Enviable freelance jobs ‘tend not to pay big bucks’

All that glitters may not be gold -- at least when it comes to what people perceive to be the best freelance careers.

In fact, a 50-strong analysis of self-employed jobs assessing both profitability and desirability shows that none of the five most alluring are any of the five most lucrative, except for just one.

It is Architecture, or in the desirability stakes an ‘Architect’ is ranked third with a 62% backing, and ranked fourth in the profitability stakes thanks to a £42,500 salary, found Protectivity.

'The most desirable'

The niche insurer showed the role to be less alluring to people than being a ‘freelance musician,’ ranked second in desirability, and ‘freelance photographer’ -- the most desirable of all (as 68% backed it).

But neither of these two freelance specialisms feature in the ten most profitable although ‘freelance music teacher’ did make the cut, being ranked fifth on an annual salary of £40,860.

Above it in the insurer’s table of profitability, which it compiled having trawled three freelance job sites and used the highest average, are Architect (4th), Software Developer (3rd, £42,500); Investment Consultant (4th, £50,000) and Lawyer (1st, £57,293).


But out of these four, ‘freelance lawyer’ is the only one to feature in the high desirability stakes, and even then, it ranks as just the sixth most desirable, behind ‘freelance actor’ (fourth) and ‘freelance online researcher’ (fifth).

Protective, which surveyed 1,000 people across the UK to gauge their views on the self-employed careers they regard as the most appealing, believes it is unsurprising that ‘freelance lawyer’ topped the profitability table.

“Some less obvious results…within the top ten [include]; a music teacher, yoga instructor and interior designer”, it said, “[all] earning between £37,000 to £40,000 per annum.”

'Defied expectations'

Yet despite ‘freelance yoga instructor’ proving to be a profitable career to have, many survey respondents did not perceive the path to be desirable, as it drew only a 41% backing.

And ‘freelance blogger' and 'social media marketer’ also defied expectations, as despite Digital being the darling of the UK's creative industries, even fewer people (38%) said either looked appealing.

Alongside Architect and Lawyer, Interior Designer and Web Designer are the only other freelance occupations to feature both in the top 10 most desirable and in the top 10 most profitable, ranked seventh and eighth in the former and ninth and tenth in the latter, with each commanding an annual take-home pay of £37,500.

Editor's Note: Related --

Third of freelancers suffer 'disheartening' skills decay

Creative media's pay-gap 'at least half the size in temp jobs'

Creative freelancers, are your digital skills 'future-proof'?


29th November 2018

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