How Much Money Can Be Made From Freelancing?

Last Updated:

How much do freelancers earn
We may receive compensation from the below providers if you purchase through the links provided. 
 Read more here

In almost every industry, professionals are looking for more control over their careers and work experiences. For this specific reason, they are shifting towards freelancing. The freedom to work from anywhere, set your pace, and take on projects sounds attractive for employees who are tired of 9-5 office hours, but how much more money really can a freelancer earn in the modern world?

This question will always hit your mind if you want to freelance writing. But there is no definite answer to it. Because it depends on your industry, the experience you have, and the skills you’ve developed.

So, instead of giving you a specific number. I will share a few surveys and statistics to provide you with a rough estimate of how much freelancers make full time job.

Stats and Surveys about Freelancing

Surveys conducted by reputable organizations and statistics garnered from various resources indicates that freelancing is here to stay and flourish.

Contently conducted a survey in which 643 freelancers participated. They were asked to answer 25 questions. The results were quite impressive. According to the survey, only 10% of freelancers claimed to be freelance designers and videographers, and 80% accounted for writers, with 8% being content strategists and consultants.

62.5% of all 643 freelancers were working full time. Still keep in mind that, they were earning a massive amount of money.

The average income of all the respondents was $10,001-$20,000. 41% were making all this money by working just about 10 hours a week.

Now let’s look at some figures that would help understand why freelancing Is increasing in the US and elsewhere.

  • A report published by Pew Research Center stated that America has a total workforce of 157 million, in which more than 16 million are self-employed.

  • A study conducted by Freelancers Union and Upwork revealed that with 57 million workers, the US has the largest number of freelancers worldwide.

  • Following the US, India has the second-largest population of freelancers, at 23 million.

  • Freelancers drove $ 1 trillion or more than five per cent GDP of the US in 2018-19. The contribution is projected to rise gradually post 2020.

  • IRS collects 15.3 percent of American freelancers’ taxes regarding self-employment tax, which mostly goes towards social security and health insurance.

  • At the end of 2019, Europe had an 11 million freelance workforce, which is about five percent of the workforce in ten European states.

It is a proven fact that Covid-19 has changed work life and the business patterns drastically. The number of people working from homes is increasing companies are going bankrupt overnight. That’s why freelancing has become a lifestyle in the US and elsewhere in the world.

Five freelance pricing factors

  1. Professional Experience: The number of years a freelancer has spent honing their skills and expertise is a primary determinant of their rates. Typically, more experienced freelancers command higher pay due to their wealth of knowledge and proven track record.

  2. Specialized Skill Set: The complexity and uniqueness of a freelancer’s skill set significantly influence their pricing. Freelancers possessing in-demand, technical proficiencies like programming, mobile app development, or legal writing often charge premium rates for their specialized services.

  3. Education and Training: Formal education and certified training can elevate a freelancer’s pricing power. While the impact varies across professions, these credentials generally provide freelancers with greater leverage when negotiating rates with clients.

  4. Reputation and Track Record: A freelancer’s past project reviews are a powerful indicator of their performance. A history of positive feedback and successful project deliveries boosts their credibility and enables them to set higher rates.

  5. Geographic Location: Although freelancers can work from anywhere in the world, the geographical location of the client can have a substantial impact on project pricing. Clients in different regions may have varying expectations and budget constraints, affecting the rates charged by freelancers. For instance, a client in Venezuela may not offer the same rates as one in the United States.

How Much Money do Freelancers Make?

Having seen the surveys and findings of numerous research studies, we come to the million-dollar question of how much money do freelancers make? The answer might surprise you, but it’s true.

Globally, a freelancer’s average income is $19 per hour, which is even lower than the US national average of $25 per hour. On the other hand, the amount of $19 isn’t a standard. However, European freelancers are earning more than American freelancers. While in Asian countries, people got attracted towards freelancing due to the dollar exchange rate to local currencies.

How much do the most freelancing professions make?

