Ready to quit your day job and become your own boss? 2022 is a great year for a career change. Many professionals are leaving traditional employment behind and entering the freelance economy for the first time — and loving the benefits.
A freelance job is when you’re an independent contractor who’s temporarily hired by various companies to complete tasks for them. Rather than being a full-time employee for a single business, you have the freedom to choose your clients and forge your own career path.
Are you considering taking the leap and becoming self-employed? Then you’ll want to look at the top freelance jobs on the market this year.
What makes a good freelance job?
The best freelance work is a career that is:
High-paying: Freelancing gigs can be inconsistent, so you want a career that can pay the bills. A good freelancing job doesn’t have the salary ceiling that the traditional employment model does, so you have the potential to earn more money.
Flexible: The biggest perk of being self-employed is that you get to set your own schedule. The best freelance jobs allow you to be flexible with your work hours and location. Remote jobs are a must for freelancers.
In high demand: Freelancers need to find work by building their own client lists, so it’s important to choose a profession that many companies want to hire. An in-demand freelance job can provide steadier income and is going to pay better.
Offers growth potential: You have to think of your freelancing job in the context of your long-term career development, or else you’ll just tread water. Choose a profession that gives you the skills and experience to build a lucrative future in your industry.
Typically, the highest-paid freelance job is a consultant, such as a business consultant or software consultant. Their deep industry knowledge, years of experience, and track record of providing solutions for problems make them very valuable to companies. Independent consultants are paid well to advise businesses by applying their expertise.
Unfortunately, most professionals don’t begin as independent consultants. So, you have to start off with a freelance job that offers potential for long-term advancement in your industry.
Not sure where to start? Here are 15 of the best freelance jobs that pay well, are always in demand, and offer growth potential. All of these freelance jobs can be viable long-term careers.
Note: For this list, we pulled wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These are the average hourly rates, and not set in stone. Just remember that your income as a freelancer depends on:
Your experience and skill level
How in-demand or specialized your skills are
How much the client can pay
How much work you complete
The hourly rate you negotiate
Average Hourly Wage: $47
What the job involves: Bookkeeping, audits, data entry, tracking budgets and spending, creating financial profit and loss statements, and preparing taxes.
Why it’s in demand: Most small businesses don’t have the money to hire an on-staff accountant, so they pay a freelance accountant to perform their bookkeeping on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis.
Knowledge of accounting practices and bookkeeping software
Attention to detail
Strong data analysis
Ability to organize and communicate financial information clearly
How it can benefit your career: Freelancing can give you the experience and client list to start your own accounting business and even become a high-paid, independent CPA.
Average Hourly Wage: $38
What the job involves: Write text for websites, manuals, marketing materials, emails, newsletters, and blogs.
Why it’s in demand: Small businesses may not have the consistent need for an on-staff writer, so they’ll contract a freelance copywriter on an as-needed basis — and every business needs well-written copy now and then.
Creative and technical writing
Empathy to understand a target audience
How it can benefit your career: Copywriting is an accessible starting gig because it can lead to various avenues like content marketing, freelance journalism, book ghostwriting, or technical writing in a specific field.
Average Hourly Wage: $36
What the job involves: Proofreading content written by other people, such as books and marketing materials. Can also involve fact-checking.
Why it’s in demand: Some people prefer to write their own copy but need a freelance editor to polish the text and make it sound great. It never hurts to have a professional perfect your writing before publishing it.
Solid grasp of leading style guides
How it can benefit your career: The more projects you have under your belt, the more you can charge and the higher-profile clients you’ll attract.
4. Graphic Designer
Average Hourly Wage: $29
What the job involves: Creating digital art and high-quality visual materials for websites, advertisements, videos, product packaging, presentations, or other projects
Why it’s in demand: Like freelance writing, freelance graphic design is often needed on an occasional basis. Many companies pay talented visual designers to create specific images for them when necessary.
Ability to visualize images and turn those ideas into reality
Fluency with design software
A keen eye for attractive visual layouts
How it can benefit your career: Proficient designers can juggle multiple clients simultaneously. Plus, the more experience you amass, the better portfolio you’ll build and the more you’ll be able to charge.
5. Data Analyst
Average Hourly Wage: $52
What the job involves: Gathering and assessing information on things like customer behavior to identify trends and give recommendations.
Why it’s in demand: Businesses need to know information to make good financial or marketing decisions, but it takes a lot of time to gather and gauge the necessary data. A freelancer can perform that work for them!
Aptitude for data visualization
Spreadsheet software fluency
How it can benefit your career: Performing data collection and analysis has the secondary benefit of increasing your knowledge in those fields, which can help you become an expert.
6. Virtual Assistant
Average Hourly Wage: $20
What the job involves: Administrative work such as making and receiving phone calls, managing travel arrangements and appointments, answering emails, and making purchases
Why it’s in demand: Many executives or directors are hiring remote, part-time assistants instead of traditional full-time assistants because they’re more affordable.
How it can benefit your career: Proving that you’re a reliable assistant can get your foot in the door in your target industry. It’s a great way to build connections with high-level executives and garner impressive referrals.
7. Web Designer & Developer
Average Hourly Wage: $40
What the job involves: Create and design websites, both aesthetically and functionally
Why it’s in demand: Every organization needs a high-quality, user-friendly website, so they have to contract someone who can create and maintain it
How it can benefit your career: The more proficient you get at web development, the more you’ll be able to control your rates and work schedule. Plus, you’ll be in higher demand than the abundance of other competing developers on the market.
8. Programmer & Software Developer
Average Hourly Wage: $55
What the job involves: Creating mobile apps and dedicated software for companies
Why it’s in demand: Practically every startup and organization needs its own app these days. The common solution is to temporarily contract a programmer to create it.
