persuasive marketing campaigns would also qualify to be an associate consultant.
Associate consultants are entry-level employees, though the objective for most associates is to progress to the level of senior consultant or consultant. According to Bain and Company, a consulting firm based in Boston, Massachusetts, it usually takes between two to three years for associate consultants to be promoted to the level of senior consultant. After that the time lengthens depending upon results and employee evaluations.
The need for associate consultants and consultants in general will rise at a staggering rate. The U.S. Bureau of Statistics estimates that between 2006 and 2016 consulting services are expected to grow by 78 per cent, more than seven times the national average for all jobs (11 per cent). Consulting is ranked as the fastest-growing industry in the entire economy.
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