mk_98
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So I am interested in a career as an economic consultant. However I cannot find much info about what the role is like in the UK. The only information I have found is from people in the US. Therefore, I would really appreciate if anyone who is/was an economic consultant in the UK could provide more info about the role. Specifically I am looking for answers to the following:

What the day to day role involves
Salary progression
Average working hours per week
How much travel is involved?
What are the exit opportunities
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BenRyan99
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(Original post by mk_98)
So I am interested in a career as an economic consultant. However I cannot find much info about what the role is like in the UK. The only information I have found is from people in the US. Therefore, I would really appreciate if anyone who is/was an economic consultant in the UK could provide more info about the role. Specifically I am looking for answers to the following:

What the day to day role involves
Salary progression
Average working hours per week
How much travel is involved?
What are the exit opportunities
I did a postgraduate summer internship in Economic Consulting this past summer and have an offer to return after my MRes so I might be able to shed some light on the industry. Although it's just my experience and my firm was in a niche so it's probably not totally representative of the whole industry.

What the day to day role involves?
Sort of difficult to summarise as it will depend on what sort of projects you're working on. For me, it mainly consisted of either doing data analysis tasks in Excel/VBA or Stata, being involved in meetings with clients about where the project is and where it's going (plus asking them for info), doing the same but internally with your team, contributing to the acquisition of new business by writing and researching proposals to apply for new projects. In my experience more than half of my time was on the data analysis part which I liked.

Salary progression
I didn't really ask but it's definitely lower than the US, most good London EC graduate have you starting on around a 40k base salary plus a bonus. What I do know is that often you bonuses are tied to specific things like how much your practice area (public sector, energy, fin services) bring into the firm, it can also depend on how much business you attract and various other things. Maybe look on glass door. The salary progression is a fair bit less steep than banking and law but it's still a lot of money.

Average working hours per week?
I worked about 50-60hrs a week on average throughout the summer. Although it's worth recognising that your hours will depend on deal flow and project timelines. For example in economic consulting, the actual project contracts say x piece of work needs to be delivered to the client by a certain time and y piece of work needs to be delivered by z time. So when you're working on say 4 projects simultaneously, you'll need to figure out the project timelines carefully to assess what you should be working on when and this can sometimes cause times where you have a tonne due or relatively less due. There are times when you might need to do 70-80hrs potentially, others when you might only need to do 40-50hrs.

How much travel is involved?
Depends a lot on your firm, your clients and your practice area. So if your firm mainly has UK clients and you're working in a financial services sector practice group then you probably won't have to travel much. If you've got international clients and you're working in an oil & gas practice group.... You can see where I'm going. For me, my practice group was in the renewable energy and water sectors mainly in developing countries so there was a fair amount of travel to cool places in Africa (parts of Cape Town are beautiful btw ). I've also heard that sometimes people who don't like traveling can direct their travel duties to team members who like traveling relatively more, but this is quite team dependant. Working in airports isn't always the nicest but you get to see a host of cool countries and you can often extend your stay there for a few days to turn it into a mini-holiday on the cheap.

What are the exit opportunities
Throughout this whole post I've assumed you're talking about the typical economic consultancies (e.g. NERA, Oxera, Compass Lexicon, CRA, RBB Economics, Cornerstone, Brattle, Frontier Economics, London Economics, etc etc) which are micro focused rather than the macro focused economic consulting firms. The macro ones can typically place you into central banks, HM Treasury and its equivalents, asset management, economics/research teams in IB and very very occasionally into hedge funds, although none of these positions are easy to get. For the typical EC's (micro focused), the exit opps are more nuanced. In my experience, most who have left go onto either big tech (FAANG and others), the public sector, into MBB or management consulting firms,. A few go into IB but this is never really a direct lateral move, it's normally accompanied by either a highly quantitative master's or something like an MBA. The people who go into economic consulting are usually pretty different from the ones that go into IB, they're more academic, bit nerdier and are interested in things like statistics and patterns, rather than trading. Although there's a bit more crossover between economic consulting and the actual investment banking department in a IB than most realise.
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mk_98
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(Original post by BenRyan99)
I did a postgraduate summer internship in Economic Consulting this past summer and have an offer to return after my MRes so I might be able to shed some light on the industry. Although it's just my experience and my firm was in a niche so it's probably not totally representative of the whole industry.

What the day to day role involves?
Sort of difficult to summarise as it will depend on what sort of projects you're working on. For me, it mainly consisted of either doing data analysis tasks in Excel/VBA or Stata, being involved in meetings with clients about where the project is and where it's going (plus asking them for info), doing the same but internally with your team, contributing to the acquisition of new business by writing and researching proposals to apply for new projects. In my experience more than half of my time was on the data analysis part which I liked.

Salary progression
I didn't really ask but it's definitely lower than the US, most good London EC graduate have you starting on around a 40k base salary plus a bonus. What I do know is that often you bonuses are tied to specific things like how much your practice area (public sector, energy, fin services) bring into the firm, it can also depend on how much business you attract and various other things. Maybe look on glass door. The salary progression is a fair bit less steep than banking and law but it's still a lot of money.

Average working hours per week?
I worked about 50-60hrs a week on average throughout the summer. Although it's worth recognising that your hours will depend on deal flow and project timelines. For example in economic consulting, the actual project contracts say x piece of work needs to be delivered to the client by a certain time and y piece of work needs to be delivered by z time. So when you're working on say 4 projects simultaneously, you'll need to figure out the project timelines carefully to assess what you should be working on when and this can sometimes cause times where you have a tonne due or relatively less due. There are times when you might need to do 70-80hrs potentially, others when you might only need to do 40-50hrs.

How much travel is involved?
Depends a lot on your firm, your clients and your practice area. So if your firm mainly has UK clients and you're working in a financial services sector practice group then you probably won't have to travel much. If you've got international clients and you're working in an oil & gas practice group.... You can see where I'm going. For me, my practice group was in the renewable energy and water sectors mainly in developing countries so there was a fair amount of travel to cool places in Africa (parts of Cape Town are beautiful btw ). I've also heard that sometimes people who don't like traveling can direct their travel duties to team members who like traveling relatively more, but this is quite team dependant. Working in airports isn't always the nicest but you get to see a host of cool countries and you can often extend your stay there for a few days to turn it into a mini-holiday on the cheap.

What are the exit opportunities
Throughout this whole post I've assumed you're talking about the typical economic consultancies (e.g. NERA, Oxera, Compass Lexicon, CRA, RBB Economics, Cornerstone, Brattle, Frontier Economics, London Economics, etc etc) which are micro focused rather than the macro focused economic consulting firms. The macro ones can typically place you into central banks, HM Treasury and its equivalents, asset management, economics/research teams in IB and very very occasionally into hedge funds, although none of these positions are easy to get. For the typical EC's (micro focused), the exit opps are more nuanced. In my experience, most who have left go onto either big tech (FAANG and others), the public sector, into MBB or management consulting firms,. A few go into IB but this is never really a direct lateral move, it's normally accompanied by either a highly quantitative master's or something like an MBA. The people who go into economic consulting are usually pretty different from the ones that go into IB, they're more academic, bit nerdier and are interested in things like statistics and patterns, rather than trading. Although there's a bit more crossover between economic consulting and the actual investment banking department in a IB than most realise.
Hey! Thank you very much for the detailed response. It was exactly what I was looking for.

Just wanted to also ask if you think it is possible to get into an entry level role at a micro focused EC without a masters in Economics? I know some of the firms ask for a masters but I would prefer to have this funded by my employer.
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