15 Best Freelance Jobs to Earn a Full-Time Income

Best Freelance Jobs


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Are you looking for the best freelance jobs? According to Statista, there were more than 59 million people in the United States doing freelance work in 2020, an increase of more than six million in just a few years.

Freelancing is becoming more and more popular for many reasons. Not only does freelancing allow you to have a flexible schedule, you can work wherever you want, choose which tasks and projects you work on, and much more.

In addition, Upwork found that the median pay rate for freelancers is higher than that of traditional employees.

But what exactly are the best freelance jobs to earn a full-time income? While you may think you just need to choose the career path that has the highest earning potential, it’s not that simple.

Just because a freelance service pays well or has a higher demand relative to others, doesn’t mean it’s the best service for you to offer as a freelancer.

Getting paid well will depend on your skill level of the service you offer, your experience, and the quality of your work.

In this post, we’ll discuss what a freelancer is, the 15 best freelance jobs, where to find work, and much more. We’re sure there will be a freelance job on our list that suits your skills and experience.

What Do Freelancers Do?

A freelancer is an individual who is self-employed and offers services on a per-job or per-task basis and typically works remotely.

In other words, a freelancer is an independent worker who provides different services to multiple clients concurrently. However, sometimes a freelancer will commit to work exclusively for one client until a specific task or project is finished.

Freelancers offer services in many different fields across a variety of industries. For example, a lot of freelancers work in the communications and marketing industry, where they may offer writing services, editing services, social media services, and much more.

Other popular industries where you’ll find freelancers include education (such as tutors), law (such as legal advisors), and finance (such as financial planners and accountants).

In addition to these industries, freelances may also offer services within web design and development, human resources, graphic design, technology, and even employee recruiting.

15 Best Freelance Jobs

Below are 15 examples of the best freelance jobs that are worth considering if you’re interested in starting a career as a freelancer or working as an independent laborer.

Note: The 15 best freelance jobs are listed in no particular order.

1. Copywriter

Average base salary: $52,347 per year

Offering copywriting services is one of the quickest and easiest ways to start a career as a freelancer. It’s also currently one of the most popular freelance jobs.

As a copywriter, you will use persuasive writing to create various marketing materials (known as “copy”) for your clients.

These marketing materials may include online sales pages, audio and video scripts, emails, and much more.

While you don’t need a degree or a technical background, to succeed as a freelance copywriter, it’s important that you have excellent writing skills, an eye for grammar, and an ability for storytelling.

2. Web Design and Development

Average base salary: $68,598 per year

Web design and PHP development are both on Upwork’s list of the most in-demand skills. They are also some of the highest paying freelance services.

The job of a web developer is to design and create functional websites by writing lines of code using computer languages like CSS and HTML.

Because web development is a rather complex job, there are a few different types of web developers, who usually work as team to launch the finished website.

The three different types of web development are front-end, back-end, and full-stack.

If you have experience creating websites, web design and development is a wonderful freelance service for you to offer.

3. Virtual Assistant

Average base salary: $60,455 per year

As remote work continues to grow in popularity, so does the demand for virtual assistance.

Simply put, a virtual assistant (VA) is an individual who helps manage administrative tasks, allowing their clients to focus elsewhere.

As a virtual assistant, you will handle duties such as answering emails, managing social media accounts, scheduling appointments, organizing, booking travel, and much more.

Considering this, if you enjoy doing administrative work, virtual assistance may be a great freelance service for you to offer.

4. Digital Marketing

Average base salary: $60,496 per year

With more and more companies going online, digital marketing is becoming a vital part of any modern business. This is why digital marketing is among the most in-demand freelance services.

The role of a digital marketer is ideating, executing, and optimizing a company’s online marketing strategy.

Considering this, as a digital marketer, your tasks will include running Facebook ads, email marketing, creating sales pages, optimizing website conversion rates, and much more.

To succeed as a digital marketing freelancer, it’s important that you have a deep understanding of data analytics, user experience, CRM marketing, conversions, and even SEO.

5. Social Media Management

Average base salary: $47,381 per year

Similar to digital marketing, social media management is an important part of any modern business.

The responsibility of a social media manager is creating a strategy for the company and implementing it to engage with their audience.

This involves scheduling and sharing captivating new posts, including images, articles, links, text, responding to comments, and much more.

Considering this, if you’re an expert with social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, social media management may be a wonderful freelance service for you to offer.

6. SEO Specialist

Average base salary: $53,057 per year

An acronym for search engine optimization, SEO is the process of optimizing the quality of content on a website to make it appear at the top of results on search engines, such as Google and Bing.

