Top 21 Independent Contractor Jobs

It’s 2020. This is the year that has been listening to virtually everyone in the world talk about how certain scenarios would be otherwise impossible. “There’s no way a COVID virus could take down the world economy.” “Chinese murder hornets will never be a threat to us.” “Kobe Bryant will live forever (rest in peace).”

The year 2020 has been listening to all of these statements and finally had enough and told us all “hold my beer.” It’s truly been an unpredictable year. My question to you is, why not make it more unpredictable?

Look through a list of independent contractor jobs and start your own business.

List Of Independent Contractor Jobs

I assume you have made your way to this article searching your soul for an answer of how to make some extra cash. Maybe you are just looking to work at home. Maybe you decided to rage-quit your last job and figure you need to start a new job or career.

Regardless of where you are coming from it’s never too late to look toward the freelance way of life. I am here to give a brief overview of a variety of different independent contractor jobs that you can easily pick up on the side or even full time and make that transition to working for yourself. Let’s face it, you owe this much to yourself.

I want to preface the article by stating that in no way are these job types ranked in any particular order. The job descriptions are based mostly on ease of entry/education required and earnings potential. So, let’s get started!

Photographer

Do you like working just a couple of hours a day? Do you like getting paid a ton for working those couple of hours? Well photography might be the thing for you. If you have a keen eye and have some capital ready for an initial investment in equipment this might be a good freelance gig to get into. With a variety of different types of photography, you can find a decent niche market that can pay handsomely.

Earnings Potential

  • Wedding photography - $500+ per wedding.
  • Portrait photography - $60+ per portrait.
  • Pet photographer  - $250+ per session (No, I’m not pulling your leg).

If you can acquire a decent client base and have a couple of grand to throw into equipment and training you can get this side hustle up and running rather quickly.

Website Designer

You wouldn’t believe how many people out there are looking to upgrade their business’ online presence with a freelance designer. If you are a young buck with some technological skills you can help out the old-time business folk figure out how to get their daggum business to show up beautifully on the internet machine. Here’s a reasonable amount you can expect to earn:

Earnings Potential

  • Between $25-$75 per hour for initial setup depending on your finished product.
  • Between $30-$60 per hour for ongoing website maintenance.

Another great thing about this is that startup costs are low and you can find training courses for free on the internet, and very in-depth training courses can be found for relatively low fees.

Virtual Assistant

A synonym for this should be “jack of all trades”. Do you know a decent amount about a lot regarding general and administrative tasks? Could you be a customer service representative? How about a sales representative? Are you more interesting than watching paint dry? A lot of people are looking for talented individuals with a personality to help them stay organized.

Earnings Potential

  • Depending on experience jobs can be acquired ranging from $25/hour to $100/hour.

There are a wide selection of training videos you can find on Youtube that teach you what you will need to know to become a virtual assistant and how to get started fast! It is a great opportunity to work from home too.

Bookkeeper

If you are looking for a side gig that is recurring and can pay a decent amount then this might be for you! This does require a little bit of accounting knowledge prior to getting started so you may have to hit the books before you hit the ground running.

Earnings Potential

  • You could earn $15/hour or more and work for one or two clients many hours in one week.
  • You can specialize in finding clients that need monthly bookkeeping/financial statements and can bill hundreds of dollars for a few hours of work each month.

If your life is already monotonous and boring you might as well get paid for it by including bookkeeping services in your freelance repertoire.

Delivery Jobs

Yes I know, a delivery driver doesn’t sound like the most glamorous job. But you want to make money, right?

This isn’t rocket science either. You have a car? Good. Can you clear a background check? Good. Do you have a valid driver’s license? Good. Can you lift a box and walk with it? Good. You’re hired.

Earnings Potential

  • It varies across companies but you could find a gig that can pay upwards of $20/hour depending on your geographical location.
  • Truck drivers or trucking sub-contractors can earn six-figures

Don't forget to track miles for taxes. Seeing as how more and more things are being purchased online, this probably won’t be going anywhere. Companies are always looking to hire home delivery, box truck or independent contractor drivers.  Not to mention being an Uber Eats or Postmates driver.

So get a decent playlist created and start delivering!

Landscaping

Sweat, blood, and tears = money. Yes, this is one of those jobs that you can make good money because you are doing what homeowners absolutely don’t want to do. So if you have a decent set of tools, some sunscreen, and a back that can bend then hit the streets and start landscaping!

Earnings Potential

  • National average for weed removal in a yard is $500.
  • Lawn care cost is $35/ month on average (depending on lawn size too).
  • Other services requiring more time can result in higher billings.

This is a great job for an occasional Saturday for the average Joe/Jill that doesn’t mind gloving up and getting the hands dirty!

Online Writer

Can you form sentences? Do those sentences sometimes sound interesting? Do you have a computer that has spell check? Then great, why not become an online writer? Ditch your three hours a day of Facebook and Gram time and write some articles. There’s a wide variety of writing work out there and if you have an opinion about something in the world there is most likely someone who will pay you to write it down!

