Everything You Need to Know on How to Become a Change Management Consultant: Pay Rates, Getting In, and More…
One of the career tracks that people interested in change management often take is to become a change management consultant.
Rather than working as an employee on an organization’s change management team, being a change consultant offers more freedom and the ability to work with companies of all kinds.
Excellent Job Outlook for Change Consultants
Becoming a change management consultant has an excellent job outlook. According to Statista, over the last decade, the change management consulting market has increased every year and was at a high of $160 billion last year.
If this sounds like a career path you’re interested in, you probably have a few questions. Such as:
- What does a change management consultant do?
- How much does an organizational change consultant make?
- How do you become an organizational management consultant for change?
Whether you’re interested in working for one of the large change management consulting companies or want to try your hand at being a change manager consultant on your own, we’ve got the information you need to know.
Organizational Change Management Consultant
We’ll go over the typical duties and responsibilities of a change consultant, the type of pay rates you can expect from change management consultant jobs, and where you can find them.
Change Management Consultants are in High Demand
The pace at which technology is changing means companies are always evolving and improving their tools, processes, and procedures to keep up and stay competitive. This is leading to high demand for organizational change management consultants
There is a cost benefit to many companies by hiring a business change consultant. It gives them the ability to work with a change consulting expert on a project-by-project basis, rather than having to invest in an in-house change management team.
A change manager consultant can choose to work for a large change consulting company or run their own change manager consultant business. Either option offers the opportunity to work with a variety of big and small organizations in locations around the world.
Change Management Consultant Job Description
An excellent place to start your information search on becoming a change management consultant is to look at a standard change management consultant job description.
We’ve referenced the description on the HR solutions site Changeboard. It provides a good overall description of a change consultant:
“A change management consultant is responsible for implementing new concepts within a company and helping transform the ways in which the organization operates.”
A more detailed change management consultant job description would be:
A business change consultant facilitates change within an organization using a change methodology to assess, create a strategy for, implement, and support a change of procedures, tools, technology, or job duties. They do this by guiding individuals through a change, managing resistance factors, and ensuring a change meets business objectives.
What Does a Change Management Consultant Do?
Change management consulting involves keeping multiple balls in the air at a time. There are several facets to a change project, which include planning, working with leaders and employees, training, and communicating effectively.
If you’re a change manager consultant, you’ll need to be familiar with change models and methodologies as they provide a framework for the change process. Without understanding change methodology, you have a much bigger chance that a project will fail to achieve the desired outcome.
Because the change management consultant job description can be detailed, we’ll first go over the main types of goals and objectives that a change consultant is responsible for. Then we’ll get into the detailed tasks that typically make up the duties of an organizational change consultant.
Objectives | What Do Change Management Consultants Do?
When companies are going through some type of transition, they need an organizational change management consultant to help plan and implement the transition. This includes both the “people” side of the change and the “process” side of the change.
An organizational change consultant may be called in to help when:
- A company is transitioning to a new software
- A new location is being added
- When there is a merger or acquisition
- If job roles within an organization are changing
- When a company is going through a digital transformation project
- If a new product is being added
An organizational management consultant will provide the following guidance to ensure the change goes smoothly, and everyone is successfully performing the “post change” behaviors once the project is done.
Recommend Potential Change Projects
Some companies will bring in a business change consultant after they’ve already decided on a change internally, but others need to change consulting to help them know what they should change.
In this case, they look for the expertise and analytical skills of a change manager consultant to help them decide what they need to optimize in their organization and which types of changes will return the most value.
Get People Onboard with a Change
One of the most significant barriers to successful change is that people don’t want to change. They get familiar with the way things are done and can be afraid of change or just feel a change is unnecessary.
A big part of the need for change management consulting is to guide people through a change and get them onboard. If users don’t want to adopt the new processes, then change will fail.
Change management consultant jobs often mention needing excellent interpersonal skills, and this is why. They need to understand individual resistance to change and know how to adeptly address it and win people over to support the change.
