What does an IT consultant do?
IT consultants are professionals who deliver support to organizations and businesses that require technical guidance. If you enter a career as an IT consultant, your job options include working for an IT consultancy firm or being an independent contractor. Technology changes on a continual basis, which means that IT consultants provide clients with their opinions of new technologies. You'll make recommendations about software or devices that suit a client's needs.
Clients ask IT consultants to assess software performance, analytics, data, and cybersecurity. Most of the day-to-day tasks that you participate in as an IT consultant include meetings on how the company can maintain and update its technology. It's also common for IT consultants to repair certain components of tech devices and IT systems. Unlike staff employees, experienced consultants can spend more time devoted to a single project. IT consultants shift tech resources to help businesses grow and expand their operations.
What is the average IT consultant salary?
IT consultants are in high demand among many different types of businesses and industries, which range from education to healthcare. The average salary for an IT consultant in the U.S. is currently just over $85,000 but can be as high as $100,000 with additional pay. Keep in mind that the additional pay you receive is based on everything from commission and tips to profit sharing and cash bonuses. At the annual salary of $85,000, you're looking at a monthly salary of just over $7,000.
Factor in experience and location
IT consultants are able to demand higher salaries if they have more experience and are more knowledgeable of modern technology than other applicants. While the average monthly salary for an IT consultant is $7,000, your monthly salary may range from $3,000-$24,000. Along with experience, your location also determines what to expect from your monthly salary. IT consultants bring in a higher salary if they live in a large city like San Francisco or Chicago.
Working as an IT consultant
If you're searching for a demanding yet exciting career in the information technology industry, working as an IT consultant is the way to go. You'll work with all different kinds of technology while also helping companies update to advanced tech. Being a consultant allows you to work with numerous clients instead of focusing on a single business. You'll also take on many different types of projects that will put your skills to the test. Before you send in IT consultant applications, learn more about this position and all that it entails.
What are the responsibilities of an IT consultant?
IT consultants have an array of responsibilities that center on a company's IT infrastructure and systems. Most businesses that hire IT consultants require them to understand the ins and outs of the IT systems that are housed in the facility. You will help resolve tech problems with employee computers and make sure that all IT solutions are successful. The main responsibilities that you will have regardless of the company you work for include:
- Understanding business objectives
- Managing IT initiatives
- Collaborating with technical staff
- Providing strategic technological advice
Additional responsibilities and tasks
As an IT consultant, the work you do must cover every facet of information technology. You will regularly diagnose problems in IT systems. These problems include inherent weaknesses with the technology as well as inefficiencies that lead to lower productivity. You will also plan and develop timelines for the completion of IT-related projects. Your advice will guide the company's decision-making process, which is why it's important to understand the client's business needs. Some extra tasks related to this job include:
- Identifying security threats
- Implementing technological solutions
- Providing advice on best practices
- Collaborating with technical teams
- Training staff
- Producing comprehensive technology reports
What type of equipment do IT consultants use?
Along with knowing how to perform repairs on computers, servers, and similar types of equipment, there are other pieces of equipment you will use. These pieces of equipment are meant to make your job easier. For instance, customer relationship management software assists you with managing customer relationships, which is critical if you work for multiple clients. You can integrate this software directly into your email.
Use the right apps
IT consultants use numerous apps to facilitate a more productive and efficient workday. One of these apps is a time-tracking app, which allows you to visualize the time you spend with any IT project you're working on. Tracking your work time helps you improve your customer invoicing as well. Another app to consider is a project management app, which provides a structure for more complex and time-consuming projects.
What is the work environment of an IT consultant?
An IT consultant's work environment depends on the exact client they're working for. If you work for a business that has an office building, your time will be spent in this building for assessments and meetings. However, technical projects are commonly handled at offsite locations. If you work as an independent contractor, you'll have the opportunity to complete some work at home. Your tasks can include making phone calls, writing technology recommendations, and performing extensive research. It's also common for IT consultants to work at consultancy firms alongside other teams.
Who are your colleagues as an IT consultant?
As an IT consultant, your work colleagues include every member of the company's information technology team. These professionals include:
- IT support technician
- Network engineer
- Programmer analysts
- IT managers
- Software developers
Importance of working with other team members
Identifying and resolving problems usually requires assistance from other IT professionals at the company in question. Larger problems may only be solved with a multi-tiered approach. A company's information technology team has several different names, which include networking teams and computer systems administration teams.
What is the work schedule of an IT consultant?
The standard work schedule of an IT consultant involves a workday that usually extends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, you can set your own hours if you work as an independent contractor for several different clients.
A standard workday takes many different forms depending on the issues that arise during the day. Most IT consultants begin their day by having meetings with upper management. These meetings involve strategy sessions on how to improve the company's approach to information technology. First-level contact is also made with employees to convey resolutions to the issues they're having. Any unresolved queries are taken to the next level of support. Performing analysis and providing feedback are also necessary to ensure that the company you work for understands how their infrastructure is lacking.
What is the career outlook for an IT consultant?
The career outlook for an IT consultant is strong. According to estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of IT consultants will grow by around 7% in the decade spanning 2020-2030. This growth is similar to the average for all occupations. Job opening estimates for this professional are set at 47,500 each year, which equates to 475,000 by the end of the decade. The majority of these openings are estimated to be for workers who move from one occupation to another or retire. Since an increasing number of businesses are looking to improve their information technology systems, this position should be in demand for the foreseeable future.
What are the advantages of working with Spherion as an IT consultant?
If you're searching for a job as an IT consultant, Spherion will assist you during your search by matching you to a job that suits your skill set. Spherion is a reputable staffing company with connections throughout every industry, which allows you to benefit from ample networking opportunities. Whether you want to work from home or would like a job at a consultancy firm, Spherion has options that you can take advantage of. The benefits of working with Spherion include:
- Receiving a weekly salary
- A considerable amount of flexibility
- Ample training opportunities
- Continual access to a contact person
- Flexible scheduling options
- Simple and straightforward interviewing process
- Numerous job options in your specific area
What education do you need as an IT consultant?
If you work as an independent contractor, a degree may not be necessary. Many businesses view technical skills as considerably more important than education. However, employers also prefer applicants who have bachelor's degrees in information technology systems or computer science. Having a master of business administration (MBA) is even more advantageous. Education requirements aren't universal for this position. However, look to gain experience in systems analysis and information management. Many IT consultants will have past experience as an IT manager or an information technology certification of some kind.
Skills and competencies
Since the duties of an IT business consultant involve everything from collaborating with help desks to resolving network errors, a diverse skill set is necessary. If you want to garner long-term success in this job, gain more skills before applying. Knowledge of information systems is necessary. You'll spend a considerable amount of time analyzing storage software, which requires knowledge of how these systems work. Additional skills to possess include:
- Ability to write computer code
- Analytical thinking
- Good communication skills
- Good interpersonal skills
- Excellent written communication
- Problem-solving skills
- Time-management skills
- Knowledge of database languages
Information technology has become increasingly important for businesses in practically every industry. Below are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions surrounding the IT consultant position.