The Top 10 Career Fields for Freelance Jobs and Gigs


Freelancing is one of those career moves we often hear about people making, but many of us aren’t quite sure what it means or whether freelancing is a good option for us, too.

In this article, we tackle one aspect of the freelance world — which career fields are the most compatible with freelance work — by examining the top career fields for freelance and gig jobs.

As reported on Fast Company, researchers at analyzed job posting data over a period of four months to determine which career fields had the most freelance jobs posted during that timeframe.

Top 10 Fields for Freelance Jobs

Out of thousands of job listings, and from over 50 career fields, it was determined that these were the 10 career fields with the most freelance opportunities:

  1. Computer and IT
  2. Administrative
  3. Accounting and finance
  4. Customer service
  5. Software development
  6. Medical and health
  7. Project management
  8. Research
  9. Writing
  10. Education and training

Common Freelance Jobs in the Top 10 Fields

In looking at the top 10, some fields are well-known for their acceptance of freelance workers (computer and IT, software development, project management), but other fields are more surprising (education and training, medical and health, customer service). In each of these fields, a variety of freelance jobs are available.

  • When it comes to computer and software-related freelance jobs, titles like developer, engineer, desktop support, systems analyst, and quality assurance tester are commonly listed as freelance jobs.
  • In the administrative and customer service fields, freelance jobs like customer service representative, administrative assistant, human resources coordinator, accounts clerk, support specialist, and paralegal are listed regularly.
  • Accounting and finance, as you might guess is a career field with a fair amount of accountant, financial analyst, financial specialist, and regulatory analyst freelance job listings.
  • And project management freelance jobs (almost all with the titles of project manager or project coordinator) are found at companies large and small, in a variety of industries.
  • If you have a way with words, freelance writers are hired to craft content like how-to guides, technical manuals and documents, expert tips and advice, news, classroom curricula, social media messages, and other types of copy for print and digital media.
  • Education/training, medical/health, and research are three fields that aren’t as well-known for their freelance opportunities. In education, common freelance jobs include teacher, assessment consultant, instructor, lesson writer, and instructional designer.
  • Freelance medical and research jobs are found with titles like research assistant, scientist, medical manager, clinical research associate, quality risk manager, and case manager.

When you are looking for opportunities, use these job titles for your searches. Also use these job titles, as appropriate, in your LinkedIn Profile (like your LinkedIn Professional Headline).

How to Land a Freelance Job

Whether you’re interested in freelancing on the side, or starting a full-fledged career in contract work, here are some specific tips to get started. And you’ll find even more tips for discovering high-quality freelance job listings here.

1. First, assess your skills, experiences, and expertise areas.

Most employers want to hire freelancers because they can hit the ground running and get up to speed quickly.

Depending on your career background, you may be qualified for several different kinds of freelance roles, so do a self-audit to determine where your strengths and expertise lie.

2. Next, start looking at freelance job listings to learn how to market yourself.

Pay attention to what the employers need, and how they describe the qualifications they’re seeking. Then, make sure your professional presence conveys all of the qualifications you meet.

On your LinkedIn profile, resume, online portfolio or simple website — basically everywhere that an employer might research you, tell the same story about your skills and qualifications.

3. Start Applying!

As seasoned freelancers will tell you, you can’t be hired for freelance work without putting yourself out there.

While some people have clients who come directly to them for work, the vast majority are pitching themselves and applying to freelance jobs on a regular basis — at least initially.

Every freelancer gets rejected, and most experience rejection regularly enough to become fairly used to it, which is a good thing. The more you put yourself out there as a qualified freelance professional, the more jobs you’ll land.

The Bottom Line on Freelance Jobs and Gigs

Knowing the most common career fields for freelance jobs can be helpful in pinpointing your search for freelance jobs. But don’t let yourself be trapped into these 10 fields alone. The top 10 were determined from over 55 career fields, and all of them offered some level of freelance work. That means if your path doesn’t clearly lie in one of these 10, you still have a lot of opportunity in which to find your freelance success.

More About Contracting and Freelancing:

Brie Weiler ReynoldsAbout the author…

Brie Weiler Reynolds is the Senior Career Specialist and Career Coach at FlexJobs is the award-winning site for telecommuting and flexible jobs, listing thousands of pre-screened, legitimate, and professional-level work-from-home, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs. Brie and her colleagues provide career coaching and resume reviews through the FlexJobs Career Coaching program. Find Brie on LinkedIn and follow @briewreynolds on Twitter.
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