What H1B Visa Job Provides Better Pay and Growth – Full-time or Consulting?
After having completed their studies, many students dream to get an H1B Visa and move to the United States so they can secure high paying jobs and a better quality of life. Every year, hundreds of them actually come to the US and apply for an H1B visa so they can get closer to their dreams.
But what is the better job option when moving to the US: Work full-time and take a regular job in a company, or work for a small consultancy agency as an independent consultant? Of course, both options are great, but which one brings in more money and helps improve the quality of your life? This is a question hundreds of people ask themselves when they have decided to move to the United States and it’s definitely a difficult decision to make.
In this article, we try to find out which of the two is the better option in the United States on an H1B visa. We weigh the pros and cons and help guide you in your decision-making process.
Full-Time Job vs. Consulting
Pros and Cons of a Full-Time Job
A full-time job in any company brings several advantages with it. First of all, you are on a payroll, which means you get paid monthly and you know which amount you are going to get paid. You are also sure of when you are going to get paid which can ease your tensions as you have bills building up you need to pay for. For all people who like to have a standard income and stability, a full-time job is definitely the better option.
Besides the stability, being on a company’s payroll provides several added benefits such as insurance, education, discounts and more, depending on the type and size of the company.
Big international companies normally offer several benefits to their employees and sometimes even pay for their employee’s Master or MBA degree, which can be a huge plus when you work for a company. You can also grow in a company, so in the beginning, your salary might be quite low (although slightly higher if you consider software engineering salaries, for example); either way, if your work is good, there will always be other higher positions you can be promoted to that offer good pay.
Pros and Cons of Consulting
There are other pros that a full-time job cannot give you that a consulting job can like flexibility, recognition, and high pay. Although you might lose out on the stability of a full-time job, there are other things you can appreciate about a consulting job.
For instance, if you work as a consultant, you will be able to work independently and you can define your work hours. Also, as a consultant, you are seen as a professional, an expert in a specific business field which means that you get higher pay.
The problem is that as a consultant you probably are going to work for several small consulting companies, which means you will not be on the payroll for any of them. These companies will pay you independently, which of course also means that you do not get any benefits or insurance from the company — you would have to organize all of that on your own.
Another disadvantage is that you cannot grow within a company, so your job title will always be the same. The good thing though is that you will be paid high prices for your expertise and you will be an independent, which as stated before, brings several advantages to it.
Why do so many people take Consulting Jobs?
This question is easy to answer: money, money, and more money! These small consulting agencies you are going to work for pay a high amount of money, not only because you are an expert, but because they will have fewer employee expenses, so they are able to pay premium fees for your work.
So yes, they hold their visa and have to pay taxes but apart from that, you work independently from home, so companies don’t have to spend money for huge office spaces, insurance, or other benefits companies normally given to their employees. So if you start working as a consultant, you have a higher chance of earning more money than if you were to take on a full-time job.
How can you get an H1B visa with a full-time job?
There are several ways to get an H1B visa with a full-time job and it depends on your past and your studies. For example, you might have done your studies in the US with an F1 visa and you did an internship at a company during that time. In that case, the company might have liked your work and would be inclined to sponsor an H1B visa for you. The other possibility is that you are a highly skilled professional in a specific field a company is in need of. In this case, since the company needs you and is dependent on someone with your skills, they would sponsor an H1B visa for you. So basically it all depends on you, what major you studied, and the skills you acquired in that specific major.
Once they have decided to hire you and you have received your H1B visa you can start your full-time job. Often times when you start out, the payroll is going to be quite low, but as time passes and you prove yourself to be a good worker, you have more of a chance to move up the success ladder. The advantage of working in a company is that you have more opportunity to grow and work in higher positions.
So what is the better option – a full-time job or consulting?
The answer to this question depends entirely on your goals, your personality, and what you want for your career professionally. If you want to grow in a company and money is not the most important thing for you, the correct choice for you is the full-time job. The younger you start in a big company the better, as with time you can get into really high positions.
If you are a leader and the company recognizes that, they might even pay for a Master’s degree for you. However, if you do not want to sit in an office every day from 8 to 5 and money is really important to you, go for the consulting job.
If you don’t like it after one or two years, you can still work for a big company later. Who knows? Maybe during your time as a consultant, you could get sent to a company that you like it and they could consider hiring you as a full-time consultant. A win-win!
We recommend starting to work one or two years as an independent consultant and then maybe see if one of the big five consulting firms have a job offer for me and take maybe one of their leadership programs. This means that you would go from an independent consultant to a full-time job and see how you feel in both positions. Regardless of what you choose though, make sure it is the best option for you and your situation.
If you want to share your story and the option you have chosen, please feel free to explain your experience in each kind of job below!
Let us know which one you enjoyed more and why!