October 3, 2022

How much consultants make at boutique firms like Mercer, AlixPartners

  • Employees at boutique consultancies, or firms that are more niche and smaller than giant advisories like McKinsey, Bain, and Deloitte, can also earn six-figure salaries. 
  • Some notable examples of boutique consulting firms include Oliver Wyman, AlixPartners, Alvarez & Marsal, and Putnam Associates. 
  • Business Insider analyzed the US Office of Foreign Labor Certification’s 2019 disclosure data for permanent and temporary foreign workers.
  • Consultants made up to $80,000 at AlixPartners, $120,000 at Putnam Associates, and $165,000 at L.E.K. Consulting. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

You can still make a six-figure salary working at a boutique consulting firm. 

Unlike giant consultancies like McKinsey, Bain, or the so called “Big Four” firms, boutique consultancies tend to be smaller companies with a specialized practice area. Booz Allen Hamilton, for example, has more than 200,000 staffers but works extensively with government officials and federal agencies. While some firms like AlixPartners and Alvarez & Marsal are touted for their involvement in corporate turnarounds, Putnam Associates, a company with about 150 employees, focuses on the healthcare and biotech sectors. 

Business Insider analyzed the US Office of Foreign Labor Certification’s 2019 disclosure data for permanent and temporary foreign workers to find out how much small and mid-sized consultancies paid employees for jobs, from entry-level titles to executive roles. The salary data is based on jobs in the US.

A list of 12 small and mid-sized consulting firms applied for 230 visas in 2019, specifically for roles related to management consulting and senior leadership roles. The salary ranges reflected below come from multiple records for the same job. Performance bonuses, signing bonuses, and compensation other than base salaries are not reflected in the data.

It’s also worth noting that this is based on salary data for foreign-born US workers and therefore not a comprehensive list of compensation for every job at the company. 

Here’s how much 12 consulting firms pay their employees, according to the visa data. 


Kearney was originally a part of McKinsey & Company before splitting and becoming its own firm in 1937. It has built up a reputation as one of the best operations consulting firms. The company applied for 14 visas in 2019. Kearney did not respond immediately to request for comment. 

  • Business analyst: $69,722
  • Senior business analyst: $89,898
  • Analyst: $77,251
  • Senior analyst: $97,906
  • Analytics associate and analytics manager: $139,235
  • Associate: $147,597 
  • Director: $147,597
  • Manager: $147,597 (including senior sourcing manager)
  • Principal: $165,106 to $235,000


AlixPartners is a global advisory that’s known to help struggling companies out of business crises and administer corporate turnarounds. In 2019, the company applied for 19 visas. AlixPartners did not immediately respond to request for comment. 

  • Consultant: $80,000 (including consultants specialized in enterprise improvement)
  • Director: $227,600
  • Vice president, FAS: $120,000 to $160,000 (including vice presidents in enterprise improvement, enterprise involvement, and turnaround and restructuring) 
  • Senior vice president: $186,280

Alvarez & Marsal

Known for its corporate turnaround projects, Alvarez & Marsal employs more than 4,000 workers and has worked with clients including Lehman Brothers, Tribune Company, and Target, according to Management Consulted, an online career resource platform for job seekers in consulting. The company applied for five visas in 2019. A&M did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

  • Associate: $65,000 to $90,000 (including associates specialized in healthcare and tax)
  • Senior associate: $90,000
  • Manager: $140,000
  • Director: $120,000

Analysis Group

Analysis Group is one of the largest consulting firms that specializes in economics and financial analysis, according to career site Glassdoor. The company has more than 1,000 employees and applied for 11 visas in 2019. Most of the staffers at the firm also hold advanced degrees in law, accounting, finance, and business. Analysis Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

  • Senior analyst: $92,477 to $110,000 
  • Associate: $150,000 to $185,000 
  • Senior associate: $165,000 to $195,000 

Booz Allen Hamilton

Booz Allen Hamilton is a government-focused consulting firm, and the company is in growth mode. The consultancy added 208 people in the three months ending June 30 and increased its headcount by about 1,000 over the last year, Business Insider previously reported. In 2019, the firm applied for a total of 26 visas. Booz Allen Hamilton did not respond immediately for comment. 