When it comes to freelancing, freelance income varies across different professions, often corresponding to the level of technical expertise involved. According to CNBC and additional research data, here are the average hourly rates and annual salaries for some of the most popular freelancing professions:

  1. Writers: Freelance writers typically charge between $30 to $40 per hour, resulting in an annual income of around $42,000.

  2. Editors: Freelance editors earn an average hourly rate ranging from $25 to $35, leading to an annual salary of approximately $40,000.

  3. Programmers: Across various programming languages, freelance programmers command an average rate of $60 to $70 per hour, resulting in an annual income of approximately $120,000.

  4. General Developers: Freelance developers, specializing in various areas, usually earn between $50 and $60 per hour, equating to an annual income of around $100,000.

  5. Mobile Developers: On average, mobile app developers charge an hourly rate of $55 to $65 and earn an annual salary of $100,000.

  6. Web Developers: Freelance web developers, responsible for designing and creating websites, charge an hourly rate of $50 to $60, with an annual income of approximately $90,000.

  7. Graphic Designers: Freelance graphic designers set their hourly rates at around $40 to $45, resulting in an annual salary of about $90,000.

  8. Transcribers: Freelance transcriptionists typically earn approximately $20 to $25 per hour, leading to a yearly income of about $32,000.

  9. Bookkeepers: Freelance bookkeepers charge an hourly rate of $30 to $35, resulting in an annual salary of around $40,000.

  10. Online Marketers: Freelance digital marketers command an hourly rate of around $50 and earn a yearly income of approximately $100,000.

  11. Photographers: Freelance photographers typically charge an hourly rate ranging from $35 to $45, leading to an annual salary of around $42,000.

  12. CRM Managers: Customer Relations Managers (CRMs) look to earn between $50 and $60 per hour, resulting in an annual salary of around $120,000.

  13. Data Analysts: Freelance data analysts have an average hourly rate of $55 to $65, equating to a yearly salary of $100,000.

Most Freelancers are underpaid – Is it true?

You’ve heard right, and most freelancers are indeed underpaid. This happens because many freelancers, especially from Asian countries, never want to lose clients by quoting high prices in a fiercely competitive market.

Some freelancers are also responsible for this. They sell skills cheap because they give preference to flexible work life balance, working hours and enough free time over higher income. The community contributing most to underquote prices is the moms, whether they stay at home moms or single moms.

Problems Affecting Freelancer Pay

In current times, the Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest problem affecting freelancer pay. Freelancers in Europe and other parts of the world are getting pay cuts because buyers are bargaining hard when unemployment is plaguing the world.

In Europe, freelancer organizations decided to reduced their rates by 5 to 10 percent to provide relief to companies counter the economic downfall wrought by Covid-19, even though demand for freelancers is increasing rapidly.

Another biggest problem I also mentioned above is that freelancers keep minimum prices to attract new clients and avoid bargaining higher paying clients. Due to this, anyone that asks for higher pay will lose their work and client also.

The biggest and foremost problem money freelancing is that most countries don’t have freelancers union. Hence, they don’t have a collective voice against all of the issues freelancers facing related to payments.

Wrapping UP

In the long term and coming years, the freelance industry has to face a lot of challenges. The working dynamics are changing continuously due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, companies around the world are going towards bankruptcy, due to which the demand for freelancers might go down in the coming years.

On the other hand, companies are forcing their workers to work from home, and demand for remote workers is increasing rapidly. This is the only situation that can bring some buoyancy to the freelance industry. Freelancers are advised to take proper measures for survival. They need to stop quoting low rates, always negotiate. Look beyond job boards, work on tapping your network and refine your niche.

About the Author
Skip to

Related Articles

Freelance UX Design featured image

Freelance UX Design: Everything You Need to Know

Freelancer vs. Consultant featured image

Freelancer vs. Consultant: What’s the Difference?

