While some businesses prefer hiring software developers for the project directly, others seek help with professional IT consultancies. 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.
But first, let’s see what is it consulting and why businesses hire IT consultants.
What is IT consulting: who they are, what they do
IT consultants usually provide 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. 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 the 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 into life. They also have great communication skills and often takes the responsibility for managing the development team.
Typical responsibilities of an IT consultant include:
- IT consulting companies work closely with the clients to translate their business requirements into technical specs and align them with the organization’s strategy and business processes.
- They help assess potential vendors and get 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.
- They define the scope of the project together with the vendor and voice its requirements. IT consultants also assist with preparing cost estimates to assure the costs are allocated appropriately.
- They make sure the vendor’s other IT staff or the whole company’s IT department meets the requirements and deadlines.
- IT consulting companies keep 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 substitute the listed in-house specialists completely.
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
IT consulting rates in the UK: the state 0f 2021
Like any other salary, IT consulting rates vary greatly depending on many factors, including location, company size, employment type, experience level, etc. If you decided to hire a consultant from the UK, whether you prefer in-house employees or outsourcing, learning the average rates would be helpful to understand the local market.
What are the average IT consultant rates in the UK?
According to payscale.com, the average IT consultant salary in the UK is £44,186 per year. If you want to hire a specialist part-time, an hourly rate would be £46.72 on average.
So, how much does it cost to hire an IT consultant in the UK?
As for most other professions, the salary of an IT consultant depends on different factors like location, experience, the business area with which the professional is familiar. Below, you can find some stat that can help you understand the key factors to consider before hiring an IT consultant and how much it will cost.
IT consultant rates depending on the experience
Each salary directly depends on how much the consultant is working in the IT market and what experience they have:
- Entry-level, or junior IT consultants work less than 1 year in that field and earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of £27,063
- After 1-4 years of experience middle IT consultants earn an average total compensation of £35,688
- An experienced specialist after 5-9 years of work earns an average total compensation of £48,526
- After 1ten years of experience, the senior IT consultant can earn up to £52,655
How do the 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 £46.72 per hour, here are some differences in the key locations:
- In London, specialists earn an average of 11.6% more than the national average
- In Edinburgh – 3% more than the country’s average
- In Reading – 7% less than the country’s average
- In Manchester – 1% less than the national average rate
- In Birmingham – 9% less than the national average rate
Additional high-paid skills of IT consultants
When IT consultants are improving their expertise and are acknowledged in additional areas that can help in their working process, help in better understanding of client’s businesses and needs, they are paid higher than the average professionals. Here is a list of high-paid and valuable skills that are often in demand among IT consultants:
- Professional that knows Microsoft Azure are paid 47% higher
- IT Security & Infrastructure: +36% to the average salary
- Requirements Analysis: +36% to the average salary
- Software Development: +31% to the average salary
- Cloud Services: +27% to the average salary
- e-Commerce: +17% to the average salary
- Agile Software Development: +7% to the average salary
How much does it cost to hire a developer depending on technology?
Now, that you understand the average IT consultant rates and 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 salary on the first column means the amount of money the developer earns for his job, it does not include any taxes, bonuses, or other expenses that you can meet throughout the hiring and onboarding process.
- Python developers’ annual income in the UK exceeds £52.200
- Java developer salary is £50.000 on average
- Ruby developers’ average salary is £55.000
- Salaries for the C++ technology are £57.500 on average.
- The average salary of C# developer is £52.000
- PHP developers earn £60.200
- .NET developers earn £45.000 per year.
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 £25 to £150 per hour. The average rate is, however, on the lower side — around £55 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 the 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 $100-149 (£72-107) 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 little 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 rate for a short-term project.
As we can see, there are IT consulting rates to fit every taste.
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 second option, hiring individual consultants makes more financial sense in the long run than partnering with a professional consultancy. On the other hand, 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 hiring an individual contractor 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 IT consulting 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 chosen candidate.