15 Best Occupations for Being Self-Employed

Successful businesswoman
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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 wantlike 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.com
  • Composite score: 62.2
  • Median annual salary: $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 inspection
ETAP / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 62.8
  • Median annual salary: $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 workers
Cat Box / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 63.1
  • Median annual salary: $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 investigator
New Africa / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 64.0
  • Median annual salary: $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 lawyer
Dmytro Zinkevych / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 64.3
  • Median annual salary: $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 agent
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 64.9
  • Median annual salary: $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.com
  • Composite score: 66.8
  • Median annual salary: $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 angle
Studio 72 / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 69.9
  • Median annual salary: $79,000
  • Projected employment growth: +7.7%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.0%
  • Typical education needed for entry: Bachelor’s degree

7. Lodging managers

Hotel
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 70.2
  • Median annual salary: $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

transcriptionist
MDV Edwards / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 74.2
  • Median annual salary: $49,110
  • Projected employment growth: +20.2%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.8%
  • Typical education needed for entry: Bachelor’s degree

5. Construction managers

Construction manager
Cineberg / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 77.6
  • Median annual salary: $98,890
  • Projected employment growth: +7.6%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.4%
  • Typical education needed for entry: Bachelor’s degree

4. Marketing managers

Marketing manager
Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 78.2
  • Median annual salary: $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 staff
fizkes / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 81.5
  • Median annual salary: $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 planner
EdBockStock / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 85.5
  • Median annual salary: $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 worker
Josep Suria/Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 97.2
  • Median annual salary: $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 laptop
Bacho / Shutterstock.com

The data used in this analysis is from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics and the US 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 US and a self-employment rate greater than the national average were considered in this analysis.

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