Freelancing can provide many benefits, including flexible work schedules and higher income potential in certain industries. For instance, software developers who work on a freelance basis can typically set their own income rates. If you're curious about working as a freelancer, there are many types of jobs and industries you can choose to work in. In this article, we'll explore 17 of the highest paying freelance jobs for you to consider so you can find the best career path for you.
Related: What Is Freelancing?
In what career fields can freelancers work?
Freelancing professionals work in a variety of different fields across many different industries. For instance, many freelancers work in marketing and communications, where you'll find roles for writers, editors, marketing professionals and even social media freelancers. Other industries where freelancers will often find work include finance (like personal accountants and financial planners), education (like tutors) and law (like corporate legal advisors). In addition to these job industries, freelancing professionals may also work in technology, human resources and recruiting roles.
Related: How Does Freelancing Work?
Top high-paying jobs for freelancers
The following job roles are examples of some of the highest paying freelance jobs that are worth exploring if you're interested in freelancing or working as an independent contractor:
1. Web designer
National average salary: $45,390 per year
Primary duties: Web designers plan out, create and write code for websites and web pages that display text, images, graphics, sound and video. Designers are responsible for planning the overall layout of a website and may often work with several clients over time to keep websites updated, create backup files, solve code issues and edit and write content.
Related: Learn About Being a Web Designer
National average salary: $47,714 per year
Primary duties: Computer programmers who freelance typically do so on a contract basis and may work with multiple clients, similar to designers and writers. These professionals develop computer software and applications and offer consultations to provide the best technical solutions for their clients' needs.
National average salary: $48,920 per year
Primary duties: Graphic designers work with various clients to develop visual concepts using physical drawings or computer software. Graphic designers use these visual concepts to create the overall design and layout of different business applications, including advertisements, visual reports and magazines.
Related: Learn About Being a Graphic Designer
National average salary: $53,558 per year
Primary duties: Tutors work with students of all ages and from diverse backgrounds to support learning and academic achievement. These educational freelancers will use teaching methods and techniques to help students gain better understanding of the concepts teachers introduce in class. Tutors will plan activities that help students learn the class material and perform evaluations to ensure students are making progress.
Related: Learn About Being a Tutor
National average salary: $54,262 per year
Primary duties: Marketing specialists help organizations understand what reaches customers successfully by assessing market data that provides insight into what customers purchase, where gaps are within an organization's target market, what types of products or services sell most frequently and how much customers typically spend on a purchase. All of these data points help marketing specialists and their clients develop offerings best suited for customers.
National average salary: $54,697 per year
Primary duties: Accountants interpret and keep records of financial processes, transactions and documents. Accountants who work on a freelance or contract basis may work with multiple individual clients or for small businesses or organizations.
Related: Learn About Being an Accountant
National average salary: $56,860 per year
Primary duties: Virtual assistants offer administrative services to their clients remotely, usually from a home office. These professionals typically schedule appointments, take phone calls, make travel arrangements and manage emails and other online messages for their clients.
National average salary: $57,704 per year
Primary duties: Editors revise and coordinate written materials and manuscripts for publication. Written materials editors work with can include books, magazines, online content and newspapers. Freelance editors may work across different content areas, such as story editing or copy editing.
National average salary: $60,068 per year
Primary duties: Freelance writers can work with individual clients, multiple clients and on a contract basis with businesses and organizations. Writers will create the written content for books, websites, journals, news articles, product descriptions, advertisements and magazines.
National average salary: $60,259 per year
Primary duties: Social media specialists create and publish content for their clients across social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to build an online presence and a brand following. Social media specialists are the experts responsible for engaging customer audiences, measuring site metrics and overseeing the creative aspects of managing and keeping a social page up-to-date.
National average salary: $62,080 per year
Primary duties: Copywriters use persuasive writing and advertising methods to create written material (called "copy") for their clients with the goal of engaging and inspiring customers to make purchases. Copywriters may create the content for digital and print advertisements, white papers, product guides and other marketing materials that rely on the written word.
Related: Learn About Being a Copywriter
National average salary: $71,578 per year
Primary duties: Business consultants can work on a freelance basis to provide management consulting for businesses and organizations. Consultants will work with their clients to suggest techniques and methods for improving overall performance, productivity and efficiency. Business consultants also analyze an organization's processes to develop solutions that help the organization reach its goals.
National average salary: $75,576 per year
Primary duties: Human resources advisors collaborate with the human resources teams of businesses and organizations and provide solutions that help improve work relationships. These professionals help HR directors and senior managers develop and oversee complaint procedures, facilitate positive conflict resolution processes, create effective hiring practices and integrate employee benefits.
National average salary: $77,008 per year
Primary duties: A freelance videographer uses video recording equipment to capture footage of live events and video production projects. Many freelance videographers focus on smaller productions for their clients, including projects like documentaries, short films, weddings and parties, live events, training videos and even legal depositions.
15. Web developer
National average salary: $78,367 per year
Primary duties: A web developer will collaborate with their clients to design, create and publish websites and web pages. These developers will create the overall design and layout of a website, but they will also work with the site's technical features, including performance, capacity and traffic capabilities.
Related: Learn About Being a Web Developer
National average salary: $83,487 per year
Primary duties: Financial consultants evaluate clients' overall financial status, including income, expenses, assets and debts. These factors of a client's financial information help financial consultants find ways for their client to pay off debt, save money and even plan for retirement.
National average salary: $92,219 per year
Primary duties: Software consultants design software applications and systems that are specific to clients' needs. These professionals will analyze an organization's current computer software to determine what software updates, integrations or new applications would improve the efficiency of business operations.
Related: Learn About Being a Consultant