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Self-employment has exploded in the United States (U.S.) this year, thanks in large part to an unpredictable job market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10.279 million people were self-employed in July 2021, the highest number on record in the U.S.—and entrepreneurs are heading into 2022 ready to work for themselves.
Why Choose Self-Employment?
Self-employment can provide a great deal of job flexibility and autonomy. From independent contractors and sole proprietorships that provide services or goods directly to consumers, there are numerous ways to set up a small business for success. The Small Business Administration is an excellent resource for starting and financing self-employment ventures.
Types of Self-Employment Jobs
Making the decision to become self-employed is one of the first of many you’ll be making on your own—after all, that’s the beauty of self-employment jobs. Of course, there are a few things to consider first. Who is your ideal customer? What kind of knowledge and experience do you have that will help create success? How will you run your self-employed business? And the most essential question of all: what will your product or service be?
10 Self-Employment Examples
If you’re mulling over the idea of becoming self-employed, but still not quite sure what you want to do, take a look at your talents, interests and skills. Are they a fit for one of these self-employment jobs?
- Business Consultant
Also known as business coaches or professional advisors, business consultants help companies achieve their goals and streamline their operations for success. If you have expertise in business or human resources, this may be the self-employment job for you.
Self-employed nutritionists and dieticians offer individual nutritional counseling, group classes, workshops or corporate consulting. They may even work as freelance writers in the health and wellness sector.
- Healthy Vending Business Owner
Self-employed healthy vending machine operators can be true entrepreneurs if they select a business model that does not incur franchise, royalty or other ongoing fees, but still provides franchise-level support. Part-time or full-time, healthy vending is a self-employment job that allows you to work 90% remotely while creating a revenue stream.
- Personal Trainer
Self-employed personal trainers provide motivational support and design workouts and fitness routines for private clients and gym members. Experience and certifications are required to help clients avoid injury.
- Career Coach
A career coach differs from a business coach in that they work with individuals regarding personal career trajectory, rather than organizations.
Tutors help students in a variety of subject areas. This is an excellent self-employment job for high school or college students who need a flexible schedule, aspiring teachers or teachers who wish to supplement their income.
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Being a self-employed photographer means taking on clients for photoshoots. Photographers can specialize in corporate headshots, senior portraits, family sessions, weddings, products and more.
- Event Planner
Self-employment is ideal in a career field like event planning, where flexibility, logistics and creativity are essential for success.
- Hair Stylist
A self-employed hair stylist can earn income through payment for services provided, plus tips. Some stylists opt to rent booth space, while others work independently from their home salons. This self-employment job requires specialized education, training and licensing.
If you love real estate, this could be the career for you. Licensed real estate agents are typically self-employed, working for a broker.
Differences Between Being an Employee and Self-Employed
Traditional employees complete a W-4 and receive a W-2 during tax season. They are typically bound to a particular employer. Independent contractors, on the other hand, may receive a 1099 from a client or manage their own income streams. Be sure to consult with an experienced accountant, as the self-employed have a different tax responsibility than traditional employees.