With almost every business wanting to rank high on search engines, freelance jobs as an SEO specialist are in very high demand.

However, working as an SEO specialist comes with a very long list of required technical skills, such as understanding Google algorithms, keyword research, link building, and much more.

As an SEO specialist, it’s also important that you understand how to do both on-page and off-page optimization.

7. Programming and Software Development

Average base salary: $113,660 per year

Programming and software development have been, and still are, some of the most in-demand skills in the world. They are also some of the highest paying services a freelance can offer because they are very difficult to master.

These roles involve designing and developing software applications through coding, debugging, testing, and troubleshooting.

Whether you’re a programmer or a software developer, you need the ability to write programs in different languages, such as Java and C++. You also need knowledge of HTML, XML, and PHP.

8. Graphic Design

Average base salary: $50,420 per year

Graphic design is a very popular field of work for freelancers. In fact, graphic design ranks in the second spot on Upwork’s list of the most in-demand skills.

Freelance graphic designers work with a variety of businesses and brands to create visual concepts using a computer software or even physical drawings.

As a graphic designer, you will create visuals and art for websites, packages, films, ads, magazines, and much more.

To succeed as a graphic designer, it’s important that you have an extensive work portfolio to show potential clients. Having a bachelor’s degree can also give you a competitive edge over your competition.

9. Video Editing

Average base salary: $44,859 per year

Do you have video or even audio editing skills? If you do, many companies and brands will hire you to help in these areas. Whether it’s helping with the whole process or just editing after the fact, there’s a lot of money to be made.

Thanks to the popularity of platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and even Instagram, the demand for video editors has seen a drastic increase in the last several years.

As a freelance video editor, your job will be to take raw video footage and edit it in a way that makes it engaging and interesting to the viewing audience.

If you don’t have video editing skills but are good with cameras, you can offer videography or photography services instead.

10. Accountant

Average base salary: $73,180 per year

Accountants interpret, record, and maintain financial transactions.

Considering this, as an accountant, your duties will involve handling ledger accounts, preparing balance sheets and P&L statements, creating financial reports, filing tax reports, and much more.

To work as a freelance accountant, you will need an eye for detail, industry awareness, Excel expertise, and a well-rounded understanding of tax laws and best practices.

Depending on your position, you may even need a bachelor’s degree. In addition, having a CPA certification can also help you earn more money.

Freelance accountants typically work on a contractual basis with multiple clients such small businesses and organizations simultaneously.

11. PR Management

Average base salary: $118,430 per year

The main rule of a PR manager is to maintain the public image of a company, brand, or even an individual.

This involves media relations, brand awareness campaigns, native advertising, product launches, and much more.

As a public relations manager, your day-to-day tasks may include writing and distributing press releases, working with media outlets, building partnerships, and even managing social media accounts.

To be successful as a freelance PR manager, you typically need communication, negotiating, writing, marketing, and research skills. A minimum of five years of experience is also recommended.

12. Professor

Average base salary: $89,286 per year

Are you highly knowledgeable in a certain academic subject, such as science, language arts, or math? Do you have experience teaching or even tutoring and have a master’s degree?

With online education and eLearning becoming more and more popular, you can easily find high-paying freelance gigs teaching on an ongoing basis or even a single class.

As a freelance professor, you will plan course curricula, assess student progress, provide support, and much more.

While freelance teaching opportunities may require you to have a master’s degree, you can also find high-paying freelance tutoring gigs that don’t require you to have one.

13. HR Advisor

Average base salary: $56,825 per year

HR advisors are a fundamental part of business for any established or even growing company.

As a freelance human resource advisor, you will collaborate with the HR teams of organizations and businesses and provide them with strategies to improve work relations.

This may include helping directors and senior management facilitate conflict resolution processes, develop and oversee complaint procedures, integrate employee benefits, or even create an effective hiring process.

To be hired as HR advisor, it’s recommended that you have experience in a similar field, so it may not be a practical option for someone looking to change careers or someone who is a complete beginner.

14. Translator

Average base salary: $51,830 per year

Can you speak and write fluently in multiple languages? One of the most important marketing strategies for advertising firms, publishers, and even global corporations is localized content.

It may even be the only way to advertise to potential customers in certain countries and cultures. Considering this, if you’re bilingual, you can find high-paying jobs as a freelance translator.

As a translator, you will convert written information from one language to another. This may include legal documents, presentations, brochures, ebooks, website content, and much more.

Some of the most common languages translators are fluent in are Chinese, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, French, and Russian.

