Five self-employed jobs you could be doing right now

Looking for a job where you really get on with your boss?

If you dream of a flexible career where you can always work on your own terms, then becoming self-employed might be the perfect fit for you. And it striking it out on your own really isn’t as scary as it sounds – especially if you make sure it’s something that really suits your skills.

We’ve already covered whether becoming self-employed is the right choice for you, but to help inspire you, here are five self-employed jobs you could be doing right now.


Which jobs can be self-employed?

There are many different jobs you can do on a self-employed basis.

In fact, no matter what industry you’re looking to work in, almost any role could involve you being your own boss. Whether that means working from home, freelancing, setting up as a sole trader, or even starting your own limited company.

Here are just a few professions you can find your self-employed freedom in…


Personal Trainer

What they do: Personal Trainers help people to improve their level of fitness or general health through exercise and diet programs. They could work at a client’s home, at the gym, outside, or, most commonly, a combination of these.

What you’ll need: You’ll need a dedicated qualification to become a Personal Trainer, which can be achieved through apprentice programs or independent course. First aid certificates are also usually required. The perfect career for anyone who enjoys inspiring others (see also: fitness fanatics).

What you can earn: Personal Trainers typically charge between £20 and £40 per hour, depending on their level of experience.

Perfect for: People who are excellent at spotting.

Our advice: Once you’re fully qualified, ask about advertising your services at your local gym. That way you can connect directly with their members, and it will give you a ready-made workplace to put your new found skills into practice. It also helps to stay in shape yourself. You know, just in case…

How to become a Personal Trainer


Dog Walker

What they do: Dog Walkers will usually collect dogs from clients and take them to a dog-walking park (or wooded area) for 1-2 hours, in groups of around four or five. Other services could include dog sitting, training or grooming.

What you’ll need: Patience. Lots and lots of patience. And aside from being comfortable around all breeds, you’ll also need to be insured in order to get started (your insurance will specify how many dogs you can walk at one time). A vehicle is also recommended, so you’re able to pick up/drop off your ‘clients’.

What you can earn: On average, around £8 to £12 per dog, per hour. So you’ll be able to earn upwards of £26,000 a year for around 200 dogs.

Perfect for: People who never get tired of fetch.

Our advice: If you’re struggling to build up your list of clients, try advertising your services with a website or blog. Not only is it a great way to showcase your knowledge, you’ll also be able to share it on social media, and help get your name out there. Also, remember that lunchtime will generally be your busiest time – so make sure you’re as available as possible. And always carry bribes treats.



What they do: A number of jobs can be done on a freelance basis, including roles such as writing, developing, and graphic design. They could be doing anything from producing content for websites and blogs, or graphics for brochures and business cards, through to writing code or building apps.

What you’ll need: You’ll need passion, talent and (preferably) some experience. You’ll also need to be able to demonstrate your skills to prospective clients, which will help show the impact you could have on their business. N.B. You will need a portfolio.

What you can earn: It varies greatly based on experienced, but freelancers (including Graphic Designers and Copywriters) can earn anything up to £30,000 a year.

Perfect for: People who want to be free (and/or really don’t like working in offices).

Our advice: Always play to your strengths, whatever area they’re in. For example, if you’re a Graphic Designer, make sure your website stands out. If you’re a Write, your blog should be regularly updated with quality articles. If the last thing you wrote was in 2012, you’re probably unlikely to impress. Oh, and don’t forget about social media – it’s a powerful marketing tool every freelancer should be utilising. #hashtag.



What they do: Self-employed hairdressers wash, cut, and style their customers’ hair – usually in the comfort of their own home (or yours). They may also choose to rent a chair in an established salon, if they’re looking for something a little more stable.

What you’ll need: A good knowledge of different styles, as well as the latest trends. Relevant qualifications will also be a prequisite, which can be achieved through a full-time/part-time course, an apprenticeship, or even through in-house salon training schemes.

What you can earn: Mobile, self-employed hairdressers can charge anywhere from £20 for a basic haircut, to around £100 for a full cut and colour.

Perfect for: People who think French braids are fun.

Our advice: You need to advertise your services if you want to compete with high-street brands. But some people much prefer having hairdressers come to them so there is a market out there – you just need to reach it. Advertisements, flyers, social media and a website/blog can all help increase your exposure. And always ask your clients if they’d be open to giving you a good referral.

How to become a Hairdresser


Interior Designer

What they do: Design, plan and oversee the interior appearance of a room, house, or other property. Duties include determining budgets, pitching ideas, researching décor and overseeing all development work until the end of the project.

What you’ll need: Creativity, spatial awareness, and excellent business acumen are all traits of a good self-employed Interior Designer. Specific qualifications (not to mention a portfolio of you work) will also be key.

What you can earn: Interior Designers can earn upwards of £24,000 a year, depending on their expertise and level of experience.

Perfect for: People who big fans of Feng Shui.

Our advice: Keep an eye on trade publications for any upcoming projects or job openings, and showcase all your work on a digital portfolio. This industry is grounded in aesthetics, so being able to demonstrate previous work or renovations you’ve carried out is absolutely vital in gaining the trust of a new client. Remember: there’s no such thing as too many pictures.

How to become an Interior Designer


Other self-employed jobs: Tutor, Childminder, Social Media Consultant, Accountant, Photographer. Beautician, Bookkeeper, Business Consultant.


Top tips

  • Be passionate – If you aren’t emotionally invested in what you do, you’re doing it wrong (and it could really end up costing you in the long run).
  • Be fair – No matter how experienced you are, never be tempted to price yourself out of the market. But remember: there’s a difference between being reasonable and undercutting yourself.
  • Don’t forget about the competition – You’ll be often be up against more established businesses, with bigger budgets. Keep an eye on what they do, and learn from them.
  • Advertise – Take every opportunity to get your name out there. Even something as small as a few Facebook posts could end up getting your name out there and help get you new clients.
  • Be patient – It may take a while to get going, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Rome wasn’t built in a day remember (and your business won’t be either).
  • Be positive – Work hard, be smart and believe in yourself. Sometimes your mindset is actually your most valuable weapon.


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