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As technology transforms the world of work, the idea of a traditional nine-to-five job is becoming a thing of the past. If you have an independent, entrepreneurial spirit, self-employment may be an appealing option.
The good news is many self-employed jobs are well-suited to today’s gig economy with low barriers to entry. Whether you want to earn extra money or launch a full-time solo venture, here are some of the best self-employed jobs to consider.
1. Freelance Writer
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 5,000 freelance writing jobs in the U.S., and freelance writers can earn $35 per hour.
To thrive as a freelance writer, you must develop expertise in a niche, like tech, health, or business writing. Build up clips and samples of your work to show clients. Many freelance writers uncover jobs on websites such as Upwork, Fiverr, or Flexjobs.
Some of the most in-demand types of freelance writing include:
- Blog Writing: Writing blog posts for companies and individuals. Topics can range from marketing to travel.
- Copywriting: Writing sales and marketing content like website copy, email campaigns, and ads.
- Technical Writing: Producing instructional materials, manuals, and documentation for firms.
2. Graphic Designer
Many graphic designers have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, visual communications, or a related field. Coursework usually includes studio art, design principles, computerized design, and printing techniques. Some complete internships at design or advertising firms.
Key skills for graphic designers include:
- Excellent IT skills and proficiency with design and photo-editing software like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
- Exceptional creativity to develop engaging visuals.
- Strong communication abilities to collaborate with clients and learn their needs.
3. Real Estate Agent
As a real estate agent, you help clients buy, sell, and rent residential or commercial properties. Real estate agents are independent contractors who work under the supervision of a broker by law. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics casts a 5.3% employment growth between 2021 and 2031.
To become an agent, you need a high school diploma and must complete pre-licensing training, pass an exam, and obtain a license. Many agents have at least a bachelor’s degree as well. Strong sales and negotiation skills, knowledge of the local real estate market, and networking abilities are important for this career.
4. Virtual Assistant
If you’re an organized self-starter who enjoys problem-solving and helping others, a career as a virtual assistant may be ideal. Virtual assistants are self-employed individuals who provide administrative and clerical services remotely to clients. As a virtual assistant, you handle tasks like:
- Answering emails and scheduling meetings
- Making travel arrangements
- Data entry and word processing
- Researching topics for clients
Aside from that, some benefits of working as a virtual assistant include:
- A flexible work schedule.
- Exposure to different industries.
- You don’t need an office, so overhead expenses are minimal.
However, there are some downsides like:
- Work volume can fluctuate, leading to periods of little or no work.
- Without co-workers or an office environment, you can feel isolated.
- Pay varies and can be inconsistent if you have periods without clients.
5. Product Creator
As a product creator, you have the freedom to design digital or physical products for clients on your schedule. Many product creators work as freelancers, finding clients through websites like Upwork, Fiverr, or 99Designs.
Some benefits of working as a self-employed product creator include:
- Flexible schedule: You can work when and where you want.
- Higher pay potential: Product creators can charge $50-$200 per hour or more for their services.
- Creative freedom: You can choose projects that align with your interests and skills.
- Varied work: Product creators work with clients on different projects to avoid boredom.
6. Personal Trainer
As a personal trainer, you help clients achieve their fitness goals through customized exercise programs and guidance. You evaluate each client’s fitness level, skills, and goals to create a tailored training plan. Plans may focus on strength, endurance, weight loss, or sports performance. You even show proper form for each exercise and motivate to help clients stay on track.
Aside from that, personal trainers typically need certification. Well-known certification organizations include the American Council on Exercise and the American College of Sports Medicine. Certification shows you have the knowledge and skills to train clients properly.
As a photographer, you use technical and artistic skills to photograph people, places, events, and objects. Photographers typically market or advertise their services to attract clients, then meet with clients to know their needs before a photo shoot.
As a matter of fact, creativity and technical photography skills are key for photographers. It would be best to have proficiency with cameras, lenses, lighting, and design techniques. Strong communication and interpersonal abilities are also important for interacting with clients.
8. Career Coach
A career coach helps clients advance their careers by guiding job searches, resume writing, interviewing, and career planning. As a career coach, you can work with individuals from various backgrounds and experience levels. Many coaches work as self-employed entrepreneurs or as part of a coaching organization.
To be an effective career coach, you must stay current with job market trends, tools, and strategies. Continuous learning and improving your skills through courses, certifications, and memberships in professional organizations are important. Strong knowledge about various careers, companies, and hiring practices will make you a better coach and resource for your clients.
As a transcriptionist, you convert audio files into written text. This freelance role provides flexibility and decent pay. According to the PayScale, the median pay for transcriptionists in the U.S. is over $25 per hour. Actual pay will depend on factors like your experience, certification, and the difficulty of the audio.
Most transcriptionists work part-time, around 20 hours a week, though full-time work is also possible. The job can often be done remotely on a flexible schedule.
To become a transcriptionist, you’ll need:
- Proficiency in English grammar, spelling, and punctuation
- Fast and accurate typing skills, around 60-70 words per minute
- Familiarity with style guides like AP Style or AMA Style for medical transcription
- Optional certification in medical or general transcription, though not always required
10. Lodging Managers
With many hospitality professionals looking to advance their careers, becoming a lodging manager can be a rewarding goal. The job outlook is positive, with employment of lodging managers projected to grow 7% over the next ten years.
As a lodging manager, you are responsible for jobs like:
- Assign duties to housekeeping and maintenance staff and schedule their shifts.
- Coordinate front-office activities like check-ins/outs and handle any issues.
- Resolve problems or complaints from guests and ensure high satisfaction.
- Manage budgets, set rates, and maximize profits and occupancy.
- Recruit, hire, train, and supervise lodging staff.
- Ensure compliance with licensing laws and health and safety standards.
11. Lawn Care Specialist
With many people too busy to properly maintain their lawns and the growing demand for landscaping services, the job outlook for lawn care specialists is quite positive. A lawn care specialist, also known as a lawn mower or gardener, maintains lawns and gardens for residential and commercial properties.
Your duties as a lawn care specialist may include:
- Mowing, trimming, and edging lawns
- Applying fertilizers and pesticides
- Raking leaves and clearing debris
- Pruning shrubs and trees
- Planting flowers, trees, and shrubs
- Aerating and dethatching lawns
- Watering lawns and plants
12. Home Organizer
As a home organizer, you help individuals declutter and organize their living spaces. Many people struggle to keep their homes tidy and efficient, so your services are in high demand. According to Forbes, the average hourly rate for a professional organizer is around $55.
Most home organizers work as solo entrepreneurs or start their LLCs. This allows you to set your hours and fees. However, it also means you must market your services and find new clients. Starting an LLC helps shield your assets should any legal issues arise.
To become a home organizer, you typically need a background in organizing, decluttering, and efficiency. Some complete professional organizer certification courses. Aside from that, strong interpersonal and communication skills are essential as you work directly with clients in their homes.
Tutoring is a flexible job that allows you to set your hours and work from anywhere. It can also be quite lucrative, with many tutors charging $20-$50 per hour or more.
There are many ways to find tutoring students. You can advertise your services on websites like Care.com, Wyzant, and Chegg Tutors. You can also post ads on community Facebook groups and Nextdoor.
Other than that, letting friends, families, and local schools know about your tutoring business can also help you find new students through word-of-mouth recommendations.
Be On Top Of The Market
As you’ve seen, there are many promising self-employment opportunities available today if you have the motivation and skills to pursue them. While self-employment isn’t easy, it can be immensely rewarding. With hard work and persistence, you can gain independence and become your boss. The jobs are out there – now find the one right for you.