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Build a Six-Figure Career as a Program Management Consultant ($183,000/Year)

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November 5, 2023
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6 minutes
Experienced copywriter who spends a lot of money at restaurants and regrets it later.
Why do some organizations thrive while others struggle in a world of complex projects and lofty initiatives? The answer often lies in the expertise of program management consultants. These experts possess the unique skill set needed to streamline operations, align projects with strategic objectives, and drive cost-efficient success.

In this article, we’ll discuss the role of program management consultants and explore the important reasons why businesses turn to these professionals to enhance their project management strategies.

And yes, the salaries are pretty handsome, too. So, if you’re a newbie consultant looking for an area to specialize in or an expert consultant who wants to shift to a new role, this article is for you. So, let’s dive into it.


  • Program management consultants specialize in assisting organizations in managing complex projects and programs, ensuring all elements work seamlessly together.
  • According to Glassdoor, as of September 2023, program management consultants can earn salaries as high as $183,000, making it an attractive career choice.
  • Program management consultants work on several key tasks, including, but not limited to, risk mitigation, resource allocation, quality assurance, strategic alignment, and cost reduction.
  • As a freelance consultant in program management, you can select your own projects, work hours, and work location, making it a highly flexible and rewarding career.

What Is a Program Management Consultant?

If you’re interested in a career in program management, you may be wondering what this job entails. Well, program management consultants are experts who specialize in helping organizations manage complex projects and programs. So, just imagine you have a big puzzle with many pieces, and you need someone to make sure all the pieces fit together perfectly. That's what program management consultants do—they make sure all the different parts of a project or program work well together.

For example, let's say a company wants to build a new office building, launch a new product, and improve its customer service, all at the same time. It's a bit like juggling multiple balls, isn’t it? The more moving parts there are, the more things could go wrong. Program management consultants are like the skilled jugglers who help the company keep all those balls in the air without dropping any.

However, these tasks are easier said than done. And that’s why companies pay a handsome salary to program management consultants—we’re talking six figures here. As of September 2023, the salary of a program management consultant could be as high as $183,000. So, if you have a bachelor's or master’s degree in a field such as business administration or project management along with strong analytical, communication, and problem-solving skills, maybe this is the right path for you.

As of September 2023, the salary of a program management consultant could be as high as $183,000

You could also take short online consulting courses to be more confident during your job interview. Alternatively, if you have experience working as a management consultant, business analyst, operations consultant, or project manager, you could try this new line of work, too.

5 Tasks Program Management Consultants Work On

Alright, now that you’re aware of what a program management consultant does and how much salary they can expect to earn, let’s dive deeper into the job duties.

5 Tasks Program Management Consultants Work On inforgraphic

1. Risk mitigation

Identifying and mitigating risks is a fundamental aspect of program management. As a program management consultant, you’ll be expected to be a seasoned professional who can bring a wealth of experience to the table. Part of your job will be to see potential risks that others might overlook. As you may know, consultants perform risk analysis through a systematic process that involves identifying, categorizing, and assessing potential risks. They scrutinize all aspects of a project or program, leveraging tools such as checklists, historical data, and expert input to pinpoint possible risks. Again, easier said than done.

For example, let’s assume a vaccine manufacturer company hires a consultant to analyze risks and offer recommendations. The program management consultant conducts a detailed risk analysis and recommends robust project controls, which help the company minimize regulatory risks during the development of a new drug.

2. Resource allocation

Efficiently allocating and managing resources is usually a big challenge in the realm of program management. Many companies have limited resources, hence it’s crucial to allocate them strategically and make the most of them. As a program management consultant, you will assess an organization's resource allocation practices to ensure that every project receives the resources it needs to succeed without any wastage. And this goes beyond just financial considerations. In reality, it also encompasses human resources, time, equipment, and materials.

Many companies have limited resources, hence it’s crucial to allocate them strategically and make the most of them

For example, let’s assume that company X faced resource allocation challenges, leading to inefficiencies and high operational costs. So, they decided to hire a program management consultant who thoroughly assessed their project portfolio and implemented optimized resource allocation strategies. The result was a notable reduction in operational costs, ensuring each project had the necessary resources for success.

3. Quality assurance

In certain industries, such as healthcare and aerospace, the quality of products can never be compromised. This is because even the slightest mistakes can have dire consequences. Program management consultants play a crucial role in these settings by introducing and overseeing robust quality control measures to guarantee consistent, high-quality project outcomes. This is similar to risk assessment, but not the same. In risk assessment, you analyze what could go wrong beforehand. In quality assurance, you must check whether or not everything went completely right—yes, “completely” right because there is no room for mistakes.

For example, let’s suppose an aircraft manufacturing company, aiming for impeccable product quality and safety, sought the expertise of a program management consultant. This consultant introduced stringent quality assurance processes, including rigorous testing and enhanced documentation practices. As a result, the company achieved a substantial improvement in product quality and compliance with industry standards.

4. Strategic alignment

It’s a no-brainer that an effective strategic alignment is essential for any organization to reach its long-term goals. When an organization hires you as a program management consultant, you will bring a wealth of experience and expertise in ensuring that all projects and programs are in harmony with the overarching strategic objectives. Whether it’s launching a new range of post-purchase services or expanding internationally, every action should be aligned with strategic objectives. This alignment is critical because it ensures that every initiative contributes to the company's vision and mission.

For example, let’s assume that a retail giant wanted to expand into e-commerce, but its online initiatives weren't fully aligned with its long-term growth plans. So, they hired a program management consultant who realigned these projects with their strategic objectives. This helped them grow their e-commerce presence and move closer to their expansion goals.

5. Cost reduction

Efficiency and cost management are essential for businesses aiming to stay competitive and profitable. A business must find every single way possible to reduce costs. Program management consultants play a crucial role in helping organizations achieve cost reduction through a combination of streamlined operations, identifying opportunities for savings, and implementing process enhancements. You, as a consultant, can help businesses by analyzing the entire project portfolio and the associated processes, examining resource allocation, project timelines, and overall effectiveness.

For example, let’s consider an energy company struggling with rising operational costs due to the complexity of its project portfolio. To address this challenge, they hired a program management consultant. As soon as the project started, the consultant assessed the company's projects, identified overlapping tasks, optimized resource allocation, and introduced more efficient workflows. The result? A substantial reduction in operational costs leads to increased profitability and a stronger competitive position for the company.

Want to Be a Freelance Program Management Consultant?

Are you ready to live that freelance consultant life? Well, you get to choose your own clients, your own hours, and your own location. You could work from a beach in Spain or a penthouse in New York City. Or maybe you could reduce your work hours to spend more time with family. Whatever the reason might be, freelance consulting can be a great career choice.

Here at Consultport, we have over 10,000 freelance consultants in our talent pool. If you have worked with top consulting firms, leading digital agencies, or blue-chip companies, we could connect you with clients who are looking for freelance consultants.

Here’s how it works:
  • Apply for membership in our network if you think you meet our criteria.
  • Receive projects tailored to your profile. You know, those that align with your skills, interests, and availability.
  • Kickstart your assignment. We’ll handle the rest—truly straightforward, isn’t it?
If that sounds interesting to you, then what are you waiting for?

Get in touch with us now.