Having said that, with nine years of Basis experience, including 4.7 skills, you would likely be in a position...
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to get some consulting work. The only downside is that you have only been inside of one SAP environment. So you have a lot of expertise in one kind of SAP system, but you haven't gotten as good a feel for the variations that can occur as someone who has worked on multiple projects gets. This makes you a bit less marketable from the get-go, but I would think you could still get some consulting opportunities.
I think that you may overestimate how lucrative consulting is, though. I haven't seen really good rates for SAP technical consultants in a while. There are some functional experts that still get close to $150 an hour, but even most functional consultants seem to come in around $110 an hour, though the market is heating up lately. I'm not sure what you would be offered per hour, but I would think it would be between $70 and $100, depending on the company and length of project.
One thing to keep in mind is that as an independent contractor, you may run into some downtime between projects here and there. That downtime can start to add up and take away from the total revenues you can bring in. My personal belief is that the best reason to become an independent SAP consultant is not for the money, but for the challenge. If you want to truly excel in the SAP field, and you are drawn to the lifestyle of the consultant, then I would say "go for it." If it's just about the money, I'd be careful. I know a lot of consultants who wish they were off the road like you. The grass is often greener.
Finally, the other reason to become a consultant is if your company is not planning to upgrade beyond 4.7 for a while. The main thing you need to do know is to get experience administering the Netweaver technical architecture that ships with mySAP ERP, or 5.0, as some call it. You will not remain a successful SAP consultant on the technical side unless you make a move into Netweaver. So, technology exposure is really your driving consideration. If you have a chance to go through a 5.0 upgrade with your company in the near future, I would do that first. Then you'll be in a better position to get the best projects at better rates on your own. Good luck!
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