Top 10 Self-Employed Occupations for 2016

Back0 Comments

Working for yourself. Being your own boss. Setting your own business goals. Does that sound nice? If so, you’ll want to consider the top 10 self-employed occupations for 2016, rated best according to size, recent job growth, and wages.

Now, plenty of folks work a little for themselves on the side (like selling handmade jewelry on Etsy), but the top 10 occupations here involve workers for whom self-employment is the primary source of income.

In order from largest to smallest:

1. Management Analysts

What they do: Management analysts figure out ways to improve an organization’s efficiency. They conduct studies and design systems that help businesses make their work not only simpler, but more profitable.

Growth: There are currently 162,000 self-employed management analysts in the US. From 2010 to 2015, there were 9,800 new jobs (6% growth).

Avg. Wages: $28/hour

Typical Education: Bachelor’s degree + work experience

2. Writers & Authors

27-3042_heroWhat they do: Pretty self-explanatory! Writers write. Books, scripts, advertisements, web content, songs… But note that this job is separate from technical writers, which is a declining occupation for the self-employed.

Growth: There are currently 85,100 self-employed writers in the US. From 2010 to 2015, there were 5,500 new jobs (7% growth).

Avg. Wages: $16/hour

Typical Education: Bachelor’s degree

3. Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists

What they do: Psychologists diagnose and treat mental disorders, learning disabilities, and cognitive, behavioral, and emotional problems. They may also design and implement behavior modification programs.

Growth: There are currently 50,500 self-employed psychologists in the US. From 2010 to 2015, there were 3,100 new jobs (6% growth).

Avg. Wages: $30/hour

Typical Education: Doctoral degree

4. Chief Executives

What they do: In a word, chief executives run companies. Other common names for this position would be CEO and president.

Growth: There are currently 45,700 self-employed chief executives in the US. From 2010 to 2015, there were 3,100 new jobs (7% growth).

Avg. Wages: $27/hour

Typical Education: Bachelor’s degree + work experience

5. Laborers and Freight/Stock/Material Movers (Hand)

53-7062_heroWhat they do: This is a long job title for workers who manually move freight, stock, or other materials. Other job titles include loader, warehouse worker, and dock worker.

Growth: There are currently 42,900 self-employed manual laborers of this type in the US. From 2010 to 2015, there were 2,400 new jobs (6% growth).

Avg. Wages: $15/hour

Typical Education: Less than high school + on-the-job training

6. Fitness Trainers & Aerobics Instructors

What they do: Basically, gym instructors. They teach groups or individuals, demonstrating technique and explaining how to improve. Note that these trainers are different than athletic trainers, who focus on helping people recover from (or avoid) athletic injury, or to maintain peak physical fitness.

Growth: There are currently 40,500 self-employed fitness trainers in the US. From 2010 to 2015, there were 6,000 new jobs (17% growth).

Avg. Wages: $16/hour

Typical Education: High school diploma + on-the-job training and certification

7. Web Developers

15-1134_heroWhat they do: They design, create, and modify websites.

Growth: There are currently 32,300 self-employed web developers in the US. From 2010 to 2015, there were 7,300 new jobs (29% growth).

Avg. Wages: $19/hour

Typical Education: Associate’s degree

8. Tax Preparers

What they do: These prepare tax returns for individuals and businesses—a very busy job every April.

Growth: There are currently 27,600 self-employed web developers in the US. From 2010 to 2015, there were 3,200 new jobs (13% growth).

Avg. Wages: $20/hour

Typical Education: High school diploma + on-the-job training

9. Interpreters and Translators

27-3091_heroWhat they do: This includes those who interpret oral language/sign language or translate written text from one language into another. See which languages are in hottest demand. (Surprise! Spanish isn’t one of them.)

Growth: There are currently 23,600 self-employed interpreters and translators in the US. From 2010 to 2015, there were 3,900 new jobs (20% growth).

Avg. Wages: $19/hour

Typical Education: Bachelor’s degree

10. Computer Systems Analysts

What they do: These analyze science, engineering, business, and other data processing problems to implement and improve computer systems.

Growth: There are currently 23,300 self-employed computer systems analysts in the US. From 2010 to 2015, there were 2,300 new jobs (11% growth).

Avg. Wages: $28/hour

Typical Education: Bachelor’s degree

Find out if these jobs are right for you by taking our quick assessment on Find Your Calling. Contact us at fyc@economicmodeling.com

About the Author

Gwen Burrow

Gwen is a writer and editor for Find Your Calling. She likes running, movies, and playing with words.

Leave A Reply