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10 Popular Freelance Jobs You Can Do From Home

These remote positions also let you choose how frequently you work

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Whether it’s the freedom to work from home or more time to handle caregiving responsibilities, older workers value the flexibility that freelance work offers, according to a survey from AARP Research.

In the poll, 87 percent of respondents said flexibility about when and how much they work is one of the top reasons for choosing to work in freelance or contract jobs. AARP Research conducted a nationwide survey of 540 people age 40 and older who work as “an independent contractor, independent consultant, a gig worker or a freelancer.”

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The desire to make extra money is another top reason for working freelance, according to 89 percent of respondents. Roughly 7 in 10 said they wanted the flexibility to care for children or adult dependents.

“The way people think about work changed with the pandemic,” says Carly Roszkowski, AARP vice president of financial resilience programming. “Many older workers were laid off or had to quit their jobs to take care of family members, and as they return to the workforce, they want more flexibility and work-life balance. Freelance or gig work is appealing because it provides people the opportunity to set their own hours, be their own boss and to have that balance.”

Remote work and freelance jobs soared during the first two years of the pandemic and continue to be popular options among job seekers. According to FlexJobs, the following 10 occupations that offer freelance, work-from-home opportunities have seen the most hiring demand recently. Clicking on the “find jobs” links for each of the job categories listed below will take you to current postings for that job title on the AARP Job Board. (Not every posting will offer remote or independent work options.) You can find additional information about working independently on AARP Foundation’s Freelancing Resource Center and AARP’s Small Business Resource Center for the 50+.

1. Executive assistant

While the job outlook for full-time executive assistants is not so good, the demand for freelance assistants is strong. Traditional executive assistants typically are responsible for managing the schedules and other clerical duties for one person, but freelance assistants often work for several executives simultaneously, sometimes including executives from different companies.

2. Recruiter

This job is a good fit for older workers who have built a large network of contacts during their careers. Employers are always looking for talented workers. Your experience and insights can help them land the right employee to fill their business’ needs.

3. Customer Service Representative

When you need help with your health insurance or want to know why the new gadget you bought isn’t working, customer service representatives are the people who answer your call. The job can be challenging because callers often are upset when they reach out for assistance, but working freelance means you can pick how frequently you work.

4. Bookkeeper

If you have a knack for numbers — particularly when it comes to tracking business costs and revenues — freelance bookkeeping could be an attractive opportunity for you. While previous job experience (and contacts) can help you get started as a contract worker, you can also get into the field through online courses and certifications.

5. Graphic Designer

You’ll need a strong portfolio of your graphic design work to get freelance jobs. But if you have the artistic skills and familiarity with the necessary software programs, working as a designer independently offers great flexibility.

6. Copywriter

This field may not be the safest option for full-time employment, because companies are experimenting with using artificial intelligence programs such as ChatGPT to do some of this work. But if you have experience or skills writing content that helps sell products or services, freelance copywriting can be a good way to earn additional income.

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7. Social Media Manager

Trends on social media change quickly, which is one reason there’s steady demand for workers who can help businesses connect with customers through TikTok, Instagram and other outlets. The job is a natural fit for working remotely, but to work freelance in this field, you’ll need to quickly understand the employer’s brand and audience.

8. Project Manager

There’s a reason this job has the highest hourly wage on our list. Project managers work with multiple departments in a company to ensure that goals are met and projects are finished on time. It’s a big job but also one that lets freelancers pick their projects — and their time off.

9. Payroll Specialist

While fewer people may be quitting or switching jobs now than they did during the peak of the “Great Resignation,” there’s still lots of turnover as workers look for new opportunities. That churn has led to plenty of demand for payroll specialists to make sure new hires are being paid properly.

10. Paralegal

You don’t need a law degree — or even a bachelor’s degree — to help lawyers with their research to prepare for clients. Because hiring demand is expected to be high for this profession for a while, paralegal is a promising field to consider if you’re considering switching careers. 

Kenneth Terrell covers employment, age discrimination, work and jobs, careers, and the federal government for AARP. He previously worked for the Education Writers Association and U.S. News & World Report, where he reported on government and politics, business, education, science and technology, and lifestyle news.

Editor's note: This article originally was published on June 7, 2023. The hourly wages and links to job postings have been updated with more recent information.

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