We know we are in the time of the freelancer and the gig economy, but how much do you actually make when you are essentially working from job to job? Or perhaps the better question is how much should you be charging for your work? “We hear from freelancers all the time who don’t have access to real market data to help them determine what they should be charging, and as a result, end up underpaid for their expertise,” said Mike McDerment, the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks. FreshBooks put together a 2018 Earnings Index for freelancers that revealed the median hourly rates for creative self-employed professionals, therefore, providing us with the highest (and lowest) paying freelance jobs.
Here are the top paying jobs:
- INTERIOR DESIGNER/DECORATOR ($75)
- MARKETER ($75)
- WEB DESIGNER ($65)
- GRAPHIC DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR ($61)
- PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER ($55)
- WRITER/EDITOR ($55)
Interestingly, some of these jobs when they are freelance are so much higher paying than if you work in these roles full-time for one company. Here are the Lowest Earning Salaried Jobs based on the average U.S. salary per hour.
- GRAPHIC DESIGNER/EDITOR ($20)
- PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER ($22)
- INTERIOR DESIGNER/DECORATOR ($22)
- WEB DESIGNER ($23)
- WRITER/EDITOR ($27)
- MARKETER ($30)
The index found that Self-employed creative professionals across fields charge a median rate of $60/hr. Compared to their salaried peers, self-employed creatives bring in more money annually across fields.
In the somewhat surprising news, despite the high cost of living, high concentrations of self-employed creatives choose to live in major U.S. cities like New York even though it is super expensive but these places tend to have the most job opportunities. The study found that opportunities outweigh high rent prices in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago and New York as these are the top cities for freelancers. And more amazingly, creatives in NY have the most disposable income, earning $75,600/year and paying $43,500 in cost-of-living, followed by Austin ($54,000 annual income, $29,900 in cost-of-living), then Seattle ($56,800 annual income, #32,100 in cost-of-living.