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RPA Consultant: The Future of Consultancy

Find out more about the job as RPA Consultant : Skills, Income, Education and much more!

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Automation is quickly evolving, as well as separate branches in automation, such as RPA — Robotic Process Automation. More and more companies opt to automate some processes to improve them and help employees focus on meaningful and creative tasks. 

Reaching automation often requires professional assistance, and one way to do it is by hiring a consultant. The best way to do it is to hire an RPA consultant.

In this article, we’ll cover what an RPA consultant is and answer what you need to know to be able to provide such a service. Ultimately, we’ll show some great resources for learning more about RPA and RPA consultancy. Read on.

What Is an RPA Consultant?

To explain what an RPA consultant is, let’s first quickly tackle what RPA is in the first place. A robotic process automation technology utilizes software robots and Artificial Intelligence to automate business processes. 

RPA differs from traditional automation since the latter is based on a set of actions that are pre-determined and then implemented (scripted) for execution. Meanwhile, robots in RPA observe and mimic step-by-step actions taken by humans, recording them and reproducing them. Check out our blog post explaining the basics of RPA and how it can assist companies and their employees.

A Robotic Process Automation consultant uses a set of tools and methods to help organizations automate tasks and entire processes. They are well-versed in related fields, such as business process management and business process automation, and understand how to train robots to perform tasks just like humans.

What matters is that an RPA consultant can explore possibilities when reaching robots so that they can perform better and avoid possible challenges. Ideally, an RPA consultant can help an organization plan, define, configure, and test robots before letting them automate processes.

Besides just training robots, an ideal RPA consultant needs to be able to:

  • Assessing process capabilities and improving processes
  • Define and measure KPIs
  • Educate employees on RPA and automation in general
  • Ensure that automated processes are compliant with the latest regulations

Simply put, each RPA consultant also needs to be an automation strategist. They need to understand all other aspects of automation and, ultimately, decide whether RPA is the best way to approach automation in companies they work with.

Why Should I Become an RPA Consultant?

As stated in the introduction, Robotic Process Automation (and Automation as a whole) is a growing industry. Therefore, the demand for automation professionals will only increase in the future.

Even though it has been around for a couple of decades, automation — and especially Robotic Process Automation — is still considered new to the world of business. More importantly, jobs revolving around this type of work are still emerging. Therefore, you can benefit from learning a set of skills required for RPA and automation in general as there still aren’t many professionals in this sphere. The demand for RPA consultants is growing much more rapidly than the number of RPA consultants.

How Much Does an RPA Consultant Earn?

There isn’t much data on how much RPA consultants earn. However, the few sources that do provide these figures agree that RPA consultants earn approximately twice the national average in the US.

According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for someone working as an automation consultant is $99,562, and the highest reported salary for this position on the site is $131.907. Glassdoor’s average reported salary for a senior RPA consultant is $121,608.

Two things to take into account here is that salaries on sites such as Glassdoor are self-reported, meaning they’re not always objective. Also, the sample is relatively small, provided that there still aren’t many RPA consultants out there.    

What Skills Are Required for an RPA Consultants?

First of all, let’s briefly overview of preferred attributes that one should have to have a strong foundation for becoming an RPA consultant.

Ideally, an RPA consultant should have at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or related fields. In case you don’t have such a degree, having equivalent professional experience in the IT sphere is highly recommended.

Since RPA consultants also need to do some presenting and education, they need to have excellent oral and written skills in the language they will work in. In addition to that, they need to be great tutors.

RPA often requires working independently. Therefore, you need to be a proactive person by nature — a self-starter ready to take the initiative whenever necessary.

In addition to that, you need to be educated and, ideally, experienced in business process management. Having a deep understanding of how business processes function, developing them, optimising them, and ultimately automating them is a must-have skill for any RPA consultant.

Robotic process automation can be considered a sub-category of business process automation (BPA) and is currently one of its fastest-growing fields. It follows that an RPA consultant also needs to have extensive knowledge about BPA and all related fields, such as process mining, hyperautomation, digitisation, automation as a service, and more. 

Finally, an RPA consultant needs to be an expert in business process automation, such as UiPath.      

Where Can I Educate Myself on RPA?

There are plenty of great sources you can choose from to become an RPA expert, and we recommend using the RPA team sprint available on our website.

Since RPA consultants also need to be knowledgeable in other related spheres, you should check out the other available courses on Bots and People.

If you’re looking for a 360° all-in-one course that covers all relevant areas for an RPA consultant, including process mining, AI, cloud automation, low code app building, and, of course, RPA, you should consider the Automation Strategist course on Bots and people. It’ll also teach you how to use tools that are essential for process automation, such as Signavio, Celonis, and UiPath.

Additionally, you can find some free content on our site, such as podcasts, free courses, and a blog section.

Final Thoughts: When Should I Start?

Whenever there’s an emerging branch, becoming an expert isn’t only a matter of how hard you learn but also how early you start learning. Obtaining a skill early while the demand is still high is often as important as mastering the skill, as you can quickly position yourself on the market as an expert RPA consultant and reach better-paying clients.

Therefore, if you’re asking when’s the best time to start learning about robotic process automation and related fields, the answer is now. There are plenty of great resources that can help you kickstart your journey as an RPA professional, including the courses featured on our website, which we recommend checking out. 

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