25 Best Self-Employed Jobs [Be Your Own Boss for Real]

It doesn’t matter if you plan to leave your current job or want to make supplementary income; being self-employed can provide professionals with increased flexibility and freedom compared to working directly for an employer.

Apart from setting your own hours and rates, a self-employed job can provide you with the opportunity to work only as much as you want.

Working for yourself is perfectly suited to parents looking to spend a bit more time with their families, students looking to fit work around regular classes, or just about anyone searching for the freedom and flexibility that entrepreneurship offers.

Another benefit of having a self-employed job is that you can create and grow your opportunities. The steps required to become a self-employed person are pretty simple; you only need to have a skill that people are willing to pay for. This article lists various self-employment ideas you can use.

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self-employed woman working on her laptop with kids toys around

1. Proofreading or Editing 

This job requires having excellent grammar skills as well as great attention to detail. Being an editor or proofreader is something that never goes out of style.

Considering the number of blogs and online magazines available, finding work shouldn’t be too difficult. For one, you can choose to contact your favorite online magazines to see if they don’t mind working with a freelance editor.

You can also search for freelance writers that might require a bit of editing help before turning their work into publications.

Related: Easy Steps for Starting a Proofreading Business from Scratch

2. Blogger

Blogs have evolved beyond mere pastimes that people engage in on the side to share a bit of their life with strangers online. Nowadays, blogs offer opportunities to earn a good income while being self-employed.

Some bloggers make enough money to leave their day jobs, and others enjoy financial freedom from blogging. Blogs have become more specialized, concentrating on particular niches, such as parenting, food, technology, and more.

The main goal is to attract the target audience within the chosen niche. That’s like me with Money Tamer where I answer my reader’s personal finance questions.

Through these audiences, bloggers can earn money for helpful niche-related courses or ebook sales, targeted advertisements, and even affiliate links to products their blog demographic will be interested in. 

If you love writing and are talented with a unique angle for your chosen niche, you can earn money through blogging. However, understand that this isn’t something that will happen overnight.

If blogging is something that interests you, read my full guide on starting a money-making blog.

3. Freelance Web Designer / Graphic Designer

Freelance web designers and graphic designers can be self-taught or learn through classes or certificates. It’s also one of those services that can easily be done in your downtime.

If you’re creative and can learn the latest graphic design program, this is a good job for you.

When starting out, you can gain new clients through gig websites, such as Fiverr, Guru, and Upwork. Etsy is another marketplace you can sell your designs or web templates on.

Offering website starter templates or business graphic logos is a way you can earn a few thousand extra every month.

Related: How to Make Money on Fiverr

4. App Developer

App development is a self-employed job that requires a combination of programming and business capability skill sets. Those with these skills can make a living by developing useful apps. 

App developer salaries of about $100,000 annually at the moment due to their demand. Pretty much everything has an app nowadays so it’s no surprise that the job pays well.

You can either develop apps to sell the completed project or idea or you can offer up your app development services for companies to hire. Fiverr is a good place to start looking for clients.

5. Author

If you have ever considered writing a book, you’ll be happy to know that you no longer have to spend months or even years writing, editing, finding a publisher, and getting it out into the market. 

Thanks to the internet, freelance writing and self-publishing are as easy as they have ever been. You can publish your books with Amazon using the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing initiative.

This initiative enables you to self-publish paperback books and eBooks at no cost to you. Publishing is easy, and it can be done in about 5 minutes, with your books ready to be bought in a day.

With this option, you get full control over your book rights, which can earn you up to 70% in royalties.

Instead of spending several months on a single book, concerned about if and when it will be released and sold, you can spend a lot less time on more books, prepping them for sale just a day after publishing. This makes freelance writing a much better self-employment opportunity compared to traditional publishing.

Related: See All The Ways You Can Earn Money on Amazon

6. Hauling

Hauling can be a great self-employment job if you have a truck. Unfortunately, most people do not have the required vehicle to haul things, such as bulky items, landscaping materials, or even old furniture to rubbish yards. 

However, they would be willing to pay someone to do it for them. Hauling is not limited to taking out things to be discarded; you can also choose to deliver large furniture pieces to a home from a store or assist people when they move homes. 

You should note that your fees would most likely be less than what a professional moving company would charge but hauling as a self-employed job gives you a competitive edge. 