Earnings Potential

  • Writing is often paid on a per word basis. More experience = higher pay per word.
  • Articles can range from 500 words to 50,000 words, there’s no limit!
  • The more quality articles you can crank out, the better!

Trade in scrolling for typing and start earning money with your screen time!

House Cleaner

There’s a reason Mike Rowe had a show all those years back. It’s because dirty jobs pay well. If you don’t mind slipping on some gloves and smelling like bleach every now and then you should start cleaning some houses. Some people will pay astronomical prices so that they don’t have to mop floors or scrub their own toilets.

Earnings Potential

  • National average for a one-time house clean is $220 for 2,000 square feet.
  • Depending on how fast you get it done it can be $20-$50 per hour.

Swallow your pride and definitely don’t swallow any of that bleach you’re using and go make some money!

Dog-Walker

Let’s face it, people like dogs more than other people now. And you can literally walk them for a living. You can find apps that specialize in providing dog walkers for pet owners. This is a great thing if you have some time during the day that is wasted and you live in a crowded metropolitan area!

Earnings Potential

  • While prices may vary, some walkers can earn up to $20-$30 per walking session, some can last only half an hour!

Put on your Lululemon pants and that Apple watch and get your steps in with Scooby-Doo while making some money doing it!

Amazon Reseller

This takes some practice. You will see tons of ads that talk about good ‘ole Nick who was working a job he hated and decided to sell used Q-Tips on Amazon and was able to quit his job the next month! While you may not have that kind of success you could find a lot of success if you find the right niche and have a deft marketing skillset!

Earnings Potential

  • This entirely depends on your initial investment in knowledge, inventory, and time but many people can make six figures or more in this field.
  • If you want to do it part time you can work a couple of hours a day and make an extra thousand dollars or so a month!

Find some educational materials and see if this is for you, then get started out of the comfort of your own home!

Flipper

The occupation that is based solely on the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. This is no secret: people have been doing this for years. If you have a keen eye and are a skilled negotiator you can spend your days bartering down the price of items just to turn it around for profit in a matter of hours or days. You can do this with homes, vehicles, furniture, small items, pretty much anything!

Earnings Potential

  • This completely depends on your ability to negotiate both ends of the deal.
  • You can provide extra value by flipping things you can tinker with and add value to!
  • You can do this part time for a couple of bucks or even do it full time and make six figures, it completely depends on the time and skill.

So go browse Craigslist or Offerup and see what you can find to make a quick buck or two!

Editing

Do you like finding flaws in others and explicitly telling them what their mistakes were? You are a natural born editor. Go ahead and dust off your old English text book and learn just what the heck a prepositional phrase is and then grab some editing/proofreading gigs. Avid readers are perfect for this, because what better way is there to get compensated than by doing something that you enjoy?

Earnings Potential

  • This is another job that is largely based on a per word basis. Beginners could earn as little as $.01 per word, but with continued experience the rates can increase
  • With a keen eye and speedreading skills you can zip through gigs rather quickly and achieve a significant hourly pay!

Dust off your English language skills and prove to some people that you can speak and write real good, (poor grammar was intended) and carve out a freelance wage as an editor.

Blogging

Do you just like to talk? Like to the point where silence makes you uncomfortable? And do others enjoy hearing the never-ending stream of words that exit your mouth? If your circumstance satisfies the aforementioned criteria you are pretty much a walking blog. You might as well get paid for it! People all over are always looking for fresh blog writers to contribute to their content. If you can effectively communicate ideas that people enjoy reading about then you can make some great money!

Earnings Potential

  • This ranges based on if you have your own successful blog or if you are a guest blogger somewhere else.
  • Guest bloggers get paid per article depending on your skill as a writer, anywhere from $25-$500 depending on the length of the post as well.
  • With your own blog you depend on how many readers you have and what kind of commissions you make from the ads on your site, so it completely depends!

There you go, be the ultimate millennial and create an uber-successful blog talking about lifehacks or 121 reasons why the dog is man’s best friend and live out your dream of being fully self-employed.

Tutor

You’ve got to remember at least something from all those years of schooling. If you do then you are in luck. While not the most glorious job if you can land the right clientele then you can have yourself a decent little side hustle on your down time. Let’s face it, some parents will do whatever they can to be able to tell their neighbor Fred that their little Sally is on track to be valedictorian when she graduates high school at 12 years old.

Earnings Potential

  • Without being credentialed and just having a general knowledge of the subject you can expect anywhere from $10-$40 per hour.
  • With credentials to be able to teach a specific subject some people will pay up to $100 per hour!

Dust off the college textbooks and the notes you scalped off of the person who used to sit next to you and get smart enough to start tutoring!

