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Average Age Of Partner At Big 4 – Revealed For Each Firm

I think knowing the average age of a partner at a Big 4 firm can be fascinating for someone who aspires to join these firms. Here’s what the stats show…

The typical Big 4 partner today often reaches this position in their late thirties after working at the firm for around 15 to 17 years.

Here are some more facts regarding the age of partners At Big 4:

  • After 40, your chances of becoming a partner drops.
  • Partners are likely to get retired in their late fifties.
  • Since 2016, the ratio of partners at each firm has fallen.
  • Only 2-3% of employees make it to partner positions.

In this article, I unveil:

  • The average age of a partner at each of the Big 4 firms
  • Discuss the journey to the partnership level
  • The career trajectories within these prestigious organizations

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1. Deloitte

Deloitte, the world’s leading professional services firm, has a distinct approach to nurturing young talent and providing early opportunities for advancement.

This strategy significantly impacts the average age of partners within the firm.

1. Average Age Of Partners At Deloitte

At Deloitte, the average age of partners typically falls within a range that reflects the firm’s commitment to fostering early talent. 

Professionals at this firm tend to reach partner positions between the age of 35 to 40, which is relatively young compared to some other organizations, indicating the value of identifying and promoting exceptional individuals early in their careers. (Source)

2. Factors Influencing The Age Of Partnership At Deloitte

Several factors contribute to the age at which professionals become partners at Deloitte. 

First and foremost, Deloitte strongly emphasizes individual performance and the ability to demonstrate leadership qualities. Those who show exceptional skills and the potential for future growth are often identified for accelerated career advancement.

Additionally, the firm’s commitment to talent development programs is crucial.

This provides young professionals ample opportunities for growth, exposure to diverse projects, and access to mentors and senior leaders who can guide their career progression to the partner level.

3. Impact On The Overall Partner Demographic

Deloitte’s focus on significantly nurturing early talent impacts the overall partner demographic within the firm. 

By promoting individuals to partner at a younger age, the company ensures a dynamic and vibrant partner base with fresh perspectives and innovative ideas. 

This emphasis on youth also aligns with evolving needs of Deloitte clients, who increasingly seek members with contemporary skills and a deep understanding of emerging technologies and market trends.

Moreover, Deloitte’s commitment to diversity and inclusion further influences the partner demographic. (Source)

By upgrading talented individuals to partner positions from diverse backgrounds, the firm strives to create a partner cohort representative of the diverse world in which it operates.

2. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

PwC, a prominent member of the Big 4 accounting firms, also follows a distinctive approach to partner progression, emphasizing:

  • Experience
  • Expertise
  • Robust skill set

This approach influences the average age of partners within the firm and highlights the importance of building a solid foundation before assuming a leading role.

1. Analysis Of The Average Age Of Partners At PwC

At PwC, the average age of partners typically falls within the early to mid-40s range. This age range reflects the firm’s emphasis on individuals gaining substantial experience and expertise before being promoted to the partner level. (Source)

PwC recognizes the significance of professionals developing a comprehensive skill set and deep industry knowledge to serve clients better and provide strategic guidance effectively.

2. Factors Contributing To Partners’ Age At PwC

A lot of factors influence the timing of partnership attainment at PwC. Firstly, the company places great importance on experience and the accumulation of a breadth of knowledge across various sectors and industries. 

This entails working on diverse client engagements and projects, often requiring years of experience and expertise in handling tricky assignments.

In addition to experience, PwC considers proficiency in specific areas a key factor for partnership eligibility. 

Professionals are expected to develop specialized skills and demonstrate subject matter expertise in their respective fields. This expertise often comes with time and considerable time investment in continuous learning and development.

3. Importance Of Building A Robust Skill Set and Industry Knowledge

Before assuming a partner role at PwC, building a robust skill set and industry knowledge is crucial. 

The company recognizes that partners play a pivotal role in providing strategic advice and solutions to clients, necessitating a deep understanding of complex business challenges and industry-specific dynamics. (Source)

Moreover, PwC significantly emphasizes professionals, honing:

  • Technical skills
  • Leadership abilities
  • client relationship management capabilities

This may also include staying up-to-date with emerging trends, regulatory changes, and disruptive technologies impacting the businesses of PwC clients. 

