10 Best Paying Freelance Jobs

Freelance jobs are becoming more and more common in today's economy for a couple of reasons:

First, people who have lost full-time jobs during the recession are increasingly trying to make it on their own by freelancing in their chosen field.

Second, companies facing a money crunch are turning to freelancers because they save on the cost of benefits such as insurance and pension contributions.

While the government does not keep tallies of all freelance jobs – estimates range from 10 million to 30 million in the country – there are some fields that are particularly attractive to freelancers and can produce salaries high enough to turn a laid-off worker into a full-time freelancer.

Here is a list of 10 high-paying freelance fields:

Freelance Writing

Easily the granddaddy of all freelance fields, big enough to get the attention of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimated nearly 200,000 people classified themselves as freelance writers in 2009. Salaries vary wildly, as they do in most freelance fields.

However, there are plenty of freelance writers earning six figures. Another advantage of freelance writing is the number of individual specialties.

This ranges from general web content – filling up websites as a way to attract traffic – to technical writing, financial writing and business writing. With this many specialties, it's no wonder so many writing jobs continue to be available.

Freelance Marketing

Another field that has grown significantly with the downtown in the economy. More and more marketing experts have been laid off and are offering their services on a freelance basis.

Often, freelance marketing positions involve part-time work with a company as opposed to contract jobs for individual assignments.

Editor's Note: I've got an episode of the Part-Time Money podcast coming up soon which will feature a freelance marketing professional.

Freelance Graphic and Web Design

This is an area of freelance growth where it isn't uncommon for freelancers to work for freelancers. As people make that difficult choice to go out on their own, they realize the importance of a personal website and the need for an expert who can both design a website and occasionally make updates or fixes.

Expertise in animation is increasingly helpful in this field, which is expected to grow at a 13-percent clip in the 10-year period ending in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Freelance Public Relations

A field where more and more companies are relying on contract workers in a number of areas, according to experts. Many of the freelance openings are for lower-level positions such as public relationships specialist and public relations writer, but like other jobs on this list, those positions generally pay significantly above minimum wage.

Freelance Medical Transcriptionist

This is another job where employers have discovered that hiring freelancers cuts costs. The freelancer is paid the same or even slightly less than a full-time employee, but doesn't get benefits – which on average are about 30 percent of an average employee's salary.

Involves work transcribing patient histories, medical report and regular correspondence. Some freelance transcriptionists can work full-time from home while others take assignments on a contract basis and work for several companies at the same time.

Freelance Tax Professional

Particularly as it gets closer to tax time, this becomes a freelance job in demand. Listed by Money Magazine as one of the top 50 independent jobs. Freelance accountants, CPAs, and tax consultants can land jobs by underbidding other companies or can win contract jobs for companies who don't want to turn down work during the busy tax season.

Freelance Artist

Artists are demand in a number of different industries, from newspapers to book and software publishing to advertising and marketing companies. Computer design also requires artists along with the movie and video industries.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated in 2008 that about 60 percent of the 221,000 artists in the country were self-employed.

Freelance jobs are becoming more and more common in today's economy for several reasons. Here is a list of 10 high-paying freelance jobs.

Freelance Photography

One of the benefits of this freelance field is the number of sub-specialties. There is journalistic photography and work available by assignment or on a contract basis. The next big field is weddings and special occasions, but photographers are also needed by advertising and marketing companies.

Listen to PT's recent interview with a freelance photographer making money to fund an adoption.

Freelance Translators

Demand for translators comes from several areas. International companies with offices in the U.S., or vice-versa, need translators who can convert business journals and other publications into other languages, as well as technical manuals and other business-related publications.

Additionally, websites hoping to pick up a market share in other countries need their information translated. Most jobs in this field are performed on a contract basis.

Freelance Re-selling

There are an estimated 2.5 million people who earn a full-time salary by reselling products on eBay. The popular website attracts so many freelancers because it has 90 million active users. That's an enormous audience.

