This industry overview will discuss the latest statistics and trends for the management consulting industry in Canada. For more information on the consulting industry please see our Consulting Industry Guide.
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- Steady growth: The number of consulting firms grew every year during 2013-2018. This is expected to continue through 2018-2023.
- New entrants: High industry profitability will incentive new entrants into the market during 2018-2023. Many of these new entrants will serve niche industries.
- Steady competition: Competition is expected to remain steady during 2018-2023, with the main sources of competition coming from the IT consulting industry and in-house service.
- Stable demand: Strong domestic economic conditions are expected to result in stable demand for industry services during 2018-2023.
Industry Performance Snapshot
The Management, Scientific and Technical Services Consulting sector  achieved operating revenues and operating expenses of $21.3 billion and $15.3 billion respectively in 2016. (Statistics Canada, Consulting Services, Summary Statistics, n.d.).
Source: Statistics Canada. Consulting Services, Breakdown of Sales. Retrieved from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=3310016201
Products and Services
The chart above shows that management consulting services accounted for the largest portion of consulting sales in 2017. The following is a breakdown of the management consulting services provided that year (Statistics Canada, Consulting Services, Breakdown of Sales, n.d.):
- Strategic management consulting services (20.8%)
- Financial management consulting services (10.6%)
- Marketing management consulting services (5.5%)
- Human resources management consulting services (12.0%)
- Operations and supply chain management consulting services (4.2%)
- Other management consulting services (18.5%)
In 2017, most sales were made to domestic businesses (67.8%), followed by sales to governments, not-for-profit organizations and public institutions (13.3%) and sales to international clients (13.3%).
Source: Statistics Canada. Consulting Services, Sales by Type of Client. Retrieved from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=2110016801
The Top 5 industry expenses in 2017 were (Statistics Canada, Consulting Services, Industry Expenditures, n.d):
- Salaries, wages, commissions, and benefits (43.2%)
- Subcontracts (9.2%)
- Professional and business fees (7.4%)
- Cost of goods sold (6.4%)
- All other costs and expenses (9.9%)
Source: Statistics Canada. Establishments by Employment Type and Province/Territory. Retrieved from: https://www.ic.gc.ca/app/scr/app/cis/businesses-entreprises/5416
Trends & Changes
- During 2018-2023, government expenditure is forecast to grow at an annualized rate of 1.7%. This will create more opportunities for management consultants who specializing in advising public agencies (Ismailanji, 2018)
- Financial services will be a key driver of industry demand during 2018-2023. Management consultants will benefit as a result of Canadian banks and firms seeking their services (Ismailanji, 2018).
- During 2018-2023, more specialized consulting firms will enter the market and provide services to niche industries (Ismailanji, 2018).
- High industry profitability will lead to more competition, with the total number of enterprises reaching 87,390 by 2023 (Ismailanji, 2018).
Shifting Business Environment
- During 2018-2023, foreign investment is expected to slow as a result of the US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Ismailanji, 2018).
- Corporate profit and the number of businesses in management consulting are forecasted to increase at annualized rates of 4.8% and 0.7% respectively, creating strong demand for industry services (Ismailanji, 2018).
Growth of the Gig Economy
- The gig economy (characterized by temporary or contracted employment on an on demand basis) is growing rapidly in Canada (BMO, 2018).
- Large corporations are hiring more consultants and highly skilled specialists to supplement their permanent staff (BMO, 2018).
- In September 2017, there were 2.8 million Canadians classified as temporary workers (BMO, 2018). This figure includes management consultants.
- Millennials are more attracted to the gig economy than other age groups because they are looking for ways to supplement their income (BMO, 2018).
- Management consultants are developing niche proficiencies and more dynamic skill sets. Being a generalist is less common (CMC, 2016).
- Big data continues to create new opportunities in information usage, governance, data security, and privacy and information systems (CMC, 2016).
- Clients are demanding value-based solutions and proof of cost savings. They also expect to be mentored and coached by their consultants (CMC, 2016).
Snapshot of British Columbia
- Largest age group of consultants were 45-64 (50%), followed by 25-44 (39%), 65+ (9%), and 15-24 (2%) (WorkBC, n.d.).
- 74.7% of all management consultants worked in the Mainland/Southwest regions of BC (WorkBC, n.d.).
- Annual median salary of consultants was $75,082 in 2017 (WorkBC, n.d.).
- Provincial hourly wage rate (WorkBC Industry Outlook Profile, 2018):
- High: $51.43
- Median: $36
- Low: $20
- 530 management consulting jobs opened in 2018 (WorkBC, n.d.).
- 4233 people are currently employed in this sector (WorkBC Industry Outlook Profile, 2018).
- 2126 new job openings are forecasted for 2018-2028, with annual forecasted replacement rates of 2.7% (WorkBC Industry Outlook Profile, 2018).
BMO Wealth Management. (2018). The Gig Economy. Retrieved from: https://www.bmo.com/assets/pdfs/wealth/bmo_gig_economy_report_en.pdf
CMC Canada. (2016). Management Consulting in Canada: 2016 Industry Report – Executive Summary. Retrieved from:
Ismailanji, M. (2018). IBISWorld Industry Report 54161CA: Management Consulting in Canada. Retrieved from IBISWorld Industry Reports database.
Statistics Canada. (n.d). Consulting Services, Breakdown of Sales. Retrieved from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=3310016201
Statistics Canada. (n.d.). Consulting Services, Industry Expenditures. Retrieved from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=2110016701
Statistics Canada. (n.d.). Consulting Services, Sales by Type of Client. Retrieved from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=2110016801
Statistics Canada. (n.d.). Consulting Services, Summary Statistics. Retrieved from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=2110016601
WorkBC. (2018). WorkBC Industry Outlook Profile: Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services (NAICS 5416). Retrieved from: https://www.workbc.ca/getmedia/13b75e6f-8609-4e28-a965-eac561743fc3/profile-5416-management,-scientific-and-technical-consulting-services.pdf.aspx
WorkBC. (n.d.). Professional Occupations in Business Management Consulting (NOC 1122). Retrieved from: https://www.workbc.ca/jobs-careers/explore-careers/browse-career-profile/112