14 Independent Contractor Jobs in 2024 [Salaries + Pros & Cons]
February 12, 2024
Independent contractor jobs have become more apparent following the rise in remote-based work worldwide. The beauty of earning income as an independent contractor is that you have full control over your time and the workload you can take on.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the possible jobs you can pursue as an independent worker and the average income you can earn for each. We will also delve into the pros and cons of freelancing, so be sure to read until the end!
- Independent contractor jobs enable flexible work schedules and limitless earning potential.
- Any employer-employee contract does not bind independent contractors. They take on different clients and projects based on their skills, interests, and availability.
- Unlike regular employees, company-sponsored benefits and incentives do not apply to independent contractors.
- Individuals who earn money through independent contractor jobs should receive a 1099-NEC form from their clients during tax season so they can file their tax returns.
What is an Independent Contractor?
An independent contractor is not bound by any company or employer and offers their services autonomously.
Other terms used to refer to independent contractors are freelancers and self-employed individuals. Independent contractors may present themselves as an individual or an entity.
Since they are self-employed, their services are contractually available, meaning they may be hired for short- and long-term projects. They also have more control over the amount they charge per project and client and more freedom to choose when and where they work.
On the other hand, independent contractors shoulder the total tax rates for Social Security and Medicare taxes.
Freelancers are not entitled to employee benefits and incentives, such as holiday and overtime pay, transportation allowance, and employer-sponsored health insurance.
14 Independent Contractor Jobs That Pay Well
The following are the most popular and sought-after independent contractor jobs at present:
Photographers offer contractual photography services by covering important events, such as weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. They may also do in-house or outdoor photoshoots, where they must work alongside an agency or other freelancers.
Some photographers are also skilled at photo and video editing and offer the said expertise to their clients.
$29.57 to $71.39 per hour or $61,500 to $148,500 per year
Contractual photography gigs mean you can work in your studio and even get the chance to travel for events held out of town.
You need to take extra care with your equipment, particularly when traveling to different locations to shoot. You may also have to upskill or learn more advanced photography and editing skills to attract more clients.
A contractual carpenter may pursue a broad selection of part-time and full-time projects.
Examples of carpentry jobs include renovating residential spaces, building furniture, installing windows and doors, reading and interpreting blueprints, and repairing wooden furnishings.
$14.18 to $35.58 per hour or $25,900 to $74,000 per year
Working as a freelance carpenter entails a minimal educational background. You can take on different projects based on your skill level and availability.
Despite requiring minimal educational background, carpentry requires significant training, certification, and physical fitness. The job also comes with potential risks and safety hazards.
A writer’s job is to create different types of content for clients and businesses. They write blog posts, articles, eBooks, social media posts, white papers, email content, and website copy.
It is the type of freelance job that you can pursue alongside your studies if you are a student or other related work such as marketing and social media management.
$7.45 to $32.93 per hour or $15,500 to $68,500 per year
A writer's work schedule is flexible and provides an opportunity to improve your writing and research skills. You also get to learn about a variety of topics and be an expert in a plethora of subject matters.
Clients who need help understanding the value and effort that goes into producing content tend to underpay writers. Also, you may be prone to constant burnout and writer’s block.
#4. Web Developer
Web developers create websites, monitor the website’s performance in terms of speed and traffic, and help maintain the site’s pages. They work closely with web designers, content writers, and digital marketing experts.
You can be a front-end, back-end, or full-stack developer, depending on your skill set and background.
$16.83 to $72.12 per hour or $35,000 to $150,000 per year
You can take advantage of the steadily growing number of businesses and industries looking to build an online presence. Doing so unlocks endless opportunities to entertain challenging projects and improve your skills.
You may end up shouldering additional responsibilities coupled with building, improving, and maintaining your client’s website. Moreover, web development entails the constant upgrading of your existing skills and knowledge.
#5. Social Media Manager
Social media managers are responsible for building and improving a business’s online brandand audience engagement. They do so by planning, preparing, and implementing campaigns and strategies that align with their client’s social media pages and marketing objectives.
$11.78 to $52.64 per hour or $24,500 to $109,500 per year
Social media management is perfect if you live and breathe social media and thrive best in a creative field. You can also set online trends while building a dynamic community.
The content and posts you share online can have a positive or negative impact. Since things can quickly go viral online these days, there is the added pressure of avoiding mistakes and ensuring your campaigns are always impeccable.
#6. SEO Expert
An SEO expert, or search engine optimization specialist, is responsible for pinpointing strategies and approaches to generate organic traffic and website engagement.