Direct and Work with a Team
An organizational management consultant for change is like the captain of the “change project ship.” They need to coordinate with others on the change management team, people at all organizational levels within a company, and any vendors involved with the change.
They need to have excellent leadership skills, the ability to delegate and be able to motivate others to get behind a change project and help move it forward.
Plan and Organize a Change Project
Part of becoming a change management consultant is the ability to do project planning and organize all the steps in a change project. The change management consultant works with others and uses a change methodology as a guide to planning out the change strategy.
This includes the division of duties and breaking down the different change project tasks into milestones. They also have to ensure the project stays on the timeline and on or under budget.
Solve Problems and Adjust as Needed
When a problem comes up, it’s the change manager consultant that everyone looks to for a solution. This requires an organizational change management consultant to be adaptable and a good problem solver.
The ultimate goal is to keep the change project on track, so if a barrier is hit or a timeline issue arises, the organizational change consultant needs to know how to get past the issue and keep the project moving forward successfully.
What Does a Change Management Consultant Do?
Ensure the Project is Completed Successfully
Companies seek out the expertise of change management consultants because they need a change project to be successful. As many as 70% of change projects fail to achieve their goals, and often it’s because a company did not use a change consulting professional.
The business change consultant is responsible for monitoring, managing, and having an “exit strategy” that ensures the change project achieves its goals and that users feel comfortable with the new way of doing things before a project is closed out.
Tasks | What Do Change Management Consultants Do?
To accomplish the objectives that are part of the change management consultant job description, there are certain industry-recognized tasks that need to be completed.
Each task plays a part in managing a change project and helping the change management consulting team keep control of a project and move it in the right direction.
If you’re interested in how to become a change management consultant, knowing these core change management project tasks will be expected. One industry tip is that many seasoned change consultants will use change management tools that make doing each of these tasks much easier.
An organizational change management consultant will typically delegate tasks among the change management team.
What does a change management consultant do when it comes to their detailed tasks?
- Conduct a Project Assessment to understand the scope and overall project objectives.
- Conduct a Change Readiness Assessment to find out how prepared the company is for the change.
- Conduct a Stakeholder Analysis to identify individuals and groups that will be impacted by the project.
- Use a Stakeholder Management Plan to actively manage stakeholders and their transition through the change.
- Conduct an Impact Assessment to gauge the level of impact or disruption the change will cause to various stakeholders.
- Create a Change Management Plan for the project, which incorporates timelines, delegated responsibilities, and acts as a project roadmap.
- Use a Resistance Management strategy to actively address and resolve stakeholder resistance to the change project.
- Put together a Change Champions Network that will act as a “boots on the ground” support to help promote the change in individual departments and groups.
- Provide Leadership Coaching to help teach department and group leaders how they can facilitate the change.
- Plan and implement a Change Communication Plan to keep everyone informed during the change project.
- Create and implement a Training Plan to ensure employees have the opportunity gain the skills necessary for the change to be successful.
- Provide Change Reporting of KPIs and other metrics to keep everyone informed of the change progress.
Change Management Consulting Pay Rates
The pay rates for change management consulting can vary according to a few different factors:
- Whether you’re employed with a consulting firm or are a contract change consultant
- The project scope and timeline (how big of a project is it?)
- The size of the organization that needs change management consulting
We’ve reviewed multiple change management consultant jobs to bring you a range of average pay rates you can expect. We’ve looked separately at organizational management consultant jobs with a consulting firm and if you are hired as an individual change manager consultant by a company going through change.
Change management consultant jobs that we referenced were from Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, and ZipRecruiter to give you reasonably accurate change management consulting pay rate estimates.
Working for a Change Management Consulting Firm
If you’re employed as a change manager consultant for a firm that offers change consulting to organizations, you can expect a pay rate in the range of $82,400 – $157,561 per year.
The benefit of working full-time for a change management consulting firm is that you’ll get employee benefits and won’t have to continually find new change consulting jobs once one has ended.
