The 42 Best Self-Employed Jobs in 2022


In today’s job market, it’s no surprise that around 44 million Americans are self-employed. People choose to work independently for many reasons, from flexible work schedules to taking control of their own career development. So, what are the best self-employed jobs out there?

We compiled a list of 42 of the best self-employed jobs in 2022. Using data from Mint’s salary tool, we included average salaries for each job to give you a better picture of each career. If you want to work for yourself, check out this list of freelancing gigs and small business ideas. 

Job Average Yearly Salary
Finacial Advisor $85,000
Business Consultant $81,500
Software Developer $76,500
Architect $76,500
Virtual Assistant $65,400
Editor $57,500
Copywriter $54,000
Interior Designer $52,500
Web Designer $51,200
Event Planner $50,500

1. Financial Advisor

An older couple sits down with a woman in a red blazer, indicating they may be meeting a financial advisor, one of the best self-empoyed jobs.

A financial advisor helps clients make a financial plan by providing guidance on savings, insurance, retirement planning, and other strategies. Though many financial advisors work for banks and brokerage firms, others are self-employed and open their own firms.

  • Average salary: $85,000
  • Requirements: 
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Industry licenses/certifications (depends on specialty) 

2. Business Consultant

Business or management consultants advise companies on their operations, sales, HR, marketing, IT, finance, and other issues. Business consultants help companies increase revenue, create a business plan, improve employee performance, and more.

If you’re just starting out, you can create your own small firm that specializes in a specific area, like marketing. 

  • Average salary: $81,500
  • Requirements: 
    • Bachelor’s degree 
    • Master’s degree (recommended)
    • Certification from a business consultant association

3. Software Developer

A software developer creates and updates software programs. Developers are problem solvers who write and test the code behind video games, apps, and systems software. Being a freelance software developer that works for different clients allows you complete control over the type of jobs you work on. 

  • Average salary: $76,500
  • Requirements: 
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Knowledge of programming languages such as JavaScript, C#, or Python

4. Architect

Architects plan and design buildings and other structures, ensuring they meet safety requirements and the needs of clients. Many architects are freelance, designing on a contract basis for different businesses and individuals. You can also aim to start your own firm. 

  • Average salary: $76,500
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Master’s degree (recommended)
    • Paid internship (three years, generally)
    • State license

5. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant is a remote assistant who helps clients with administrative work. They may assist with scheduling, calls, emails, travel plans, and more. This flexible, work-from-home job allows you to work anywhere in the world for a variety of clients, making it a great self-employed remote job. 

  • Average salary: $65,400
  • Requirements: 
    • Bachelor’s degree (recommended)
    • Office skills

6. Editor

If you love words and proofreading, you may find freelance editing to be a fulfilling job. Being a freelance editor allows you to work from home and take on projects from whichever industries you choose—including healthcare, entertainment, and magazines. 

  • Average salary: $57,500
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Industry experience

7. Copywriter

Freelance copywriters craft words for a variety of content, whether it be technical writing or creative articles. If you have a passion for writing and can easily assume the brand voice of different clients, you can advertise your copywriting services online. 

  • Average salary: $54,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Industry experience

8. Interior Designer

Interior designers help their clients—either individuals or businesses—create beautiful and practical spaces. They use design software to create design plans, communicate with clients on their needs and wants, and put their creativity to work with each project.

  • Average salary: $52,500
  • Requirements: 
    • Bachelor’s degree (recommended)
    • National Council for Interior Design Qualification examination and/or other state certifications

9. Web Designer

Web designers use design programs to build and design websites. If you’re well versed in UI and UX (user interface and user experience) and want to create aesthetically pleasing web pages based on client feedback, a freelance web design career could be for you. 

  • Average salary: $51,200
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree (recommended)
    • Knowledge of HTML and CSS
    • Industry experience

10. Event Planner

If you’re great at organizing and putting together get-togethers, consider starting an event planning business. Event planners work closely with clients or businesses to problem solve and plan parties, weddings, and other events.

  • Average salary: $50,500
  • Requirements:

11. Property Manager

Property managers maintain real estate, property, or community associations to generate income from different properties. They have a variety of responsibilities, including maintaining the properties, showing property to potential renters, discussing leasing, and taking care of inspections and repairs.

  • Average salary: $48,000
  • Requirements: 
    • High school diploma or equivalent (recommended)

12. Construction Manager

A construction manager coordinates projects and stays on top of budget and scheduling. Around 23% of construction workers are self-employed, with many working as contractors. 

  • Average salary: $45,500
  • Requirements: 

13. Career Counselor

A career counselor advises clients on job searching processes and requirements they need to reach certain career goals. They may offer advice on finding the right resources to find financial aid, put together resumes, and create a career plan.

