IT Consultant Job Profile

An IT consultant job, can include a smorgasbord of issues. These jobs come in a variety of forms, and IT consultants can work as independents, contractors, and employees of IT firms. The career of an IT consultant can be as varied as the number of possible roles. IT consultants must work with a market that never stands still, and technology that never stops changing. They have to be experts with current up to the minute knowledge in all areas in which they're involved.

Corporate Consultancy Roles

The IT consultant's role is best described as the fundamental mid-level to senior IT engineering role. It's both a technical and an advisory role, but adapted to the nature of work of the employer. IT consultancies have extremely broad operational parameters. The basic commercial IT consultancy serves clients on a needs basis. They can be involved in almost any aspect of IT, including:

  • Analysis of client system needs
  • Assessing operational efficiencies and cost effectiveness
  • Train staff on software, systems and hardware
  • Complete systems design, testing and installation
  • Troubleshooting
  • Remote or onsite support
  • Business advisory roles regarding types of systems and acquisition
  • Technical support like code debugging and software installation
  • Data backup and archiving

Other consultancies may specialize in particular areas, notably project work, and aren't client-based in the same sense as the commercial IT consultants. A consultancy of this type is a contractor, bidding to supply services to business and industry. The work of the IT consultant in this case is case-specific, and may involve support or advice to multiple clients.

Independent Consultants

An independent IT consultant is usually a specialist operating as a contractor, project member or commercial consultant within that area. In most cases only top level IT experts work this way. Their work is exclusively in the senior technical fields, rather than the support roles. They're likely to be involved in areas like:

  • Software development
  • System design
  • Server networks
  • Major corporate projects
  • Platform development

They're frequently also developers as well as consultants, working in important areas of the commercial IT industry like product development, major software like operating systems, applications, etc.

Salary and Hours

Very highly variable. Baseline employee salaries have a bandwidth between $50,000 and $120,000. Salaries are dependent on experience, terms of employment, type of consultancy, and may or may not include intellectual property rights at higher levels. The hours and shifts are standard business hours, project schedules, and contract obligations dictate the time spent in a consultancy role. 

The Career Environment

Specialization is pretty much inevitable in this environment as consultants move into progressively more technical roles. In compensation it's also potentially a good career move. IT experts can progress in their specializations to advance their careers, and may engage in development of their own proprietary products and related intellectual property business.