Get to the office, punch in, count down the hours, punch out? I don’t do any of that, and neither do 18 percent of all workers around the globe. We choose to work from home instead of pursuing traditional careers thanks to the best freelance jobs available.
There’s no reason why you can’t work this way too. It’s not easy, of course. Tax complications and running a solo business can hobble you. But it has its perks! You are your own boss, you work your own hours, and you live every day doing what you love.
Here are the top freelance jobs out there right now, plus relevant search tools and sites to help you find those jobs. Good luck!
1. Web or Mobile Developer
But as lucrative as programming can be, keep one thing in mind: working with non-programmers on programming-centric projects (like web and mobile apps) is often frustrating. Be ready to pull out your hair as you bounce from one unreasonable client to the next.
Where to find freelance web or mobile developer jobs:
Want to work for a startup? Then Product Hunt and AngelList have the two best job boards to check out. White Truffle is an option if you want to get anonymously matched with best-fit tech companies. WordPress Jobs is good for WordPress developer positions. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with general programmer-centric job boards like GitHub Jobs and StackOverflow Jobs.
Transcription is easy to do but hard to do well. You’ll go crazy if you don’t use a transcription pedal and dedicated transcription software. But with such equipment, and with fast typing skills, it’s one of the best freelance computer jobs.
A pedal allows you to control audio playback—play, pause, rewind, fast forward—using your foot so your hands can stay on the keyboard. The best value option for new transcriptionists is the Infinity USB Foot Pedal. For software, we recommend the industry-leading Express Scribe Pro.
General transcription can earn a modest rate, but medical and legal transcription can demand much more. If you have any background in the medical or legal fields, you may want to focus there and leverage your experience for better rates.
Where to find freelance transcriptionist jobs:
TranscribeMe requires that you pass a test, then sends you work as it becomes available, starting at $20 per audio hour. Quicktate and iDictate are sister sites that both offer freelance transcription jobs that are paid by the word. You can also check out transcription postings on FlexJobs.
These days, freelance photography is the most effective way to make money from photography. Most lucrative photography businesses can be run solo or with a partner, including wedding, product, and real estate photography.
But professional photography is hard. Really hard. Particularly because you’ll likely run into unforeseen legal issues for photographers. Then again, if you’re skilled at snapping shots and marketing yourself, you can earn a six-figure income working part-time hours.
Where to find freelance photographer jobs:
For photojournalism, check out Journalism Jobs. Otherwise, you should visit The Creative Loft for the best freelancer jobs in photography. You could also visit local restaurants and real estate agencies and ask if they’re interested in improving their businesses with better photos.
Another option is to sell your own stock photos online.
4. Writer or Editor
Writing has long been one of the best self-employment opportunities. All you need is a computer and a working internet connection to get started. Beyond that, developing your expertise comes through practice and feedback.
Anyone can become a freelance writer/editor. However, you may need to slog through many unsavory gigs at the beginning while you hone your skills, build your portfolio, establish new contacts, and prove yourself a strong writer/editor.
Where to find freelance writer and editor jobs:
Freelance Writing Jobs is the first place you should look because it has all kinds of writing positions: reporting, copywriting, blogging, ghostwriting, technical writing, etc. BloggingPro and FlexJobs are both solid for finding freelance jobs online, and if you’re good at networking, you could find success using LinkedIn Jobs.
5. Web or Graphic Designer
Logo, website themes, infographics, posters, brochures, pamphlets, email newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, UX design… the possibilities are endless if you want to be a freelance graphic designer.
But freelance design can be stressful because you’re always churning through clients, more quickly than in other kinds of freelance work. However, if you really impress your clients, they may be open to keeping you on retainer for all their design work!
Where to find freelance web and graphic designer jobs:
Behance Jobs can be a good starting point for graphic design, illustration, web design, and UX design. Other starting points include Fiverr and 99designs, but you’ll need to put in effort to find the jobs worth doing. If you aren’t careful, you could find yourself severely underpaid for your work.
6. Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant is more than just a remote secretary—the scope of your tasks will depend on the needs of the client. And if you get a good client, this can be one of the best freelance jobs from home.
Basic administrative tasks could include taking phone calls and maintaining schedules. More advanced tasks may involve managing a website, coordinating in-depth research, creating PDFs from source material, etc.
The details of a particular virtual assistant gig will be (or at least should be) mentioned in each job posting.
Where to find virtual assistant jobs:
FancyHands is a virtual assistant service where you get paid per task you complete. You can define your own hours, and there’s a career advancement path for those who want to do more than just per-task jobs. ZipRecruiter and FlexJobs can provide good leads for virtual assistant positions as well.
7. Voice Actor
The voice acting industry is competitive: it’s hard to stand out and you need both skills and equipment to produce the quality of work that clients will love. Unless you’ve been blessed with a magical voice, you’ll probably need voice coaching as well.
But if you think you can cut it, and if you’re serious about becoming a top talent, you can make a comfortable living as a freelance voice actor. Types of voice acting include commercials, audiobook narration, public announcements, training videos, promotional materials, and even entertainment media like animation and video games.
Where to find freelance voice actor jobs:
There are three reputable sites for serious voice actors: Voices, Voice123, and VoiceBunny. They’re all free to use, but Voices and Voice123 provide even better results if you sign up for their premium account plans.