Compensation Watch ’21: How ’Bout Them Raises At PwC? (UPDATE)

(Updated with a comparison of average raise percentages per promotion between 2021, 2019, and 2017.)

PwCers expected really good raises this year. They trust that management would make that happen, given that PwC U.S. had record-setting revenue of $18 billion last year during a global pandemic.

Last year PwCers had to endure massive workloads during a health and economic crisis without base salary increases. Only those who received a promotion got a raise, we were told.

PwC tried to make up for the lack of raises during the summer by making mid-year salary adjustments for all staff in early January 2021. Nothing huge—only about 1% to 5% depending on tier, according to posts we saw online. So, PwCers had high expectations going into this summer’s compensation discussions.

A handful of employees at P. Dubs leaked their raises on Fishbowl and Reddit in early to mid-June before Reddit officially posted its 2021 PwC Compensation Thread, and for the most part, they seem to be pleased. Some of the ranges posted online included:

Sounds like 25-40% increases

Speaking from personal experience, it’s really good this year! Associates and seniors got on average 25%-40% raise, which makes S1 at close to 90K and M1 at close to 110K now (I’m in a HCOL market).

Seen everything from 18-40%

OK not bad. You figured PwC had to dole out better-than-usual raises this year as a retention strategy because attrition rates in public accounting are through the roof right now.

Now that the 2021 PwC Comp Thread is on Reddit, I wanted to find out if the raises at PwC are really as good as the Kool-Aid drinkers are making them out to be. So I examined the 2021 and 2019 PwC Comp Threads on Reddit and the 2017 Comp Thread on Going Concern. I calculated the average raise percentage for each step up in rank or promotion where data was available (i.e, A1->A2, A2->S1, S2->S3, etc).

Keep in mind these averages don’t take into effect factors like current base pay, location/cost of living, line of service, academic degrees, and tier ranking. So do with this info as you will:

A1->A2

  • 17.2% (2021)
  • 10.7% (2019)
  • 12.5% (2017)

A2->A3

  • 20.1% (2021)
  • 7.6% (2019)
  • 11% (2017)

A2->S1

  • 42.4% (2021)
  • 20.2% (2019)
  • 20.1% (2017)

A3->S1

  • 32.2% (2021)
  • 17% (2019)
  • 14.3% (2017)

S1->S2

  • 16.5% (2021)
  • 14.2% (2019)
  • 11.1% (2017)

S2->M1

  • 40% (2021)
  • 23% (2019)
  • 20.3% (2017)

S2->S3

  • 24.7% (2021)
  • 9.5% (2019)
  • 9.5% (2017)

S3->M1

  • 24.7% (2021)
  • 16% (2019)
  • 18% (2017)

M1->M2

  • 26.5% (2021)
  • 11% (2019)
  • 8% (2017)

M2->SM1

  • 34% (2021)
  • 10% (2019)
  • N/A (2017)

M2->M3

  • N/A (2021)
  • N/A (2019)
  • 7% (2017)

M3->SM1

  • N/A (2021)
  • 9% (2019)
  • N/A (2017)

SM2->D

  • 7% (2021)
  • N/A (2019)
  • N/A (2017)

SM2->SM3

  • 4% (2021)
  • N/A (2019)
  • N/A (2017)

For the most part, PwCers got what they were hoping for—substantial double-digit raises, even with the new “cohort model” for first-years and experienced associates, which we were told, “They will be organized into cohorts based on location/LoS, education, and level. Everyone in each cohort will then make the same base salary.”

In many instances, those promoted early from A2->S1 got ridiculous raises this year:

  • 64% ($56,000 to $92,000)
  • 47% ($57,000 to $84,000)
  • 46% ($69,200 to $96,400)
  • 45.5% ($66,100 to $96,200)
  • 45% ($66,000 to $95,700)

While some PwCers were using fire emojis online to describe their raises, others tried to pour cold water on their excitement:

So PwCers, were your raises good enough to keep you at the House of Ryan for another year or two, or are you looking to get the hell out?

Related articles:

PwC Is a Name You Can Trust … Or So It Claims
Compensation Watch ’20: PwC Making Mid-Year Salary Adjustments For Everyone
Bonus Watch ’20: PwC Is Kinda, Sorta Going Forth with Bonuses, Raises 

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9 Comments

  1. The 22% raise for an Associate 1 to Associate 2 seems crazy. They would have been hired last summer/fall and wouldn’t have been affected by the raise freeze last year. If anything, that makes the other raises seem low since they didn’t get their raise last year.

  2. Story line:
    Jun ’19 I got bumped up from 67 to 73.5, at this pt in my career I received 10% bumps every year, and was always a 3 at CRT.

    Jul ’20- pay freeze no increase

    Jan ’21 – 5% increase to 77.x

    Jul ’21 – very close to 30% increase to very close to 100K – also promo to senior

    Let’s say there was no COVID.

    I would move from 73.5* 10% increase = 80.85k in Jun ’20.
    Then in July ’21 when I would get promoted, I would likely expect another 10%, so that would put me at 88.9k
    Vs the very close to 100k I am at now.

    Under the old model, PwC in NYM used to start seniors at ~85, unless you were a 1 or 2, might be a little higher. Looks like under the new model comp is more in line with industry comp.

  3. Is PWC going to reopen their company that is located downtown Houston on 1200 Louisiana St and if they do reopen do you know when.

  4. I’m in that SM2->SM3 bucket at 4%. And I know other SM’s and Directors are in the same spot. The firm must want us to leave if that is how they reward the people who have been around the longest.

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