What is the Difference Between a Principal Consultant and a Manager?

When it comes to the hierarchy of roles in an IT consulting company, a principal consultant is higher than a manager. A manager is responsible for organizing and directing the collaborative efforts of the project, while a principal consultant is in charge of directing and managing a project, as well as its execution. Managers and consultants typically have a bachelor's or master's degree in business or a related field from an accredited university. They must have some years of experience in a management position, along with excellent analytical and leadership skills.

Some employers also prefer managers and consultants with in-depth knowledge of the most recent business policies and regulations. A principal consultant is responsible for selecting and managing teams of analysts, consultants, and junior consultants, and assumes responsibility for the quality of the results and the profitability of the hiring. Lead consultants should have experience executing successful projects and a thorough understanding of business issues in their field. If you understand the chain of command, you'll know how the managing consultant and the principal consultant are related. This type of consultant is part of the top management of an IT consulting company and is in control of daily activities.

However, they are also experts in their field, as they were hired to solve a specific problem. Management consultants need approval from the principal consultant to make significant changes to a project. To succeed in the first few months and get a quick promotion in consulting companies, one should focus on developing a consulting mentality, resource management, customer management, and work-life balance. In an IT company, principal consultants earn more than managing consultants due to their experience and time spent in the organization. Both roles involve managerial responsibilities and overseeing a team of IT consultants.