Deloitte tower in downtown Los Angeles with the sunset in the sky behind it

Ernst & Young (EY)

As a vital member of the Big 4 accounting firms, EY stands out with its precise partner selection process that strongly emphasizes:

  • Cultivating extensive experience
  • Deep expertise
  • Unwavering leadership qualities 

1. Average Age of Partners at EY

At EY, the average age of partners varies, but it generally spans from the late 30s to the early 40s.

This age range highlights the importance of professionals acquiring substantial knowledge and management skills before assuming a partner role at EY. (Source)

2. EY’s Emphasis On Experience, Expertise, and Demonstrated Leadership Qualities

Earning a partner position at EY requires professionals to have a track record of delivering excellent client service and demonstrating leadership in their respective roles.

Individuals willing for this position are expected to have amassed a comprehensive breadth of knowledge across diverse clients and industries. 

This ensures company partners are well-equipped to navigate complex business challenges, understand industry-specific dynamics, and offer strategic insights to clients.

Moreover, EY values expertise in specialized areas. Partners should possess deep subject matter knowledge, often gained through years of focused experience in specific industries or service lines.

The firm also places significant importance on demonstrated leadership qualities such as:

  • Ability to inspire and motivate teams
  • Foster collaboration
  • Drive positive change


These qualities enable partners to effectively manage client relationships, mentor junior professionals, and contribute to the overall growth and success of the firm.


KPMG, a renowned Big 4 accounting firm, adopts a unique approach to partner selection that emphasizes:

  • Innovation 
  • Industry insights
  • Technical knowledge
  • Strategic thinking
  • Client value creation

This strategy influences the average age of partners within the firm and reflects KPMG’s commitment to delivering exceptional services.

1. Insight Into The Average Age of Partners at KPMG

While the specific age range of partners at KPMG may vary, it typically spans from the late 30s to the early 40s. (Source)

This age range highlights the invaluable journey of professionals at the firm as they strive to gather a wealth of understanding and skills, culminating in their well-deserved promotion to the esteemed partner level.

2. Outlining The Factors Influencing Partnership Attainment at KPMG

KPMG strongly emphasizes innovation and industry insights, recognizing its critical role in staying ahead in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

Professionals with a knack for generating fresh ideas, embracing technological advancements, and offering valuable solutions are often considered for partnership at a relatively young age.

3. Analysis of KPMG’s Partner Selection Process

KPMG’s partner selection process involves a comprehensive evaluation of various criteria, including:

  • Technical acumen
  • Leadership abilities
  • Capability to create value for clients

Strategic thinking is another crucial aspect considered during the partner selection process at KPMG. They are evaluated based on their ability to analyze complex business problems, provide innovative insights, and offer practical recommendations to clients. 

Moreover, KPMG emphasizes client value creation as a crucial factor in the partner selection process. By doing this, the firm ensures its leadership deeply understands client industries and can provide exceptional service.

The Evolving Path to Partnership: How Long Does it Take?

In the past, achieving partner status at Big 4 was considered a remarkable accomplishment, often attained by exceptional individuals before age 30. 

A former employee at these firms said, “Accounting firms don’t care where people come from; it’s all about what they’ve done with themselves and what they’ve achieved rather than where they’ve come from.” (Source)

However, the landscape has transformed in the last decade, with the average age for partnership steadily shifting towards 40.

Shrinking Partner Numbers: The Reason Behind the Decline

Over the past 5+ years, the professional services sector, such as the Big 4, has witnessed a decline in the number of partners. (Source)

This trend will continue as the profit margins shrink and existing partners are less willing to reduce the size of the ‘pie,’ and consequently are less inclined to make up people to the partnership.

The Retirement Age of Partners at Big 4

Partners at the Big 4 accounting firms typically retire in their late fifties or early sixties due to: 

  • Financial preparedness
  • Personal goals
  • Succession planning


Partners at Big 4 – Salaries

Here’s a table summarizing the average salary and bonus for partners at each of the Big 4 accounting firms:

FirmAverage SalaryAverage Bonus


For further insights on the average age and skills required to become partners at the Big 4 accounting firms, you can check out this informative YouTube video: 

The one ESSENTIAL skill required to become a Big 4 accounting partner | Deloitte, KPMG, EY & PwC


  • Will Bennett

    Will Bennett is a Cambridge graduate. He worked as a Consultant and Senior Consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in London. Will is the Founder of The Cambridge Consultant.