30 of the Best Paying Freelance Jobs and How to Find One

Best Paying Freelance Jobs

Freelance jobs have many benefits and opportunities.

Freelancing allows you to set your own rates and have more flexibility and control over your time. As you get more established, you can control who you work for and exactly what kind of work you do. That sort of freedom is not found in many W-2 jobs.

Freelancers can do anything from data entry to graphic design, to being a virtual assistant. A great way to find work is to reach out to people you’ve worked with in the past. But there are also several websites dedicated to matching freelancers and clients. 

It’s no surprise that more and more people are turning towards freelancing. In 2017, there were 57.3 million freelancers, 25% of whom worked full time.

If you are looking to get into freelancing, here is a list of the 30 highest paying freelance jobs:

Freelance Writing Jobs

Easily the granddaddy of all freelance fields, freelance writing is big enough to get the attention of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimated that 64 percent of writers in the US were freelance writers in 2016.

Salaries vary wildly, as they do in most freelance fields. The average salary for a freelance writer is $63,830. However, there are plenty of freelance writers earning six figures. Another advantage of freelance writing is the number of individual specialties. Let’s look at some of those specialties.

Article Writing

Freelance writers can make great money writing articles for websites and magazines, depending on the subject. Higher paying genres include personal finance, real estate, and digital marketing.

Blog Writing

Another way to make money writing is writing for medium to large blogs. As a blogger grows a website beyond their own writing capacity they will often seek help from freelance writers to fill the content gaps.

Technical Writing

Technical writers spend their time writing materials like how-to guides, white papers, instruction manuals, and journal articles. They have the ability to communicate complex technical information easily.

Ghostwriting

Ghostwriting is another form of freelance writing. With ghostwriting, you are writing for someone in their voice. You don’t get credit for the work. This could be for a blogger or a prominent business person. Many companies have blogs on their websites and are looking for help writing content that matches their leaderships’ voice. Often, businesses will often pay a premium for ghostwriting services.

Related: How to Become a Ghost Writer [and Make $150+ Per Article]

Copywriting

If you’ve ever been to a company’s website, they have text on most pages of their site. This could be text that explains their services, shares the company’s history, answers frequently asked questions, etc. That is copy. Copywriters write copy for websites, advertisements, marketing materials, and more.

SEO Content Writing

SEO is search engine optimization. You can make money writing SEO content for any type of online content. The goal is to write content that appeals to readers but also is optimized to rank higher in search engines like google. Ranking higher in search engines is important to companies and website owners and they are willing to pay for content that reaches that goal.

Editor

Not only can you make money writing for website, blogs, and magazines, but you can also make money as an editor. Not every company or website has a full-time editor on staff. Editors wear many hats including reading all content, fact-checking sources, correcting grammar and spelling, formatting, partnering with writers as well as website owners, and much more.

Click here to listen to PT’s interview with Miranda Marquit on starting a freelance writing business.

Freelance Creative Jobs

If you have artistic and creative ability, you can make great money on the freelance market. There are tons of opportunities to use your artistic abilities to make money and build a freelance business. What are the most popular freelance creative careers?

Graphic and Web Designer

This is an area of freelance growth where it isn’t uncommon for freelancers to work for other 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 an 4% rate in the 10-year period ending in 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Related: How to Start a Web Design Business Installing WordPress Websites

Photographer

Photography is used everywhere. Advertising. Websites. Billboards. A great way to make money as a photographer is to sell photos to stock photo websites like Dreamstime. This could also include photographing events like corporate functions, parties, and weddings. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, “Employment of photographers is projected to decline 6 percent from 2018 to 2028. Salaried jobs may be more difficult to find as more companies contract with freelancers rather than hire their own photographers.”

Click here to listen to PT’s interview with a freelance photographer making money to fund an adoption.

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 2018 that about 55 percent of the 50,300 craft and fine artists in the country were self-employed.

Voiceover Actor

Next time you watch TV, pay attention to how many commercials utilize voice over work. It’s a lot. That doesn’t include online content like audiobooks, video games, YouTube videos, podcast intros, radio advertisements, and more. The average pay rate for voiceover actors is $39.54/hour. If you have a clear, articulate voice and excellent enunciation, you can make great money as a voiceover actor.

Carrie Olson regularly does voiceover work for companies like Taco Bell, Walt Disney, and AT&T. She quit her day job to pursue voice acting and hasn’t looked back since. Now, Carrie has created a free professional voiceover actor guide that explains how she created her business. Soon you’ll be looking for voiceover jobs too.

Video/Audio Producer

Do you have skills editing video and audio content? If so, companies and website owners are always looking for help in these areas. Whether you are involved in the process from the beginning or just editing recorded content, there is money to be made. Larger YouTube channels and podcasts hire freelance help to edit and produce video and audio content. The average salary for a freelance audio producer is $60,752.

