15 of the Best Self-Employed Jobs in 2023

Updated June 29, 2023

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A person sits working on a laptop next to a list with the title "Best Self-Employed Jobs" and these careers:

• Developer
• Photographer
• Business consultant
• Driver
• Career coach

Whether you’re looking to leave your current job or are seeking a way to make additional income, self-employment offers both greater freedom and flexibility than you may experience working directly for an employer.

In this article, we take a look at the benefits of self-employment, plus we explore 15 of the best self-employed jobs today, with information on salary, duties and required skills.

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Benefits of self-employment

In addition to setting your own pay rates and hours, you can also work as little or as much as you need. Working for yourself can be a fit for parents who want to spend more time at home, students who need to work around a class schedule or anyone who might want to explore entrepreneurship.

One benefit of self-employment is that you can make and grow your own opportunities. Another is to find employers who are seeking freelancers. On Indeed, you can search for these jobs by using the term “freelance” in your job search. You can also search “gig jobs.”

Tip: You can refine your search results by adding in your specific expertise (for example, “freelance photographer”).

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15 self-employed jobs

To help you determine which job is best for you, here are 15 of the best self-employed jobs available today. You can visit Indeed Salaries to help you determine how much to charge for your services, but keep in mind you may need to adjust based on your experience level, local cost of living and accounting for the self-employment tax.

1. Personal trainer

National average salary: $13.67 per hour

Job duties: Fitness trainers design workout routines to help clients meet personal fitness goals. They instruct clients on how to perform various exercises and monitor their progress.

Required skills: You must be a clear communicator with a positive, motivational attitude. You should have a background in exercise science or kinesiology.

Read more: Pros and Cons of Being a Personal Trainer

2. Driver

National average salary: $17.17 per hour

Job duties: Drivers pick up passengers from specific locations and take them to their desired destination quickly and safely. Drivers may work for ride-share services, like Lyft and Uber, taxicab companies, limousine companies, or as a personal chauffeur.

Required skills: You must be a safe driver with a clean driving record and a valid license. Some companies that contract drivers may require you to pass a driving test or provide your own vehicle.

Related: Driver Cover Letter Examples and Templates

3. Landscaper

National average salary: $17.51 per hour

Job duties: Landscapers perform many tasks including planting grass, shrubs, trees, flowers and arranging other elements to create an attractive lawn or garden. They also mow, trim, edge, prune, fertilize and water to maintain landscapes. Clients may be commercial or residential.

Required skills: You should have a thorough understanding of landscaping best practices, turf management and proper plant care techniques.

Read more: How To Become a Landscaper in 7 Steps

4. Photographer

National average salary: $17.85 per hour

Job duties: Use cameras and photography equipment to take pictures of people, places and objects for organizations or individuals. Photographers usually specialize in one or more areas, such as weddings, photojournalism, wildlife and more. In most cases, photographers need to supply their own equipment.

Required skills: You should be highly skilled in manual digital photography and have a strong background in photo editing and photo editing software.

Related: How To Be an Editorial Photographer in 5 Steps

5. Career coach

National average salary: $18.28 per hour

Job duties: A career coach helps clients identify professional goals, develop new skills and plan their future career paths. They may help clients locate new opportunities and prepare them for interviews and events.

Required skills: You must be familiar with the job market in your area of expertise, have excellent active listening skills and should be well-versed in leadership and business success strategies.

Related: 13 Types of Career Coaching for Professional Success

6. Social media specialist

National average salary: $18.79 per hour

Job duties: Social media specialists use marketing strategies to build and manage a following on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and more. Typically, they work on behalf of organizations or public figures.

Required skills: You should have an in-depth knowledge of social media marketing, how to drive organic and paid social media engagement and the ability to interpret analytics, set goals and report on performance.

Related: Social Media Specialist Cover Letter Examples and Templates

7. Transcriptionist

National average salary: $19.76 per hour

Job duties: Transcriptionists listen to live or recorded speech and transcribe it into text using proper grammar and syntax. They may work directly for businesses or contract with a transcription service.

Required skills: You must be an active listener and must be able to type quickly and accurately. You should have a comprehensive understanding of spelling and grammar.

Related: 18 Helpful Transcriptionist Tools To Consider

8. Graphic designer

National average salary: $20.28 per hour

Job duties: Graphic designers use software to create customized graphics for websites, advertisements, and other digital and printed materials. They may help companies develop their logos and other branding collateral.

Required skills: You should have an understanding of design and color theory and be skilled at using design software programs.

Read more: How Long Does It Take To Become a Graphic Designer?

9. Event planner

National average salary: $21.32 per hour

Job duties: An event planner manages every facet of an event such as a wedding or corporate function. Their responsibilities typically include booking a venue, coordinating catering and entertainment and overseeing setup and post-event cleanup.

Required skills: You should have exceptional organizational and communication skills and have a thorough understanding of event management. Clients may also prefer to work with planners who have established relationships with local vendors.

Related: Event Planner vs. Event Manager: What's the Difference?

10. Hairstylist

National average salary: $21.58 per hour

Job duties: Hairstylists cut, color and style hair, and provide education on hair care and product usage. They may also perform scalp treatments, shave services and attach synthetic hairpieces.

Required skills: You should be well-educated on best practices for achieving various looks and have a strong knowledge of current trends. Most states require you to have a license in cosmetology.

Read more: Learn About Being a Hairstylist (Plus How To Become One)

11. Writer

National average salary: $24.69 per hour

Job duties: A freelance writer is someone who writes articles, advertising copy, scripts, books and other materials for individuals or organizations. They may also be required to research topics and edit their own work.

Required skills: You should have excellent grammar and spelling skills, and a background in journalism, creative writing or mass communication.

Related: Journalist vs. Writer: What's the Difference?

12. Tutor

National average salary: $24.84 per hour

Job duties: Tutors visit students at their home, or at another location such as a library or school, to conduct lessons and assist students in improving their academic performance in one or more subjects. Some tutors work virtually, meeting with students via video chat software.

Required skills: You must excel in the subject you tutor, and you should also be motivational and encouraging. Basic interpersonal communication skills are a must for success in tutoring.

Read more: Learn About Being a Tutor

13. Business consultant

National average salary: $29.97 per hour

Job duties: Business consultants work with companies to help improve performance in a specific area. For example, some business consultants specialize in fields like revenue growth, human resources, management, sales operations, marketing and others.

Required skills: You must be highly skilled and experienced in the area you provide expertise. You should have good communication and presentation skills and know how to measure and report performance in your field.

Read more: 8 Reasons To Consider Becoming a Business Consultant

14. Videographer

National average salary: $49.49 per hour

Job duties: A videographer uses filming equipment to capture videos for advertising, marketing or educational purposes. They also use editing software to create professional-quality video footage.

Required skills: You must be well-versed in shooting, directing and editing video. In most cases, you must provide your own camera and other necessary equipment.

Read more: How To Become a Videographer (With Skills and Salary)

15. Developer

National average salary: $81.39 per hour

Job duties: A developer uses coding languages to design, install, test and maintain software systems, websites and applications.

Required skills: You should be knowledgeable in a variety of programming languages. Some clients may need developers who are especially skilled in one type of language or database schema.

Related: 11 Types of Developers (Plus Tips For Becoming One)

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