In simplest terms, the job of a consultant is to provide actionable advice to another individual, business or entity.

Although it may seem like a rather laidback role, proactive and reputable consultants are hardworking, knowledgeable and detail-oriented professionals who often put in far more hours than their title suggests. Moreover, a consultant with a history of success can easily make a six-figure income.

Why Become A Consultant?

If you want to become a consultant, your annual salary will depend on a variety of factors, including your previous experience as a consultant, your academic success, the industry you’re in, your geographic location and even the company you work with. Some IT consultants can make far more than one who works for a startup tech firm.

Another factor that affects your final salary as a consultant is the overall impact of your services. Those working as administrative consultants, one of the lowest-earning positions, make an average of $30,000 on a yearly basis.

Management consultants, sometimes known as management analysts, earn significantly more than their office-bound counterparts. As of 2015, the average annual salary for a management consultant was $81,320, which amounts to nearly $40 per hour. While this is enough for most of us to lead a comfortable life, even this is still on the lower end of the spectrum when compared to some other consultancy positions.

Personal financial advisors, or financial consultants, earn an average of $89,160 per year. These roles typically involve higher education but the additional years spent in academia can pay huge dividends. Add a master’s degree to your profile to see this amount increase even further.

Some consultants make a great living through their trade. The national average annual salary for a business consultant is just under $120,000, but the scope and scale of this role puts it beyond the reach of novice entrepreneurs and professionals who are just starting off.

1. Company Culture

With so much emphasis being placed on the establishment and enforcement of company culture, there are plenty of opportunities to become a consultant in this specific niche. Startup enterprises are more likely to take a chance on an inexperienced consultant than larger, established organizations, but roles like this can go a long way in your path to success.

In some applications, this role is known as a change management consultant. Depending on the company in question, it can also be an incredibly rewarding position with an average salary of $101,000.

2. Marketing and Public Relations

Another sector that is perfect for novice consultants, overseeing the development and implementation of short- or long-term marketing campaigns is great for professionals with a strong sense of independence and individuality. Not only does this give you the opportunity to tap into your creative side, but it can also be used to develop your own brand and establish a strong initial presence as a consultant.

Public relations is another area that favours creativity and those who can think outside the box. Both marketing consultants and public relations advisors make a similar median salary, but their final pay is subject to regular commissions and bonuses.

3. Software/Information Technology

Modern software and information technology are constantly expanding and evolving. What was once a slow-moving industry has taken the shape of an unstoppable force, with no signs of slowing. Many employers want staff trained in widely used software programs but haven’t got the resources to complete this training in-house.

This is exactly why the role of the IT consultant has become so valuable in the 21st century. By making this your profession, you’re able to dedicate all your time and professional resources to learning the industry. As well as, following the latest breakthroughs. Conversely, many employers, especially those who are already established and profitable, find it easier to pay a third-party IT specialist instead of revamping their workforce or altering their day-to-day operations.

The average annual pay for an IT consultant can vary greatly. The national average currently stands at just over $65,000.

4. Financial Advising

If you’re good with numbers, you might be interested in the job of financial consultant. Plenty of opportunities exist in this field, ranging from startup enterprises and solo entrepreneurs to highly prolific and successful corporations.

The average annual salary for a financial advisor in the U.S. is between $55,000 and $60,000.

Success for You and Your Clientele

The success of a consultant is absolutely tied to the achievements and accomplishments of their clientele. Now that you’re armed with more information on the role and a better idea of the average salaries of professionals in the field; it’s time to put your knowledge to good use and make a name for yourself.

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Kayla Matthews is a technology and personal development writer who regularly contributes to The Daily Muse, MakeUseOf and The Huffington Post.