  • Lead associate: $123,317 to $189,567
  • Senior business analyst: $105,394 to $140,000
  • Technical project manager lead: $138,300 to $207,500
  • Management consultant: $118,100 to $177,200 

Cornerstone Research

According to Management Consulted, Cornerstone Research has four main areas of expertise: Consulting for law firms and attorneys, financial analysis, finding expert witnesses, and the preparation for trials and depositions. The firm is known for its specialty in the litigation process. Cornerstone Research applied for 2o visas in 2019, and the company did not respond immediately for comment.

  • Analyst: $80,000 to $90,000 
  • Research associate: $120,000 to $140,000
  • Associate: $178,333 to $216,667 
  • Manager: $195,000 to $235,000 
  • Principal: $235,000 to $258,333


Mercer is one of the largest human resources consulting firms specializing in talent, retirement, investments, and health, according to Management Consulted. The company applied for 34 visas in 2019. Mercer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

  • Analyst: $77,700 to $96,000
  • Workforce strategy consultant: $98,500 to $125,000
  • Consultant: $127,800 to $130,000 
  • Client management and development consultant: $141,120 to $211,680 
  • Talent strategy consultant: $130,270 to $176,000
  • Senior consultant: $112,240 to $247,400 (including senior consultants specialized in compensation, DB actuaries, international operations, mergers and acquisitions, talent strategy, transactions, and executive compensation)
  • Manager: $102,480 to $153,720
  • Senior consultants: $84,000 to $155,000 (including senior consultants specialized in workday, IT implementation, and workday integration)
  • Principal consultant: $128,482 to $156,240 

L.E.K. Consulting

L.E.K. is a global management consulting firm that specializes in advising clients from private equity firms, entrepreneurs, and corporate businesses from both the private and public sectors. In 2019, the consultancy applied for 30 visas. The company also announced 15 new partners, and 14 promotions earlier this year. L.E.K. did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

  • Analyst: $132,000
  • Consultant: $165,000 
  • Life sciences specialist: $132,000

Oliver Wyman

The company is a consulting business unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies, and it is most known for its client assistance in the financial services sector. Oliver Wyman is the fastest growing firm in the last five years with 3,400 employees, according to Management Consulted. Oliver Wyman applied for eight visas in 2o19, and the company did not respond immediately to a request for comment. 

  • Senior analyst: $161,356
  • Engagement manager: $177,500 
  • Principal: $235,000 

Putnam Associates 

Putnam Associates is a strategy consulting firm with clients from biopharmaceutical, medical, biotech, and healthcare sectors. The firm has about 150 employees and applied for six visas last year. Putnam Associates did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

  • Research operations associate: $60,000
  • Associate consultant: $75,000 
  • Consultant: $120,000
  • Manager: $170,000 

Roland Berger 

Roland Berger, a business management and strategic planning consulting firm, started off as a small team in 1967 and has grown rapidly ever since. It now has about 2,400 employees working in 35 countries, according to the company’s website. The consultancy applied for five visas in 2o19, and did not respond immediately to a request for comment. 

  • Junior consultant: $65,000 to $85,000 
  • Senior consultants: $130,000 to $190,000

ZS Associates

With more than 7,000 employees and 25 offices worldwide, ZS Associates specializes in tech, health, and strategy consulting. According to Management Consulted, about 90% of their work is focused in the life science sector, which is one of the fastest-growing fields within the consulting business. As of 2019, ZS Associates applied for 52 visas. The firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

  • Analyst: $94,304 
  • Senior analyst: $102,100
  • Associate consultant: $125,000
  • Consultant: $148,500 to $161,500 (including consultants specialized in business operations, business process, decision analytics, solutions delivery, strategy and architecture, and strategy insights and planning) 
  • Project lead: $109,500 to $119,102 
  • Manager: $185,000 to $208,000 (including managers specialized in business process, decision analytics, enterprise architecture, solutions delivery, strategy and architecture, and strategy insights and planning) 

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