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What is the difference between a contractor and a consultant?

Individuals who work for companies in a non-employee capacity often refer to their roles as consultants or contractors. The interchanging of these words can make it challenging to understand precisely what their role entails. U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) career data shows that these two titles describe two distinct roles.

BLS data shows that contractors most commonly have bachelor's degrees. They are outsiders who are often hired by a company to complete project work in a specified field.

Two sectors that hire contractors that BLS projects to experience high growth include the interior design and computer support specialist industries. DOL data shows a projected growth of 4% within the former and a 10% increase in demand within the latter sector. BLS data shows that individuals who work as interior design contractors had a median salary of $56,040 in 2019. Computer support specialists made, on average, $54,760.

Individuals who work as consultants often have bachelor's degrees coupled with years of work experience in a specific area or a post-graduate diploma. Many companies who hire on consultants do so to conduct research, study a business problem, and make recommendations about how to address an issue on budget.

One of the most quickly growing consultant roles includes operations research analyst, a sector that BLS officials expect to grow by 26% between now and 2028. Another title that is experiencing high growth is that of a management analyst. DOL statisticians anticipate this role growing by 14% by 2028. The median income for individuals in the former sector is $84,810. It's $85,260 for the latter.

It's quite common for Cincinnati companies to have relatively standard contacts that they modify a bit to reflect a shift in tasks, yet otherwise keep relatively the same. There are other situations in which a contractor or consultant may come armed with their unique demands to negotiate before agreeing to work for another entity. It can be beneficial for you to bring an attorney with you who is familiar with business contracts and leases. They can help you negotiate your Ohio work agreement to ensure that it adequately protects your interests no matter what role you assume.

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