INDUSTRY OUTLOOK: Self-employed consulting

By Jim Battey, InfoWorld |  Career

Industry statistics

Management consulting:

Worldwide annual revenues - $62 billion

Number of management analysts in the United States - 344,000

IT consultant hourly rates:

Overall range - $20-$160 per hour

Most common - $40-$100 per hour

Independent contractors are estimated to be paid at least 20 to 40 percent more per
hour than employees performing similar work


Annual earnings:

In 1998, the middle 50 percent earned between $40,000 and $73,000, according to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Consulting trends

Job growth: The U.S. Department of Labor says employment is projected to increase
21 percent to 35 percent through 2008, although growth in the number of individual
practitioners may be hindered by clients' increasing demand for a team approach.


What's hot/what's not in IT contracting:

Highest median hourly rates - Network architects, team leaders, database
administrators, senior programmers

Lowest median hourly rates - Operations, technicians/technical support, trainers,
technical writers

Web resources

Professional and Technical Consultants Association - href="http://www.patca.org" target="_new">www.patca.org

This site is geared toward consultants in tech-related fields and includes a
referral service, searchable directory of consultants, and resource page. The
Newsletters section features consulting tips and upcoming events.

Realrates.com - target="_new">www.realrates.com

Author Janet Ruhl maintains a comprehensive database of hourly rates for computer
consultants. Visitors can browse message boards, search for consultants, or access a
contract database.

Niku Corp. - www.iNiku.com

Business services company Niku provides a Web portal for independent professionals.
Registered users get access to a listing of available projects; unregistered users can
access tips on how to succeed as a self-employed consultant.

CPUniverse - target="_new">www.cpuniverse.com

Serving as the online home to the monthly Contract Professional Magazine, this site
features a collection of useful articles and information. Topics covered include tax
law, training, and insurance.

SOURCES: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, REALRATES.COM

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