Profile of IEEE Consultants, 2004
Prepared by R.H. Gauger, P.E.
Introduction to a Consultant’s Profile
As a consultant is preparing a proposal or negotiating a contract, one of the ongoing
concerns is deciding how much to charge. In order to establish a fixed price or a fee that is
both competitive and fair, the consultant needs to know what other consultants working in
similar fields charge. In response to this need, the Alliance of IEEE Consultants’ Networks
(AICN) conducts national fee surveys of their members. This survey, completed in late
2004, is the third nationwide survey by the AICN. Prior surveys were conducted in 1998
and in 2002.
This survey provides the profile of typical self-employed and independent consultants,
including their education, experience, business practices, and specialty. Of particular
interest are the data regarding the typical consultant’s median earnings and hourly fee.
Scope of the Survey
The survey was conducted by email and solicited responses from three groups of IEEE
(a) A direct solicitation of consultants on file with the AICN. This included current and
past members who are or have been listed in the IEEE-USA Database. This is a
searchable web directory and database of IEEE consultants who offer their services,
primarily in electronic and electrical fields. This source accounts for about 230
(b) Solicitation of a random sample of IEEE members who had indicated “consultant” as
their title or occupation when they completed their annual IEEE membership form.
(c) IEEE members/consultants who responded to the several announcements and
invitations to participate in the survey, as posted on web sites and in IEEE-USA
newsletters. The responses from (b) plus (c) account for about 700 of the total
Because of the inputs from data sources (b) and (c), not all of the more than 900 consultants
are self-employed or independent consultants. As the AICN is primarily concerned with