There has never been a better time to be a contractor in the United States.
According to Forbes, 40% of workers now have “contingent” jobs. Graduates leaving college this year are almost as likely to work in a contract position as a permanent one in their lifetime.
Surveying 297 consultants working with Computer Futures in 2016, the main reason consultants choose to maintain their independent stance was money. 19.8% of those surveyed cited a high hourly wage as their main reason for working in contract positions. An AX Developer in Texas, for example, can command an hourly wage of $85-$105. While many consultants use this significantly high hourly rate to fund self-paid insurance policies, W2 consultants working with Computer Futures can command high salaries in addition to receiving Computer Futures’ benefits for working through the staffing agency.
17.3% of consultants surveyed enjoy the ability to work with new technology that a contracting position brings. Adapting to new working environments and exposure to new software at bi-annual or annual intervals allows contractors to stay up-to-date with the industry standard. Working on new projects frequently hones skills, with a freedom that a permanent position can’t allow. Many contractors enjoy problem-solving consulting roles, or implementing new projects, moving from one exciting opportunity to the next.
An indispensable option for consultants is the freedom of choosing their own schedule. Popular reasons include the ability to work remotely, or off-site telecommuting while taking care of children or a sick family member. Others prefer to schedule lengthy vacations, safe in the knowledge that there will be no repercussions to their career. 13.9% of consultants stated that this flexibility and independence was the major factor in their choosing to fill contract positions.
Consultants mention a number of other reasons for their choosing to remain in temporary positions. Among these were “enjoying the challenge” (6.9%), getting to avoid company politics (2%) and the travel opportunities that come with relocating to fill temporary positions (1.5%). Avoiding annual reviews and “pointless meetings” are positive elements to consulting that cropped up frequently in Computer Futures’ survey results, and with Computer Futures providing contracts of a minimum of six months, consultants enjoy all the benefits of independent work, with a significant amount of financial stability.
According to Forbes, only 9.4% of consultants would prefer a different kind of employment. Couple this with the fact that 40% of the American population are choosing contract over permanent positions, it’s clear that contract work is here to stay.