7. Course Creator

Online courses are in demand these days, and you can tell just by doing a quick online search to see the vast amount of courses available. Creating a course is easy; all you have to do is create a course around something you are an expert on. 

There are sites on the internet that help you create courses you can sell. They can even help you market the courses to your target audience.

8. Home Staging

To be a home stager, you actually do not need to have any prior experience. But to succeed, you need to have a keen eye for home décor and design.

A home stager is someone that helps real estate agents and individuals sell their homes by designing and organizing them in a manner that appeals to prospective buyers. 

This might include tidying up, rearranging, repainting, or simply introducing new décor and furniture to ensure the home stands out to prospective buyers. Before becoming a home stager, you should do your due diligence by asking realtors in your vicinity if they require the services of a home stager. 

Doing so gives you an idea of the demand for your services and if there is any competition you should be aware of.

9. Tech or Customer Support

There are various tech and customer support job opportunities that can enable you to work right from the comfort of your home. Additionally, some organizations help you create your own tech support or customer service idea. 

Sign up with any organization as a remote support team to get linked with clients that need tech or customer support. You can often set your own hours so you work when it’s convenient for you.

This arrangement means you don’t have to worry about sourcing clients since that part is taken care of for you. As a result, you will have more time to concentrate on what you are actually great at.

10. Buying and Selling

Creating a self-employed job purchasing items at low prices and reselling them at a margin is something that takes a bit of time to get right. But when you do get it right, it can become quite lucrative.

Many people have been able to sell on eBay and Amazon, which offers the freedom to purchase things without touching their savings. 

Buying and selling isn’t something that requires you to have specialized skills; you simply need to know how to spot great deals. You should also know how to quickly identify things of value that others might miss.

11. Marketing / Business Consultant

If you have experience consulting for businesses, you could consider creating your own freelance consulting firm as a sole proprietor. Businesses will always require help from consultants on a vast array of issues, such as learning how to grow, figuring the best way to link with their target audience, and how to align their finances. 

With this freelance job, you can act as an independent contractor to businesses, creating your own fees depending on the project or service. This can culminate in you making a decent salary as a self-employed worker.

One tip for success is to target a particular aspect where you specialize instead of trying to be a jack of all trades.

12. Event Planner

As an event planner, you can plan just about any event from the comfort of your home, whether these are graduations, proms, birthdays, weddings, and more.

While it is better to have some event planning experience, particularly for a company, you can still get by with no experience at all. You simply need to be creative. 

13. Freelance Photographer

A photographer is one of those self-employed jobs that perfectly suit an individual looking to become a freelancer. You can do this by creating photo sessions for families, animals, field trips, schools, and a lot more. 

Most photographers have a photography niche that they stick to, such as travel, food, maternity, newborn, and photojournalism. However, others simply provide a wide range of photography packages.

A skilled photographer can earn even more money by choosing to sell their stock photos online. In addition, they can earn royalties from this when their photos are sold.

Related: Best Apps to Sell Photos Online

14. Caregiving

When it comes to caregiving, there are various avenues, ranging from daycare and eldercare to pet sitting or dog walking. Turning your home into a home daycare can be a great way to make some money.

And for the most part, quite a number of parents prefer handing their children to small, private daycares instead of large daycare centers.

Additionally, you can run eldercare services, taking care of elders in their houses while still benefitting from a flexible schedule compared to if you worked at a nursing home. Pet sitting and dog walking are also in demand, and you could market your service online on sites such as Rover.

15. Delivery Service 

Delivering items to others can be likened to the gig economy, where you cover a vast area of niches. You could choose to deliver food to customers from restaurants without a delivery system. You could also collect prescriptions for the elderly or sick and deliver them right to their door.

Another niche that you may want to consider as a self-employed worker is grocery delivery. This can be done by creating a business that shops for food items on a customer’s list and delivers it right to their door. 

Once you begin, you can discover ways to combine these services to maximize profits and efficiency. Since this is more of freelance work, you can consider starting with a food delivery service such as UberEATS or Postmates while you create your own client list.

16. Dietician

Individuals with dietician experience or certification can create a dietary service company. This job enables you to target clients with specific dietary needs such as diabetes or allergies.

You can also concentrate on providing services for a particular age group, such as the elderly or toddlers.

17. Accountant or Bookkeeper

If you have prior experience in bookkeeping or accounting, it makes perfect sense to start out on your own. This is one of the most sought out professions, especially since the demand for freelancing has increased.

