9 categories of in-demand freelance work
One of the best features of the gig economy is that you can work in various sectors depending on your skill set. Below, we list some popular work categories available as an independent contractor.
Development and IT
This category includes several technical jobs, such as programming, UX design, and web development. Some professionals focus on quality assurance and additional technical support roles.
- Web developer. This job involves writing code for website layouts that result in fully functional sites. Web developers are responsible for creating, maintaining, and scaling clients’ websites according to specific requirements.
- UX designer. User experience (UX) designers help ensure a smooth online experience by designing user-friendly elements of a website, software, or mobile app. They provide usability solutions based on extensive research and competitor analysis.
- Programmer. Programming is a popular field that involves working with computers and software development. This highly technical area is a good choice if you’re keen on writing code for a living.
Design and creative
Freelance creative professionals create visual elements, content, and products to capture users’ attention.
- Graphic designer. If you venture into freelance graphic design, you may help clients create attractive logos, corporate literature, or website branding elements.
- Video editor. Depending on the project scope, a video editor may do basic or more comprehensive editing. General responsibilities include putting together graphics, audio, and effects to ensure a compelling finished product.
- Website designer. When you work as a freelance web designer, your role is to create and maintain high-quality websites. You help clients make the right decisions when picking themes, integrating plug-ins, or choosing content management system (CMS). Also, it’s your job to update the code and put together design elements, such as banners and graphics.
- Photographer. Freelance photographers work with organizations to make the best photos for marketing, website content, and other business purposes. You might also be hired to take pictures during weddings, birthdays, and other special events.
Sales and marketing
As businesses are always looking to make money, freelance sales and marketing professionals are in high demand.
- Outreach coordinator. As a freelance outreach coordinator, you figure out ways to spread the word about your clients’ services and products. Depending on the project scope, you might also be responsible for creating high-quality marketing materials and managing a campaign budget.
- Marketing strategist. Clients hire marketing strategists to help develop customer outreach programs and advertising campaigns that deliver results. Partnering with an experienced freelance marketing expert can make achieving sales targets easier.
- Customer contact manager. A customer contact manager ensures service quality matches customers’ expectations. Customer wait times form part of the minimum service standards that the manager monitors. This freelance professional also sets customer service targets and creates a staff development plan.
Writing and translation
This category covers fields like freelance writing, editing, and translation.
- Copywriter. As a copywriting professional, you might be responsible for creating newsletters, website copy, social media posts, and other types of content. It’s your job to write engaging content that teaches and inspires readers. Some writing jobs focus on producing content published in print media.
- Editor. Freelance editing involves reviewing content for typos, grammatical errors, and overall adherence to the content brief and style guide. You’re also responsible for fact-checking before submitting finished documents to clients.
- Translator/interpreter. Freelance translators are hired to accurately convert text from one language to another. The translated content may appear on websites, marketing materials, and product manuals.
Admin and customer support
This category offers a wide selection of job opportunities across multiple functional areas. Examples of freelance positions under this category include customer service coordinators, database managers, and e-commerce managers.
- Customer service coordinator. You can thrive as a freelance customer service coordinator if you have excellent communication skills. Your responsibilities may include ensuring that customers receive excellent service, performing quality surveys, and dealing with customer complaints.
- Database manager. In this field, your role is to manage customer data databases. It’s your responsibility to keep sensitive information secure and well-organized.
- E-commerce manager. Due to the popularity of online shopping, there’s an ever-increasing need for experienced e-commerce managers. You’ll be responsible for managing inventory, overseeing site maintenance, and optimizing marketing strategies.
Finance and accounting
You can find many new clients looking for financial experts to help them organize records, make informed financial decisions, and manage taxes (including administering payroll tax payments and filing business income tax returns).
- Accountant. Clients hire freelance accountants to help prepare books, manage financial information, and put together budgets. Many projects also involve preparing tax returns, mainly for start-ups.
- Financial adviser. As a financial adviser, you will work closely with clients to help them manage personal or business finances. Clients expect solid advice and compliance based on your expertise and ongoing research.
- Investor. Many clients look for freelance investment professionals to get expert advice before making critical decisions. In many cases, an expert analyzes a target company’s equity to determine its financial health before providing recommendations to the client.
This category covers various specialties, such as payroll manager, recruiter, and general HR expert.
- Payroll manager. Freelance payroll managers assist clients in handling payroll functions and ensure efficient and accurate processing.
- Recruiter. As a freelance recruiter, you’re responsible for screening job candidates and coming up with recruiting strategies. You can work with multiple clients simultaneously to help them recruit their ideal candidates.
- General HR expert. Clients hire freelance human resources (HR) experts to assist in managing worker development. In some cases, the projects involve establishing HR policies and procedures.
You’ll find numerous job options in the legal category, including freelance paralegal, remote secretary, and attorney roles.
- Lawyer. Freelance projects for lawyers allow you to work with companies, individuals, and law firms. Depending on your specialty, you may assist clients with corporate legal matters or family cases.
- Remote secretary. As a remote secretary, you might work on projects involving various administrative duties, such as scheduling appointments, sending invoices, and filing correspondences.
- Paralegal. Clients hire freelance paralegals to assist in drafting litigation documents and handling electronic filings. Additional duties may include patent work, document management, and e-discovery (a form of digital investigation).
Engineering and architecture
Architecture and engineering jobs are also available for independent workers. You can find projects for architects, interior designers, and remote mechanical engineers.
- Architect. Many clients post projects involving building design and permit submissions. As an architect, you can pick projects involving structural or civil designs, depending on your experience and skill set.
- Interior designer. If you’re an interior designer, you are likely to advise clients regarding furniture layout and material options. You might also use digital tools for virtual visualization.
- Remote mechanical engineer. Remote mechanical engineer. Freelance mechanical engineers help clients design and develop machines, sensors, and tools. Some projects involve troubleshooting mechanical issues and handling repairs.