15. Customer Service

Average base salary: $48,155 per year

Do you have excellent communication skills and enjoy helping people resolve issues? Customer service is another great way to make money as a freelancer.

While some retail companies require their customer service agents to work in person, more and more companies are hiring them to work on a remote basis.

As a customer service agent, you will help your clients by providing support to their customer base through email, phone, or even social media. This may be general customer service or even a more technical service role.

Keep in mind that this is one of the least flexible freelance jobs on our list because you will often need to be by your computer during specific business hours.

Best Platforms to Find Freelance Jobs

While you can find work as a freelancer by creating your own website or networking on social media, many freelancers use reputable freelance platforms to find job opportunities.

After researching countless freelance platforms, we have created a list of the top 5. We compared fees they charge, volume of job opportunities listed, quality of their platforms, industries they cater to, and more.

Upwork

Best Freelance Jobs

Founded in 1998 and previously known as Elance, Upwork may just be the most well-known platform to find work as a freelancer.

However, Upwork is difficult to get started with if you don’t have much experience freelancing. It also has fewer job opportunities listed than other freelance platforms on our list.

To get started, simply create a free account and then wait for the Upwork team to approve you. You may be rejected if they determine you don’t have the right skillset.

If you’re approved, you can then build your profile by adding your resume, work portfolio, mission statement, rates, and much more.

The most popular industries on Upwork are web development, consulting, translation, customer service, IT, engineering, and marketing.

Their platform is pretty easy to use and allows you to communicate with your clients, send invoices, track billable hours, and receive payment.

While Upwork doesn’t have any up-front costs, they do charge a percentage all your earnings. They charge 5% for earnings from a client that exceeds $10,000, 10% for earnings from a client between $500 to $10,000, and 20% for the first $500 you earn.

Freelancer

Based in Australia and founded in 2009, Freelancer is the largest and most popular global marketplace for freelancers to find work.

Freelancer currently connects over 55 million employers with freelancers from more than 245 countries.

With no upfront costs, the largest number of job opportunities listed, and being open to everyone, Freelancer may just be the overall best freelance platform.

To get started on Freelancer, create a free account and then build your profile. Once your profile is complete, you’re free to search their database and pitch yourself for any job opportunities you’re interested in.

With local and remote job opportunities listed in almost every industry, some of the most popular are content writing, accounting, digital marketing, architecture, human resources, design, sales, programming, and much more.

While it is free to sign up and create an account on Freelancer, their platform does charge a percentage of all earnings. For fixed-price projects, they charge $5 or 10%, whichever is more, and for hourly projects, they charge a flat 10% fee. You can learn more about their fee structure here.

Fiverr

Getting its name because many freelancers on its platform offer their services for as low as $5 an hour, Fiverr was founded in 2010 and has handled more than 50 million transactions to date. There are also more than four freelance gigs sold on their platform every second.

Having a reputation of offering low-cost freelance gigs, Fiverr is a wonderful platform for beginners who are looking to build their work portfolio.

While many freelancers on Fiverr offer career counseling, project management, It, relationship coaching, legal services, and much more, Fiverr leans heavily towards design and creative industries.

To get started, simply sign up for a free account, build a profile that highlights your expertise and services you offer, and then start searching their database for potential job opportunities. As a freelancer, you can add just over five unique packages to the services section of your Fiverr profile.

Fiverr charges a 20% commission for every job you do, and because they offer a refund guarantee to their clients, they will hold your payments for no more than 14 days after you have completed a job or task. After the 14 days, you can request a payment via PayPal or bank transfer.

FlexJobs

Founded in 2007, FlexJobs was created to help people who work remotely find legitimate work-from-home job opportunities.

With over 29,000 active job listings from nearly 6,000 companies across the globe, FlexJobs has grown into one of the largest platforms for hand-screened remote jobs. Their platform currently has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

One of the major reasons FlexJobs has made our list is because they research and vet every single job listing to ensure freelancers don’t have to worry about scams.

The membership fees it receives from freelancers that use their platform help fund their extensive vetting process. This allows them to provide an up-to-date database of the best possible job opportunities across more than 50 industries.

They also provide members of their platform with exclusive deals and discounts on products and services like Dell laptops, Intuit QuickBooks, and even career coaching.

FlexJobs charges members $14.95 per month to use their platform. However, if you choose to purchase a three-month membership, it will only cost $29.95. They also offer a year-long membership, which costs $49.95.

Guru

Founded in 1998, Guru boasts 800,000 clients worldwide, has paid $250 million to freelancers, and has an unbelievable 99% customer satisfaction rate.

Catering to experienced professionals rather than entry-level workers, Guru is great for experienced freelancers.

