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As the role of IT grows, consultants can charge higher rates (Photo: Kuka)

Independent IT and engineering consultants can command higher fees as demand for IT services continues to pick up, according to a survey of German IT specialists.

According to the survey, which was conducted this month by the Gulp project management and recruiting company, independent IT and engineering consultants are earning an average 79 euros an hour, up from 74 euros an hour last September. The survey polled 2,107 independent IT consultants.

The poll also found that independent consultants on average work 18 days a month on customer projects and need three days for the acquisition of new business, administration and training.

Of those surveyed, 34.1 pc worked for hourly rates of less than 70 euros, while 17.3 pc earned more than 100 euros an hour. A majority of the independent consultants - 53.8 pc - didn't expect to increase their hourly rates this year, but 40.9 pc said they plan to charge more in the course of 2013. And 44.7 pc said they are earning more on their latest projects than on previous ones.