Their job scope includes keyword research, link building, content development and integration, website optimization, monitoring SEO campaigns, and analyzing the site’s performance data.
$14.90 to $132.21 per hour or $31,000 to $275,000 per year
Search engine optimization is constantly progressing and adapting to market demands and customer needs. As such, there is plenty of learning new strategies and introducing clients to new opportunities to attain long-term growth.
The job can be demanding, and seeing the fruits of your campaigns and efforts takes time. You must also keep up with the changing digital marketing trends and dedicate time and money to continuously hone your skills.
#7. Graphic Designer
Graphic designers are known for channeling their imaginative powers to produce a variety of visual concepts, blueprints, and patterns. They are the go-to experts whenever clients need a catchy advertisement that instantly piques their audience’s interest.
Graphic designers also offer their services in production design and producing informative content online through e-magazines, infographics, brochures, and responsive websites.
$19.47 to $48.08 per hour or $40,500 to $100,000 per year
Artistic individuals and people with high visual-spatial intelligence may find it easy to thrive in a career that merges creativity with flexible earning potential.
It can take time to meet client expectations and compromise creative differences. Creative burnout is also a constant struggle among graphic designers.
A transcriber is the perfect fit if you are looking for independent contractor jobs with no experience. A transcriber’s job is relatively easy—all you have to do is listen to an audio or watch a video and encode the conversations and speech to produce a written copy.
$11.06 to $28.61 per hour or $23,000 to $59,500 per year
A transcription job is suitable for people who want to earn extra money passively. You can easily freelance as a transcriber, even with a busy schedule.
Accuracy and precision are crucial in transcribing videos and audio content. You must have good listening skills and keen attention to detail. A background in other languages is also preferred.
#9. Customer Service Specialist
Unlike a transcriber, a customer service specialist is an independent contractor job requiring relevant field experience. Customer service specialists cater to different customer feedback, queries, and concerns.
Customer service includes chat support, voice support, and email support.
$9.86 to $27.40 per hour or $20,500 to $57,000 per year
This independent contractor job is perfect for people with excellent problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Depending on the customer service account, there is also the potential for career advancement and commissions.
Interacting with angry, frustrated, and rude customers daily can affect your mental health. You must also be good at multitasking and handling constant pressure as the company’s representative to the customers.
#10. Personal Trainer
Not all independent contractor jobs involve sitting in front of a computer or depending greatly on technology. Specifically, a personal trainer tailors workout plans to suit their client’s unique constitution and wellness goals.
People seek their expertise if they want guidance on improving their physical and mental health.
$11.06 to $51.92 per hour or $23,000 to $108,000 per year
Working as a personal trainer is rewarding. In the long run, you will also benefit from constantly staying active and instigating healthy thought patterns.
Catering to different clients may leave you working odd hours. Depending on your client’s availability, you may even work on the weekends.
#11. Online Teacher
An online teacher’s job is similar to a traditional, face-to-face class. The only difference is that an online teacher can perform their duties in the comfort of their home or a coworking space.
$14.90 to $131.21 per hour or $31,000 to $275,000 per year
Online teaching jobs encompass diverse areas of discipline. The topics you can teach are broader than the usual subject matter in school. You can teach financial literacy, public speaking, sales, and IT.
You need to adjust your work schedule to cater to time zone differences. At times, technical issues, like a sudden power interruption or connectivity problems, significantly affect the quality of your class.
#12. Business Consultant
A business consultant offers in-depth guidance to clients on improving their management practices and operations.
Pursuing an independent contractor job as a business consultant entails years of experience in your field. Otherwise, it may be challenging to earn the trust of potential clients.ay be challenging to earn the trust of potential clients.
$15.14 to $77.16 per hour or $31,500 to $160,500 per year
The more experienced and well-versed you are in your field, the higher the rates you can charge your clients. You can also earn free marketing and recommendations from satisfied customers.
Since you are not protected or covered by a company or entity, putting a project on hold in case of an emergency may be tricky. You may also travel constantly or work odd and long hours.
#13. Uber Driver
Driving for Uber is one of the market's most popular independent contractor jobs. You can deliver food and goods via Uber Eats or offer ride-hailing services. It is a flexible work setup, and Uber allows you to choose your work hours.
Uber lets you choose how to receive your earnings. You can also use the Uber app to monitor your income and access your pay statements.
