16 Highest-Paying Freelance Jobs (With Salaries and Duties)

Updated April 26, 2023

A person sits at a table at home, reading and typing on their laptop.

While many people work for traditional employers, individuals with specialized graphic design, writing, web design or social media marketing skills may choose to work as freelancers. The freelance economy offers many unique opportunities to people interested in greater independence and flexible work arrangements. Learning about some of the highest-paying freelance jobs can help you find a freelance position that's right for you.

In this article, we list 16 of the highest-paying freelance jobs and provide information on their national average salaries and primary duties.

16 of the highest-paying freelance jobs

Numerous organizations, from small businesses to large corporations, regularly hire freelancers to improve their digital marketing and web development processes and complete complex projects. According to data from Indeed Salaries, freelancers earn a national average salary of $23,908 per year, with the highest earners making at least $60,000 per year. Based on that data, here are 16 of the highest-paying freelance jobs. 

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries.

1. Technical writer

National average salary: $60,504 per year

Primary duties: Technical writers use their technical skills to write detailed product manuals, how-to guides and journal articles. Writers who work as freelancers may help multiple technology companies produce detailed documents containing complex technical information. They may also revise existing information and improve it to enhance reader understanding.

Find technical writer jobs

Read more: What Does a Technical Writer Do? (And How To Become One)

2. Accountant

National average salary: $60,942 per year

Primary duties: Accountants interpret and update financial processes and transaction records and manage ledger accounts. They create financial documents, prepare budget forecasts, manage balance sheets and reconcile accounts payable promptly. Their freelance work helps organizations maintain optimal financial health while allocating more resources to important tasks. Freelance accountants also prepare and file taxes for organizations to ensure federal and state compliance.

Find accountant jobs

Read more: Learn About Being an Accountant

3. Executive assistant

National average salary: $62,202 per year

Primary duties: Executive assistants complete high-level administrative tasks on behalf of business executives. They perform data entry, answer phone calls, respond to emails and arrange travel. These assistants might also schedule meetings, craft messaging for digital media outlets, manage executive requests and supervise lower-level employees.

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4. Public relations specialist

National average salary: $62,800 per year

Primary duties: Public relations specialists create and publish content for their clients across various platforms to enhance their online presence and reputation. They write press releases, create engaging social media content, measure site metrics and track public relations campaigns. They might also conduct market research to learn about the latest trends and strategize ways to improve their client's public image and increase public awareness.

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Related: How To Become a Public Relations (PR) Specialist in 6 Steps

5. Editor

National average salary: $63,350 per year

Primary duties: Editors plan and prepare written materials for publication, such as books, magazines, online content and newspapers. Freelance editors may work in multiple content areas, including story editing and copyediting.

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6. Web designer

National average salary: $63,478 per year

Primary duties: Web designers write code for websites that display text, images, graphics, sound and video. Designers are responsible for planning the overall layout of a  website. They create new websites and improve the navigational design of older sites, and they might work with several clients to update websites, create backup files, solve code issues and edit and write content. Web designers also conduct tests to determine the functionality of different features and obtain user feedback.

Find web designer jobs

Read more: Learn About Being a Web Designer

7. Content writer

National average salary: $69,510 per year

Primary duties: Content writers use persuasive and educational writing on behalf of their clients to engage customers and encourage purchases. They may create content for digital and print advertisements, white papers, product guides and other marketing materials. A content writer also crafts shorter pieces, such as emails and product descriptions.

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Related: What Does a Copywriter Do? (Duties and Requirements)

8. Human resources adviser

National average salary: $72,632 per year

Primary duties: Human resources advisers act as employee advocates, help improve work relationships and maintain a safe, equitable workplace. They assist human resources directors and senior managers in developing and overseeing compliance procedures. They also facilitate positive conflict resolution processes, create effective hiring practices and manage employee benefits.