Thousands of people make a living by finding and buying discounted merchandise – either on eBay or elsewhere – and then selling the items for a profit on eBay.

Find Your Next Freelance Job

Use the search tool below to find jobs in your area of expertise.


  1. Maryrenee86 says:

    Once you sign up, do they post jobs that you compete for?

  2. miso_delicious says:

    This article is impressively consistent with other websites’ data on top freelance careers. bravo!

  3. vishacon says:

    Are there any freelance sites for high paid business consultants where client search for a consultant and hire him/her.

  4. vishacon says:

    Are any freelance sites for high paid business consultants where client search for a consultant and hire him/her.

  5. A freelancer is a person who is self employed. Freelance work is used in many different professions, I really enjoy being a freelance programmer. I do all my work over the internet. I use freelancing platforms like 99hours.com they have a great escrow payment system and bidding system that is reliable and safe. I must admit, when I first started, it was a little tough, but with sheer determination I’m now an independent programmer and web designer.

  6. andycarter41 says:

    freelancing means work from home .check here for freelancing jobs 99hours.com

  7. annachattha says:

    can you tell me what is freelance?

    • Philip Taylor says:

      @annachattha Freelance means you are not an employee. You are simply bound by a contractual agreement to provide services for a fee. As the name implies, you are free to work as much or little as you like.

  8. I’d love to help somebody with job seeking. The case is that I’ve been working as a freelance writer for almost a year. This kind of work satisfies me perfectly well. I’m not bound with any time frames. I can control the work flow by myself. If I need more money, I accept more orders. If I’m overwhelmed with my study, I can reject it. At the beginning of freelancing, I had to take a decision. It was pretty hard. But still I made a right one. I registered on the Freelance careers site and since then have been working for it without any problems!

  9. I am from Nigeria. Can I join this freelance job

  10. GregMiliates says:

    Focus on a niche for a higher rate.

    If you’re not in a niche, you’re losing money, and can only charge a fraction of what you could be earning. What’s more, if you’re not in a niche, you’ll have trouble finding enough work, and will have heavy competition–which also lowers your rate.

    To make things easier for yourself (i.e., have plenty of work, have a high bill rate, have less competition, etc.), you need to be in a very focused niche. In my niche, there are probably less than 3,000 potential customers, and literally a handful of competitors. And given that the clients are extremely profitable (law firms), that–in addition to my specialized knowledge & experience–means that I’m able to charge a high bill rate ($150-$175/hour), which, in turn, means that I can work less to make the same amount as someone with a lower bill rate.

    If I chose to be a general computer fix-it guy, there’s no way I’d be able to charge anywhere near my current rates. So, while I am very fortunate, making the decision to focus on a profitable niche has made an incredible difference in the success of my business.

    On my blog, I have an interview where I talk about how I made the switch from employee to consultant, and where I talk about some of my initial fears & doubts, and give actual income & rate numbers.

    Greg Miliates

  11. I know people that do freelance work in almost all of these fields. It’s a great way to add experience to your repertoire.

  12. Freelance seo says:

    Great Post, I have recently gone self employed (freelancer) and have found the Market for Internet marketing very fun and exciting times at the moment. There are lots of companies and individuals who are looking for away to get three business or service online and on thenfirst page of many of the major search engines.

    Great post!

  13. Yes its true nowadays Freelance jobs are gaining more popularity than others and also pay in this field is more and satisfied. Above mentioned are perfect example of this field.

  14. Freelance tasks are becoming more and more typical in today??£¤s economic climate for a couple of factors: First, those who have lost full-time work during the economic downturn are progressively trying to make this on their own through freelancing within their chosen area. Second, businesses facing the money crisis are embracing freelancers simply because they save on the price of benefits for example insurance as well as pension efforts.

  15. I always considered being a translator b/c We speak 2 other ‘languages’ other than British. But then We see how Great the best translators actually are and I think, not!

  16. Financial Samurai says:

    I always thought of being a translator b/c I speak two other languages other than English. But then I see how GOOD the best translators really are and I think, maybe not!