The best self-employed careers

Updated February 21, 2017

When you want the independence to set your own hours, wear whatever you want to your office and develop a unique niche for goods or services in your community, then freelancing is the answer. Freelancing offers flexibility and the chance to be your own boss. For unemployed individuals it's a way to bring in much-needed income. There are thousands of freelancing jobs available, from being a personal chef or dog walker to accounting and house cleaning. The question then becomes, what are the best options?

Freelance Financial Adviser

Money Magazine lists freelance financial advisory services in its top 50 independent jobs. Many people need help with planning their financial futures, particularly for things such as college and retirement. In 2006, the average financial manager made more than £65,000 annually. The Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2010-11 anticipates a 20 per cent increase in this market by 2018, faster than other occupations that have freelance options.

Colleges throughout the United States offer MBA programs for financial planning in response to the growth in this industry, estimated at 20 per cent or more in 2010. People considering this career path should have a good head for numbers, strong organizational skills and the ability to keep up with necessary industry compliance paperwork.

Home Stager

In a buyer's market home staging becomes an essential element to selling your property. A home stager looks at a property and advises the owner on how to make the house as appealing to potential buyers as possible. For example, home stagers tell you to put away personal photos and other individualised items. This makes it easier for a viewer to see himself or herself in that space.

Most home staging professionals freelance, and many have a background in interior design or the arts. Some home stagers choose to take courses in real estate to improve their understanding of the market. Interior redesign requires no license or certifications.

This freelance position relies heavily on referrals and word-of-mouth networking.

Freelance Writer

In 2008 the Bureau of Labor statistics showed more than 280,000 writers and authors, of which 70 per cent were self-employed. The Bureau estimates 15 per cent growth in this sector between 2010 and 2018, particularly on the Internet.

There are numerous types of freelance writing jobs. For example, freelance SEO (search engine optimisation) writers provide valuable services to online businesses by using keywords that improve search engine results. Bloggers keep a steady feed of information going out to consumers and ghostwriters provide expertise for individuals without strong writing skills.

People considering this field should have strong writing, editing, and research skills.

Graphic and Web Design

Freelance graphic and web design opportunities abound thanks to the ongoing popularity of the Internet. Whether a person wants a home page to share photos with family, or a business needs a site for advertising goods and services, graphic and web designers create a finished look for a variety of online goals. As of 2010, graphic and web design work is growing at a 13 per cent rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Individuals with animation experience have even greater opportunities in interactive media.

Individuals going into this field need strong computer skills and the ability to keep up

with changing technology.

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About the Author

Patricia Telesco has been a writer since 1992. She has produced more than 60 books with publishers that include HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. Her articles have appeared in "Woman's World" and "National Geographic Today." Telesco holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Buffalo.