Technical advisors are accepted experts in their profession or personal knowledge and are paid to use that knowledge to ensure the quality of their clients' work products. A technical advisor provides advice and verifies facts for clients. For example, an experienced police detective may be hired on a movie set to advise on the accuracy of the script's detective tactics. Regardless of the field, advisors should have demonstrated expertise in the area they are hired for.
A construction-based technical advisor may be asked to examine explosives before a company blasts an area for development. Adventure tour companies often use advisors to protect them from liability. The advisor examines the company's policies and methods to determine if they will safely deliver an adventure-packed experience for clients. When a movie is being filmed, several advisors may be hired, depending on the complexity of the film.
Former military personnel are commonly hired as technical advisors, due to their focused training and experience in their field of expertise. Movie-goers depend on film creators to research their facts and provide an accurate portrayal of events. History buffs that go to a war film will watch closely to see if the film is accurate, right down to the type of gun used in specific battles. The film's military advisor ensures the film does not get criticized for such inaccuracies.
Typical technical advisor duties include reading written material, physically examining equipment or land, and writing a report of the findings. A construction advisor can read through the specifications of a coming planned development and point out issues before the work begins. Law enforcement advisors will be able to notify a director that a line in the script is something that would never be said in real-life police work. The advisors can save time and money by spotting potential problems before they happen.
Education requirements depend on the field. Job experience combined with education in the profession provide a solid foundation for technical advising. The ability to look at the whole picture and pinpoint the small as well as large issues is also important. As an advisor starts working for clients and doing a good job, word-of-mouth referrals can get a career off the ground. Many technical advisors work full-time in their field and only perform advising as a part-time venture.