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Associate Consultant vs. consultant: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A career in consulting can be both rewarding and challenging. If you’re interested in this field, you may be wondering what the difference is between an associate consultant and a consultant. In this article, we discuss the key differences between these two positions and offer advice on how to choose the right role for you.

What is an Associate Consultant?

Associate Consultants work under the supervision of a Senior Consultant to provide research and analysis for consulting projects. They collect and organize data, conduct interviews and write reports. They also develop PowerPoint presentations and make recommendations to clients based on their findings. Associate Consultants work in a variety of industries, including healthcare, technology, finance and government. They typically have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as business, economics or statistics. Many Associate Consultants go on to become Senior Consultants or Partner-level Consultants at their firms.

What is a Consultant?

Consultants are professionals who provide expert advice in a particular area of expertise. They are hired by organizations to help solve problems or improve performance. Consultants typically have extensive experience in their field and are able to provide unbiased, objective advice. They work with organizations to assess needs and develop solutions. Consultants may also provide training or coaching to help organizations implement changes.

Associate Consultant vs. Consultant

Here are the main differences between an associate consultant and a consultant.

Job Duties

Consultants and associate consultants have some of their job duties in common, such as researching a client’s business operations and advising them on how to improve. However, a consultant performs these tasks full-time for one client instead of multiple clients like an associate consultant does. An associate consultant also typically performs additional job duties that a consultant doesn’t, such as administrative tasks like scheduling meetings and taking notes during those meetings and drafting reports summarizing the findings from their research.

Job Requirements

Associate consultants typically need a bachelor’s degree in business administration, economics or another related field. Many associate consultants also pursue a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) to gain the skills and knowledge they need for more advanced positions. Some employers may prefer candidates who have experience working in consulting or a related field, but it is not always required.

Consultants usually need at least a bachelor’s degree, although many have a master’s degree as well. The most common majors for consultants include business administration, economics and finance. Many consultants also have experience working in the industry they plan to consult for. For example, a consultant who plans to advise companies on marketing strategies might have experience working as a marketing manager.

Work Environment

Associate consultants and consultants typically work in different environments. Associate consultants usually work for a company that hires them to perform consulting services for their clients. They may travel to meet with clients, but they often work from the office where they’re employed. Consultants are independent professionals who work on projects for clients without an employer. They may also travel to meet with clients or conduct research.


Both associate consultants and consultants need to have excellent analytical skills to be successful in their roles. They use these skills to examine data, identify trends and make recommendations to their clients. They also both need to have strong communication skills to clearly present their findings and recommendations to clients.

Associate consultants typically work with more senior consultants and learn from them while they complete projects. As a result, they may not have as much responsibility or independence as consultants. Consultants usually have more experience and are able to take on more complex projects. They often work with clients directly and are responsible for managing the project from start to finish.


The average salary for an associate consultant is $70,095 per year, while the average salary for a consultant is $84,847 per year. The average salary for both positions may vary depending on the type of consulting work you do, your level of experience and the size of the company you work for.


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