How it can benefit your career: Most professionals who specialize in computer science with a focus on programming aim to be freelancers, so the value is a given.
9. PR Manager
Average Hourly Wage: $66
What the job involves: Maintaining the public image of an organization or client
Why it’s in demand: A positive, fashionable persona takes a lot of work to curate, and bad publicity can sink a company or career. Someone has to do the work of fielding customer support complaints, media outlets, etc.
Confident under pressure
Able to handle stressful situations
How it can benefit your career: A proven, experienced PR consultant can make a lot of money, and being a PR manager is a great stepping stone toward that.
10. Content Marketer/Writer
Average Hourly Wage: $40
What the job involves: Crafting and executing marketing campaigns that primarily involve written content like blogs, emails, and newsletters — with a focus on conversions
Why it’s in demand: Smart companies know that modern digital marketing efforts need to incorporate good search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, which involves well-written, organic online content.
Compelling written voice
Understanding of SEO and marketing
Proficiency in researching and proofreading
How it can benefit your career: A large portion of digital marketing involves content writing, so most freelance writing jobs are in the marketing industry. Many content writers find SEO-oriented content marketing to be a well-paying career. If you’re a freelance writer, it might be worth dipping your toes in some SEO training.
11. Social Media Marketer/Manager
Average Hourly Wage: $35
What the job involves: Managing a businesses’, celebrity’s, or influencer’s social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This includes planning and posting content, responding to comments and DMs, monitoring trending hashtags, and handling follower-client conversions
Why it’s in demand: Everybody who’s anybody is on social media. Entities need a strong social media presence to thrive, whether they’re a company building brand identity or an influencer promoting products.
Familiarity with social media
Foresight for up-and-coming trends
Creative written voice
How it can benefit your career: Managing high-profile social media accounts is a great way to make money if you’re already spending lots of time on these platforms.
12. Photographer or Videographer
Average Hourly Wage: $35
What the job involves: Creating video content and/or still images for advertisements, entertainment, company events, personal functions, etc. Often involves editing, too.
Why it’s in demand: Practically everyone wants professional-looking photographs and video footage for their business or personal needs — from baby photos to wedding videos to entertainment reels.
An eye for framing and composition
Attention to detail
Quick reactions at live events
Fluency with editing software
How it can benefit your career: You’ll build better skills and client reviews with experience, which can lead to a stellar portfolio and higher charge rates. Plus, your avenues as an independent media creator or editor are endless.
13. Video Editor
Average Hourly Wage: $37
What the job involves: Editing video footage filmed by someone else
Why it’s in demand: Editing videos takes lots of time. It’s laborious, meticulous work. Many online content creators and companies will outsource raw footage to a freelancer to sift through and compile into a polished final cut.
Video editing software proficiency
Attention to detail
Ability to implement feedback
How it can benefit your career: Editing someone else’s video can help you build connections in the media industry and provide the insight to start producing your own videos.
Average Hourly Wage: $21
What the job involves: Leading online education classes, virtual tutoring sessions, or other services on eLearning platforms
Why it’s in demand: More and more education forums are moving to virtual platforms instead of in-person classrooms. English as a Second Language (ESL) education is particularly popular in 2022.
Background in education and/or a expertise in a particular field
How it can benefit your career: Keep your teaching license active, work toward a professor position, or become a personal tutor
Average Hourly Wage: $28
What the job involves: Translating conversations or materials from one language into another.
Why it’s in demand: As the marketplace goes increasingly global, more businesses need translators to help with international partnerships, distribution, publications, and training.
Written and spoken fluency in more than one language
How it can benefit your career: Better multilingual skills and exposure to companies around the world can unlock career opportunities abroad.
What’s the best freelance work for beginners?
The freelance marketplace can be overwhelming if you’re not sure where to start. Being self-employed can be a tough transition, so pick an entry-level job that’s good for beginners. Starter gigs may not be the highest-paying freelance jobs on the market, but they’ll set you on the path to success.
A good job for beginner freelancers is one that:
Uses skills you already have: A starter freelancing job shouldn’t be one that involves learning new skills. Pick a profession that you already have experience in rather than trying something new while you’re still finding your footing.
You can try out before fully committing: Find a freelancing gig in your preferred industry that only involves a few hours a week, something you can dabble in part-time as a side gig before quitting your full-time employment. This will let you get your toes wet before diving in.
Provides enough work for full-time pay: Once you do quit your full-time job and go solo, you don’t want to be juggling multiple gigs simultaneously as a newbie. Find a freelancing opportunity that provides enough pay to replace the salary you’re used to. Otherwise, you could jeopardize your finances.
Won’t burn you out: Choose a career that isn’t a huge burden on your work-life balance. You don’t want to get burned out on freelancing right when you’re starting.
With these qualities in mind, the easiest freelancing jobs for beginners include:
Social media manager
Follow Your Passion
It can be tempting to pursue a freelance career because of the autonomy and attractive paycheck, but self-employment isn’t for everyone. You shouldn’t choose your career based on what pays the most.
There are some drawbacks to being a remote entrepreneur, such as the possible isolation and difficulty of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Only a job that you love doing will motivate you to overcome such hurdles and strive for success.
Ultimately, you’ll flourish the most with a job that brings you the most satisfaction. Don’t launch your freelance business until you’ve decided what type of work will bring you long-term fulfillment.
Let MVP Match Help
Your shift to freelancing doesn’t have to be difficult. Start the new phase of your career by connecting with the freelance economy experts at MVP Match. As a trusted freelance platform, we’ll connect you with potential clients based on your skill set. That way, you won’t have to scour countless freelance websites looking at job boards for job opportunities.
Do you own a business and need to contract a freelancer to help you? MVP Match can assist you too! Contact us to find a professional with the know-how your business needs to thrive.