Many entrepreneurs, particularly first-timers, get their business lines mixed, and they need an accountant to clearly sort out their expenses and income to avoid less work during the tax season.

Being an accountant or bookkeeper is one of the most effective routes for a self-employed person to target business owners and other self-employed professionals.

18. Gig Services

Offering gig services is a relatively new way for self-employed individuals to find amazing job opportunities. This industry provides the most flexible jobs available.

This is a perfect role for those that have a vast array of skills. You can get paid for doing something different every day and working on your own time. 

Several websites and apps help connect gig workers to clients that require their services. This can be quite helpful for a gig worker to locate clients both in and outside their vicinity.

One website you can use to find gigs is TaskRabbit. This site helps gig workers get paid securely and quickly right from the app.

19. eCommerce

While eCommerce businesses are never the easiest business ideas to start, the internet has made the entire process a lot simpler by helping you ship your products and outsource customer service. 

Fulfillment by Amazon is one such service. It lets you send your products directly to its many warehouses.

The products are safely stored and shipped only when an order comes in. In case of returns or any other customer service process, Amazon handles all of that.

20. Life Coach

If you love to motivate people to improve their personal and business lives, then life coaching may be for you. To be successful, having previous coaching experience or interest in psychology is helpful.

For gaining clients, it’ll be easier if you’ve had a large change in your life as well. That will prove that your methods work and act as social proof until you start gaining client testimonials of your own.

It is important to have a passion for this role, or else you could end up being an ineffective life coach. You can offer either individual or group coaching sessions and many life coaches sell session packages.

21. Career Coach

If you are a professional career coach, you can consider taking things up a notch by providing your coaching services to other professionals in your industry.

Career coaching should be seen as a natural progression from simply doing what you love to coaching others to becoming great in their chosen field. All of this can be done right from your home office.

You can leverage social media platforms and a website to market your services. This can be a great way to get your business started. Having a success story yourself is a great hook so clients can see potential end results.

22. Freelance Writer

If you love writing, this is a great job for you. Freelance writers can write on a variety of topics or specialize in a certain niche.

Depending on your interests, you may want to specialize in writing blog posts, emails, how-to articles, or listicles. Resume writing is another highly paid freelance specialty.

Before people will hire you, they’ll likely want to see some writing samples. If you can, write guest articles for major publications that will give you an author byline.

Guest posts will not be paid but it will help you build credibility and let potential clients see your writing voice. Freelance marketplaces like Fiverr can help you find clients.

23. Crafter

If you are creative and crafty, you can spend your days having fun and making a living from your hobby. Your crafts can be sold online on sites such as Etsy or at flea markets while creating at home.

Craft and DIY bloggers have been able to carve out a nice niche for themselves, especially on visual search sites such as Pinterest. That’s a great way to get eyes on your products and direct them to your Etsy store.

24. Home Cleaning

Busy professionals who work outside the home will pay others to thoroughly clean their homes rather than doing it themselves. You can offer services such as spot treatments or deep cleaning using a per-project rate or a more comfortable hourly rate. 

You can also choose to go into commercial cleaning where you clean business offices. Businesses typically want cleaning staff outside of normal business hours while personal homes are usually cleaned mid-day.

There are many ways you can find potential clients that want their homes cleaned. For example, sites like Care.com can match you with people that need their homes cleaned within your locality.

25. Beauty Consultant / Hairstylist

If you are a self-employed beauty consultant, you could actually make a lot of money compared to working for someone else in a salon. As a self-employed hairstylist, you can have clients visit you at home or even go to their homes to style them. 

Another option is the beauty consultant role, where you advise clients and refer places and products you trust to them.

The great thing about this is that you can consult over the internet, making it a great route, especially when you are just starting out and don’t have a lot of money to transform a part of your home into a place worthy of doing business.

Overview

Being self-employed can give you the freedom to work the hours you want and be your own boss. It does come with stressors since you’ll have to run business taxes and figure out health insurance.

Since you’re the boss, you have to be actively promoting yourself and finding clients. Even with the downsides, the upsides are vast since your income potential isn’t capped by a salary.

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Steffa Mantilla

Certified Financial Education Instructor

Steffa is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and the founder behind Money Tamer. Her 12-year background in operant conditioning and positive behavioral change training is used to help people find effective motivators to change their harmful money behaviors. Steffa explains the reasons “why” behind people’s financial behaviors and how to successfully change them. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. You can learn more about her here.

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