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Starting a business

28 best self-employed jobs to be your own boss

In this ever-evolving work landscape, self-employed jobs can be an attractive option for individuals seeking flexibility and independence. Working for yourself can come with various benefits, such as choosing when and where you want to work, as well as potential self-employed tax deductions


Whether you possess a creative flair, specialize in a niche field, or have a passion for entrepreneurship, there’s a self-employed job suited for you. These jobs can give self-employed workers financial independence and the ability to tap into natural talents for work opportunities.

An illustration of the top self-employed jobs solopreneurs should consider, including those great for work-from-home and roles that require no qualifications.

1. Freelancer writer  

If you’re a wordsmith, being a freelance writer can be a great self-employed job. It offers flexibility and the freedom to choose projects that align with individual interests and expertise.

You’ll research and generate ideas for articles, blog posts, web copy, digital marketing content, and more. You'll then write well-crafted, engaging, and informative pieces tailored to a target audience.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but strong writing skills and a good understanding of grammar and punctuation are crucial. Building a portfolio of writing samples can showcase your abilities and attract potential clients.

Needed skills: Communication and attention to detail

What you’ll need: Computer and research resources

2. Bookkeeper 

Being a self-employed bookkeeper is ideal for individuals comfortable with numbers who can maintain accurate financial records. But what does a bookkeeper do

You’ll record and track financial transactions, reconcile accounts, prepare financial statements, and generate invoices. You may also be responsible for managing payroll and ensuring compliance with tax regulations.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but a solid understanding of basic accounting principles is essential. Knowledge of software programs like QuickBooks and Excel is also beneficial for bookkeeping.

Needed skills: Attention to detail, data analysis, and organization 

What you’ll need: Computer and accounting software

3. Virtual assistant 

The role of a virtual assistant could be a fit if you have a variety of administration-related skills. You’ll provide support to clients remotely. These needs may include managing emails, scheduling appointments, data entry, bookkeeping tasks, and social media management. Additionally, you may handle customer inquiries, research topics, and assist with project coordination.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but a background in administrative work or project management is helpful.

Needed skills: Communication, organization, attention to detail, problem-solving

What you’ll need: Computer, phone, project management tools

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4. E-commerce

E-commerce is an industry that offers various opportunities to be your own boss. With the ability to sell products online, individuals can start an e-commerce business or virtual store and reach customers on a national scale. This allows for flexible working hours and the potential to earn a profitable income.

In online retail, the range of products you can sell is vast. From handmade crafts and clothing to electronics and beauty products. This variety allows self-employed individuals to choose a niche that aligns with their interests and expertise.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but experience in retail and online sales can be helpful.

Needed skills: Time management, organization, and creativity 

What you’ll need: Computer, website, and online store platform

5. Online tutor 

If you love teaching and want to do it from the comfort of you own home, onlinte tutoring is worth a look. It’s especially well-suited for educators looking for self-employed opportunities.

You’ll provide academic support and guidance to students through virtual platforms. This may include teaching lessons, helping with homework, reviewing assignments, and offering personalized instruction tailored to each student's needs. You will also need to track student progress, provide feedback, and communicate effectively with both students and their parents or guardians.

Qualifications: Formal education requirements may vary depending on the subject or level of tutoring. Certain subjects may also require specific teaching certifications or qualifications.

Needed skills: Communication and organization 

What you’ll need: Computer and teaching materials

6. Translator 

The role of a translator is an excellent fit for individuals who possess strong reading and writing skills in multiple languages. You’ll convert written or spoken content from one language to another while maintaining the original meaning and tone. This may involve translating documents, books, articles, websites, or even interpreting conversations and meetings.

Qualifications: Knowing at least two languages and having a degree in related fields or cultural experience can provide a competitive edge and increase job prospects.

