When companies and organizations experience issues with their computer systems or feel it is time to upgrade their technology and networks, they turn to computer consultants for their expert advice. The amount of money a computer consultant makes depends on how much experience and training he has, the complexity of the job, the industry he works in and his location.
On average, computer consultants made an annual wage of $80,430 a year as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The annual salary was $47,130 in the 10th percentile and $119,170 in the 90th percentile; those with a bachelor's or master's degree and/or several years of experience are more likely to earn higher wages.
In the industry of computer systems design and related services, computer consultants earned an average of $85,460 annually in 2009, according to the bureau. Providing consulting services to the management of companies and enterprises brought in an average salary of $79,290 a year, while working for insurance carriers earned $77,010 a year. Computer consultants working for professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers earned an average of $92,770 annually, while those employed by state governmentsearned an average of $67,720.
Computer consultants may have the opportunity to move into a senior or lead systems analyst position after several years of experience. Consultants with strong business skills may become information systems managers or, in larger companies, chief information officers. Another option for computer consultants to earn higher wages is to move to higher-paying industries; for example, those working in computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing earned $94,770 as of 2009 according to the bureau, while those working for drugs and druggists' sundries merchant wholesalers earned an average of $97,940.
Only two metropolitan areas in the nation had six-figure salary averages for computer consultants; in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the average was $100,710 and in Farmington, New Mexico, the average was $109,430. The top-paying state for this occupation was Virginia, where the average income of a consultant was $92,300 as of 2009. The bureau named Rhode Island and New Jersey as second and third with salary averages of $90,140 and $89,270 respectively.