Understanding SAP Consulting Rates [Survey Results]

Table of Contents

Seems like everybody wants to be a SAP Consultant


Companies who need a SAP consultant are usually faced with a shortage of SAP consultants as many projects have severely underestimated their required project staffing.  It is said that Demand will create its own Supply. 


SAP Consulting Rates


Unfortunately, SAP Consulting Rates, whether they are SAP Independent Consultant Rates or based on a average SAP consulting salary, have not created a situation of excess supply SAP expertise.  Why is that?  Why is it unlikely to change anytime soon:

SAP Consulting Rates

Companies Are Squeezed for Dollars

  • SAP K Ratings, a consultant skill level rating and ranking system apparently developed or at least adopted by SAP, is subjective, in the extreme. These K Ratings go a long ways toward answering the question of how much to charge for consulting.

  • There is an on-going struggle between the SAP contract rate vs salary rate.

  • There is a lack of understanding on the differences between working as a 1099er, W-2er or on a C2C (Corp-to-Corp) among consultants.

    Some consultants do not realize that when working on a 1099, they pay their Self Employment Tax using the 1040SE, (Self Employment) tax and that this also is applied toward their social security payments.

    FREE Consulting Rate Calculator
  • There is false perception of an on-going downward pressure on consulting pay rates.  Or at least that is what you may hear in the market.

  • Your SAP rate, as an independent or salaried SAP consultant, depends upon you keeping your skill sets up-to-date. 

  • From a SAP client perspective, consultant fee rates ALWAYS seem high:)   They are, in fact, not going down, nor will they.  Why? 

    Training:  SAP is not reducing the cost nor actually able to increase the value of their training.
    Experience:  Good consultants become great consultants with experience, sometimes.
    SAP Consultant Pay Expectations:

    • Consultant average salary levels, especially in new areas, like SAP HANA, recently acquired products, like the entire SAP Business Objects portfolio, and in other shortage areas, tend to run higher. 

    • SAP has limited to no ability to predict the type and quantity of consultants they will need, by geography, when you talk about time horizons beyond 1 year or even less.

    • False Commoditization of Skillsets:  Though you will hear that skills like SAP FICO or MM are largely commoditized, we don't see it.  In fact, good ones command top rates and always have. 


Communication Skills are Critical


Almost all customers that we are working with have, as their number one consultant skill requirement, the ability to communicate in English at the native level.  Seems like a basic, assumed requirement, but the market has suffered by the absence of this skill and now it is front and center.


Top Gun SAP Consultants 

To give you some idea of some of the key SAP BW Skills required of a Top Gun SAP BW consultant, we have prepared this little spider chart.


SAP BW Consultant Skills Training Plan Matrix


SAP BW Consultant Spider Chart


As you can see from the spider chart above, the most effective SAP BW consultants (the ones who will finish your project on schedule and not cause you project delays, redo's, do-overs or burn through your budget) are:

  • Consultants with the most experience
  • Consultants who are On-Site

They are also the most expensive and for good reason. They have demonstrated the ability to deliver and the market has rewarded them for that. A consultant with any weaknesses in their knowledge or experience related to the areas above will most likely not be able to do the work required of them.


Continuous Learning

This does not mean they can not learn. We all can, do and must learn and expand our knowledge on every project. But it does mean they will have to take the time while on your project to learn the material, tools and techniques which will extend your project time line. This is simply another risk and the cost of doing a project. Budget for it and move on.

For example, you can not learn ABAP overnight in your hotel room or pick it up from SDN.

Get SAP Consultant Rates - 2012


Get SAP Consultant Rates - 2014



This can result in embarrassing project delays and require additional manpower to be added to the project to fill in the experience gaps. Two heads may be better than one, but they cost twice as much. SAP BW technical interview questions in any of the areas above will soon uncover those candidates who are qualified and those who are not.


Multiple Staffing Approaches Offered


A little side note here: we have Offshore teams, we have Remote Development teams and we have On-Site teams. On our IT Staffing Service side, we even do Perm and Direct Hire placements. The On-Site model by far has been the most effective.


Experience Counts


We recommend that you always hire the most experienced person you can find and that the work be done on-site. You will pay a little more money for their expertise but it is money well spent or perhaps invested. It's like paying a little more money for the best car on the road. You get better quality, you get better workmanship, you get better results and you get a better experience.


Learn About SAP Using Our Mindmap


Want to learn more about the vast system known as SAP?  Try our SAP Mindmap to get started.


Explore SAP R3 Solution


People Who Read This Also Read:

12 Easy Steps To Being A Better SAP Consultant

Get Our Guide To Becoming A Top Gun SAP Consultant

How To Use SAP Value Engineering Services

Learn What Makes The SAP DFPS Solution Different

3 Keys To Selecting SAP Professional Services Consulting Firms 






Topics from this blog:
Best Practices Consulting BW Service Partner

Download SAP BW Mindmap

Learn what SAP Business Warehouse is and what it does in under five minutes

Get this Mindmap

Lonnie Ayers

About the Author: Lonnie Ayers is a Hubspot Certified Inbound Marketing consultant, with additional certifications in Hubspot Content Optimization, Hubspot Contextual Marketing, and is a Hubspot Certified Partner. Specialized in demand generation and sales execution, especially in the SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Partner space, he has unique insight into the tough challenges Service Providers face with generating leads and closing sales using the latest digital tools. With 15 years of SAP Program Management experience, and dozens of complex sales engagements under his belt, he helps partners develop and communicate their unique sales proposition. Frequently sought as a public speaker in various events, he is available for both inhouse engagements and remote coaching.
Balanced Scorecard Consultant

He also recently released a book "How to Dominate Any Market - Turbocharging Your Digital Marketing and Sales Results", which is available on Amazon.

View All Articles by Lonnie Ayers

The SAP Blog

Subscribe to our blog and receive SAP BW Updates, demand generation, inbound marketing, sales enablement, technology and revenue generation insights and ideas delivered right to your email.