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"We are looking for talented people who value a culture based upon respect, collaboration and new ideas, and who have a passion for delivering solutions to the most complex and challenging issues affecting the private and public sectors."

Alan Middleton, CEO

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Career progression - consultants

Finding your own way

At PA Consulting Group, you will have the opportunity to create a unique and personalised career path. We promise our consultants a career of unparalleled professional satisfaction, personal development and long-term compensation. To keep this promise, we ensure that a career-development framework is in place that enables advancement through PA at a rate commensurate with the ability of each individual.

Progression is based on merit, not time served. High performers will progress as fast as they desire. Accurate feedback to individuals on how they are doing, and on what they need to do to advance, strikes a balance between placing the primary responsibility on the individual to develop and providing the personal and infrastructure support they need.

Career path
Managing Consultant Principal Consultant Consultant Consultant Analyst Analyst

Our performance criteria are clearly defined. To enable you to undertake new roles successfully, you will be given training and coaching. As you develop your skills, experience and qualifications, you will progress. In your career at PA, you could, for example, start as an Analyst and then go on to become a Consultant Analyst, Consultant, Principal Consultant and Managing Consultant. The rank structure eventually extends through to the more senior levels of the firm, where the main focus is on business development. Our most senior professionals, for example, are responsible for assignment management, thought leadership and business development.  

The different roles that can be undertaken by our consultants fall into three main categories: operating, selling and thought leadership. 

The following list outlines the aims to describe the personal attributes of the kinds of individual at each rank:


  • in general has recently completed higher/further education 

  • supports a team of consultants in research/analysis within his/her area of specialisation 

  • is receiving training in appropriate analytical methods and in the essential disciplines of consultancy. 

Consultant Analyst:

  • in general has completed higher/further education and has one to two years of work experience in a relevant field, frequently as an Analyst in PA 

  • as part of a project team, on assignment under the supervision of a team leader, performs more demanding research/analysis with increasing client contact.

  • contributes to well-defined internal practice projects independently 

  • is receiving sector-specific and core consultancy skills training. 


  • has been promoted from the rank of Consultant Analyst or is an experienced hire from industry or consulting with a post-graduate qualification (academic, professional and/or technical) 

  • on assignment, works independently on individual project tasks which are predominantly client-facing but still under the supervision of an assignment manager 

  • may be called upon to provide input to sales, marketing and thought leadership activity 

  • is receiving training in operating assignment skills, sales techniques and communication skills. 

Principal Consultant:

  • is someone who has been promoted from the rank of Consultant, or has been recruited from industry or consulting, with significant experience at the appropriate level 

  • on assignment, manages day-to-day client relationships

  • acts as an assignment manager on small and medium-sized assignments, supervising small teams of two or three consultants while responsible for quality, profit and project planning 

  • participates in service proposition, business development work and thought leadership 

  • is receiving training in sales, operating assignments and communication skills. Where appropriate, personal career development, potentially resulting in promotion to Managing Consultant, will be encouraged 

  • may have line-management responsibilities 

Managing Consultant:

  • has been promoted from the rank of Principal Consultant or recruited externally from a senior level in industry (usually with prior consulting experience) or consulting 

  • is involved in account management with client organisations, working as an assignment manager on complex/large projects; responsible for initiating and leading sales and other business development activities 

  •  may have line management responsibilities

  • sells and operates across national and practice boundaries bringing in PA people and/or services outside own field of expertise 

  • receives training in business management, key account management and assignment management of large, complex assignments. Undertakes advanced core communication, leadership, sales and operating skills. Where appropriate, personal career development resulting in possible promotion to director or partner will be encouraged 

  • may choose to develop skills and focus more strongly on one of the following roles: ‘the business developer’, the product specialist ‘guru’ or ‘the all-rounder’. 

If you have the experience and talent to work with high-calibre colleagues on complex and high-profile projects, we would be interested in receiving your application. It is not just what you have done that interests us – it is what you are capable of achieving

Find out about our current opportunities: experienced professionals or campus recruitment. 

Experienced professionals
campus recruitment

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