Related: Introducing Vidzuno, aka How to Start a Video Production Company

Freelance Marketing Jobs

Marketing is an important aspect of any successful business. Every company and entrepreneur needs to market itself. Because of that, there is an opportunity to enter the world of marketing without working becoming a full-time employee. Check out some ways freelancers can make money with their marketing skills.

Social Media Manager

Are you familiar with all of the social media platforms? If so, becoming a social media manager is a great freelance option. This involves managing, scheduling, and updating all of your client’s social media accounts. From creating captivating profiles to posting the right content, social media manager can be a demanding job, but one that can pay well. The average salary for a social media manager is $50,040.

Related: How to Make Money as a Social Media Consultant

Public Relations Manager

Public relations is a huge career field, covering many different tasks. It’s also a field where freelance consultants can make great money. Skills needed include writing, marketing, researching, communication, management, negotiating, and more. Among their many roles, PR managers help create effective PR strategies, build partnerships, and seek out opportunities for their clients. The average salary for a public relations manager is $65,967.

Branding Strategist

Branding is an important part of any marketing strategy. It’s more than a logo or catchphrase. Branding managers help capture the vision of a company, entrepreneur or specific project. You also need the ability to market products or services. The average salary for a branding strategist is $62,619.

Freelance Business Jobs

If you have a business background, there is money to be made as a freelancer. This includes administrative roles, customer service, sales, and more technical business careers. Let’s look at the more popular freelance business jobs.

Business Consulting

If you have a business background, you can make money as a freelance business consultant. They work with clients on everything business related. This includes planning, training, strategy, negotiating, and financial advice. The average salary for a business consultant is $73,269.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants are becoming popular to have for small business owners and entrepreneurs. VAs manage administrative tasks, freeing up their clients to focus elsewhere. They handle duties like scheduling appointments, answering emails, booking travel, organizing, transcription, and more. The average pay for a Virtual Assistant is $15.73 per hour.

Related: How to Find Virtual Assistant Jobs You Can Do from Home

Customer Support

Customer Support is another way to make money as a freelancer. This involves providing help to your client’s customer base. This could be general customer service or more of a technical support role. Communication skills are key as well as knowledge of your client’s business or products. The average salary for a customer support specialist is $43,788. The average salary for a technical support specialist is $50,662.

Sales

Freelance sales representatives generate leads for clients. Most of the time this involves internet sales, email marketing, and affiliate marketing. Additionally, previous sales and marketing experience is also helpful. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a sales rep is $59,561.

Data Entry

Data entry job opportunities are very common for freelancers. Work mostly involves typing information into electronic formats for clients. Previous experience isn’t normally required, but the ability to type at least 30 to 40 words per minute is desired by most clients. The average pay rate for a data entry clerk is $13.08 an hour.

Tax Professional

Particularly as it gets closer to tax time, this becomes a freelance job in demand. 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. The average salary for a freelance tax professional is $27,950.

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.

It 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. The average pay rate for a freelance medical transcriptionist is $16.48/hour.

Translator

Demand for translators comes from several areas. International companies with offices in the U.S., or vice-versa, often 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. The average salary for a freelance translator is $51,629.

Freelance Management Jobs

Management is a great skill to possess. It’s a skill that gets rewarded with great salaries usually. What types of management jobs are available for freelancers? Check out some great freelance management opportunities.

Project Manager

A project manager is simply someone who leads projects on behalf of clients. They see or provide the big picture, while also being able to focus on all of the details of the project at hand. Project managers need to be excellent communicators and good at delegating. Conflict resolution, negotiation, motivation, and multitasking are also important skills to possess. The average salary for a project manager is $94,095.

Digital Marketing Manager

Digital marketing is an important part of any modern business. More companies are seeking outside help in this area instead of hiring full-time employees. Digital marketing managers help to design and manage ad campaigns for companies and entrepreneurs. The average salary for a digital marketing manager is $68,477.

Blog/Website Manager

There are millions of websites today and website owners are looking for help to run the day-to-day business of their sites. Responsibilities of a website manager could include:

  • Optimizing the website for peak performance
  • Performing updates
  • Tracking performance
  • Overseeing content creation
  • SEO
  • Management of domain and hosting accounts.

The average salary for a website manager is $63,934.

Affiliate Manager

Websites are often monetized by becoming affiliates for various products and services. Affiliate managers help website owners organize, track, and expand affiliate programs to generate more revenue. The average salary for an affiliate manager is $57,204.

Freelance Developer Jobs

The world revolves around technology. Because of this, freelancers with an IT background can make great money using their tech skills. Let’s look at some of the more lucrative freelance development jobs.

Website Developer

Web development involves building websites. You need to be well versed in programming languages like HTML, CSS, and Javascript as well as WordPress. Web design experience is helpful as well. The average salary of a web developer is $75,487.

Mobile App Developer

App development is a rapidly growing market for freelancers. Almost everyone has a mobile phone and uses multiple apps daily. It’s everyday life for most people. To become a mobile app developer, having a Computer Science or Information Systems degree is ideal. You must have in-depth knowledge of various computer languages such as Java, HTML, C++, MySQL, PHP, and Objective-C. The average salary for a mobile app developer is $73,071.

