While some businesses prefer hiring software developers for the project directly, others seek help with professional consulting services. Both of these approaches are totally fine as long as you get what you need — high-quality software that meets your business requirements. Yet, in some cases, it is better to choose one approach over the other.
For example, a professional IT consulting company can compensate for the lack of internal tech expertise and project management skills.
If you are at a crossroads and can’t decide if IT consulting would be the right option for you, think about it from the standpoint of the cost-benefit ratio. To get you started, we have compiled an overview of IT consulting average rates across the UK.
However, first, let’s see how the consulting industry works and why businesses hire IT consultants.
What is IT consulting: who they are, what they do?
IT consultants are the providers of expert advice and guidance in case the organization lacks the required tech expertise in-house. Their main role is “IT support” for non-technical companies. For example, they can help a company develop and implement a successful IT strategy or lead its digital transformation initiative. That is the best cost-effective solution for companies that are going to start their first tech project, for startups and small businesses that know their needs and want to hire the matching development team and understand how to implement their ideas. IT consultants also have great communication skills and often take responsibility for managing the development team.
Typical responsibilities of an IT consultant include:
- Keeping clients up to date with the development process by documenting the progress as well as preparing reports and consulting presentations highlighting the client’s current progress.
- Helping assess potential vendors and getting the required resources on board. IT consultants also ensure the in-house team is easily integrated with external developers from an agency and provide continuous IT support.
- Defining the scope of the project together with the vendor and voicing its requirements. IT consultants also assist with preparing cost estimates to ensure the costs are allocated appropriately.
- Making sure the vendor’s other IT staff or the whole company’s IT department meets the requirements and deadlines.
- Keeping the clients up to date with the development process by documenting the progress and presenting reports.
Generally speaking, IT consulting companies and their representatives can act as hiring advisors, product/project managers, or even C-level executives. Yet, this doesn’t mean they can completely substitute the listed in-house specialists.
Unlike in-house staff, an external IT consultant is expected to provide an unbiased opinion and help you make better strategic decisions. Plus, IT consulting companies usually have deep domain expertise (e.g., in automotive, healthcare, banking, fintech, or even blockchain technology) and vast firsthand industry experience, making hiring an IT consultant a reasonable investment.
Unlike in-house staff, an external IT consultant is expected to provide an unbiased opinion and help you make better strategic decisions.Click to tweet
Benefits of hiring an IT consulting service
IT consultants provide an outsider’s view of a company’s operations and have access to a wider breadth of knowledge because they have experience in a variety of technology areas. Here are the main benefits of hiring IT consultants:
Providing an insight into software operations
Experienced IT consultants analyze the nature of the business and its needs to ensure smoother and more efficient operations. They study standard procedures in detail and advise which operations the company can automate.
Overseeing software development
An IT consulting firm supervises a software project as it progresses. They spread their knowledge to the in-house engineering team and help with implementation and troubleshooting at various stages of the development lifecycle.
Keeping a software team updated on new technology
IT consultants have expertise in various technical environments in multiple business domains. They share their industry knowledge to help companies stay up to date on innovative technologies and retain their competitive edge.
An IT consultant specializing in cybersecurity identifies vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks, establishes data security protocols, and ultimately helps develop solutions to protect the company against malicious attacks. They can also train the company’s employees and contractors on how to identify potentially harmful activity.
IT consulting rates in the UK: the state of 2023
Like any other salary, IT consulting rates vary greatly depending on many factors, including location, company size, employment type, and experience level. If you decide to find consultant jobs in the UK, whether you prefer in-house employees or outsourcing, learning the average rates is helpful in understanding the local market.
What are the average IT consultant rates in the UK?
According to Glassdoor, the average IT consultant salary in the UK is £50K per year. If you want to hire a specialist part-time, the average hourly rate is £52.
So, how much does it cost to hire an IT consultant in the UK?
As for most other professions, the base salary of an IT consultant depends on different factors like location, experience, and the business area with which the professional is familiar. Below are stats that can help you understand the key factors to consider before hiring an IT consultant. They will give you a better idea of how much it will cost.
IT consultant rates based on experience
A consultant’s salary depends on how long they’ve worked in the industry and the type of experience they have. The following chart lists the average salaries for IT consultants.
|Experience||Average IT consultant salary in the UK, $||Average IT consultant salary in the US, $|
|Entry-level IT consultant||$43,112||$72,770|
|Junior IT consultant||$59,887||$99,188|
|Middle IT consultant||$67,500||$119,398|
|Senior IT consultant||$93,202||$143,219|
According to Glassdoor, Indeed.com
How do IT consultant rates range depending on location?