Needed skills: Bi- or multilingual, cultural sensitivity, and attention to detail 

What you’ll need: Computer and translation software tools

7. Proofreader 

The role of a proofreader is an ideal fit for individuals with strong grammar skills, exceptional attention to detail, and a love of reading. 

You’ll review written content for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting errors. This could involve proofreading documents, articles, blog posts, manuscripts, or other written materials.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but a solid understanding of grammar and punctuation rules is essential. A degree in English, journalism, or a related field can provide a competitive advantage.

Needed skills: Grammar, eye for detail, and writing 

What you’ll need: Computer, style and grammar guides

An illustration of a checklist to determine whether you should consider self-employment.

8. Dog walker 

Love dogs and want a job to be your own boss? Dog walking works well for individuals who love animals. This job is ideal for people comfortable working independently and handling various dog breeds and sizes.

You’ll provide exercise and care for dogs while their owners are away or unable to do so. This includes taking them for walks, ensuring they have fresh water, feeding them, and tending to any other basic needs.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but a basic understanding of dog behavior and needs is helpful. Some clients and dog walking platforms require certification in pet first aid and CPR to ensure the safety of both the walker and the dog.

Needed skills: Patience, attentiveness, and reliability 

What you’ll need: Transportation, comfortable shoes, supplies like leashes and waste bags


Tip

Having liability insurance can provide protection in the case of any accidents or incidents that may occur while walking the dogs.


9. House cleaner  

Do you have an eye for detail and enjoy creating clean and organized spaces? House cleaning works well for those who are comfortable with physical labor, have strong organizational skills, and can effectively manage their time.

You’ll clean and maintain residential or commercial spaces. This includes dusting, vacuuming, mopping floors, and cleaning bathrooms and kitchens.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but experience in cleaning and knowledge of various cleaning techniques can be beneficial. Obtaining business insurance to protect yourself and your client's property may also be helpful.

Needed skills: Attention to detail and trustworthiness 

What you’ll need: Cleaning supplies and equipment and transportation

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10. Ridesharing 

Ridesharing is an ideal self-employed job for individuals who enjoy driving, have their own reliable vehicle, and want the flexibility of setting their own working hours. You’ll provide transportation services to passengers. This includes picking up passengers from the requested location and safely delivering them to their destination.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but there are generally minimum requirements for various platforms, such as being at least 21 years old, having a valid driver's license, and having a registered and insured vehicle that meets the platform's standards. Some platforms may require additional background checks or vehicle inspections.

Needed skills: Driving, navigation, and customer service 

What you’ll need: Insured vehicle, driver’s license, and smartphone

11. Food delivery 

Food delivery involves delivering prepared foods to customers' homes or businesses. It offers flexibility in terms of schedule and allows individuals to work alone. Food delivery is best for individuals who enjoy driving, have their own reliable vehicle, and can work under deadlines.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement; however, you will need a valid driver's license and a registered and insured vehicle. Some food delivery platforms may also require background checks or specific vehicle specifications.

Needed skills: Driving, navigation, and customer service 

What you’ll need: Insured vehicle, driver’s license, and smartphone

12. Photographer 

Being a self-employed photographer is best suited for individuals who enjoy photography. You’ll use cameras and photography equipment to capture images for organizations or individuals. This may involve working on location or in a studio, setting up lighting and backgrounds, and directing subjects to achieve desired poses or shots.

Some photographers specialize in areas like weddings, photojournalism, fashion, nature, or product photography.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but some specialties like wildlife photography may require specific permits and licenses.

Needed skills: Attention to detail and photography techniques 

What you’ll need: Camera and lenses, photo editing software, tripod, and lighting equipment

13. Lawn care 

Working as a lawn care specialist is ideal for individuals who enjoy working outdoors. You’ll provide various services to maintain and enhance the appearance of outdoor spaces. This may include mowing lawns, trimming and edging grass, fertilizing plants, removing weeds, and performing basic landscaping duties.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but knowledge of horticulture and landscaping principles can be beneficial. Some states may require a pesticide applicator license for individuals who offer pesticide services.

