How to be your own boss and make some serious money


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When life gets expensive (which is often), it can make sense to take on a side-job to earn extra money. If you have skills you can put to work on a part-time basis (like writing, landscaping, or driving), you can generate enough income to help pay down debt, build up emergency savings, or to get some breathing room in your budget.

What are the best self-employed jobs? Keep reading to find out.

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What Are Self-Employed Jobs?

Being self-employed means working for yourself. For tax purposes, you may be considered a sole proprietor or an independent contractor. You can be self-employed on a full-time basis or part-time on the side.

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Reasons for Getting a Self-Employed Job

These are some great reasons to get a self-employed job:

•   Earn extra money

•   Gain experience and improve skills

•   Expand your professional network

•   Make your own schedule around other responsibilities

Image Credit: fizkes/ istockphoto .

Pros and Cons Of Getting a Self-Employed Job

Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages associated with self-employed jobs and side hustles, including:


•   Flexible hours

•   Choose your work environment (home, cafe, office)

•   Great learning opportunities

•   Chance to pursue a passion


•   Less collaboration

•   Starting a business can require long hours

•   Fluctuating earnings (having a budgeting app can help here)

•   A lot of responsibility

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What To Expect From Self-Employed Jobs

It can be hard to know what to expect from self-employed jobs since they don’t come with a job description or HR department. Some jobs can be done on a work-from-home basis, whereas others require showing up in-person.

Self-employed workers know to “expect the unexpected”: Don’t assume that your workday or client roster will be consistent or predictable, as it is with a full-time job. It’s normal for there to be speed bumps along the way to a more steady routine.

Image Credit: Prostock-Studio/ istockphoto .

Self-Employed Job Tips

Now let’s look at some tips for making self-employment easier.

•   Focus on a passion. Having a second job or working as an entrepreneur is hard. But if you choose a field or mission you’re passionate about, it can be easier to stay motivated and on track.

•   Develop industry expertise. To really stand out and impress clients, it’s important to have a deep knowledge of the industry and skills required to do the job well.

•   Learn from mistakes. Mistakes happen, but they aren’t a reason to give up. Try to learn from mistakes and improve.

What are the best self-employed jobs? Let’s take a look at 16 options, considering how much they pay and the skills they require. All of these jobs can be done on a part-time basis to generate supplemental income. They also have the potential to turn into full-time opportunities.

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1. Writer

National average pay: $24.11 per hour

Job growth outlook: 4%

Job description: Write articles, books, scripts, advertising copy, and other materials.

Requirements: Strong understanding of grammar, communication skills, professional or academic writing experience.


•   Write short-form or long-form copy

•   Edit written copy

•   Craft headlines and campaign slogans

Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

2. Business Consultant

National average pay: $44.71 per hour

Job growth outlook: 11%

Job description: Consult businesses on how they can improve their performance.

Requirements: Business experience and good communication skills.


•   Help a business perform better in chosen area(s) of focus

•   Measure and report business performance

•   Create strategy and present that strategy to key stakeholders

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3. Videographer

National average pay: $31.82 per hour

Job growth outlook: 12%

Job description: Capture video content and edit it for clients.

Requirements: Video and editing skills.


•   Shoot and direct video content

•   Edit video content using professional software

•   Plan video shoots

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4. Social Media Specialist

National average pay: $13.92 per hour

Job growth outlook: 10%

Job description: Plan social media marketing strategy, create and post social content, and engage with audience.

Requirements: Marketing analytics and social media marketing knowledge, including paid social media.


•   Plan social media campaigns: organic and paid

•   Create written and visual content

•   Interpret metrics to understand strengths and weaknesses

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5. Makeup Artist

National average pay: $20.32 per hour

Job growth outlook: 11%

Job description: Apply makeup on models, individuals for special events, or actors for movies and red carpet events.

Requirements: License in cosmetology and strong cosmetic skills.


•   Apply makeup to professional or individuals

•   Consult on beauty looks before big events

•   Design and apply special effects makeup for the film industry

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6. Graphic designer

National average pay: $18.23 per hour

Job growth outlook: 3%

Job description: Design graphics such as logos and advertisements using digital tools.

Requirements: Understand design and color theory and be adept at digital design programs


•   Use software to create visuals for digital or printed materials

•   Edit photographs

•   Create company branding

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7. Career Coach

National average pay: $14.70 per hour

Job growth outlook: 10%

Job description: Help clients set professional goals and guide them as they work toward them. Coaching can be a rewarding way to make money from home.

