Are Tech Contractor Jobs Better Than Full Time Tech Jobs?

Choosing to be a contractor over accepting a full time position is a decision that is more prevalent among technical professionals since much of the work they do is project based.  As a result, the option of consulting has become a real option for many.  Here are 6 reasons why it could be the best option for you:


Short-term goals

For those who need to work solely for the money, without any concern of career, this choice can fulfill this desire in the short term.  For example, if you’re planning to relocate out of the area or switch careers, this can be a perfect arrangement.   You can keep your job in information security or in computer programming or in system administration, without giving your company a long term commitment.  This can work well for both parties.


Unemployed? Refill the tank

Unemployed people choose consulting if they need a stopgap to return to work and they cannot find a desirable, permanent career choice, or if they just need the cash flow.  Technology consulting as a freelancer or contractor will make your resume look better.  It will fill in some of the time gaps in your resume as well as keep your technical chops warm.  And being a tech consultant can also lead to a full time role when things turn around. Some of these  contractor positions are called “right to hire,” which means they start out as a contract role, but with the opportunity to turn into a full  time position.

Visa considerations

For technology professionals who need to work in the US but do not have the visa requirements necessary for a permanent job with a US firm, signing on as a contractor with a consulting company can offer them the needed work experience, and get their career off to a running start here as they establish proper residency.

Self-employed tax consequences

Working as an independent contractor allows some people to declare a number of deductions for running an independent business that, based on your particular financial situation, might be advantageous to you.  If this is a major reason why a person might choose this alternative, it is best they check with a qualified tax adviser before making this decision.

Guaranteed income

As a contractor, what you are being paid is what you are being paid—that’s it.  There is no ambiguity as to a bonus or raise so you can easily predict what you will be making at the end of the project, allowing you to better plan your budget.

Keep the meter running!

If you are being paid hourly as opposed to a daily rate and there is no limit to the hours you can work, you have the option to put in as many hours as you want. The amount of money you can earn is unlimited.  The only question is how much you value your sleep and home life.

So what do you think?  Do you think being a technology contractor is better than being a full time tech worker?  What’s been your experience? If you’d like to learn more about what it takes to work in tech, please visit our technology job placement section of the site, or read our post Three Ways to Wow a Tech Interviewer.

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