The lifestyle at some firms consists of 100% travel. You leave on Sunday and come back on Friday. The travel and hotel are paid for and the consultant gets to keep the airline miles and hotel points. There is also per diem. The day can start at 630 AM when you meet with your team in the hotel lobby to leave for work. The clients site may be anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes away. The clients provide the consultants with a makeshift office. The consultant may not get back to the hotel until 6PM.
The consultant is usually part of a team. The team leader may be someone with just a couple more years experience. Training tends to be on-the-job. There can be intense, almost violent, conflicts within the team and between a consultant and people who work in the client company.
A consultant is the lowest rung in the ladder, then comes project manager, then the guy who is managing multiple projects at the same time, then ultimately partner.
Most of the money is made from bonuses. A project manager may earn 65K but make a couple thousand in bonus money. Even people high in the ladder may make "only" about 90K but more than make up for it in bonuses.
It is difficult to explain what a management consultant does. There are some on-the-floor observations of what the client company does. There is interviewing of some people who work for the client. There is use of computers and installing new programs. The consultant recommends changes and try to implement them.The consultant seems to have to create his own work.