Game Developer

The gaming world has exploded with the emergence of new gaming technologies and eSports leagues. Video game development requires skills similar to mobile app development. Game development is also quite similar to app development. You must be familiar with the various gaming software development kits. Prior experience is also plus for freelance game developers. The average salary for a video game developer is $107,676.

Tips for Finding High Paying Freelance Jobs

We’ve explored many of the freelance careers available. How can you start building a successful business and land high paying freelance jobs? Here are five tips for building your freelance business:

1. Market yourself

In order to attract potential clients, you need to find ways to show off your skills. A great way to do this is to create your own website and use it as an online portfolio. You can list your skills and share your previous work as well as clients you’ve worked with in the past. Having a resume you can send clients is helpful too.

2. Do research

Take time to research your freelance niche to see what types of jobs are available, pay rates, and what clients are looking for usually. It’s important to understand your market in order to find success as a freelancer. Lastly, research the skills you will need to be successful. Work to improve your abilities so you stand out.

3. Find a mentor

Having a mentor can shorten the learning curve as a freelancer. You need someone with experience you can learn from. This could be a family member, a boss or co-worker, a professor or teacher, or someone else. Also, you may find working under someone else first will help build the skills and knowledge you need to go off on your own later.

4. Network

Start working to build a network of people. This could be people like family, friends, colleagues or just an acquaintance. Don’t just add them to your contacts either to make yourself feel good. Provide value to people. Work for free or low pay to build a reputation and a portfolio. Ask people you refer you to people they know as well.

5. Start pitching clients

Now that you’ve established your rates, developed a portfolio or resume, and have worked to build your knowledge and experience, it’s time to look for work. Search online job sites for work. Reach out to local businesses or online businesses. Email pitches to potential clients. Start small and work your way up to higher paying freelance jobs as you gain experience. Ask for referrals from clients if they are satisfied with your work.

Top Freelance Job Websites

Finding freelance jobs can be challenging at the start. One way to find jobs is through freelance job websites. Some of them are specific to certain freelance niches. Others are general job websites. Keep in mind, however, that there are usually membership costs involved with setting up an account on most job websites. Here are some of the best freelance job websites to check out.

Upwork

Two of the most popular freelance websites, oDesk and eLance, combined and became Upwork. It’s one of the largest collections of freelance jobs in the world. Create an account and a profile and start searching for freelance projects. Upwork is relatively easy to use and allows you to communicate with potential clients directly, share files, and get paid. Most likely you will have to start with lower paying gigs until you build your portfolio. Then you can find high paying freelance jobs.

Fiverr

Fiverr is another great site for building up your portfolio. It gets its name from the fact that every job starts at $5. However, you can set up tiered services, charging more for more premium projects.

Freelancer

Freelancer offers a variety of freelance opportunities for just about any niche. Some projects are paid hourly, but many are run as contests where you compete with other freelancers.

Guru

Guru is a great site to find high paying freelance jobs. It’s easy to create a profile and search for jobs. You can submit quotes and communicate with potential clients. You can set up multiple payment options including pay by milestones, tasks, projects or hourly.

SolidGigs

What’s great about SolidGigs is that they search most popular freelance job sites to find the very best job listings. Sign up and they email you a curated job list. This saves freelancers the time of combing through hundreds of the wrong jobs. You can focus on high paying freelance jobs. SolidGigs also has a resource library and tools to help freelancers grow their business.

FlexJobs

FlexJobs is designed for people who work remotely and want flexible gigs. You can filter your job search by type of freelance job to save time. Sign up for a free trial and check it out.

People Per Hour

People Per Hour offers freelance opportunities globally. One nice feature is you can browse the site and look at jobs for free. You’ll need to create an account to apply for freelance jobs and communicate with potential clients.

Belay

Belay is a website for companies looking for virtual assistants and virtual bookkeeping. It’s not a job search website. Freelance virtual assistants and bookkeepers can apply to work for Belay. If selected, you will be contracted out to their clients for various administrative tasks.

CloudPeeps

CloudPeeps is a great site if you have more experience and are looking for high paying freelance jobs. They are more selective with their freelancers than other sites. CloudPeeps lists a variety of freelance services, but specialize in social media, marketing, and copywriting.

Codeable

If you are an expert in coding and WordPress, Codeable is the job website for you. The site is simply a resource for finding WordPress developers, which makes life easier for freelancers who fall into that category. No need to waste hours searching through thousands of listings on other sites.

Rent-A-Coder

Rent-A-Coder is a specialized job website. They focus on freelance programming, UI, UX, and design. Clients are usually medium-sized businesses and corporations. There’s a good chance of finding high paying freelance jobs with Rent-A-Coder.

Find Your Next Freelance Job

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


About Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Ohio and the family travel and budget expert behind  Family Money Adventure.

Comments

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

  4. 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. 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!

    Sam