Though the economy has shed millions of jobs during the pandemic, the one silver lining is that freelancing is on the rise. Recent data shows that 36% of workers report freelancing full-time in 2020, up 8% (or 2 million people) over 2019. And, the income of freelancers has also increased to a total of $1.2 trillion in 2020 (a 22% increase from 2019).
Whether freelancing becomes part of the new normal of work remains to be seen. However, if you’re on the hunt for a new freelance role, FlexJobs can help. We’ve identified the top career categories with the most freelance job listings in our database between March 1, 2020 and October 31, 2020.
FlexJobs is a subscription service for job seekers that features flexible and remote jobs. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the monthly subscription costs allow us to fully vet and verify all of the jobs on our site—ensuring that customers have a safe and positive job searching experience.
Hot Categories for Freelance Jobs in 2021
Computer and IT jobs can include everything from computer repair to designing internet security systems. Jobs in this field include programming and design roles, along with quality assurance and technical support roles.
Careers in accounting and finance involve processing financial data, organizing records, and preparing tax returns. These professionals also help clients with accounting records, accounts payable, and accounts receivable.
Administrative assistants oversee in-person and virtual offices, process and prepare communications, manage projects, support executives, and assist clients. They may work in the financial, marketing, social media, or business fields.
Project managers coordinate all aspects of a project to ensure it’s completed on time and on budget. They may develop the budgets and schedules for the project, schedule and coordinate all project-relevant meetings, and help all workers hit their project milestones.
Customer service representatives provide information or technical support to customers so they can get answers and solve their problems. Customer service representatives often communicate with clients through a variety of mediums, including phone, email, and chat programs.
In the writing and editing fields, employees may develop original content, update older content, and proofread and make changes to content before publication. Writers and editors may work for online or print publications in a variety of industries.
Educators and trainers help people learn and master new concepts. Using classroom or virtual presentations, instructors help people understand the material. Educators and trainers plan, develop, and assign lessons as well as evaluate student knowledge through testing and other means.
Careers in marketing are found in almost every industry. Marketing professionals help clients and customers identify their needs, then match those needs to the products and services the marketer sells.
In the human resources and recruiting fields, recruiters help match people with the right job at the right company. They may actively seek out candidates for open roles or review resumes to match applicants for open positions at a company.
Bookkeepers work in a variety of industries, helping businesses keep track of their finances. They help maintain the general ledger by recording all transactions and may produce financial statements and reports to guide financial decision making.
Therapists work in both the mental health and physical health fields to help clients treat their conditions. They provide treatment plans and rehabilitation to clients using a variety of approaches and techniques.
12. Graphic Design
Graphic designers create visual products for their clients. These products help communicate the overall brand message using visual elements to create an emotional connection between the products and the consumer.
13. Data Entry
Workers in the data entry profession help ensure the smooth and efficient processing of large amounts of data. They may enter numbers, names, or other information into large spreadsheets or data processing programs.
Mortgage and real estate professionals help people buy, sell, or rent properties. They guide consumers through the entire real estate and mortgage process, advising them on the best choices for the transaction.
The 2020 annual FlexJobs survey included 1,200 freelancers. When asked in September how they feel about their employment prospects over the next six months, 58% reported feeling optimistic, compared to only 20% who were feeling pessimistic.
The same survey also found that nearly half (49%) of freelancers report earning the same, nearly the same, or even more than their regular income during the pandemic. At the same time, only 3% of freelancers say the pandemic has decreased their productivity while they work at home.
Freelancers also discussed why they choose freelance work. Specifically, many of them enjoy the flexibility that freelancing affords them, including:
- Work-life balance (89%)
- Lack of commute stress (50%)
- Saving time (45%)
Interestingly, 65% of freelancers surveyed say they enjoy their work, which is a higher rate than the general working population (55%). Freelancers are also more likely to have advanced degrees compared to the overall working population (36% vs. 29%).
When asked what freelancers miss most about the office, a majority (73%) reported missing social interactions with colleagues. However, 32% reported they don’t miss a thing about working in an office!
The Freedom of Freelancing
Though freelancing isn’t the right long-term path for everyone, it can be an excellent way to earn an income during economic uncertainty or extended unemployment. And, as you can see, there are plenty of freelance jobs for professionals in various career fields, expanding your job search options and improving your prospects of finding the right role for you.
FlexJobs members have full access to our jobs database every day. Take the tour and learn more about how FlexJobs can help you connect to remote and flexible freelance opportunities that are right for you!
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