Which are the top-paying freelance jobs of choice today? And do they allow a person to make a living solely as a freelancer? According to a recent report by CareerCast, such a thing is possible in the “gig economy.” (For more, see The Rise of the Gig Economy.)

Today’s Top-Paying Freelance Jobs

The website looked at wages and projected growth from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and found that some freelance jobs pay average hourly rates that allow people to make a full-time living or at least supplement their income in a meaningful way. Here are 10 of those high-paying jobs.

  • Accountant  With a median salary of $67,290, or more than $32 per hour, this is certainly a viable alternative to the daily office environment. An accountant’s busiest time is from the New Year to the end of tax season, but there’s plenty of other work throughout the year. 
  • Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technician  From work at TV and radio stations to setting up sound systems at concerts and parties, these freelancers operate the complicated equipment involved in making everything sound amazing. Their median salary is $41,780 per year, or about $20 per hour.
  • Carpenter  You already know what a carpenter does, but did you know that freelance carpenters make a median salary of $42,090, with a projected 10-year job growth rate of 6%? Not bad if you enjoy working with wood. 
  • Delivery Truck Driver  With Americans doing more shopping on Amazon and other online sites, delivery drivers won’t find an absence of work, though the median yearly salary, $27,760, is the lowest on this list.
  • Interpreter/Translator  Business is more global than ever. It’s not uncommon for companies to have remote meetings with people who are hearing impaired or speak another language. Freelance interpreters and translators earn a median salary of $44,343, with a projected growth rate of nearly 29%. 
  • Management Analyst  Companies always want to do more with less. Management analysts advise them on how to create a more efficient and cost-effective process. With a median salary of $81,320 and a projected growth rate of 14%, management analysts can work outside of a traditional company and make a great living. 
  • Multimedia Artist  Graphic designers, videographers and others who produce media continue to be in demand in the gig economy. Median salary is $64,308, with a projected growth rate of 5.23% over the next 10 years. 
  • Occupational Therapist  Who helps patients recover from illness, injury or chronic conditions? Occupational therapists. With a median salary of $80,150 per year and a 27% growth rate, there’s plenty of work for freelancers. 
  • Web Developer  Somebody must create the websites you visit every day. Freelance web developers work from home on large and small projects, either as part of a remote team or on their own. Median salary is $65,100, and the 10-year growth rate is 24%.
  • Software Developer  Computers, cars and many of the devices in your home run on software, and the people who create the programs for them can make more than $100,000 per year. With a projected growth rate of 17%, it’s no wonder that online coding schools and other initiatives to teach people how to program are so prevalent. 

The Bottom Line

Some jobs work better as freelance positions than others, but all of the above jobs are sure to see continued demand and have proven success in the gig economy. Start by freelancing after hours. As your business grows, you may end up calling yourself CEO just a few years down the road. (For more, see Most Americans Don’t Know What the ‘Gig Economy’ Is.)

 

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