The Average Salary of an IT Consultant

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An information technology (IT) consultant advises companies and other organizations about computer systems. He assists with selecting servers and other network items for businesses to link all the computers in a building or company together. She helps select new programs, hardware and software programs to meet a company's needs and provide solutions to challenges. An IT consultant is responsible for handling any issues or problems that arise in clients' computer systems, and he performs maintenance to keep such systems in good working order. According to PayScale.com, the average salary of an IT consultant depends largely upon a number of factors, such as her work experience and employer type.

Work Experience

  • An IT consultant's salary depends largely upon how much work experience she has in the field, according to PayScale.com. In August 2009, IT consultants with less than one year of experienced earned between $49,055 and $60,632, while those with one to four years averaged $50,233 to $70,561. The average salary for five to nine years of experience was between $63,250 and $92,567. From years 10 to 19, IT consultants' average salaries were between $72,721 and $107,227. Once he worked in the field for 20 years or more, an IT consultant earned $83,018 to $119,800.

Employer Type

  • The type of employer an IT consultant worked for also affected her average salary range. Self-employed IT consultants earn the highest maximum salaries, but also report some of the lowest average starting salaries. Hospitals, the federal government and foundations pay some of the highest starting salaries, comparatively. Some of the lowest-paying employers of IT consultants were school districts, state and local governments, and colleges and universities, where workers earned as much as 50 percent less than their peers in other areas.

Certification

  • IT consultants can earn certifications with a masterful understanding of the company's products and services. The consultant's certification also affected the salary. In 2009, IT consultants with Project Management Professional Certification received the highest maximum salaries at $108,502. In addition, Microsoft and Java certifications tended to result in higher salaries than Service Technician certifications or those offered for Cisco telecommunication products.

Skills

  • In August 2009, some consultants specialized in particular areas of information technology, such as UNIX systems, where consultants earned between $61,627 and $100,631. Others focused on specific programming languages, and of these, Oracle tended to result in higher pay rates than other languages like SQL or Java. A specialty in general use of Microsoft products or specifically on Windows or Office led to lower salaries than both UNIX and languages.

Education

  • An IT consultants' education level also affected average salary ranges in August 2009. The highest-paid consultants held masters of business administration degrees, earning between $64,762 and $100,205, while those with masters of science degrees in computer science earned between $64,952 and $96,177. IT consultants who held bachelors of business management degrees in management of information systems were the lowest paid between $51,206 and $81,597.

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