Find human resources adviser jobs

9. Virtual assistant

National average salary: $72,869 per year

Primary duties: Virtual assistants offer administrative services to their clients remotely, usually from a home office. They schedule appointments, take phone calls, make travel arrangements and manage their clients' emails and other online messages. A client might also have a virtual assistant perform market research, create presentations and maintain online records.

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10. Computer programmer

National average salary: $73,230 per year

Primary duties: Computer programmers develop software applications using various coding languages. They offer consultations to provide the best technical solutions for their clients' needs, and they may program video games, mobile banking software and a variety of other apps. They also update a client's software program and troubleshoot coding issues. Similar to designers and writers, computer programmers often work with multiple clients simultaneously when they freelance.

Find computer programmer jobs

Read more: What Does a Computer Programmer Do? (Plus Skills and Requirements)

11. Financial consultant

National average salary: $73,828 per year

Primary duties: Financial consultants evaluate clients' overall financial status, including their income, expenses, assets and debts. These factors help financial consultants identify ways for their clients to pay off debt, save money and plan for retirement. Depending on their specialty and the needs of their clients, a financial consultant might also help create budgets and select new investments.

Find financial consultant jobs

Related: What Does a Financial Planner Do? (With Skills and Salary)

12. Business consultant

National average salary: $74,498 per year

Primary duties: Business consultants work on a freelance basis to provide management advice to businesses and organizations. Consultants work with clients to suggest techniques and methods for improving overall performance, productivity and efficiency. Business consultants also analyze an organization's processes to develop solutions to support achieving goals. They may specialize in a specific business area, such as marketing, hiring, management or human resources.

  Find business consultant jobs

Read more: Learn About Being a Business Consultant

13. Marketing specialist

National average salary: $76,080 per year

Primary duties: Marketing specialists help organizations understand their target audiences and teach them how to attract new customers. They create a variety of marketing materials, including video content and social media messages, and assess market data to determine customer demand. They acquire marketing data by tracking customer activity online, producing surveys and monitoring various social media networks.

Find marketing specialist jobs

Read more: What Does a Marketing Specialist Do? (With Job Requirements)

14. Web developer

National average salary: $76,121 per year

Primary duties: A web developer collaborates with clients to design, create and publish appealing websites and web pages. These developers may help with the overall design and layout of a website, and they also work on the site's technical features, including its performance, capacity and traffic capabilities. They reduce the potential for errors to ensure a website can effectively launch and manage high user volumes.

Find web developer jobs

Read more: Learn About Being a Web Developer

15. Software consultant

National average salary: $84,948 per year

Primary duties: Software consultants design applications and systems specific to clients' needs. They analyze an organization's current computer software to determine what software updates, integrations or new applications might improve the efficiency of business operations. Software consultants also provide troubleshooting services and technical support to reduce system downtime.

Find software consultant jobs

Read more: Software Consultant: What It Is and How To Become One

16. Videographer

National average salary: $110,854 per year

Primary duties: A videographer uses recording equipment to acquire footage of live events and production projects. Many freelance videographers work on smaller productions for their clients, including short films, weddings, parties, live events, training videos and legal depositions. A videographer might also provide services to help with a larger project, like a movie or documentary, and they typically edit their material themselves.

Find videographer jobs

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

Note that figures from Glassdoor and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) help supplement information from Indeed.

Tips for finding freelance jobs

Performing freelance work allows you to work when you're most productive, maintain a healthy work-life balance and earn an income by leveraging your skills. When searching for freelance jobs, consider the following tips:

Know your skill level

Freelancers need an array of specialized skills to perform their duties effectively. Understanding your skill level can make searching for relevant positions in different fields easier.

Create a portfolio

A strong portfolio of your work can show potential clients that you have a proven track record of success in your specialty. Ensure you update your portfolio regularly to highlight your unique abilities and demonstrate how you've improved.

Research local businesses

Local businesses in your area may be more willing to hire a freelancer. Working for a local company can be an effective way to increase your skills and gain freelancing experience if you don't have any yet. Contact companies in your area of expertise and ask them if they need additional assistance.

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