  • Average salary: $45,000
  • Requirements: 
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Master’s degree (recommended)

14. Mechanic

A woman is working under the hood of a char, indicating she may be a mechanic, one of the best self-empoyed jobs.

Mechanics repair and conduct routine maintenance on cars and other motor vehicles. Many mechanics work for auto repair shops, but if you’re confident in your abilities, you can work towards opening your own shop.

  • Average salary: $45,000
  • Requirements: 
    • High school diploma or equivalent
    • Associate degree
    • Certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
    • Apprenticeship

15. Transcriptionist

Transcriptionists type out recorded audio or live proceedings into written form. If you’re a good listener and a fast typer, you could make a good transcriptionist. You can also specialize in specific fields—for example, medical transcriptionists transcribe documents in the healthcare field. You can advertise your services or find job opportunities on job boards as a freelance transcriptionist. 

  • Average salary: $42,200
  • Requirements: 

16. Carpenter

Carpenters work with wood to construct, repair, and upgrade houses and other structures. As a freelance carpenter, you’ll need to determine a niche (for example, formwork or finishing), manage your own business, and complete various licensing requirements. 

  • Average salary: $42,000
  • Requirements:
    • Industry experience
    • High school diploma or equivalent (recommended)
    • State, city, or county carpenter license (depending on your area)
    • Apprenticeship (depending on state)

17. Translator

Are you fluent in multiple languages and looking for a flexible, work from home job? Consider advertising your services as a freelance translator. Whether it’s a side hustle or a full-time job, your fluency in another language can come in handy to help you make some extra money.

  • Average salary: $41,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree (recommended)
    • Industry experience

18. Graphic Designer

Freelance graphic designers take on work such as creating visuals for logos, websites, apps, and more. This job is creative, flexible, and perfect if you want to work from home. If you build out an impressive portfolio, you can advertise your freelance work to a variety of clients in different industries that you’re interested in working with.

  • Average salary: $40,500
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Adobe Creative Suite courses (recommended)
    • Industry experience

19. Social Media Specialist

Social media specialists and managers help clients create marketing campaigns and strategies for social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter. They also help analyze performance and improve customer engagement through social media platforms. 

  • Average salary: $40,500
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree (recommended)
    • Social media experience

20. Videographer

Videographers film and edit videos in a variety of industries, from film to advertising to weddings. If you like to tell stories through video, you can start your own videography business with the proper camera equipment and video editing software.

  • Average salary: $40,500
  • Requirements:
    • Industry experience
    • Proficiency in video editing software

21. Private Music Teacher

Whether you play the piano, guitar, or other instrument, you can turn your musical ability into a job by becoming a music teacher. Start by offering lessons in your home and move to a music studio once your business takes off. 

  • Average salary: $40,500
  • Requirements:

22. Bookkeeper

Make some money on the side by using your organizational skills and knack for numbers as a bookkeeper. You’ll assist business owners with tracking payroll, balancing their accounts, sending invoices, and more. 

  • Average salary: $36,500
  • Requirements: 
    • Liability insurance (recommended)
    • Industry experience (recommended)

23. Blogger

Want to write about food, travel, finance, or just life? While it may take some time to build an audience of readers through your blog, once you gain more visibility, you can charge businesses to advertise on your blog through ads, sponsored posts, or product reviews. 

  • Average salary: $36,000
  • Requirements: 

24. Real Estate Agent

Most real estate agents, who help clients through the process of buying and selling property, are self-employed. They assist people with putting their homes up for sale and searching for homes that match clients’ budgets and other specifications. Real estate agents typically need strong interpersonal skills and salesmanship. 

  • Average salary: $35,000
  • Requirements:
    • State real estate license

25. Farmer

Family-owned farms produce and harvest crops, poultry, and/or dairy. Running a farm is a tough but rewarding job—you need to source all supplies and machinery, plant, harvest, and sell crops, raise livestock, and manage your workers.

  • Average salary: $35,000
  • Requirements:

26. Roofer

Roofers maintain, repair, and build roofs for residential and commercial buildings. Many roofers are individual contractors or own their own businesses. They may start out with smaller residential projects and expand to larger, commercial jobs over time. 

  • Average salary: $34,500
  • Requirements:
    • Industry experience
    • Apprenticeship (recommended)
    • License (depending on state)

27. E-commerce Seller

Opening and running your own online store can be a lot of work, but with some marketing work and great customer service, you can grow your e-commerce business online. If you make jewelry, t-shirts, pet accessories, or any other product, look into selling on Etsy or another platform to grow your business.

  • Average salary: $33,000
  • Requirements:

28. Artist

A person is painting a mural on an outdoor wall, indicating they may be an artist, one of the best self-empoyed jobs.

Creatives of all kinds can make extra money as a self-employed artist. Whether you create traditional paintings or make unique pottery pieces, being an artist is a creatively fulfilling career for many. 

