Whether you’re looking to leave your current job or seeking a way to make additional income, self-employment often provides professionals with greater freedom and flexibility than you may experience working directly for an employer.
In addition to setting your own rates and hours, self-employed jobs give you the opportunity to 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 wants to explore entrepreneurship.
One benefit of self-employment is that you can make and grow your own opportunities. Another option 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 refine your search results by adding in your specific expertise (Example: “freelance photographer”). You can also search “gig jobs”.
To help you determine which job is best for you, here are 17 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.
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17 of the best self-employed jobs
1. Graphic designer
- Average Salary: $18.23 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.
- Average Salary: $14.45 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.
- Average Salary: $24.11 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.
4. Social media specialist
- Average Salary: $13.92 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.
5. Makeup artist
- Average Salary: $20.32 per hour
- Job Duties: Makeup artists apply makeup on models and actors, or to prepare people for weddings, proms and other formal events. Special effects makeup artists may also use prosthetics to create a specific appearance.
- Required skills: You should be well-versed in cosmetology best practices and know how to use various cosmetics to achieve different aesthetics. Some clients may require you to have a license in cosmetology.
- Average Salary: $89,582 annually
- 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.
7. Event planner
- Average Salary: $34,741 annually
- 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.
8. Hair stylist
- Average Salary: $10.01 per hour
- Job Duties: Hair stylists 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 hair pieces.
- 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.
- Average Salary: $14.43 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.
- Average Salary: $24.29 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.
11. Business Consultant
- Average Salary: $65,892 annually
- 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.
- Average Salary: $31.82 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.
13. Career coach
- Average Salary: $14.70 per hour
- Job Duties: A career coach helps clients identify professional goals, develop new skills and plan their future career path. 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.
- Average Salary: $12.84 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.
- Average Salary: $13.03 per hour
- Job Duties: Nannies provide childcare within a client home environment and are responsible for organizing activities, helping with schoolwork and overseeing playtime. Nannies may also be responsible for bathing and putting children to bed, assisting with household chores and driving children to and from school and extracurricular activities.
- Required skills: You must be experienced in child care and child safety, and have some understanding of childhood development. Some clients may require you to have a certification in CPR.
- Average Salary: $13.71 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 or spelling and grammar.
17. Personal trainer
- Average Salary: $20.24 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.
These are a few of the best self-employed job ideas, but if you are wondering how to work for yourself, there are many more opportunities available. Whether you’re interested in eventually launching your own company or you want to make a little extra income outside of regular employment, there are plenty of self-employed jobs for job seekers with nearly any need, skill set or educational background.