$9.86 to $30.77 per hour or $20,500 to $64,000 per year
You can work whenever you want and receive your earnings instantly through immediate payouts. You also keep 100% of customers’ tips. More importantly, Uber enforces safety precautions and offers all drivers emergency assistance.
Uber’s labor practices could be improved, particularly in conducting background checks on their drivers, implementing unpredictable rates, and regulating the competition among their drivers.
Freelance actors accept contractual acting jobs from different agencies and companies. They may take on theater roles, act in commercials, or take prominent and minor roles in film and TV. Essentially, most actors work independently.
$11.78 to $52.64 per hour or $24,500 to $109,500 per year
Independent contractor jobs in acting give you more freedom in choosing roles and projects that align with your interests.
Job opportunities are only sometimes as abundant. It may take time for you to land your next acting gig. Also, there is the element of unpredictability in terms of the type of role you will play next.
How to Find Independent Contractor Jobs
You can find independent contractor jobs online by browsing through job posting sites. Here are some of the most popular and highly trusted job posting spots:
- Indeed. It offers a simple-to-use job filtering feature that helps job seekers find career opportunities relevant to their skills and expertise.
- Hubstaff Talent. Hubstaff Talent is your go-to website if you want to land remote independent contractor jobs.
- Handshake. Handshake is a job search website designed for fresh graduates.
- Learn4Good. Learn4Good offers a free employer plan wherein students receive 20 listing credits, which they can use to find job opportunities within six months.
- Fiverr. Instead of job hunting, you can promote your services by signing up and creating a professional profile on Fiverr.
- LinkedIn. You can also apply for freelance work by creating a LinkedIn account and networking with fellow professionals in your chosen field.
4 Benefits of Independent Contractor Jobs
Now that you know the different types of independent contractor jobs you can pursue, it’s time to delve into the pros of working independently:
- Flexible work hours. Forget clocking in and out of work at fixed hours every day. Freelancers can decide on the number of work hours to dedicate each day. You don’t have to work five days as long as you can manage your time effectively.
- Work-life balance. Remote independent contractor jobs enable you to earn money while also having time for your family and personal life.
- Unlimited earning potential. Depending on your schedule, you can take on multiple freelancing jobs. As such, you can take home additional earnings while studying or working full-time.
- More room for skill development. Since you can entertain multiple projects and various independent contractor jobs, you can upskill and learn new strategies and disciplines.
3 Drawbacks of Independent Contractor Jobs
If there are advantages, there are also corresponding drawbacks coupled with independent contractor jobs, such as:
- Lack of contractor protection. As of writing, only a handful of states across the U.S., including New York, Illinois, and California, have enforced rules protecting freelancers' rights. Unless you work in the said states, you must be extra careful and vigilant with the clients you work with and the contracts you sign for each freelancing project.
- Clients can cancel anytime. Sometimes, clients only feel obligated to continue hiring you if your contract explicitly explains the terms of your services. Your work hours may be flexible, but the assurance of having continuous work and a stable income source is not guaranteed.
- No benefits. Freelancers are not entitled to employer-sponsored benefits and employment laws that govern workers in regular 9-5 jobs. You are responsible for opening and contributing to a health insurance plan, managing your taxes, and performing regular maintenance on your work equipment.
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You can also check out our blog toget guidance on filing your taxes and preparing different types of invoices according to your services!
Pursuing independent contractor jobs requires balancing your time, energy, and resources.
Accepting freelance work while working full-time or studying also means sacrificing rest and recreation to fulfill these additional obligations.
That said, assessing the commitment level and weighing the pros and cons of freelancing are crucial in determining whether the setup is a good fit.
Independent Contractor Jobs FAQ
#1. Can you make money as an independent contractor?
Yes, you can, and the best part is that you can pursue an independent contractor job aligned with your interests and background. You can also earn as an independent contractor while employed full-time.
#2. What is the difference between an independent contractor and self-employed?
The difference is that the former is a type of self-employment. The term ‘self-employed’ is an umbrella term that encompasses freelancers or independent contractor jobs, sole proprietors, and entrepreneurs.
Independent contractors typically offer their services contractually or based on an agreement between the freelancer and their client. In contrast, self-employment implies generating income with or without a client-contractor or employer-employee dynamic.
#3. What is the 1099 form used for?
A 1099 form records and reports non-employment earnings to the IRS. There are 1099 forms, each designed for a particular income or payment.
Examples of 1099 forms include a 1099-NEC, which businesses and entities fulfill whenever they hire an independent contractor or freelancer, and a 1099-MISC, which reports miscellaneous payments, such as awards and prizes.