There are lots of jobs that you can work independently, including web development, transcription, accounting, writing, truck driving, and more. And 58% of Americans say they get the flexibility to work remotely at least one day a week—showing that independent work is pretty common!1
Many people find lots of success working in small teams and groups in today’s workforce. However, others find that depending on others—or being depended upon—makes their work experience more stressful and less productive. If that sounds like you, you should know there are jobs where you can work independently.
Whether they’re at home, in an office, or on the road, millions of people work remotely or independently every year. And if you want to join their ranks, we’ve got a list of some of the best jobs available that you can work by yourself. Got some alone time now? Read on!
Benefits of Working Independently
|Enjoy the freedom to set your own work hours, allowing for a better work-life balance and the ability to attend to personal matters as needed.
|Autonomy in Decision-Making
|Have complete control over work decisions, from choosing clients and projects to setting your own goals and strategies.
|Potential for Higher Income
|The opportunity to earn more by taking on multiple projects or clients, without the income cap often present in traditional employment.
|Enjoy full creative freedom in your projects, without the constraints of a corporate structure or the need to adhere to someone else’s vision.
|Diverse Skill Development
|Develop a broad range of skills, from project management to client relations, enhancing both personal and professional growth.
|Custom Work Environment
|Choose your ideal work setting, whether it’s a home office, a shared workspace, or even a café, to create an environment that best suits your productivity and comfort.
|Direct Client Relationships
|Build closer, more direct relationships with clients, leading to a better understanding of their needs and potentially more satisfying and successful project outcomes.
|Personal Brand Building
|The ability to create and promote your own brand, establishing yourself as a professional in your field and opening doors to new opportunities and collaborations.
|Reduced Commuting Stress
|Eliminate or significantly reduce the time and stress associated with daily commuting, contributing to better overall well-being and productivity.
|Tailor your career to fit your lifestyle, whether that means traveling while working, pursuing hobbies, or spending more time with family.
Careers Where You Can Work Independently
1. Accounting Jobs
If you like working independently—but love numbers even more—there are many opportunities in the world of accounting. Many people think that accounting skills require deep knowledge of complicated formulas. But in reality, accounting is more about research, investigation, and balancing figures. Even if you don’t decide to become a full-fledged CPA, there are some great jobs in which independent workers can thrive.
Tax Consulting and Tax Preparing
As a tax consultant, you can help people with their income or business tax returns. Tax consulting involves minimizing tax liabilities while maximizing benefits like deductions and tax credits. Consultants reduce potential future risks by helping clients determine foreseeable financial consequences of their various “money moves.”
Tax preparers are less involved than tax consultants. These independent professionals help people understand tax codes and advise people on which forms to use for filing with the IRS. While you need a relevant bachelor’s degree to become a tax consultant, tax preparation only requires some training and a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
Bookkeepers are in charge of managing a company’s financial records. Their job is to manage financial information on income and expenses. While they manage that data, bookkeepers don’t necessarily need financial advisors. A bookkeeper’s main responsibility is to make sure that records are organized and accessible. Online bookkeeping tools have made it easy to share information with clients and companies remotely. And for the expert-level organizational ninja, multiple clients (and their retainer fees) are no problem.
2. Transcribing Legal or Medical Records
Have you ever watched a TV show where a doctor talks into a tape recorder after seeing a patient? Transcriptionists are the people who take those records, along with many other types of audio or video files, and write them out for reading purposes. As you can imagine, transcription in the medical and legal fields is essential to ensure that important records are available for easy access.
Good transcription requires good reading and listening skills. It’s also a job done well in solitude; there’s no need for other team members in transcription. Independent transcribers can either contract themselves for hourly rates or charge by the size and number of records needed for transcription.
3. Virtual Assistant
On the whole, virtual assistants (VAs) are called upon to accomplish various administrative tasks. VAs give many sole proprietors and small businesses a way to get the help they need affordably. Though they can work alone, virtual assistants need strong interpersonal skills.
You can work in many functions as a VA. But, you can decide what those functions are! That means you can focus your efforts on offering the skills you enjoy doing the most. Some of the most wanted requests of VA’s include:
- Managing email correspondence
- Answering and returning phone calls
- Scheduling appointments
- Digital file management
- Data entry jobs
In addition to being your own boss, you can work anywhere in the world as a virtual assistant. So if your client has a problem, you can solve it immediately, without having to speed to an office or job site. Like many independent jobs, being a virtual assistant has unlimited earning potential. The money you make will be proportional to your skill set and time commitment.
4. Social Media Manager
A social media manager creates a unique social media strategy for their company or organization. The bulk of that work is done by analyzing performance metrics and monitoring interactions across various social media platforms. A social media manager oversees an organization’s social media accounts to see what content resonates with its target audience.
With the rise of advertising on social media platforms, a good manager must use savvy and creativity. Their job is about making social media posts that meet marketing campaign objectives.
That means using techniques that maximize views and create buzz for the client. So, while this independent job offers lots of personal freedom, it takes a lot of market research and independent study to be successful.
5. Web Development
Web developers design, create, and manage websites. Developers generally fall into two camps. Front-end developers create user interfaces and manage operations. Back-end developers build systems to support data and work with software development. Both options require lots of time to work out complex problems outside of a team environment. Web developers can either work remotely for a company or freelance.
6. Writing Jobs
Writing is one of the easiest independent jobs to get into. People need professional writers for everything from advertising to zoology. Here are some of the ways to earn money as an independent writer:
Copywriters are responsible for creating interesting and engaging marketing and promotional materials for various products and services. These materials can range from product packaging and labels to brochures and blog posts to email campaigns. Copywriters help brands define their voice and work to use that voice when writing and editing print materials.
