what is a consultant?

After gaining years of experience, you can become a consultant in your area of expertise. Consultants turn their knowledge into a resource, and companies are willing to pay for their advice and valuable insights.

As a consultant, you research your employer’s target market and company to identify problems and opportunities for expansion. You also recommend solutions for business-related issues and help facilitate changes in an organisation. Some clients hire consultants to revitalise or downsize their business. Sometimes, you restructure a failing business or provide counsel during a start-up by conducting a feasibility study and identifying opportunities.

The scope of your work as a consultant requires passion for your work and an interest in your industry sector. Organisations look for consultants when they need an external perspective on business issues. That means they need someone who can breathe a new life into the venture and help turn the tide. A successful consultant needs more than industry-specific knowledge. You also require skills in business analysis, troubleshooting and strategy.

what do consultants do?

Consultants can work for any industry as in-house consultants or for consulting firms. In-house consultants provide in-depth analysis of the business since they study it from all perspectives and recommend opportunities for improvement. A consulting firm often works with multiple companies and provides expert advice on a range of industry issues.

Would working as a consultant suit your analytical skills and industry experience? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a consultant role. 

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average salary of a consultant

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a consultant is ₹11,00000 per year in India. Along with the basic salary, consultants often enjoy various benefits, including medical insurance, pension schemes and paid vacations. Some companies motivate consultants with bonuses for successful projects.

what factors affect a consultant's pay?

Consultants' earnings depend on their area of expertise. For example, consultants in engineering or construction are likely to earn more than health consultants. The financial sector also pays consultants high salaries. The company you work for also determines your earning potential. In-house consultants’ pay fluctuates in line with their company's size and financial resources. 

Working for consulting firms affects your pay structure; most consultancy pay is based on the clients and your experience level. Consultants with years of experience earn more since they bring transferrable skills to the job and stimulate change using tried-and-tested methods. Relocating can also increase your earnings, as the pay in big cities is higher than in small towns.

consultant jobs
consultant jobs

types of consultants

Consultants work in many different industries, each with different job responsibilities. Some common types of consultant include:

  • business consultant: as a business consultant, you assist companies in solving problems by offering expert advice on business strategies. You help them boost performance by improving their processes, developing a new HR strategy or providing operational support.
  • education consultant: as a consultant in training and education, you help academic institutions deal with various issues in primary, secondary and higher education. You also assist organisations that have educational objectives, such as publishers, government agencies and non-profit organisations.
  • healthcare consultant: consultants in healthcare institutions aim to improve efficiency and minimise expenses. You recommend new procedures and ways to increase revenue and manage workplace risks.
  • it consultant: as an IT consultant, you analyse threats to computer systems and the functionality of programmes to improve efficiency. You also recommend ways for utilising information technology to enhance business performance.
  • management consultant: as a management consultant, you provide advice and guidance to top-level managers in an organisation. You assist with developing strategies and business goals and advise them throughout the decision-making process.

working as a consultant

Curious to find out what a consultant does daily? Read on for insights about your career prospects and daily duties.


education and skills

Successful consultants have extensive academic qualifications. Some of the educational requirements and additional qualifications include:

  • degree: you can start your career as a consultant with a bachelor's degree in any field, including business, finance, science, IT or engineering. If you plan to be a consultant in healthcare, a degree in science or a related field is necessary. Knowledge of the industry is essential to get a job.
  • postgraduate studies: while postgraduate qualifications, such as a master's or doctoral degree, are not compulsory, they improve your job prospects. Some companies prefer consultants with MBAs or doctorates.
  • work experience: consultancy is a competitive career, and commercial experience gives you an advantage. You can take up internships or join graduate training programmes to improve your skills. Professional certifications like PMP/Prince2 with the relevant minimum work experience will add value in terms of your career prospects.

skills and competencies

Apart from academic qualifications, the following skills and competencies will help you excel as a consultant:

  • creative thinking: solving business problems requires someone who thinks outside the box and comes up with unique solutions. As a consultant, creative thinking helps you come up with ideas to solve various issues in a company.
  • problem-solving skills: sometimes, consultants are responsible for resolving conflicts between managers and employees or saving a company on the brink of bankruptcy. Problem-solving skills help you identify ways to resolve disputes and find resolutions to revive a company.
  • communication and listening skills: as a consultant, you listen to employees and stakeholders to understand their concerns. When assessing the impact of a problem, you should listen empathetically instead of focusing solely on the financial aspects. Once you develop strategies for resolving an issue, communication skills help you share them clearly.
  • time management: time management skills help you make it to all your consultations and meetings on time. Organisational skills help you achieve your goals and follow your schedule. Preparing for the day's activities is useful for optimising your time and completing the items on your to-do list.

FAQs about working as a consultant

FAQs about working as a consultant:

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