The Best Jobs for Self-Employed Workers

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Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on

Imagine working from a beach in Portugal, or being able to take Fridays off to go paddleboarding with your kids.

You don’t have to daydream about doing these things.

With the rise of remote work, it’s easier than ever to find a self-employed or freelance job where you can work as much or as little as you want, from wherever you want, on a schedule that fits your needs.

Self-employment lets you work on your own terms, and studies show that people who are self-employed are happier.

Let’s go over what self-employment is and some of the best jobs for self-employed workers.

What Does Being Self-Employed Mean?

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Self-employment means you are both the employer and the employee. You work for yourself.

This may be either as a freelancer or as a small-business owner. Self-employed individuals work in about every industry you can think of — from customer service to IT.

Considerations for Self-Employment

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There are some things to consider with self-employment that are different from a traditional job.

Self-employed people set their own hours. You don’t have a manager standing over you to get your work done, so you need to be self-motivated. In addition, you’ll be responsible for finding your own health insurance.

You’ll also need to set aside money for taxes. In a traditional 9-to-5, employers take the money for taxes out of your paycheck. But when you’re self-employed, you’ll need to do this yourself.

A general rule of thumb is to set aside a third of your income for taxes.

These things don’t make one option worse or better; it’s about being mindful so you don’t get in trouble with the IRS or the entity that collects taxes in your home country.

Who Benefits From Self-Employment?

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Almost anyone can benefit from self-employment. Freelance work can be very beneficial for military spouses, since it allows them to take their work with them wherever their family is stationed next.

It can also help caregivers or working parents, since self-employed workers set their own hours and schedules.

Career changers can also use self-employment to gain critical experience when they’re trying to break into a new field.

The Best Jobs for Self-Employed Workers

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Looking for the freedom and flexibility that comes with self-employment? Here are a few of the best jobs for freelance professionals.

Administrative Jobs

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If you have strong interpersonal skills and are highly organized, you could be a great fit for an administrative role. It should be noted that some administrative jobs require a postsecondary degree.

Companies that hire for freelance administrative jobs:

Art & Creative Jobs

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Many people who work in the arts industry often work as freelancers to create projects for clients. Some common job titles include painter, photographer, and art director.

Companies that hire for freelance art & creative jobs:

Computer & IT Jobs

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Computer & IT jobs can be found in a variety of industries, such as health care, education, and media. Common job titles include testing analyst, IT security consultant, and systems engineer.

Companies that hire for freelance computer & IT jobs:

Customer Service Jobs

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Do you have excellent problem-solving skills? Are you able to stay calm under pressure? If so, a customer service job may be the perfect fit for you.

Pay can vary based on experience, education, and qualifications. However, some senior-level positions can earn as much as $134,000 per year!

Companies that hire for freelance customer service jobs:

Data Entry Jobs

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Data entry jobs often entail entering information into databases or updating records. Data entry jobs often don’t require a college degree.

Many employers who hire for these jobs also provide flexible schedule options.

Companies that hire for freelance data entry jobs:

Editing Jobs

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Editing jobs are great for people with a passion for the written word who have a keen eye for details. The average salary for an editor is $74,000 per year.

Companies that hire for freelance editing jobs:

Graphic Design Jobs

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Graphic designers create visually pleasing images and logos for their clients. Most need to be proficient in visual design and Adobe Creative Suite and have time management skills.

On average, graphic designers make around $48,000 per year.

Companies that hire for freelance graphic design jobs:

Marketing Jobs

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Marketers help companies increase brand awareness and connect with customers.

Marketers work across a variety of industries, from health care to technology. Many marketing jobs require a college degree.

Companies that hire for freelance marketing jobs:

Transcription Jobs

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Do you have strong attention to detail? Are you an excellent listener? If so, you might want to consider a freelance transcription job.

Self-employed transcriptionists often get to set their own hours, as long as they get their work done.

Many employers also allow team members to work from anywhere, so it can be a great option for military spouses or digital nomads.

Companies that hire for freelance transcription jobs:

Writing Jobs

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Did you always ace your English and creative writing classes? Do you have a gift for the written word?

If so, you should consider becoming a freelance writer. You don’t need a degree, just a strong ability to write and follow company style guides.

Companies that hire for freelance writing jobs:

Be Your Own Boss

Woman working on a laptop on a beach
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Whether you work as a small-business owner or a freelancer, there are many benefits to being self-employed.

Self-employed individuals may work in a variety of fields, such as customer service, IT, or marketing.

Working as a freelancer or self-employed professional can give you the flexibility you need to grow your career and manage your family’s (or your personal) needs.

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