Over 57 million Americans currently do freelance work on the side or full-time.1 The appeal of freelance work is rather obvious—you can make your own schedule, diversify your income streams, and be your own boss. In fact, many freelance professionals find that having more than one stream of income actually improves their job stability over time.
So what industries are the best for freelancers?
Over half of art, design, and construction professionals are currently freelancers. But beyond these industries, some of the highest-paying freelance jobs are in technology, marketing, and writing. This is your guide to understanding the top freelance jobs in these specific industries.
Ready to find your perfect freelancing job? Let’s do this.
Arts & design freelance jobs
Are you an artist looking for a way to support your creative projects? Freelance jobs in arts and design are a great way to profit from your artistic eye (or ear). Across each and every industry, companies need photos, videos, and designs for their web marketing. While you don’t need a degree or any specialized training to begin a freelancing job in the arts & design field, you may need knowledge (and ownership) of specialized editing software. Below are a few of the most lucrative freelance arts jobs for creative professionals:
Videographer / video editor – Freelance website Upwork has named Final Cut Pro as one of the most in-demand skills for freelancers. Familiarity with this video editing software can land you lucrative freelance jobs.
Event photographer – To photograph events, all you need is a camera, a few lenses, and an eye for the perfect frame. This is one of the highest paying fields of photography.
Podcast producer – Just like video editing skills, audio editing skills are in high demand. As more and more people get the podcast bug, you can develop a healthy career producing and editing sound for podcasts.
Graphic designer – If you’re a whiz with the Adobe Creative Suite (or other editing software), put your knowledge to use designing websites, logos, and other promotional materials for brands and individuals.
Writing & marketing freelance jobs
Do you have a way with words? Journalists and authors have had successful freelance careers for decades. However, the new world of online marketing gives writers a whole new way to find clients. While marketing requires some specialized knowledge, as long as you have a strong writing background, you can learn the basics quickly and find your remote job.
But you don’t need to be a freelance writer to come up with a successful marketing strategy. If you’re an expert with specialized advertising tools, you can start a freelance career, too.
Top-paying freelance writing jobs include:
Copywriter – Brands need fresh web copy, blog posts, newsletter installments, and more to keep their customers’ attention. When doing content writing, you can take your remote work wherever you go. As a copywriter, your role is to produce content in line with your clients’ goals.
Technical writer – In the current boom of startups and technology, someone has to explain all that “robot talk” to potential customers and investors. That’s your role as a technical writer. Becoming a technical writer is an excellent freelance writing job that is always in demand.
Social media marketer – If you specialize in Instagram strategy, there’s a whole world of brands looking for someone to help refine their image, connect them with influencers, and grow their follower count.
Social Media advertising specialist – Facebook and Instagram ads are an advertising ecosystem of their own. If you know how to segment audiences, create effective visuals, and get clicks on Facebook, you’ll find plenty of clients.
Contractor & handyman freelance jobs
Did you know that construction workers have seen a pay bump in the last few years?2 If you already have a knowledge of repair and construction work, you could begin training for a career in freelance construction. In many states, construction professionals will require licensure, so be sure to check out your local requirements before you get started.
Top construction freelance jobs include:
Contractor – Oversee other workers and make sure the jobsite meets all safety regulations. If you excel at creating clear action plans (as well as understanding construction work), this could be a great fit for you.
Carpenter – Prefer to work on your own? If you’re a wizard woodworker, carpentry could be a profitable freelance job.
Handyman – If you enjoy a job that takes you different places and requires different skills each day, try handyman work.
These jobs often require that you take an exam, purchase small business insurance, and apply for a license. However, the extra training and steps are worth the opportunity to enter a booming industry.
Computer & technology freelance jobs
Tech is a huge force in the overall economy, and freelance workers are in high demand with start-ups and larger organizations. Are you interested in getting involved with machine learning, blockchain, bitcoin, cybersecurity, virtual reality, or robotics? The tech industry could be right for you.
You’ll likely need knowledge of several programming languages to work in tech. If you have computer know-how, the following jobs can be a a great fit:
Data scientist – If you’re an expert at using programming languages to analyze data, you’re prepared for a career in data science.
Software engineer – If you have a knowledge of programming languages like Python and C++ and can help your clients create the apps and software they’ve been dreaming about for years, you’ll find an entry into one of the highest paying freelance jobs.
Penetration testers – Do you have hacking chops? Penetration testers (typically) attempt to hack into software to identify vulnerabilities.
Protect your business
As a freelancer, you’re a small business owner. That means you’re responsible for keeping your business protected from risk. While some of these jobs present more obvious risks than others—carpentry vs. copywriting, for example—all freelancers should consider taking out insurance.
Depending on the kind of work you do, you may need one or both of the following policies:
General liability insurance to provide coverage for client and third-party claims of personal injury, advertising injury, bodily injury, and property damage.
Professional liability insurance to provide coverage for claims of errors and negligence related to your work.
Which do you need? All freelancers can benefit from general liability insurance. If you give advice to your clients, then professional liability insurance could protect you should they say that, due to your consultation, they experienced financial loss.
On-demand freelance insurance
If you freelance on the side of a 9-to-5, you may not feel like you need an annual insurance policy. After all, your first job might take under an hour! But what if something goes wrong in the first fifteen minutes? A costly medical claim could end your freelance career before it’s started.
That’s why we’ve created on-demand freelancer insurance. With Thimble, take out a policy by the hour, day, or month. That way, you only pay when you’re working.
It takes less than 60 seconds to get insurance with Thimble. Enter a few details about your business, and you’ll receive an instant quote. Finally, purchase with a click, receive a Certificate of Insurance, and start freelancing the right way.
Grow your career
As a freelancer, you have total control over your career. That means you can start in one field, but explore other work and training on the side. You make your own hours. You can say “yes” or “no” to jobs.
You can even be able to work remotely.
Once you’ve chosen the freelance job that’s right for you, start looking for your first client through your social network, freelancer websites, and beyond. With a little work and perseverance, you’ll have a thriving business. Be sure to protect it from risk with insurance. Soon, you’ll count yourself among the growing freelance workforce and enjoy all the flexibility that comes with the job.