The majority of the jobs on this year's rankings of the top jobs for self-employment are in the real-estate and skilled-trades industries.
- Real estate and skilled trades are lucrative positions for those who wish to be their own bosses.
- New, self-employed positions with high earnings potential include digital marketer, writer and programmer.
- Jobs that can give a side income revenue stream include being an Uber driver, food delivery, childcare and more.
If you aspire to be your own boss one day, you should consider a job in the real-estate or skilled-trades industries, 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 topped former rankings.
"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," wrote SmartAsset's Nick Wallace. "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."
SmartAsset's list of top careers for the self-employed
To find the best jobs as a self-employed individual, SmartAsset examined U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data for jobs in which at least 15% of workers are their own bosses. Along with looking at the percentage of self-employed workers, 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]
SmartAsset's top 12 jobs for people who want to be self-employed are:
1. Property and real-estate managers: More than 40% 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% of farmers and ranchers work for themselves, and they have a median income of $68,050.
3. Brickmasons and block masons: Nearly 25% of masons (not including stonemasons) are self-employed. Over the next 10 years, masons are expected to see job growth of more than 18%.
4. Food-service managers: Nearly 35% of food-service managers work for themselves. They earn a median income of $48,560, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects there to be 77,000 job openings by 2024.
5. Painters (construction and maintenance): More than 40% 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% 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% of tile and marble setters are self-employed. Their median income is $38,980.
9. Artists and related workers: Nearly 55% 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% 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.
Self-employed jobs that pay well and allow you to be your own boss
Being self-employed has countless benefits. Flexibility is a major plus; as your own boss, you choose what working hours fit best with your schedule. Vacation time isn't limited or restricted, and some jobs also provide you with the opportunity to better control your salary. For instance, if you work a freelance job, your income is directly tied to how often you book clients.
Today, more and more profitable self-employed business opportunities are taking place online, meaning professionals in these jobs can operate out of their home offices. Here are a few examples:
1. Writer: Freelance writers are able to work flexible hours and take on as few or as many projects as their schedules allow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean salary for writers is $62,170 annually.
2. Programming: Any type of web and software development can be done by independent workers. Independent contractors are hired by application and software firms who don't have an in-house team. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, programmers make upwards of $69,000 annually.
3. Digital marketing: Search engine optimization is another type of career that a self-employed individual with a background in digital marketing may enter. Businesses hire SEO marketers to increase web presence. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for marketing managers is more than $132,000 each year. Along with SEO, a digital marketer may decide to help a business market across social media pages.
Self-employed jobs with no prior qualifications needed
Many self-employed jobs require a skill or talent, but there are numerous opportunities with no prior qualifications needed. These positions include Uber driver, food delivery, childcare, eldercare and blogging. Any of these jobs provide the potential to make a part-time or full-time income.