A career in consulting is a rewarding opportunity for ambitious individuals who enjoy a challenge, are self-motivated, flexible and empathetic.

In the past year, the market size of the management consulting business in Canada increased by 3.1%.

And over the next five years, the industry is projected to expand at a faster rate due to the expected economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is a consultant and what does a consultant do?

A consultant is a person who provides professional or expert advice in a particular field to an organization or individual. In their role, consultants provide specialized expertise and support to their clients.

Consultants can work at a consultancy firm, operate as independent consultants, or work as in-house consultants for an organization.

Consultant jobs help improve business performance by offering expert research, solutions and experience using objective insights.

What types of consulting jobs are available?

Consulting is a broad field that includes specific niches.

The most common types of consulting include consulting manager, sales, business, marketing, public relations, accounting and technology.

What is a consultant salary?

Consulting is a financially-rewarding career.

The estimated median employment income for a consultant is $79,190 a year. However, depending on the area of expertise, the average management consulting salary can go up to $120,000 or more a year. And this is just the base salary, which doesn’t include commission, bonuses and other benefits.

How to start a career in consulting  

  1. Identify area(s) of expertise

As mentioned earlier, there are a number of niche markets in the consulting field to choose from.

So, the first step to becoming a consultant is to decide the area of specialization you want to pursue.

This stage involves being honest about your strengths and weaknesses, areas you excel in at work and outside of work, hobbies and what you’re passionate about.

Marketing software company Hubspot suggests asking yourself three questions to help decide your area of expertise:

  • Do I have a unique point of view?
  • Do I have the experience necessary to be authoritative in this field?
  • Is there a demand for this service?
  1. Get certified

A key component of consulting is staying competitive and ahead of the curve. And becoming certified is one way to remain competitive.

Demonstrating your skills and qualifications with certifications can help you excel in your niche and impress your clients.

University Canada West’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program equips students with the skills, knowledge and competencies needed for a successful career in consulting.

UCW’s MBA program also offers the Consulting elective area, which allows more experienced students to focus their studies particularly on consulting.

Plus, having your MBA credentials will place you ahead of your peers.

  1. Decide whether to freelance or work for a consulting firm

As a consultant, you can either work independently, work for consulting firms or work as an in-house consultant for an organization.

While becoming an independent consultant will require more time, effort, resources and commitment, you will get to be your own boss in this venture.

If you decide to work independently, you need to set out your business plan, including office logistics, startup and business costs, service rates, what services to offer and your work schedule or hours of operation.

  1. Network virtually and in person

Whether you’ll be an independent consultant or work for a firm, networking is an important part of the role.

For independent consultants, referrals from networks will help you launch and grow your business, and for employed consultants, they will help you grow your client base.

Networking online on LinkedIn and business Facebook Groups is also a great way to connect with potential clients from around the world. New connections that transcend borders can help bring your business or client base international.

Published on November 4, 2022.
Last updated January 10, 2023.