Quite naturally, the IT consultant salary in London is somewhat higher, and it can also differ from city to city. As the average hourly rate of IT consultants in the UK is £45 per hour, here are some differences in key locations:
- In London, specialists earn an average of 7% less than the national average
- In Edinburgh—13% more than the country’s average
- In Reading—10% more than the country’s average
- In Manchester—10% more than the national average rate
- In Birmingham—3% more than the national average rate
Additional high-paid skills of IT consultants
When IT consultants improve their expertise and are acknowledged in additional areas that can help in their working process and help in better understanding clients’ businesses and needs, they are paid more than the average professionals. Here is a list of higher-paying specialties whose valuable skills are often in demand among IT consultants:
- Professional that knows Microsoft Azure are paid 24% more than average
- IT Security & Infrastructure: 31% above the average salary
- Requirements Analysis: 31% above the average salary
- Software Development: 26% above the average salary
- Cloud Services: 25% above the average salary
- e-Commerce: 13% above the average salary
- Agile Software Development: 6% above the average salary
How much does it cost to hire a developer by technology?
Now that you understand the average consultant job rates as you are preparing to start your tech project, here you can find a list of top programming languages and the developers rates of these developers in the UK, according to uk.talent.com.
The figures in the following chart do not include any taxes, bonuses, or other expenses that you can meet throughout the hiring and onboarding process.
|Average developer salary in the UK, $||Average developer salary in the US, $|
|Python developer salary||$93,987||$121,770|
|Java developer salary||$78,237||$138,094|
|Ruby developer salary||$69,622||$116,429|
|C++ developer salary||$57,513||$102,861|
|C# developer salary||$63,567||$105,049|
|PHP developer salary||$67,288||$108,728|
|.NET developer salary||$64,902||107,764|
According to Indeed.com, Payscale, Glassdoor
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What are the IT consulting firm rates vs. the freelance IT consultant hourly rates in the UK?
Based on the data from one of the leading freelance marketplaces, Upwork.com, the UK’s independent IT consultant hourly rates range from £35 to £180 per hour. The average rate is, however, on the lower side — around £57 per hour. However, you should understand that by hiring a freelancer, you take all the responsibility for vetting this specialist, and it may take a lot of time to find and hire the right consultant.
As for IT consulting firms, you can research their customer’s reviews and evaluate the most reliable partner you would like to work with. Regarding rates, they also tend to vary depending on several factors. Judging by the data provided in the profiles of 682 IT consulting companies from the UK listed on Clutch.co, over 70% of IT consultancies price their services at £72-£107 ($50-149) per hour.
Average IT consulting rates in the UK
Hiring a software development consultant in the UK can be quite expensive compared to offshore rates. IT consultants on YouTeam’s platform are based in Eastern Europe and Latin America, and their average hourly rate is 2–3 times lower than in the United Kingdom. Due to the small time difference, it might be cost-efficient to hire a software development consultant in countries like Ukraine or Poland.
Compare the rates yourself:
* Please note: It is uncommon to hire in-house on an hourly or daily rate basis. These rates are provided for sole comparison purposes.
** The rates are accurate only for 70% of IT companies in the UK. The rest of the IT consulting firms might charge significantly more.
Please, bear in mind: Although hourly rates of the in-house employee are comparatively lower, you should always calculate the total cost in terms of the annual rate. At the same time, with independent contractors, you can always agree on an hourly wage for a short-term project.
As we can see, there are IT consulting rates to fit every budget.
To make a sound decision, you need to choose which option works for you: an in-house employee working long-term or an external contractor explicitly hired for the project.
If you choose the latter, hiring individual consultants makes more financial sense in the long run than partnering with a professional consultancy. On the other hand, a full-time employee working in-house for software consulting companies offers more affordable rates than freelancers.
YouTeam offers a mixed approach, taking the best from providing management consulting professionals and an IT consulting company. You get exclusive access to a pool of pre-vetted specialists with detailed profiles and proven experience across a wide range of domains. You can’t find these specialists anywhere else as they are employed and managed by top companies with professional services.
Working closely with some top IT consulting companies, we make hiring the best talent for your project fast and hassle-free. Just type in the technology required for your project, browse the list of available developers’ profiles, and book an interview with a candidate you feel suits your needs.