How to Become a Freelance Graphic Designer: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Invoice as a Freelancer: Tips and Best Practices

Will AI Replace Copywriters? AI Tools Guide

Working for a US Company Abroad featured image

Working for a US Company Abroad: What You Need to Know

How to Become a Freelance Writer featured image

How to Become a Freelance Writer: A Step-by-Step Guide

Equipments for Digital Nomads featured image

Essential Equipment for Digital Nomads: The Ultimate Remote Working Gear

Freelance vs. Contract featured image

Freelance vs. Contract: What’s the Difference and Mne is More Beneficial

Business Insurance for Freelancers featured image

Guide to Business Insurance for Freelancers

Freelancer Side Hustle featured image

How to Become a Freelancer Side Hustle Pro: Tips for Success

How to Become a Successful Freelance Digital Marketer Guide

Hybrid Remote Work featured image

Hybrid Remote Work: The Future of Work?

Why Remote Working Will Die featured image

Why Remote Work is Poised to Die

Working Remotely from Another State featured image

Working Remotely from Another State: Everything You Need to Know

Which Platform is Best for Freelancers -

Which Platform is Best for Freelancers?

Brand Yourself As Freelancer

How Do I Brand Myself as a Freelancer? Step-by-Step Guide

What is Freelance Video Editing

What is Freelance Video Editing & How to Earn From It

How Much Do Freelance Video Editors Make?

How Much Do Freelance Video Editors Make

How to brand yourself as a developer

5 Effective Tips on How to Brand Yourself as a Developer

Freelancing vs Full-time Jobs

Freelancing Vs Full-Time Job – What to Choose?

How To Work On Fiverr

How To Work On Fiverr To Make Six Figure Income

Cybersecurity tips for Remote Workers

Ensure Cybersecurity When Working Remotely or From Home

How To Make Money On UpWork

How to Make Money on Upwork – Complete Guide

3 Core Advantages of Cloud Computing for Remote Workers

3 Major Advantages of Cloud Computing for Remote Workers

5 Reasons Why Digital Freelancing is the Future of Work

5 Reasons Why Digital Freelancing is the Future of Work

best project management tools featured image

Best Project Management Tools

Self-care strategies for Freelancers

5 Practical Self-Care Strategies for Freelancers

best keyword research tools featured image

Best Keyword Research Tools

Best SEO platforms

Best SEO Platforms in 2024

Best AI Content Tools for Freelancers

The Best AI Content Tools Listed for Freelancers in 2024

rising talent badge on UpWork

How to Get The Rising Talent Badge on Upwork?

How to Become a Freelance Photographer With No Experience featured image

How to Become a Freelance Photographer With No Experience

Living on the Move: Exploring the Nomadic Lifestyle featured image

Living on the Move: Exploring the Nomadic Lifestyle

How to Effectively List Freelance Work on LinkedIn featured image

How to Effectively List Freelance Work on LinkedIn

How to Be a Freelance Social Media Manager

How and Why to Write a Cover Letter for Remote Position

How to Become a Successful Freelance HR Consultant

Guide on How to Give Prompts and Talk to GPT-3

How To Use Jasper AI Recipes

Guide on How to Use Jasper Boss Mode

How to Use GPT-3 in OpenAI Playground

5 Ways You Can Showcase Your Freelance Services Online

Freelance Pricing 101: The Ultimate Guide on How to Price Yourself

Accounting 101: For Freelancers and Self-Employed

How to Negotiate as a Freelancer [3 Sample Email Templates Included]

Freelancing Red Flags

5 Most Common Client Red Flags in Freelancing

Best PayPal Alternatives for Freelance Payments

Best PayPal Alternatives For Freelance Payments

How to become successful in freelancing

How To Be Successful in Freelancing? 7 Highly Useful Tips

Easy Online Part-Time Jobs

10 Easy Online Part-Time Jobs to Enjoy Self-Earned Money

Freelancers Visa - Best Countries to Work as a Freelancer

Freelancer Visa: Best Countries to Work as A freelancer

Why Personal Branding for Freelancers Is Important

Why Is Personal Branding Important for Freelancers like You?