Needed skills: Basic lawn and plant care knowledge and the ability to use and maintain lawn care equipment 

What you’ll need: Lawn mower and equipment, transportation

14. Tech repair  

Technology repair works for tech-savvy individuals who might be good at repairing laptops and smartphones. You’ll diagnose hardware and software issues and repair or replace faulty parts.

You may also provide services like data recovery, virus removal, and software installation. Offering mobile repair services can be even more lucrative, as it allows you to reach customers conveniently at their location.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but obtaining certifications in areas such as computer repair or smartphone troubleshooting can help establish credibility.

Needed skills: Problem-solving, attention to detail, and communication 

What you’ll need: Repair tools, access to replacement parts, and diagnostic software

15. Caterer 

Catering is an excellent fit for people who lover food and hospitality. This job is well-suited for those who enjoy working independently, being creative with their menu selections, and providing exceptional customer service.

You’ll plan and handle food and beverage services for events. This may include weddings, corporate functions, parties, and other special occasions.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but culinary training or experience in the food industry is advantageous. You may need a food handler's license. 

Needed skills: Organization, time management, and attention to detail 

What you’ll need: Cooking equipment, kitchen space, and food presentation supplies  

16. Graphic designer  

Graphic design is a great fit for individuals with a strong artistic and creative flair. This job is ideal for those who enjoy working independently and are passionate about creating visually appealing graphics. You’ll create customized graphics for websites and advertisements and develop logos and branding for companies.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but some clients may require a degree in graphic design or a related field.

Needed skills: Attention to detail and time management 

What you’ll need: Computer, design software, and a portfolio of work

An illustration of the benefits of self-employed jobs, such as tax benefits and greater flexibility and independence.

17. Web designer 

Having a strong online presence is crucial for businesses. This has created a demand for professionals in web design and development. As a web designer, you can cater to many clients, from small businesses with limited budgets to larger companies with more complex website needs. You’ll design and build small business websites that are visually appealing, user-friendly, and functional.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but a strong understanding of design principles, HTML, CSS, and other programming languages is helpful.

Needed skills: Creativity, design, and communication 

What you’ll need: Computer, design software, and a portfolio of work

18. Social media manager

Being a social media manager is ideal for creative, tech-savvy individuals with a strong understanding of social media platforms and engagement strategies. Your main responsibilities will involve managing and maintaining the social media presence of businesses or individuals.

You will create, curate, schedule, and post content on various social media platforms. You’ll also monitor and analyze social media metrics and interact with followers and customers.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but it’s beneficial to have experience in content creation, copywriting, and social media marketing strategies.

Needed skills: Analytical, communication, and writing

What you’ll need: Computer and social media management tools

19. Artist 

As a self-employed artist, you get to use your imagination and create works of art. Artists can work in various fields, like craft art, painting, sculpture, and animation.

You’ll be creating and producing art pieces, whether it's through painting, sculpting, or other mediums. You may also be responsible for marketing and selling your artwork through galleries, exhibitions, or online platforms.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but a bachelor's degree in fine arts or a related field can be beneficial. Industry experience and training can help artists develop their skills, techniques, and understanding of art history and theory.

Needed skills: Creativity and eye for detail 

What you’ll need: Art supplies and workspace

20. Content creator  

Being a content creator is best for individuals passionate about creating videos on a certain topic and posting on social media. This self-employed job allows them to express their creativity and share their ideas with a wide audience.

You’ll be writing engaging blog posts, creating informative or entertaining videos, and managing social media accounts. You’ll identify your target audience, research and develop interesting ideas, then produce high-quality social posts. 

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, although experience in relevant fields, like videography or creative writing, can help

Needed skills: Communication and creativity 

What you’ll need: Computer, camera, and social media management tools

21. Interior designer  

Being an interior designer is best for individuals with a strong creative eye and a passion for creating beautiful and functional spaces. You’ll be creating interior spaces that are aesthetically pleasing and functional. 