Online Teacher

No, I’m not talking about the kind of teacher that taught your freshman biology class and could never get the attention of the class and had to deal with punk kids all day. There are different companies that will pay you to teach certain subjects online, or even English to people across the world! It can be one on one instruction as well, so no need to be fighting for the attention of the students! All it takes is simply to sign up with one of the companies and complete their training program, so not as hard as some other jobs listed here.

Many companies outside the United States hire remote online English Teachers but often require a bachelor’s degree and at least one year of teaching experience.

Earnings Potential

  • It can vary but many of the different companies that advertise classes are around a rate of $20 per hour!

There you have it. Fall back on the century old adage “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach” and start instructing some kids!

Transcription

Can you hear stuff? Do your fingers move? If yes then you have checked the boxes to become a transcriber. Essentially, it’s just listening to files and typing them out. Yes, it’s not super tough. You should be good just taking one of the many free courses offered online and find a company that is looking to fill some positions and you are solid!

Earnings Potential

  • You can expect jobs that vary between $7-$20 per hour depending on the job and your experience. Not a bad thing you can get started doing from the comfort of your own home!

Listen. Type. Repeat. Make money. That’s pretty much it with this job!

Life Coach

If you actually like talking to people and not isolating yourself in your sweats watching Netflix at home then you may have a future as a life coach. Basically, you help people realize what their dreams are and help them get to where they want to be! You can get a certification pretty easily compared to some other side gigs and get started fairly quickly.

Earnings Potential

  • Starting out you can find people that will pay in the $40 per hour range and a little more.
  • Experienced life coaches have been known to bill upwards of $300 per hour!

Get that certificate and go on and start teaching people about life!

Realtor

Do you like making thousands of dollars for a few hours work sometimes? One word for you. Realtor. Granted all clients won’t take just a couple of hours to get them their dream home and you may have to work hard sometimes, but if you are great with people and can advertise pretty well you can make some great side income doing real estate and selling houses!

Earnings Potential

  • Many people have made it so their income from being a realtor is their main line of business and can make six figures each year.
  • Typically, you can make 3% of the gross sales price for each home you help someone buy/sell, so it can be a very lucrative profession!

All it takes is an education course and some determination to be a real estate agent! Go sell some houses!

Research Studies

Yes, this independent contractor job literally requires you to be a guinea pig. That’s ok though, because you will be a well-compensated guinea pig. I’m not just talking about pharmaceutical companies either, many companies will pay for research regarding a product of theirs or even a consumer behavior study. There are a lot of companies looking for a wide variety of people they can gather information from and will pay handsomely for it as well!

Earnings Potential

  • You can expect anywhere from $50-$400 per study, durations may vary.

Yes, become a human rodent and help some companies out with some research to make you some extra money!

Graphic Designer

It’s 2020. If you have a computer and know your way around any number of different programs you are bound to find something you can help a company out with. Graphic design is one of those areas with a wide variety of demand. Many companies don’t have enough work for a full-time graphic designer and will outsource a lot of the work.

Earnings Potential

  • A decent graphic designer can get work that can pay between $30-$40 per hour!

Not a bad gig if you have that skill and can get work done pretty fast!

Social Media Marketer

You’ve probably had years of experience with social media. If you are like me your first friend on a social media was the very famous Myspace Tom. Now you probably have had much more experience with Lord Zuck’s Facebook and Instagram platforms. If you know them backwards and forwards and know what can get people views then you may have the chops to become a social media marketer. In today’s climate with so many people on social media companies are dying to increase their online presence, especially in the social media world.

Earnings Potential

  • For just a social media marketer you can expect to earn $15-$50 per hour depending on how good you are.
  • If companies trust you enough to be their social media managers you can realistically see recurring pay of $100 per hour!

All it takes is learning a little bit of what you are already scrolling through for hours a day and you can turn your scrolls into dollar bills!

And For All You Independent Contractors and Freelancers Who Need Tax Help...

I sincerely hope you have found an additional money-making outlet while reading this article. Remember that with freelance or independent contractor income comes different employment tax implications and it might be worth your while to research the different offerings that Keeper Tax has for independent contractors and how they can save you a considerable amount come tax time. The app can track your receipts for taxes, organize your expenses and make your life a lot easier. Check out their article on tax write offs for self-employed workers. Besides that, I wish you the best of luck making some extra bucks!


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Robby Nelson

Robby Nelson

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When not hanging out with his high profile friends like Gandhi or Batman, Robby enjoys spending time with his wife and children. He can sneeze with his eyes open, has won two lifetime achievement awards, and has visited every country; three of which haven't been discovered yet. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and assists clients with a wide variety of accounting and tax issues.

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Keeper Tax automatically finds tax deductions among your purchases. On average, people discover write-offs worth $1,249 in 90 seconds.

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Note: at Keeper Tax, we're on a mission to help freelancers overcome the complexity of their taxes. That sometimes leads us to generalize tax advice. Please reach out via email if you have questions.