You may earn more than employees. You can often earn more as a CI than as an employee in someone else's business. In addition to the other answers, consultants and contractors face a real (though admittedly small) risk of not receiving payment. Do some research to learn more about the current rates for consultants in your industry and area, and then decide how much you'll need to earn.
Of course, if you're a top manager of a large company, you already know that, and you probably also know what the potential client told me when I asked her why she paid her consultants more than her executives. The company in question paid millions of dollars last year to one of the four large consulting firms, apparently for the “development of strategies”. I spent the first half of my professional life working as a financial journalist and, although I covered many of the biggest companies in the world, I never really saw how they worked from the inside until I quit my job and became a management consultant (don't worry, I'm no longer one). Security consultants are hired to find system vulnerabilities and implement defenses against the wide range of threats posed by hackers.
The basic answer is that a consultant gets paid to provide expert advice to another company or organization. Many of these low-income consultants could be doing the work part-time, never striving for a higher income. And many of these companies are looking for business consultants because they can review plans and offer improvements. These consultants have the ability to identify obstacles that have not yet arisen, providing proactive solutions that keep clients moving forward.
A systems consultant has the experience needed to evaluate a customer's IT systems and then improve functionality. Financial consultants work with accountants and other specialists to find inefficiencies and errors. So how much do consultants earn? That answer depends entirely on the type of consulting you are interested in and the value it provides. The areas of expertise of these consultants include internal communication, employee training, onboarding new employees, and benefits management.
Companies are willing to pay consultants for several reasons, but the most important one is denial. Companies are starting to create groups of in-house consultants who can create and manage projects and, at the same time, outsource only labour-intensive data collection functions.