Interior designers work closely with clients to understand their needs, preferences, and budget. Duties include selecting and arranging furniture, choosing color schemes, coordinating lighting fixtures, and sourcing materials.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but many clients may prefer individuals with a bachelor's degree in interior design or a related field.

Needed skills: Communication, aesthetics, and problem-solving 

What you’ll need: Design software and measuring tools

22. Consultant  

Consulting is best for people with a strong background in a specific field and skilled in analyzing complex problems. It’s ideal for those who have excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

You’ll assess client needs, provide expert advice and recommendations, and develop strategies to solve business challenges. Consultants may also partake in project management and implementation, training and facilitating workshops, and helping clients navigate organizational change.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but many clients prefer consultants with a bachelor's degree or higher in a relevant field. Additionally, consultants may need to comply with industry-specific regulations and licensing requirements. 

Needed skills: Problem-solving, analytical, communication, and presentation 

What you’ll need: Computer, as well as research resources and tools


Tip

For certain self-employed jobs, you’ll want to register as a self-employed business owner.


23. Realtor 

Being a Realtor is ideal for individuals who enjoy working independently and have a passion for the real estate industry. It’s a great fit for those with strong interpersonal skills, salesmanship, and a knack for building client relationships.

You’ll be assisting clients in buying, selling, and renting properties. It’s up to you to conduct property searches, show homes, offices, or retail space, negotiate deals, and prepare contracts. Additionally, you will guide clients through the entire real estate transaction process. 

Qualifications: You’ll need to obtain a state real estate license, which typically involves completing a certain number of pre-licensing education hours, passing a licensing exam, and meeting other state-specific requirements. Additionally, ongoing professional development is crucial for staying up-to-date with industry regulations and trends.

Needed skills: Communication and salesmanship 

What you’ll need: Transportation, marketing plan, and a real estate license

24. Personal trainer  

Being a personal trainer is a great fit for those who want to help others reach their fitness goals and lead healthier lifestyles.

Personal trainers are responsible for designing personalized workout routines tailored to each client's needs and goals. They instruct clients on proper exercise techniques, provide guidance on nutrition and lifestyle habits, and monitor their progress.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, although most personal trainers have a background in exercise science or a related field. Many clients may also prefer trainers with certifications from reputable fitness organizations.

Needed skills: Communication, as well as an understanding of biomechanics and exercise physiology 

What you’ll need: Access to fitness equipment and liability insurance

25. Life coach  

Being self-employed as a life coach is a great fit for individuals who want to help others and possess strong listening and communication skills.

You’ll guide and assist clients in achieving their personal and professional goals. They provide support, motivation, and accountability to help clients overcome obstacles and make positive life changes. Life coaches may advise clients on various areas, including career decisions, motivation, time management, relationships, and personal hobbies.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but having industry experience or a degree in psychology is advantageous. Life coaches often complete training programs or certifications to further develop their coaching skills and enhance their credibility.

Needed skills: Listening and communication 

What you’ll need: Coaching materials and resources

26. Event organizer  

Being an event organizer is a great fit for people who are organized, creative, and enjoy planning events.

You’ll plan and coordinate various events, such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and corporate gatherings. Event organizers handle all aspects of event planning, including venue selection, vendor and supplier management, budgeting, scheduling, and event logistics.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but a background in event management, hospitality, or hospitality management can be beneficial. There are also certification programs available for aspiring event organizers to enhance their skills and credibility.

Needed skills: Organization, time management, and communication 

What you’ll need: Event planning software

27. Child care provider  

Being a childcare provider is a self-employed job option for individuals who enjoy working with children. This job is best for individuals with a passion for working with children and the necessary patience and nurturing qualities. Whether you have your own kids or have experience caring for children, being a childcare provider allows you to turn your skills and love for children into a profitable business.

