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Consulting salary negotiation


Ahmad Khreisheh Orland Park, IL

I recently received a job offer from a consulting firm I have been trying to get into for a year and is an at-will employment contract , but the salary is well below what I was expecting from the initial meeting with HR. It is only a temporary position for a short-term project which will definitely lead to more work in the long-term but I am unsure on if I should try to negotiate higher or go with what I am being offered as a starting point. I have a M.A. in the field and 5+ years experience closely tied to this role.

Any advise on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

14 July 2018 5 replies Interviews



Ahmad Khreisheh Orland Park, IL

Thank you all for the responses. Unfortunately, being that it is a temp-position, they stated that there was no room for negotiations. I will be taking the position as a starter and talk about an increase and/or promotion within 6 months of exceptional work ethic and proving myself to my team and supervisors.


Gene Siciliano Los Angeles, CA

By now I'm guessing you have had to do something, and hopefully you followed Mr. Carpenter's advice, which I think was excellent. After over 30 years as an independent consultant and head of my own small firm, I've learned that there is no set number for consulting salaries or consulting billing rates. It's what the client (or your potential employer in this case) is willing to accept as fair. They probably started low because they felt they could, and if you can communicate relevant experience that puts you above an entry level employee, present it as a reason why you are worth more. If none of that works, take the position and use it to build your resume for the next position.


Susana Moraga Hayward, CA


Thank you for your service.

Everything is negotiable, not just salary since you know the field you know what's fair, so engaging in a dialog about why you are worth more should be your first position.
Then consider asking for an early review to increase your salary; since it is short term position this may not be an option, but potentially something to think about.
Always be prepared to walk away when negotiating, but you need to be strategic, is it worth it to get in at a lower salary?
Good luck,


Tom Cal, CFA San Francisco, CA

What are your alternative options if the job offer were pulled?
What is the career field / occupation of the job, and the industry of the employer?


Emanuel Carpenter Alpharetta, GA

Yes, try to negotiate a higher salary. The firm has already committed to hiring you, and it is highly doubtful that they will pull the offer simply because you tried to negotiate a better salary. I suggest starting a little higher than what you want. Be prepared to explain why you're worth the money. And if they refuse, ask them if they will meet you halfway. For example, if they offered $60,000 a year and you deserve $70,000 a year and ask for $80,000 a year. If they say no, ask if they will meet you halfway. Even if they were to offer you $65,000 a year, that's $5000 extra you earned in just a few minutes of negotiation. If they say no and give you a valid reason, you still have an offer on the table.

In the future, it would be wise to ask about salary towards the beginnings of job offer talks. Ask questions like "What type of salary range have you budgeted for this position?"

When you get the chance, pick up an excellent book on negotiation by Stuart Diamond called "Getting More." I think it will help you moving forward.

Best of luck.

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