The 9 most popular industries to find work as a freelancer on Guru are business and finance, legal, management and secretarial, education and training, engineering and architecture, writing and translation, sales and marketing, programming, and design.

Although it’s free to make an account on Guru, they do offer tiered membership packages to help boost rankings in search, send messages to potential clients, and even the number of jobs you can bid for, which starts at $11.95 per month.

After you have created your profile, you can browse through many job opportunities to find potential clients that will be a good fit for the services you offer. Once you find a good fit, you can submit a quote for the job.

One unique feature of Guru that makes it stand out from the rest is the ability to work on projects through their virtual workroom that has a progress tracking feature.

Guru offers a basic plan, a basic+ plan, a professional plan, a business plan, and an executive plan. You can learn more about the membership plans offered by Guru here.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Freelancing

There are several advantages as well as a few disadvantages of working as a freelancer, which are listed below. It’s important you know these benefits and drawbacks if you’re considering making the switch to freelancing.

Advantages:

  • Working remotely: Freelancers have the freedom to work wherever they please. This may be at home, a coffee shop, a shared workplace, on vacation, or anywhere else with internet available.
  • Flexible work schedule: As a freelancer, you have the ability to set your own hours and create a work schedule that fits your lifestyle and your other obligations.
  • Variety of work: Freelancers have the freedom to choose what tasks and projects they work on, while a traditional employee has to work on whatever their boss assigns them.
  • Earning potential: By choosing how many clients you have, the rates you charge, and how much you work, you have more control over how much money you make.
  • Being your own boss: As a freelancer, you will not have a traditional manager or boss that you’re required to take orders from.

Disadvantages:

  • No job security: As a freelancer, you won’t be guaranteed future work. Your financial stability will depend on your ability to find clients, etc. You will also be responsible for ensuring you have enough money coming in to cover your living expenses.
  • No benefits: Freelancers don’t receive benefits such as health insurance, pension plans, and much more that a traditional employee typically receives.

Best Freelance Jobs FAQs

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about the best freelance jobs to make a full-time income.

What Freelance Job Pays the Best?

In terms of salary or the hourly pay you can expect, the best freelance jobs are PR manager, software developer, graphic designer, web developer, and accountant.

These are by far some the best jobs if you want to earn as much as possible as a freelancer. Once you become an expert, you can easily make over $100,000 per year offering one of these services.

What Freelance Jobs Are Most in Demand?

Freelance jobs that are the most in-demand are ones that play a vital role in a company’s success. This means that these jobs will always be needed and in high-demand.

According to Outofthe925, some of the most in-demand freelance jobs are SEO specialists, software developers, writers, virtual assistants, web developers, and accountants.

Again, all of these freelance jobs are key to a company’s growth and success.

What Is the Easiest Freelance Job?

On a purely no hassle and stress-free basis, direct-response copywriting may just be the easiest freelance job. As a direct-response copywriter, you will have little to no back-and-forth discussion with your clients.

Freelancers that offer other services such as software development and graphic design tend to spend a lot of their time talking to clients about revisions, etc. This back-and-forth discussion can be quite tedious and tiresome.

However, keep in mind that the easiest freelance jobs are typically ones that are the lowest-paying. For example, if you’re just looking for a service you can offer without spending much time learning or perfecting your skills, you won’t earn a very high hourly rate.

Considering this, I highly recommend you focus on choosing a service to offer that will provide enormous value to your clients rather than one that is easy.

Which Freelancing Job Is the Best for Beginners?

The best freelance jobs for beginners are ones that don’t require a skill that’s very challenging to learn.

For example, if you have no experience coding, you probably don’t want to offer programming and software development services as a freelancer.

However, you also don’t want to choose a freelance service that will hold you back in terms of rate and opportunities.

With that said, social media management is one of the best freelance jobs for beginners. The basics are easy to learn, you can charge a high hourly rate, and you will also gain exposure to high-value skills that you can monetize later on.

Final Thoughts on the Best Freelance Jobs

As demonstrated above, freelancing spans across a wide variety of industries. In fact, there is nearly an endless number of services you can offer to earn a full-time income as a freelancer.

However, web design, programming, software development, digital marketing, and the other freelance jobs on our list are among the best.

The secret to making a full-time income as a freelancer is to choose a service that plays an essential role in a company’s success so that your skills as a freelancer are always needed.

Once you have decided which service you’re going to offer, choose a platform to market your skills, create a profile, find job listings, and then submit your proposals.

After you start gaining traction as freelancer, you can create your own website and start networking on social media to grow your client base and start charging more for your services.

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