Qualifications: Some states require a high school diploma, certifications in CPR and first aid, specialized training and certificates, as well as licenses.

Needed skills: Communication, interpersonal, patience, and multitasking 

What you’ll need: Childproofing supplies, toys and activities, meals and snacks, and insurance

28. Home organizer  

Home organizers tend to love organizing and creating systems to keep things in order. As a home organizer, you assist clients in decluttering their spaces and developing systems to keep their homes tidy and organized.

You’ll help clients sort through their belongings, create efficient storage solutions, and provide guidance on maintaining an organized space.

Qualifications: No formal education requirement, but having a natural knack for organization and an eye for detail will greatly benefit you in this role.

Needed skills: Communication, creativity, and interpersonal 

What you’ll need: Organizing tools like labels and containers, as well as transportation

How to start your self-employed job journey 

Figuring out how to become self-employed can be an exciting and fulfilling endeavor. Whether you’re seeking more flexibility, autonomy, or the ability to pursue your passion, starting a self-employed job offers many opportunities.

An illustration of the tips for starting a self-employed business, such as networking and learning about time management and self-employed taxes.

Here are some steps and tips to help you kick-start your journey:

  1. Identify your skills and passions: Take the time to assess your skills, interests, and passions. Consider what type of work you enjoy and what you excel at. This will help you narrow down the self-employed job options that align with your strengths and passions.
  2. Research self-employed opportunities: Conduct thorough research to explore the various self-employed job options available. Look for industries, such as event planning, freelance writing, real estate, personal training, or business consulting, that interest you and have a demand for self-employed individuals.
  3. Network and connect: Building a strong network is vital for finding self-employed job opportunities. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with like-minded professionals on social media platforms. Engaging in conversations and building relationships can open doors to potential clients and collaborators.
  4. Create an online presence: A strong online presence is crucial in today's digital era. Create a professional website or portfolio to showcase your skills and expertise. Utilize social media platforms to share your work and connect with potential clients. Having a strong online presence will increase your visibility and credibility as a self-employed professional.
  5. Set boundaries and learn about taxes: As a self-employed individual, it's essential to set healthy boundaries between your personal and professional life. Clearly define your working hours and stick to them. Additionally, educate yourself on the tax obligations and benefits of being self-employed. Familiarize yourself with tax deductions and consider consulting with a tax professional to ensure compliance.

Using your skills and passion can help you find rewarding opportunities that offer flexibility and independence.

Start your business with confidence 

Learning how to be self-employed can also bring various benefits and flexibility. The ability to choose your own hours, pursue your passions, and control your work-life balance are major benefits of self-employed jobs. Remember, starting a new endeavor, whether you’re self-employed, a freelancer, or a solopreneur, comes with new tasks like self-employment taxes. 

Make it as easy as possible with accounting software like QuickBooks Self-Employed that’s tailored to self-starters like you. 

Self-employed jobs FAQ

QuickBooks Money: QuickBooks Money is a standalone Intuit offering that includes QuickBooks Payments and QuickBooks Checking. Intuit accounts are subject to eligibility criteria, credit, and application approval. Banking services provided by and the QuickBooks Visa® Debit Card is issued by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to license from Visa U.S.A., Inc. Visa is a registered trademark of Visa International Service Association. QuickBooks Checking Deposit Account Agreement applies. Banking services and debit card opening are subject to identity verification and approval by Green Dot Bank. Money movement services are provided by Intuit Payments Inc., licensed as a Money Transmitter by the New York State Department of Financial Services. For more information about Intuit Payments' money transmission licenses, please visit

https://www.intuit.com/legal/licenses/payment-licenses/. No subscription cost or monthly fees. Other fees and limits, including transaction-based fees, apply.

Industry-leading Annual Percentage Yield (APY): Competitive rate information based on publicly available data for small business checking accounts provided by the largest national and online banks as of September 18, 2023. APYs are subject to change at any time.


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