What are the Different Types of Independent Contractor Jobs?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

There are many different types of independent contractor jobs a person may hold. An independent contractor is a person who works on a project as a freelancer rather than as an employee. As such, there is a wide range of industries in which an independent contractor may work. Among the most common jobs are those that are based on creativity, such as freelance writing and editing, artist jobs, and web design. Also common are jobs in consulting and trades.

A business consultant typically works as an independent contractor.
A business consultant typically works as an independent contractor.

Independent contractor jobs are not limited to a few types of positions or projects. Basically, a person can seek an independent contractor job doing just about anything. The important thing is making sure the work the independent contractor performs meets the definition of independent contractor work set by his jurisdiction’s government. In many jurisdictions, it must be clear that the person is not an employee and has a good deal of control over when and how he works on a project if he is to be considered an independent contractor.

Some hair stylists work as independent contractors within a salon.
Some hair stylists work as independent contractors within a salon.

Among the different types of contractor jobs a person may seek are those that involve creative work. Many independent contractors find work as freelance writers or editors. Many find work in artistic positions as well. For example, an independent contractor may seek projects as a painter or graphic designer. Some channel their creative energies into work as photographers or even into creating advertisements or building websites.

Independent contractors may inspect homes.
Independent contractors may inspect homes.

Some independent contractor jobs focus on consultancy projects. For example, a person may become a business consultant or coach, helping business owners start, expand, or improve their businesses. Others may become financial consultants or advisors, helping businesses or individuals decide how to invest or save money. There are also some independent contractor consultants who focus on such categories as health care, education, or taxes. In general, a consultant may help individuals or clients with just about any type of need, as long as the consultant has relevant experience and expertise.

A person can seek an independent contractor job doing just about anything.
A person can seek an independent contractor job doing just about anything.

Sometimes independent contractor jobs involve various types of trades. For example, an individual may work as an electrician, plumber, mechanic, or carpenter. Some hair stylists and nail technicians work as independent contracts as well, and lawn care specialists may also perform their work as independent contractors rather than employees. Independent contractor jobs also include those in interior design and sales. Some florists, clothing designers, and gift basket creators may fit in this category as well.

A freelance photographer often works as an independent contractor for different agencies.
A freelance photographer often works as an independent contractor for different agencies.
Tech support companies may be contracted by companies to maintain office networks.
Tech support companies may be contracted by companies to maintain office networks.
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments

Phaedrus

I worked for one company that made us all claim to be independent contractors, not employees. They didn't take out any FICA or payroll taxes out on us at all. It sounded like a pretty good deal at first because we got bigger paychecks every week, but then when it was time to file taxes, a lot of us had to pay a lot of money to the IRS. I think the company was just trying to get out of hiring a payroll person. I wasn't really doing any of those jobs mentioned in the article.

Reminiscence

I've actually preferred working as an independent contractor rather than an employee, mostly because I like knowing I can walk away from an assignment if I don't like it. I don't have an employer; I have a client. It's a better arrangement for me. Other people might prefer having the structure of employment with a traditional company.

The biggest challenge with being an independent contractor, in my experience, is bookkeeping. Many independent contractors have to file quarterly tax reports, so they need to keep track of all payments received from their clients and all of their expenses, too. If you're thinking about working as an independent contractor, it's a good idea to hire a professional accountant so you don't get into serious tax trouble throughout the year.

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