Becoming an independent copywriter helps to have a degree in journalism, English, or a related field. But what matters is the quality of your work. To get started, check out online copywriting jobs that appeal to you.
Thousands of writers and academics turn to freelance editors to polish their work to focus their attention on creation and research. Every level of the writing industry needs good editors. There are entry-level jobs for the inexperienced editor. And as you build your reputation up, you can grow into qualifying for bigger, more lucrative projects. Editing is a skilled profession where your earnings are as big as your skillset. So, if being an editor is for you, practice makes money!
Blogging is for the writer who wants to remain truly independent. Bloggers tend to focus their work on a particular topic or skill; some bloggers advise everything from choosing the right installment loans or baking the perfect cake. As your work builds a reputation for quality, your audience will grow. From there, you can explore a couple of different revenue streams. Some bloggers offer paid subscriptions to access exclusive content.
Others use affiliate marketing to profit share in sales from ads or mentions on their sites. And, of course, many bloggers do a mix of both. It may take a lot of work to turn a big enough profit to make blogging a full-time job, so you might want to consider some other ways to make extra income while you build your blog.
7. Truck Driving
In the recent economic downturn, many trucking companies lost truck drivers due to a lack of available work. Now, there are tens of thousands of available truck driving positions available, with many of them offering huge signing bonuses and benefits. Like many other independent careers, being a truck driver requires a bit of investment.
All truck drivers must acquire a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in their home state and take a few additional driving courses to learn how to operate big rigs. But, if the idea of just you and the open road sound appealing, the truck driving industry may be for you!
8. Food Delivery Driver
For ages, food delivery gigs have been known as great-paying part-time jobs. However, modern technology has allowed independent workers to maximize their opportunities. With people staying in more and more, food delivery jobs will remain in demand.
Driving for Delivery Apps
Food delivery apps (UberEats, GrubHub, DoorDash, etc.) allow users to get food from just about any restaurant in their towns and cities. When you drive for any of these services, you work as an independent contractor. That means you create your schedule and work whenever you want. Drivers can make good money with the right tips and work peak hours.
Like delivery drivers, grocery shoppers will remain in high demand for years to come. Most major grocery stores have workers who process online orders from customers. Grocery shoppers work independently, pulling orders from shelves and bagging them for delivery or customer pickup. Having a driver’s license and good communication skills are advantages in this job.
9. Pet Sitter
Animals lovers who want to work alone may find their dream job as pet sitters. Pet sitters usually work during the day to walk, feed, and care for people’s furry friends while they’re at work or on vacation. Getting started as a pet sitter is a fairly inexpensive task; a few supplies like leashes and dog toys will do, but your clients (well, their owners, at least) will already have most of what you need. A good pet sitter needs to be pretty active so that they can keep up with their charges, so be sure that you’ve got the stamina needed to get the job done.
Are You an Introvert? Then You Might Love Working Independently
Introverts are people who prefer to spend time alone rather than in large groups. People mislabel introverts as shy and people who don’t like to interact with others—the classic opposite of the outgoing, self-confident extrovert. The truth is many introverts are well-adjusted people who love to socialize. The real difference in introverts is that they tend to find peace and calm when living more inwardly. And it’s no secret that most people do their best work when at ease. That all boils down to a simple fact: Introverts work better alone. Here are a few reasons why:
They Focus On One Thing at a Time
Many independent jobs are mundane; they contain repetitive tasks that require steady detail. An introvert’s single-mindedness can help them excel at mundane tasks alone. For example, introverts could excel in data entry jobs.
Quiet Helps Their Creativity
It can take nearly a half-hour for the average person to recover from a work interruption. With minimal distractions, an introvert knocks out lots of work. In an independent work situation, an introvert can work whenever they feel most comfortable.
Schedules Are Ideal
Introverts don’t like to be surprised. Once they set themselves on a schedule, introverts prefer to stay on track. With independent work, people have lots of freedom to set a schedule that works for them. And most importantly, introverts don’t have to worry about many impromptu meetings or huddles when they work alone.
FAQs About Independent Jobs
When you’re working independently, keeping accurate financial records is crucial. This includes tracking income, expenses, invoices, and tax documents. It’s essential for budgeting and tax purposes.
Social media managers can leverage their skills to promote their business. This involves creating engaging content, using analytics to analyze key findings, and interacting with your audience to build a strong online presence.
Research scientists who enjoy working independently have several options. They can focus on solo research projects, freelance consulting, or even start their own research initiatives, provided they have the necessary qualifications and resources.
Yes, it’s possible to start working as a graphic designer with just a high school diploma. However, building a strong portfolio, continually learning new design software, and developing excellent customer service skills are key to succeeding as a graphic designer. But remember that at the beginning, you may not earn as much as an experienced graphic designer.
Jobs like freelance writing, graphic design, and virtual assistance are among the best for those who like to work at their own pace. These roles often allow you to set your own schedule and work independently.
Even when you work alone, customer service skills are vital. They help you effectively communicate with clients, understand their needs, and build lasting professional relationships, which are crucial for business growth.
Graphic designers looking for independent work should focus on building a strong portfolio, networking, using social media to showcase their work, and joining freelance platforms to find potential clients.
While not always necessary, certifications in business management, marketing, or your specific field can be beneficial. They provide valuable knowledge and can enhance your credibility when starting your own business.
CreditNinja’s Final Thoughts: You Can Travel Your Career Path Alone
Whether you want to get a job quickly to cover bills or find a new profession that you’re passionate about, you can work independently while doing it. Our world is full of ways to make money and work alone. And when you are happy with your work, you are much more likely to succeed and achieve the financial independence you’ve always dreamed of.
- Americans are embracing flexible work | McKinsey Insights
- So Begins A Quiet Revolution Of The 50 Percent | Forbes
- Why Now is the Time To Become a Truck Driver | Bankrate