Most commonly employed by an outside company and brought in to help a client, a consultant performs analysis, evaluates needs, gives advice and comes up with solutions.
There is usually a distinction made between a junior consultant, with little experience as a consultant, and a senior consultant, who has 2 to 4 years of experience in a consulting firm.
The profession of a consultant requires a taste for human contact and an interest in fully independent consulting, which means being able to listen to the client and showing diplomatic skills.
In addition to technical skills in the field in question, the consultant must have the ability to analyze data and invent solutions.
Finally, the consultant must always be on the watch for new technological advances and be in a position to give up-to-date advice to his/her clients.
A consultant's salary may vary from $50k-$110 (Â£25k-Â£55k) a year, depending on how complicated and critical the field of work involved is.