Education and Training: Bachelor’s
Average Salary: $70,000
Job Outlook: Very Good
SAP stands for Systems, Applications, and Products and is a field of Data Processing. An SAP consultant is a person who works for a company or independently to implement new SAP systems in businesses. Typically, the consultant is an expert in one or two areas of SAP, the most prevalent of which is SAP finance. An SAP consultant with expertise in a certain business area is instrumental in ensuring that the SAP programming functions correctly for this business.
At the beginning of a consultancy, an SAP consultant will evaluate the customer’s needs with an SAP system, and then they’ll implement that system so that the customer’s needs are met. The consultant is typically responsible for documenting the system so that other consultants or IT people can fix glitches later on. This person usually is responsible for training the necessary staff in the hiring business so that they understand the SAP system and are able to use it properly. The SAP consultant is typically on hand for the launch of the new system and for a while after that, seeking out glitches and making suggestions for possible changes that will make the system work more smoothly for its particular company.
Education and Training Requirements
An SAP consultant must have a bachelor’s degree in computer programming or a similar field. They should also take college courses in the business area of their choice or in business administration in general. Many consultancy positions are available in the SAP finance area, which means that those with expertise about financial businesses will be well set up to find gainful employment in the future.
Some SAP consultants who have their own businesses are largely self-trained through SAP courses and similar work. Others who work for consulting companies may undergo some on the job training, particularly when it comes to company policies.
Getting the Job
An SAP consultant may work for an SAP consulting company – or an IT consulting company in general – or on his or her own. To get a job with a consultancy company, the consultant should apply in person, if possible. To start a consulting company, a person should look into basic business startup tips and begin advertising to find his or her first consulting job.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
Because technology changes so rapidly and today’s businesses must keep up with changes in order to compete, SAP consultant jobs are expected to grow quickly in the next few years. However, if a system besides SAP emerges, consultants would do well to stay on top of the latest developments, thus enhancing their chances of continued employment by understanding the very latest technology.
An SAP consultant may go on to start an SAP consultancy business or to take on higher roles in an existing company, including managerial positions.
Working Conditions and Environment
The typical SAP consultant works on-site for various companies who are in need of his or her services. This means consultants travel often, and sometimes will travel quite far for a new job. Consultants tend to work within normal business hours, but their jobs are often deadline-based, so they may have to add in extra hours in order to meet a deadline.
As long as an SAP consultant knows his or her field, this isn’t a particularly stressful job. However, it does involve plenty of troubleshooting, as systems never become perfect on the first try.
Salary and Benefits
An SAP consultant who works for a consultancy or IT company may make anywhere from $40,000 to $110,000 per year, but the average salary is around $70,000 per year. An independent consultant can make much more or less than this, depending on how much work he or she gets in the course of a year.
Consultants who work for consultancy companies often get benefits and bonuses, but those who start their own companies will get neither of these things.
Where to Go for More Information
America’s SAP Users Group
Association for Computing Machinery
New York, NY 10036
Systems Administrator Guild
2560 9th St., Ste. 215
Berkeley, CA 94710