Explore the skills and training you need to become a highly-paid, in-demand consultant with employers knocking at your door.

What is a consultant?

A consultant is a skilled professional who provides expert advice and guidance to businesses or individuals within their field of knowledge. Consultants are often independent contractors hired to provide insights, solve complex problems and help people and organisations achieve their goals.

What is a business consultant?

While most consultants are adept at providing generalised advice, business consultants focus on understanding organisations’ unique opportunities and challenges.

Business consultants work closely with clients to identify key areas of improvement and development across marketing, finance, operations and strategy, which are all vital elements of business success.

The diversity of work, potential financial rewards and career advancement opportunities are common drawcards that attract working professionals to pursue further study in business consulting.

What does a business consultant do?

Business consultants play a crucial role in driving positive change for organisations in the public and private sectors, spanning defence to finance, to healthcare and beyond.

The role of business consultants can vary depending on the size and needs of the company but typically include:

  • improving operational efficiency and processes
  • conducting financial analysis and planning
  • examining and developing new business models
  • developing and implementing marketing strategies
  • integrating efficient technology solutions
  • assisting with human resourcing
  • identifying and managing financial and reputational risks
  • managing change during mergers and acquisitions
  • advising on industry trends and forecasts

A quick look at the different types of consultants

In the world of business, many different types of consultants offer specialised services to help organisations define and achieve their goals.

  • Business consultants concentrate on enhancing business processes and efficiency, often within smaller companies.
  • Management consultants focus on broader, long-term strategic plans and tend to work with larger organisations.
  • Marketing consultants develop and implement marketing strategies to drive more sales, leads and brand awareness.
  • Financial consultants provide analysis and advice around budgeting, investments and risk management.
  • IT consultants optimise technology systems and infrastructure and help companies to manage data privacy and cybersecurity risks.
  • Legal consultants guide legal matters relating to contracts, intellectual property, regulatory compliance and dispute resolution.
  • Human resources consultants help organisations to manage their workforce by assisting with recruitment, training, performance management and more.
  • Environmental consultants support companies with assessments, compliance and program implementation relating to environmental and sustainability goals.
  • Healthcare consultants guide healthcare policies and systems to improve efficiencies, finances and patient outcomes.
  • Education consultants support curriculum development, teacher training and technology implementation to enhance learning outcomes.

How much do business consultants get paid?

Pursuing a career as a business consultant can be financially and personally rewarding.

According to the latest data from Seek, the average business consultant salary in Australia ranges from $100,000 to $120,000 per year.

Below is an outline of what you can earn as you progress through your business consulting career.

Entry-level business consultant – $80,000 to $100,000
Mid-level business consultant – $100,000 to $120,000
Experienced business consultant – $120,000 to $150,000+

Earning a salary as a business consultant can place you in the top 20% of income earners in the country. And it’s achievable with the right combination of experience, expertise, education and location.

Business consultants with advanced qualifications like an MBA can unlock increased earning capacity and open doors to broader employment opportunities.

How to become a business consultant

To start a career in business consulting, there are two pathways worth considering.

  • Earning a bachelor’s degree. Although having a solid track record and relevant experience may qualify you for a business consulting role, candidates with an undergraduate degree in business or a related field may have the upper hand. By completing a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be able to provide relevant and up-to-date consulting advice.
  • Earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA). To align yourself with the best of the best, an MBA can get you there. MBA programs dig deeper than most undergraduate degrees to help you become fluent and highly skilled across key areas of business tailored to your career goals and objectives.

As an added consideration, graduate salaries also tend to pay more — enough to net you a position in Australia’s top 2–3% of income earners.

Look for an MBA with built-in speciality units to deepen your understanding of core business consulting areas, including strategic management, finance, technology, marketing and human resources.

Completing either the Master of Business Administration (RMIT) or the Master of Business Administration (Victoria University) can equip you with the skills you need to excel in your career and set yourself apart from other applicants in job applications and pitches.

Does an MBA require a bachelor’s degree?

If you meet the relevant work experience requirements, it’s possible to apply for an MBA program without a bachelor’s degree. Generally, you’ll need at least four years of experience in a managerial role or possess other qualifications and practical experience that are recognised by the Dean.

Further accreditation

You can explore several certifications, accreditations and memberships to enhance your knowledge and put your best foot forward with every project, starting with a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) from the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC). This certification is recognised in 58 countries.

How to be a good business consultant

To excel as a business consultant, you must possess a blend of skills across strategy, technical expertise and communication. A firm grasp on the following areas will help you to drive better business results and make your mark in your area of expertise.

  • Communication skills. Solid communication skills are essential for business managers, who must be able to listen to concerns and effectively convey complex solutions.
  • Strategic thinking. A strategic mindset and the capacity to think critically will help you analyse, plan and implement business solutions that align with an organisation’s objectives.
  • Design thinking. The ability to take a human-centred approach to problem-solving and product development is desirable for business consultants. Some qualifications offer a specific design-thinking unit.
  • Project management. Any business consultant will agree that project management skills are essential. You’ll need them to oversee complex projects, ensure timely delivery and reach a successful outcome.
  • Interpersonal skills. Establishing trust and building relationships with people at all levels of a business is crucial to understanding client needs and developing successful solutions. Consider studying organisational behaviour to hone your knowledge and skills.
  • Marketing principles. Marketing know-how is essential for business consultants tasked with helping companies reach their target audiences, grow sales and increase brand visibility.
  • Numbers knowledge. A solid understanding of accounting principles and practices can help you conduct financial analysis and manage budgets at each stage of the consulting process.
  • Tech awareness. Understanding the tech systems and challenges faced by companies in your industry will enable you to provide relevant advice and solutions.

Once you have honed these skills, you’ll be on your way to building a successful and rewarding career as a business consultant.

Start your journey with us

Becoming a business consultant can pave the way to a diverse and exciting career, made even more rewarding by studying a specialised MBA. Invest in your professional future by speaking with a Student Enrolment Advisor today.

Speak to a Student Enrolment Advisor

Whether you’re ready to enrol, or just have a quick question, simply fill out the enquiry form below to speak directly to the university’s enrolment team. They will be able to guide you through:

Course eligibility and recognition of prior learning

Course structure and what you will study

Next intakes and how to apply

Fees and time commitments