Best Freelance Jobs For College dropouts

The Best Freelance Jobs For College Students

Co Working Space vs Traditional Office

Coworking vs Traditional Office Spaces – Choose Perfect Option that Fits

History of CoWorking Spaces

History of Coworking Space: The Complete Timeline for New Startups

Concept of Hot Desking

Hot Desking: All You Need to Know

Canva Transparent Background Guide

How to Create a Transparent Background With Canva

How to become a content writer with no experience

How to Become a Freelance Writer with No Experience?

Images in Webflow

A Guide to Working With Images in Webflow – Webflow Images

Most Frequently Asked Questions About Canva

Canva: The Guide to Frequently Asked Questions

Tips for Better Mental Health for Remote Freelancers & Workers

How To Take Care Of Your Mental Health While Working Remotely

Can You Use Canva Pro Images for Commercial Use

Can You Use Canva Pro Images for Commercial Use? An Honest Guide

How to Use Duda for Website Building

How to Use Duda Website Builder

SemRush For Keyword Research

How to Use Semrush for Keyword Research

How To Write UpWork Proposal

How to Write an Upwork Proposal To Win High Paying Clients

How To Get Jobs On UpWork

How To Get Jobs On UpWork That Value Your Time And Worth?

Duda Alternatives

The 4 Best Duda Alternatives in 2022

reasons to use clickup

10 Reasons to Use ClickUp for Team Management

Webflow Alternatives

Webflow Alternatives: Business Site Options at Your Fingertips

Effective Tips to Promote Fiverr Gigs

How to Promote Fiverr Gigs & Services?

High Paying Freelancing Skills

9 High-Paying Freelancing Skills in 2021

Developer Tools for Productivity

10 Best Developer Tools To Increase Your Productivity In 2021

Tips to Manage Money as a Freelancer

How to Manage Your Money As a Freelancer

7 crucial things to know before you start freelancing

7 Crucial Things to Know Before You Start Freelancing

freelance skills that you can start learning today

Top 10 Freelance Skills You Can Start Learning Today

7 Ways to Discover Whether A Freelancing Career Is Right For You

7 Ways to Discover Whether A Freelancing Career Is Right For You?

10 Powerful Tips on How To Use LinkedIn To Earn Clients

10 Powerful Tips on How To Use LinkedIn To Earn Clients

Ahrefs Best Alternatives

Ahrefs Best Alternatives – Key Features & More

Manage Finance & Accounting of Your Remote Based Business

How to Manage Your Remote Based Business Finance & Accounting

Freelance vs Self Employed - What type of worker are you

Freelance vs Self-Employed – Which Type Of Worker Are You?

advices and tips to overcome remote work challenges

How to Overcome Remote Work Challenges – Actionable Tips

Pros and Cons of Freelancing to Consider

10 Pros and Cons of Freelancing to Consider

Becoming a Successful Remote Freelancer

How to Become a Successful Remote Freelancer?

productivity tips for working from home

8 Work from Home Productivity Tips

tips for becoming a great podcast guest

How to Be a Great Podcast Guest

Tips for Branding Yourself as SEO Freelancer

How Do I Brand Myself as SEO Freelancer

How to become a Podcast Guest

How to Become a Podcast Guest

How do freelancers pay tax

How to Pay Tax as a Freelancer? – Complete Guide

In Demand Freelancing Skills in 2021

Which Freelancing Skills Are In-Demand for 2021

How to become a Freelancer with No experience

How Can I Become a Freelancer with No Experience?

Can Freelancing be a Career -

Can Freelancing be a Career?

How to get a freelancing job without experience -

9 Tips to Get Freelancing Job Without Experience as a Beginner

BEST free design tools everything freelance

5 Best Free Design Tools You’ll Ever Need

Android Apps to Improve Your Company Management

4 Android Apps To Improve Your Company Management

How to get clients for a New Business

How to Get Clients for A New Business?

How to get ecommerce clients

How to Get E-commerce Clients

How to get a client to pay their bills

How to Get a Client to Pay their Bill

Types of Difficult Clients

Types of Difficult Clients and Effective Ways to Handle Them

Best Visual Collaboration Tools for Remote Work

Best Visual Collaboration Tools for Remote Work

Best Freelance Management Platforms

Best Freelance Management Platforms for 2021