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July 12, 2017

Over the years, two basically different professions blurred, and a lot of people don’t really understand the difference. The main distinction between contractor and consultant is the following: The consultant is an expert who is able to evaluate client’s needs and come up with the useful opinion and advice. While contractor’s job is also evaluation, they will actually take care of the job and apply those findings. In the text below you’ll be able to inform yourself about this difference in more detail.

Who is a Consultant?

A consultant is usually recognized as a person who possesses the expertise and special knowledge. In return for a fee, their job is to use their knowledge and provide a specialist service. Consultants mostly work in an advisory capacity and usually, they will just come up with a solution or advice. After providing that service, they are not responsible for the application of mentioned solutions. Consultants often have a lot of years of experience in a given field, and they are considered as the most knowledgeable people in their area of expertise. Due to their knowledge and experience, their counseling can be very pricey.

Who is a Contractor?

A contractor will also provide a service which refers to professional advice or solution and will fork for a fee. The biggest difference between them and consultants is the fact that contractor will actually take care of the physical work. Of course, they can also give a piece of advice before taking care of the given issue. Contractors work for organizations which need a specific set of skills for a limited period of time. Once the job is done, the contractor leaves the company, or can stay if both company and they decide the opposite. The bottom line is that you can hire a contractor full time and let him go when the job is done.

Who is a Freelancer?

Another mix-up happened in differentiation between contractor and freelancer. The common opinion is that these two professions are the same, but they are not. The main distinction is that freelancer usually works remotely, from their own premises and can work for multiple clients simultaneously. On the other hand, contractors are hired full time by one client until the job is done. Freelancer is not paid by a contract. They mostly choose to be paid on an hourly basis and a height of their earnings will depend on their efficiency. Basically, they can earn as much as a contractor, but they’ll have to show results in first place.

Ultimately, both contractor and freelancer are perceived as professionals who actually take care of the job, while the consultant will just share their expertise and advice on steps that need to be done. Another difference is that they are exempt from liability sometimes, while contractor and freelancer aren’t.

Which One Should you Be?

It is not crucial how will clients address your expertise. It is just important to do a solid job and meet your client’s requirements. Keep in mind that you are more likely to find a job as a contractor or freelancer because it’s easier to charge the fee and your skills will be used for practical purposes. A lot of clients won’t be eager to pay for consultation only. In order to get paid for consulting, you would need plenty years of proven experience, and that is harder to achieve. The experts from Rise Engineers civil design services recognize another challenge you can stumble upon if you see yourself as a consultant. There is a difficulty to precisely define your set of skills and therefore, clients will be more cautious while negotiating.

Working as Contractor or Freelancer

Whatever you choose to be, just make sure you have what it takes in order to get the job done. Think about quality and efficiency. In order to be successful, you’ll need to see yourself as a part of a company you’re hired from. The only difference is that while working as a contractor, you’ll be working for one client full time, and as a freelancer you’ll be able to take more jobs and work hourly.

Working as a Consultant

Make sure to get a lot of education. Keep up with latest updates in your area of expertise. The execution doesn’t need to be your preoccupation. You should concentrate on theoretical and conceptual approaches. Try to understand why some methods work in a given situation and some don’t. The execution should be left to a contractor. If you work in web development consulting, for example, you’ll need to get educated about human psychology. That knowledge will be helpful in order to understand what people want to see and what are they prepared to buy.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that you basically can merge these two options in a way. The best path is to start as a contractor, gain a lot of experience and knowledge, and then gradually shift toward consultation jobs. Everything you learn during your contractor years will be fully usable once you decide to become a consultant. Just keep on improving and learning, and success will be inevitable.

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