Requirements: Strong understanding of job market and active listening skills.


•   Help clients complete job applications effectively

•   Assist with cover letter and resume writing

•   Practice interview scenarios

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8. Software Developer

National average pay: $52.41 per hour

Job growth outlook: 25%

Job description: Developers write computer code in order to create applications, websites, and other digital products or to update existing ones. Coding is considered the quintessential job for introverts.

Requirements: Knowledge of coding languages.


•   Write computer code

•   Design and install programs and applications

•   Create or update websites

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9. Event Planner

National average pay: $23.79 per hour

Job growth outlook: 18%

Job description: Plan corporate events, weddings, and parties.

Requirements: Plan and execute events, from compiling guest lists and booking the venue to selecting a caterer and choosing decor.


•   Plan events from start to finish, from concept to tiny details

•   Run and manage the event day-of

•   Connect clients with vendors

Image Credit: AndreyPopov / istockphoto.

10. Hairstylist

National average pay: $10.01 per hour

Job growth outlook: 11%

Job description: Cut, color, and style hair for clients, as well as providing other beauty services.

Requirements: Cosmetology license (most states)


•   Cut and color hair

•   Style hair

•   Educate clients on hair care and products

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11. Photographer

National average pay: $14.45 per hour

Job growth outlook: 9%

Job description: Take photographs of places, objects, and people for business clients or individuals who want a special moment or event recorded.

Requirements: Digital photography and photo editing.


•   Plan photoshoots

•   Take digital photographs

•   Edit photos in post-production

Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

12. Transcriptionist

National average pay: $13.71 per hour

Job growth outlook: 1%

Job description: Listen to recorded or live speech and transcribe it into text. (Transcribing is a good job for antisocial people.)

Requirements: Active listening, typing, and spelling and grammar skills.


•   Accurately transcribe audio into text

•   Edit transcripts for proper spelling and grammar

•   Work for businesses or transcription services

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13. Driver

National average pay: $14.43 per hour

Job growth outlook: 12%

Job description: Pick up and drive passengers to desired locations safely.

Requirements: Valid driver’s license and good driving record. If driving for a company, you may have to pass a driver’s test and own a car.


•   Pick up passengers at desired location

•   Drive passengers to their location safely

•   Provide ride-share services or private driving services

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14. Landscaper

National average pay: $12.84 per hour

Job growth outlook: 5%

Job description: Plan and plant landscaping and maintain existing plantings to ensure garden health and aesthetic appeal.

Requirements: Knowledge of landscaping best practices.


•   Plant grass, flowers, trees, and shrubs

•   Maintain health of plants

•   Mow grass, trim and prune plants, and water landscaping

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15. Nanny

National average pay: $13.03 per hour

Job growth outlook: 6%

Job description: Take care of children: Cook for, clean up after, play, with and transport them to and from school and social activities.

Requirements: Childcare experience; some parents prefer safety certifications such as CPR.


•   Keep children safe, clean, and fed

•   Play with children and help them with their homework

•   Assist with household chores

Recommended: Should I Sell My House Now or Wait?

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16. Personal Trainer

National average pay: $20.24

Job growth outlook: 19%

Job description: Help clients master workout routines and make physical health progress. While this used to be an in-person job exclusively, many trainers now work from home, coaching and leading classes via web-cam.

Requirements: Education in kinesiology or exercise science.


•   Create custom workout routines for clients

•   Help clients set fitness goals

•   Instruct clients on how to properly perform exercises and monitor their physical progress

Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

The Takeaway

The best self-employed job for you depends on your skills and passions. There are many self-employed job opportunities across various industries that can help you earn extra money. Benefits include flexible hours and schedules, your choice of workplace, and the opportunity to expand your knowledge and skills. Disadvantages include fluctuating income, unpredictable workdays, and total responsibility.


How can I make $1,000 a month passively?

Passive income takes work to set up, but it can be rewarding once the initial labor is done. Investing is a good example of passive income. It takes time and money to build a strong investment portfolio, but once you do, you can earn money passively each month with little effort.

What self-employed jobs make a lot of money?

Personal trainer, event planner, software developer, business consultant, videographer, and makeup artist are some of the best paying self-employed jobs. But many different types of jobs can generate good income once you have some experience.

Which career is best for self-employed?

As they say, one person’s heaven is another’s hell. And so it is with self-employed jobs. Think carefully about what you’re good at, your industry knowledge and experience, and the type of role you’re passionate about in order to find the right self-employed job for you.

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