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Want to Be Your Own Boss? 12 Fields to Consider

Want to Be Your Own Boss? 12 Fields to Consider Credit: Bleakstar/Shutterstock

If you aspire to be your own boss one day, you should consider a job in the real-estate or skilled-trades industries, new research shows.

Eight of the 12 highest-rated jobs for workers who want to be self-employed are in one of those two industries, including property and real estate managers, which tops this year's rankings from SmartAsset.

"Whether you make your money in marketing or manufacturing, chances are the vast majority of work opportunities in your field involve a manager and a W-2 form," SmartAsset's Nick Wallace wrote on the company's blog. "For workers who are willing to change directions, however, there are some jobs that require little additional education and in which the majority of workers are self-employed."

To find the best jobs for being self-employed, SmartAsset examined U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data for jobs in which at least 15 percent of workers are their own bosses. Along with looking at the percentage of workers who are self-employed, SmartAsset also considered the median income, projected workforce growth, projected job opportunities in the next 10 years and the level of education required in each type of job. [See Related Story: Think Your Business Idea Rocks? 10 Ways to Know ]

This year's top 12 jobs for people who want to be self-employed are:

  1. Property and real-estate managers: More than 40 percent of property managers are self-employed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job requires no formal education beyond a high school diploma, and the median income in the United States is $54,270.
  2. Farmers and ranchers: More than 70 percent of farmers and ranchers work for themselves, and they have a median income of $68,050.
  3. Brickmasons and block masons: Nearly 25 percent of masons (not including stonemasons) are self-employed. Over the next 10 years, masons are expected to see job growth of more than 18 percent.
  4. Food-service managers: Nearly 35 percent of food-service managers work for themselves. They earn a median income of $48,560, and the Bureau of Labor Statisticsprojects there to be 77,000 job openings by 2024.
  5. Painters (construction and maintenance): More than 40 percent of painters are self-employed. They have a median annual income of $35,950.
  6. Carpenters: The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 169,100 openings for carpenters over the next decade. Currently, 33 percent of carpenters work for themselves.
  7. Lodging managers: Close to one-third of the 48,400 lodging managers in the United States are self-employed. Their median annual income is $47,680.
  8. Tile and marble setters: Nearly 42 percent of tile and marble setters are self-employed. Their median income is $38,980.
  9. Artists and related workers: Nearly 55 percent of those in this job category — which includes craft artists, animators, multimedia artists, painters, sculptors, illustrators and art directors — work for themselves. Their median income is $65,860.
  10. Construction laborers: Over the next decade, there will be 378,600 job openings in this field, the fifth most of any job in the analysis. Overall, more than a quarter of construction laborers are self-employed.
  11. Real-estate brokers: Close to 55 percent of real-estate brokers work for themselves. Their median annual income is $57,360.
  12. Real-estate sales agents: More than half of all real-estate sales agents are self-employed. By 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 33,000 job openings in this field.

The complete list of all 25 jobs on this year's rankings can be found on the SmartAsset website.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.