February 8, 2023

Juan Kabayan

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15 Best Occupations for Being Self-Employed

Successful businesswomanAJR_photo / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on HireAHelper.

Self-employment has proven to be an increasingly popular choice for many workers.

Self-employment often offers more of the qualities that workers want, like more flexibility in schedule or location, and less of the ones they don’t, like feelings of disrespect or lack of opportunity for advancement.

As a result, the ranks of the self-employed have grown over the last two and a half years.

Self-employment also has the potential to boost workers’ earnings. The median earnings for workers who are self-employed in their own incorporated business over the last 12 months exceed earnings for every other category of workers, except federal government employees.

Job outlooks and earning potential vary by industry, however, so some workers will find conditions for self-employment more favorable than others.

Here are the best occupations for being self-employed.

15. Meeting, convention, and event planners

Couple meeting with financial planner in office.Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.comComposite score: 62.2
Median annual wage: $49,470
Projected employment growth: +17.8%
Unemployment rate: 9.7%
Typical education needed for entry: Bachelor’s degree

14. Electricians

Electrician performing a home inspectionETAP / Shutterstock.comComposite score: 62.8
Median annual wage: $60,040
Projected employment growth: +7.1%
Unemployment rate: 6.4%
Typical education needed for entry: High school diploma or equivalent

13. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

Construction workersCat Box / Shutterstock.comComposite score: 63.1
Median annual wage: $72,010
Projected employment growth: +4.1%
Unemployment rate: 3.7%
Typical education needed for entry: High school diploma or equivalent

12. Private detectives and investigators

Detective or private investigatorNew Africa / Shutterstock.comComposite score: 64.0
Median annual wage: $59,380
Projected employment growth: +5.6%
Unemployment rate: 4.0%
Typical education needed for entry: High school diploma or equivalent

11. Insurance sales agents

Couple writing a will with a lawyerDmytro Zinkevych / Shutterstock.comComposite score: 64.3
Median annual wage: $49,840
Projected employment growth: +6.3%
Unemployment rate: 3.2%
Typical education needed for entry: High school diploma or equivalent

10. Travel agents

Travel agentwavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.comComposite score: 64.9
Median annual wage: $43,810
Projected employment growth: +19.7%
Unemployment rate: 4.4%
Typical education needed for entry: High school diploma or equivalent

9. Food service managers

Woman worker at bakery counter.Phonlamai Photo / Shutterstock.comComposite score: 66.8
Median annual wage: $59,440
Projected employment growth: +9.8%
Unemployment rate: 5.9%
Typical education needed for entry: High school diploma or equivalent

8. Producers and directors

Film set - director, cinematographer and actors working on the cinema, wide angleStudio 72 / Shutterstock.comComposite score: 69.9
Median annual wage: $79,000
Projected employment growth: +7.7%
Unemployment rate: 5.0%
Typical education needed for entry: Bachelor’s degree

7. Lodging managers

HotelESB Professional / Shutterstock.comComposite score: 70.2
Median annual wage: $59,430
Projected employment growth: +18.0%
Unemployment rate: 8.4%
Typical education needed for entry: High school diploma or equivalent

6. Interpreters and translators

transcriptionistMDV Edwards / Shutterstock.comComposite score: 74.2
Median annual wage: $49,110
Projected employment growth: +20.2%
Unemployment rate: 4.8%
Typical education needed for entry: Bachelor’s degree

5. Construction managers

Construction managerCineberg / Shutterstock.comComposite score: 77.6
Median annual wage: $98,890
Projected employment growth: +7.6%
Unemployment rate: 3.4%
Typical education needed for entry: Bachelor’s degree

4. Marketing managers

Marketing managerPixel-Shot / Shutterstock.comComposite score: 78.2
Median annual wage: $135,030
Projected employment growth: +9.9%
Unemployment rate: 5.0%
Typical education needed for entry: Bachelor’s degree

3. Management analysts

Sales manager with stafffizkes / Shutterstock.comComposite score: 81.5
Median annual wage: $93,000
Projected employment growth: +11.4%
Unemployment rate: 3.4%
Typical education needed for entry: Bachelor’s degree

2. Personal financial advisers

Older couple with financial plannerEdBockStock / Shutterstock.comComposite score: 85.5
Median annual wage: $94,170
Projected employment growth: +15.4%
Unemployment rate: 3.2%
Typical education needed for entry: Bachelor’s degree

1. Medical and health services managers

health care worker doctor remote workerJosep Suria / Shutterstock.comComposite score: 97.2
Median annual wage: $101,340
Projected employment growth: +28.3%
Unemployment rate: 1.8%
Typical education needed for entry: Bachelor’s degree

Detailed Findings & Methodology

Man using too much data on his phone, tablet and laptopBacho / Shutterstock.com

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey.

To determine the best occupations for being self-employed, researchers at HireAHelper calculated a composite score based on median annual wage in 2021, projected employment growth from 2021 to 2031, and the average unemployment rate from 2020 and 2021.

In the event of a tie, the occupation with the higher median annual wage was ranked higher. Only occupations with at least 30,000 employees in the U.S. and a self-employment rate greater than the national average were considered in this analysis.