  • Average salary: $32,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree (recommended)
    • Industry experience

29. Photographer

Photographers capture beautiful moments in time. This flexible job allows you to set your own schedule and specialize in your favorite type of photography, from wedding portraits to nature photography. Building up a portfolio of impressive work will help you get your photography business off the ground. 

  • Average salary: $30,500
  • Requirements:
    • Photography courses
    • Industry experience

30. Life Coach

As a life coach, you advise clients on matters including career, motivation, hobbies, and social life. Clients will come to you for advice on improving their lives, forming connections, and managing their relationships. 

  • Average salary: $30,500
  • Requirements:

31. Food Service Manager

Food service managers oversee the daily operations of a restaurant or other eating establishment. If you’ve always dreamt of opening your own restaurant, look into what it takes to be a food service manager, like scheduling staff hours, ordering food and supplies, and making sure you comply with food safety measures.  

  • Average salary: $29,500
  • Requirements:
    • Industry experience
    • State licensing
    • High school diploma or equivalent (recommended)

32. Personal Trainer

Love to exercise and motivate others? Personal training could be the job for you. Personal trainers are generally extroverted and disciplined, encouraging clients to push themselves and enjoy working out. 

  • Average salary: $29,000
  • Requirements: 

33. Hairstylist

If you become a hairstylist, you’ll spend your days cutting, coloring, and styling hair for different clients. You should be excited to stay on top of all the current hairstyling trends and knowledge of how to achieve a variety of looks. 

  • Average salary: $27,500
  • Requirements:
    • Industry experience
    • State-issued license

34. Massage Therapist

If your dream is to become a massage therapist, you’ll need to go through the proper licensing process before you can open your own business. You can also choose to earn additional certifications in different skill sets, like stone massage, medical massage, and sports massage. 

  • Average salary: $27,500
  • Requirements:
    • State-issued license
    • 500-1,000 hours of training

35. Makeup Artist

Makeup artists can offer their services to anyone for events, like weddings and proms, or models and actors for photoshoots and films. To make it as a makeup artist, you’ll need to hone your craft and develop a portfolio of eye-catching skills. 

  • Average salary: $27,000
  • Requirements:
    • Industry experience
    • Cosmetology license (recommended)

36. Landscaper

Starting your own landscaping business will allow you to design beautiful outdoor spaces and problem solve for the needs of clients. You may create and implement plans for outdoor spaces like parks, courtyards, and lawns. 

  • Average salary: $27,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Industry experience

37. Caterer

Turn your passion and skill for cooking into a business by starting a catering gig. Gain experience with small parties for friends and family and expand your business from there. You’ll need to gain experience, determine your specialty, and create your own menu and prices. 

  • Average salary: $27,000
  • Requirements:

38. Caregiver

An Asian woman in a scrubs comforts an older Asian woman, indicating she might be a caregiver, one of the best self-employed jobs.

As an independent caregiver, you may support the elderly or people with disabilities. You can help provide transportation, manage their medication, prepare meals, and help them perform other needed tasks, as well as providing company and companionship. 

  • Average salary: $25,000
  • Requirements:
    • Certifications depending on specialty
    • Special training for clients with conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease

39. Tutor

If you enjoy teaching others about your favorite subjects, consider tutoring. You can pursue tutoring students as a side hustle or even start your own business to help young kids, high schoolers, college students, or adults improve their skills in math, English, and other subjects. 

  • Average salary: $24,000
  • Requirements:

40. Rideshare Driver

Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft make it easier than ever to make money by driving people where they need to go. Note that this can be more lucrative if you live in a busy city and drive longer distance trips.

  • Average salary: $23,000
  • Requirements:
    • Pass driver screening
    • Valid driver’s license

41. Childcare

If you’re great with kids, one self employment option is to become a nanny. If you work in childcare, clients may pay you to come to their homes to watch their children. You may need to supervise, play, teach, help with chores, and drive them to school or after-school activities.

  • Average salary: $23,000
  • Requirements: 
    • Background check
    • CPR certification
    • Industry experience

42. Food Delivery Driver

Similar to being a rideshare driver, being a food delivery driver is a common side gig for lots of people these days. Through apps like Instacart, DoorDash, and Uber Eats, you can get paid to deliver groceries and takeout in your area.

  • Average salary: $21,500
  • Requirements: 
    • Pass driver screening
    • Valid driver’s license

See Average U.S. Salaries

Use this list of the best self-employed jobs to get a better idea of where you want to take your career. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit but you’re not sure where to start, understanding your finances is always a good idea — and the Mint app can help. 

An infographic overviews how to land one of the best self-employed jobs in 2022.

Sources: Indeed | The Balance Careers | NAHB | IRS

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