15 Hottest Careers for Freelancers in 2021

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Whether it is to earn extra income or make up for a lost job, more Americans are turning to freelance work.

More than 2 million U.S. adults joined the freelance workforce since 2019, according to a recent study from Upwork, a freelance job platform.

FlexJobs is also seeing an increase in freelance job postings, and expects the trend to continue in 2021.

"This is what we tend to see whenever there is an economic downturn," said Brie Reynolds, career development manager and coach at the online remote work platform.

"Large employers still have work to be done, projects to be done, but they may be in industries where the uncertainty is too great for them, so they look to bring in freelancers."

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FlexJobs compiled the top 15 categories with the most freelance job listings on its website since the pandemic started. It expects this list to hold steady into next year.

  1. Computer & IT: Jobs include systems engineer, $31/hour, and information systems security consultant $33/hour.
  2. Accounting & Finance: Jobs include internal auditor, $20/hr, and senior accountant, $28/hr.
  3. Administrative: Jobs include executive assistant, $21/hr, and virtual assistant, $16/hr.
  4. Project Management: Jobs include project manager, $26/hr.
  5. Customer Service: Jobs include customer service representative, $14/hr.
  6. Healthcare: Jobs include health coach, $20/hr, and physical therapist, $39/hr.
  7. Writing & Editing: Jobs include copy editor, $19/hr, writer and editor, both $20/hr.
  8. Education & Training: Jobs include curriculum writer, $27/hr, and online ESL teacher, $20/hr.
  9. Marketing: Jobs include lead generation specialist, $14/hr, and social media manager, $16/hr.
  10. HR & Recruiting: Jobs include employee relations consultant, $21/hr, and human resources administrator, $19/hr.
  11. Bookkeeping: Jobs include bookkeeper, $17/hr.
  12. Therapy: Jobs include therapist, $24/hr, and psychologist, $49/hr.
  13. Graphic Design: Jobs include graphic designer, $17/hr.
  14. Data Entry: Jobs include data entry clerk, $14/hr, and proofreader, $18/hr.
  15. Mortgage & Real Estate: Jobs include mortgage loan underwriter, $28/hr and real estate photographer, $17/hr.

How to land a job

There are three main ways to land work, according to Reynolds.

One of the best methods is through a traditional job search, she said. Go to job board websites and look up freelance opportunities. Apply the same way you would as if you were looking for a full-time job.

Also, think about past employers you can pitch your services as a consultant.

"Let them know the services you are offering or the area of expertise you are focusing on as a freelancer," Reynolds said.

Last, start researching prospective clients outside your immediate circle and pitch them your services. You may find companies that aren't posting freelance jobs but have projects to be done.

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