Difference Between Contractors and Consultants

Contractors and Consultants both work for their clients as per their needs. Where contractors work as per the goal or the work given to them, consultants are hired for their knowledge.

Contractors don’t have flexible hours they work according to the needs of their clients but consultants have the leverage of being experts.

Contractors Vs Consultants

The main difference between Contractors vs Consultants is based on the work they are supposed to do. Contractors are an additional workforce that clients hire to complete the tasks needed by them to do whereas consultants are hired to resolve an issue or to get expert advice for any matter.

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Contractors are hired to increase the workforce without hiring people full-time, they are hired for short-term periods or certain projects.

Contractors may or may not be the expert of what they do as they just have to follow orders given by the client for the completion of the task.

Consultants are hired when someone requires advice from experts. They are paid for addressing the provided problem and providing good advice to their clients.

They are the professionals providing expert advice, thus they have leverage over their clients. Consultants can have many clients and they don’t need to work full time.

Comparison Table Between Contractors and Contractors

Parameters of ComparisonContractorsConsultants
RoleTakes job/task from their clients and work to accomplish the goal.They help their clients by giving them their expert advice.
Parameter of workTheir hours are not flexible, they work as per the working hours of their client.They have flexible working hours, they may or may not work full-time for clients.
SuperiorityThey follow the orders they can’t supervise or be superior to their clients.They are the experts giving their expert advice so they have their leverage on their clients.
JobTheir role is to complete the work and they get paid for their manpower contribution.`They get paid for solving the given problem to give their valuable advice to their clients.
ClientsContractors may only work for one client at a time for a short duration or projects.Consultants may work for more than one client.

What is a Contractor?

Contractors are the workforce who help their clients to assist in the workload for a required project for a short term duration.

They have to follow the orders given by them whether they like it or not, they are supervised for their work and they may have to change their work style as per the client.

As they follow orders they don’t need to be the expert of what they do they are the additional workforce and the additional workforce doesn’t need to be the experts.

They have to be flexible for the work, work can’t be flexible as per them.

Working hours vary as per the requirement, contractors work as per the working habits of the client and it makes their working hours depending on the client.

Pay-roll becomes monthly as they share the working hours with a client, when they put in the manpower they get paid for that.

They can’t work for more clients as what they have to offer is manpower and they can’t work 24*7 so they have a limited number of clients for a shorter duration varying on the requirement of the project.

What is a Consultant?

Consultants are hired when a client needs assistance in making the tough calls. They are the experts in their respective fields, they don’t offer manpower they offer knowledge.

They have the leverage of knowledge over their clients.

They guide the client and help them resolve the issue for which they are hired. Their working hours are flexible as they don’t be involved with a client, the client only seeks guidance, not time.

They particularly are the experts but they do not always have the professional experience, they just have more knowledge more than their clients and that makes them the smartest in the room to give the best advice to their clients.

As they are not occupied with one client so they can have multiple clients. They are paid for giving solutions to the problems, they are not paid for putting in the manpower.

Their experience and expertise help them to find innovative ways for getting the job done.

As they are paid for their advice and not for the manpower if they can’t find a way to solve the issue things just go the other way around.

Main Differences Between Contractors and Consultants

  1. Contractors are an additional workforce that clients hire to complete the tasks whereas consultants hire to resolve an issue or to get expert advice.
  2. Contractors work as per the client which includes working hours given or directed by the client whereas consultants have flexible timings.
  3. Contractors follow orders given by clients whereas consultants guide the client. The client may or may not like the proposal. But consultants and clients discuss and get to a conclusion for solving the problems.
  4. Contractors get paid for putting their manpower into work and get paid for working hours whereas consultants get paid for their knowledge, expert advice and to solve the problem.
  5. As contractors contribute directly to the work and are responsible for getting the work done, they can’t have multiple clients whereas consultants can have multiple clients.
Difference Between Contractors and Consultants


Contractors are employed to supplement the workforce without recruiting full-time employees; they are engaged for short-term durations or specific projects.

Contractors may or may not be experts in their field because all they have to do is follow the client’s directions to complete the assignment.

When experts advice is required, a consultant is recruited. They are compensated for resolving the problem and offering sound advice to their consumers.

They are the experts offering expert advice, thus they have sway over their clientele. Consultants can work with a large number of customers and are not required to work full-time.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/014461997373088
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01446190110113693
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