Working Individually as an Organizational Change Consultant
For those who want to go out on their own as a business change consultant, there are plenty of opportunities. Companies are often looking for short-term change management consulting to get them through a transitional project.
Most change management consulting jobs that were on a contract basis were listed between 6-12 months in length.
An individual change manager consultant hired by an organization can expect a pay rate in the range of $101,689 – $135,987 per year.
Hourly rates for a contract change manager consultant were between $40 – $70 per hour.
How to Become a Change Management Consultant
Once you understand, “What do change management consultants do?” and feel like this is a good career path for you, there are some things you’ll need to consider when getting into this field.
The typical education requirements for a change manager consultant includes having at least a bachelor’s degree in either a business, communication, or psychology field.
If you’re being hired as a change manager consultant, you’ll need to have training on change management best practices, models, and methodologies.
Training can be informal and done online using change management training resources, or it can be done through a formal change management training course.
You may also decide to get change management certification, which can make you stand out among other change manager consultant candidates.
The amount of experience requested for change management consultant jobs is dependent upon the organization and type of position they’re seeking. Some will ask for a “senior” change manager consultant, in which case they require more experience (usually 10+ years).
On average, requested experience levels range between 3 years to 10+ years for an organizational change management consultant.
If you don’t have a lot of experience in change management, then it may be a good idea to try to get a position with a change management consulting firm to boost your experience level.
How to Find Change Management Consultant Jobs
Change management consultant jobs are plentiful, which is a good sign for anyone wanting to know how to become a change management consultant.
Typing in keyword “change management consultant” brings up 1,738 jobs on Indeed and 965 jobs on Monster.
You can find change management consultant jobs on major job search engines, such as:
Tips for Searching for Change Consulting Jobs:
- Try different search terms, like “change management” and “change consultant”
- Use the filters to find contract jobs, remote jobs, etc.
- Visit the company’s website; you may be able to apply to them directly
Tips for Helping a Change Manager Consultant Resume Stand Out:
- Use change management keywords in your resume based upon the job description
- Highlight project management as well as change management experience
- Many changes have to do with technology, so list your IT skills and proficiencies
- Find some change management consultant profiles on LinkedIn for resume ideas
- Highlight your people skills; they’re a big part of successful change consulting
- Get a change management certification to show proficiency
Conclusion: Change Management Consulting Pay Rates, Getting In & More
For those wondering how to become a change management consultant, the path is pretty straight forward.
It involves learning change management methodologies and job functions, getting some experience being on a change management team, and ensuring you have the right level of education.
Pay rates are quite attractive for a change manager consultant. There are also options to work full-time for a change management consulting firm or go out on your own as a contract organizational change consultant.
Change consultants are in high demand due to the advances in technology and other changes that companies face regularly. This makes the job prospects for change management consulting very good, and that’s expected to continue into the foreseeable future.
Change Management Career / Jobs / Firms:
- Change Management Career Path & Salary | All You Need to Know
- Top 10 Best Change Management Consulting Firms for Consultants
- Finding the Best Change Management Jobs | All You Need to Know
- Should You Spend $4,400 for a Prosci Certificate? Is it Worth it?
- Prosci Change Management | Guide | All You Need to Know
- Review of Prosci’s Change Consultancy | What You Need to Know
- Prosci ADKAR Change Management Model | All You Need to Know
Non-Prosci Change Models:
- McKinsey 7S Model Framework | 2020 | All You Need to Know
- John Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model | Guide | Pros & Cons
- Bridges’ Transition Model for Change | 2020 | All You Need You Know
- Kurt Lewin Change Model | Pros & Cons | All You Need to Know
- Do You Really Need a Change Mgt Certification? Is it Worth it?
- Change Management Training | All You Need to Know | Employees & Leaders
- The Top 8 Best Change Management Certifications
Authors: Ogbe Airiodion (Senior Change Management Lead) and Francesca Crolley (AGS Lead Writer)
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