A color consultant advises individuals and businesses about color choices. An individual might hire a color consultant to help decorate his home or select a flattering wardrobe. Business clients ask the color consultant to choose paint, uniform, logo and other colors according to the psychological message they want associated with their products.
Nature of Work
Color consultants normally work as self-employed individuals with short-term contracts. They hire on to complete a project, then move on to the next assignment. This means a color consultant must spend at least as much time promoting her services as she does actually advising clients about color. When on the job, a color consultant meets with clients, assesses their needs, then provides examples of what choices might look like if the clients follow her suggestions.
A small percentage of color consultants work for image consulting houses on salary. These salaries vary widely according to the sort of client the house works with. A starting consultant in a budget house might earn just $7 to $11 per hour, while consultants working with prestigious clients earn middle-class salaries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not keep statistics on workers in this industries. These examples are drawn from job postings at specific houses.
Most color consultants work as self-employed contractors. A St. Petersberg College briefing on the industry found that most self-employed consultants in this industry averaged $25,000 to $35,000 per year, assuming the contractor is working "full time." In this case, full time doesn't mean spending 40 hours per week on paid assignments. The high hourly wage -- often $100 or more -- accounts for unpaid time spent researching industry trends and seeking out new clients.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment in fields related to image consulting, such as public relations and marketing, to grow about as fast as average as the job market as a whole. This amounts to 12 percent growth between 2008 and 2018. The BLS attributes this rate to rapid growth due to an increased awareness of the value of professional image consulting, mitigated by a decline in professional marketing due to easy access to free information online.