Consulting engineers in Thompsons Station typically work for themselves but may also be associated with a consulting firm. They, for a fee, give advice and provide services in their field of specialized knowledge and training. They can play a multi-faceted role, and function as advisors, fixers, bosses, generalists, stabilizers, listeners, specialists, catalysts, managers, or even quasi-employees. The underlying reasons that a consultant is hired are universal: when a company cannot fully justify bringing someone on board full time when in need of short-term technical expertise, it hires a consultant. A consultant is a viable alternative during the development stages of new products. He can deal directly with owners and upper management, thus providing an objective third-party view point. He is again a viable alternative in assisting in feasibility studies or in proposal preparation.