Six Figure Freelancers: The Future of Work

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(Credit to MSNBC for this post.)

While some states look at freelancers as an oppressed class of workers, the truth is much more complex – and interesting. Nearly 60 million Americans freelanced in 2019, either full-time or part-time, representing more than a third of the American workforce, according to a separate study by Upwork and Freelancers Union. Skilled services were the most common type of freelance work, meaning that thousands of highly-skilled professionals are choosing freedom over security. And they’re making a darn good living at it.

A study by MBO partners found that more than half of full-time independent workers say that they feel more financially secure in their current roles than in traditional jobs. That report found that there are more than 15 million full-time freelancers, with 20 percent earning more than $100,000 per year.

Here’s a look at the highest-paying freelance jobs that should be in great demand in 2020, according to Upwork. The annual income is based on a 40-hour workweek, 50 weeks a year. (By the way, that’s six figures with 12 weeks off a year.)

Job category: Corporate law

Sample career: Intellectual property attorney; corporate legal counsel
Hourly rate: $85
Potential annual income: $170,000*

Job category: Contract law

Sample career: Contract drafter; litigator; general counsel
Hourly rate: $75
Annual rate: $150,000

Job category: Financial planner

Sample career: Financial modeling expert; CPA; financial estate-planning attorney
Hourly rate: $62.50
Annual rate: $125,000

Job category: Management consulting

Sample career: Business consultant
Hourly rate: $60
Annual rate: $120,000

Job category: ERP/CRM software

Sample career: Solution architect; consultant; developer
Hourly rate: $60
Annual rate: $120,000

Job category: Network & system administration

Sample career: Network architect; IT
Hourly rate: $60
Annual rate: $120,000

Job category: Data visualization

Sample career: Developer; programmer; data visualization analyst; survey and research design consultant
Hourly rate: $50
Annual rate: 
$100,000

Job category: Machine learning

Sample career: Deep learning analytics consultant; predictive analytics consultant
Hourly rate: $50
Annual rate: 
$100,000

Job category: Quantitative analysis

Sample career: Professor of economics; statistical analyst
Hourly rate: $50
Annual rate: 
$100,000

Job category: Presentations

Sample career: Presentation designer and writer
Hourly rate: $50
Annual rate: 
$100,000

Job category: Database administration

Sample career: Data engineer; systems engineer
Hourly rate: $50
Annual rate: 
$100,000

Job category: Display advertising

Sample career: Graphic designer; internet marketer
Hourly rate: $50
Annual rate: 
$100,000

Job category: E-mail and marketing automation

Sample career: Marketing expert; developer; senior marketing strategist; consultant
Hourly rate: $50
Annual rate: 
$100,00

Job category: Marketing strategy

Sample career: Digital marketing consultant; copywriter; B2B marketing specialist
Hourly rate: $50
Annual rate: 
$100,000

Job category: SEM — Search engine marketing

Sample career: Google Adword Expert
Hourly rate: $50
Annual rate: 
$100,000

Job category: Desktop software development

Sample career: Full-stack senior web developer; customer software developer
Hourly rate: $50
Annual rate: 
$100,000

Job category: e-commerce development

Sample career: Developer; online marketing and e-commerce solutions expert; e-commerce integration and automation consulting
Hourly rate: $50
Annual rate: 
$100,000

Job category: Mobile development

Sample career: iOS developer; Android Developer; mobile app developer
Hourly rate: $50
Annual rate: 
$100,000

Job category: Scripts & Utilities

Sample career: Google Sheets Experts; Apps Scripts expert; Excel automation specialist
Hourly rate: $49
Annual rate: 
$98,000

Job category: Physical design

Sample career: Industrial design engineer; product developer; global visual merchandising manager
Hourly rate: $45
Annual rate: 
$90,000

Job category: Mechanical engineering

Sample career: Mechanical engineer; structural engineer and designer
Hourly rate: $45
Annual rate: 
$90,000

Job category: Product design

Sample career: User-experience consultant; product designer
Hourly rate: $45
Annual rate: 
$90,000

Job category: Web and mobile design

Sample career: Web and mobile app development; user-experience designer
Hourly rate: $45
Annual rate: 
$90,000

Job category: Web development

Sample career: Full-stack web development; business systems expert; user-experience designer; front-end developer
Hourly rate: $45
Annual rate: 
$90,000

Job category: Resumes & cover letters

Sample career: Professional development writer; career coach; cover letter and LinkedIn support
Hourly rate: $45
Annual rate: 
$90,000

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