Transitioning from a traditional nine-to-five to become a freelancer is no walk in the park. You will lose a couple of things like retirement benefits and a steady paycheck. But, you’ll gain so much more- the freedom of movement, ability to determine your own schedule and you’ll generally be more satisfied.
A study by ReportLinker revealed that up to 84% of freelancers find a sense of purpose working in the gig economy while another 32% believe that they’re a lot happier than their employed colleagues.
Furthermore, there are many freelancers earning a full time income without answering the daily call of 9 to 5. Below are your best bets for freelance careers that can lead to high steady pay.
Before I move onto how much you can, I should explain the role of a medical transcriptionist. This is a trained individual who transcribes, in medical terms, what a physician or clinician dictates following a surgery, patient visit, test results, pathology and more.
The field of medicine has a language of its own, consisting of synonyms, antonyms, along with the rules of the English language. Missing just one punctuation mark can alter a whole diagnosis.
Based on this, you can already tell that medical transcription requires specialized training. But with training and experience, you'll be guaranteed of a handsome pay, especially because there’s a surge in demand for medical transcriptionists.
A quick visit to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that a full time medical transcriptionist earns an average of $34,000 per year. Payscale.com estimates that, on average, a freelance medical transcriptionist earns $16.48 per hour.
However, this rate varies significantly depending on the industry you work in and the number of clients. Freelance transcriptionists who work for insurance firms, specialty hospitals and laboratories are the highest earners.
If you’ve never transcribed before, you might try general transcribing first as a good way to practice. Some of the best transcription jobs that are non medical all have very low barrier of entry.
Web Developer and Programmer
The BLS projects that by 2024, the employment of web developers will have increased by 27% from 2014. That growth rate is faster than the average for all other occupations. This is not surprising given that more companies are relying on their online presence to get that competitive edge. This makes web design and development a lucrative freelancing job.
To determine how much they earn, Code Mentor queried 5,302 freelance developers. Unsurprisingly, they found that those working in the U.S. are the highest earners, making up to $70 per hour.
In a nutshell, how much you earn as a freelance developer varies depending on your skill level, location and experience. Frontend development is easier to master, though pays less than backend or full stack developers. But, overall, you can expect a high and steady income. If you look at the top web developers on Upwork, you’ll see that some make up to $115 an hour.
Becoming a virtual assistant is, to a great extent, the perfect setup for an individual looking to earn money as a freelancer. It’s incredibly easy to get started, as you don’t have to undertake lengthy courses.
Plus, you get to choose from a variety of niches where you can work. Most people think that the only duties of virtual assistants are checking emails, returning phone calls and managing calendars. But it’s so much more than that. In fact, the higher paid VAs these days work on helping clients manage their social media accounts, set up sales funnels, and manage ad accounts.
So how much do virtual assistants make? According to ZipRecruiter, a renowned recruiting company in the US, the salary of a freelance virtual assistant varies significantly. Within a year, you can earn as low as $27,000 or as high as $100,000 with the number averaging $59,386. Other statistics show that worldwide, 59% of VAs work full time at their jobs. This disparity in pay and working hours suggest that there are tons of opportunities to increase your salary. This will depend on your skills, experience and location.
Social Media Manager
Did you know that there are 2.37 billion monthly active users on Facebook alone? Factor in users on other social media platforms, and you’ll realize the potential of these avenues for marketing your products and services.
Due to this, there’s a high demand for social media managers, which is where your skills come in handy. The main work you’ll be tasked with entails managing, scheduling and regularly updating your client’s social media accounts. You’ll also need to create unique profiles for your clientele and post captivating content, which is no small feat. But you’ll be well compensated for your hard work. The average salary of a freelance social media manager is $50,756.
Search engines have changed the way we access information. From diseases to arts and crafts, there’s no limitation to what you can search on Google and others. Thus, it comes as no surprise that search engine optimization plays a major role in the Internet industry. It determines just how well brands, companies and organizations can remain visible online.
Due to this, SEO specialists are highly sought after in the freelancing world. If you have good knowledge of how search engines like Google rank sites these days, you can have a lucrative career as an SEO specialist.
A study done by Search Engine Journal revealed that SEO professionals earned an average of $81,103 in 2018. Freelancers charge up to $119 per hour.
With changes in consumer behavior and the way search engines rank websites, content marketing has become very popular. This means that becoming a freelance copywriter is a pretty rewarding job, as it’s in high demand. A quick search on Upwork brought more than 6,000 jobs for copywriters.
The pay for copywriters differs considerably based on your talent and the firm you’re working for. But the top copywriters easily earn several hundred dollars per hour. Most copywriters average between $36,000 and $65,000 per year.
Anyone can earn a full-time income as a freelancer. However, you’ll need to find the perfect niche for your skills. Examples of top freelance jobs that offer a full-time income include medical transcriptionist, virtual assistant, SEO specialist, copywriter, web developer and social media manager.