The Best Independent Jobs

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Many people are attracted to the idea of being able to work independently at home or in the field. While working independently can carry a higher risk of periods of unemployment, there are many jobs that offer workers the ability to flourish and earn a living outside of the office.

Freelance Writer

  • Many people enjoy a career working independently as freelance writers. Businesses are constantly in need of quality written content for websites, magazines, newsletters, trade journals, newspapers and weblogs. Freelance writers are independent contractors who sell their original content to publishers, working on commission or under a contract with an organization. While some people are successful finding work as freelance writers without a college degree, most higher-paying jobs require a Bachelor's degree. Advancement comes through building their own reputations and getting published in more prominent publications. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a freelance writer earns his income from his written content, and some writers are able to earn an adequate enough wage to support themselves.

Medical Transcriptionist

  • Working as a medical transcriptionist allows you to work independently with the option of telecommuting from your home. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a medical transcriptionist transcribes audio recordings of medical reports and correspondences made by healthcare professionals. A medical transcriptionist will also have to edit these documents as she writes them, checking for coherence and grammatical mistakes. Some examples of documents that may need to be recorded are autopsy reports, progress notes, physical examination reports and operative reports. A medical transcriptionist must have a clear understanding of medical terms, human anatomy and diagnostic procedures. Most employers require medical transcriptionists to possess either a two-year Associate's degree or one-year certification program, as well as training in medical transcription. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median hourly wage for this job was approximately $15.41 in 2008.

Interpreter or Translator

  • Interpreters and translators have a sharp command of one or several foreign languages and are able to communicate effectively both in written and spoken forms. As a translator, you will effectively convert one written foreign language into another. An interpreter will translate spoken languages, and some may translate spoken English into sign-language. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 26 percent of all translators and interpreters work independently and many of these people only work in this occupation occasionally to supplement an income. Successful translators and interpreters must be fluent in at least two different languages, and most find that experience is vital to working in this occupation. Some employers require translators to have several years of experience in the field, or a degree in either a foreign language or in translation studies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2008, the median annual earnings for interpreters and translators was $38,850, and in 2009, translators who worked for the Federal Government earned an average of $79,865.

Wedding Photographer

  • A wedding photographer will be able to capture the special moments of couples who are getting married and preserve those moments on paper. Most photographers are able to build their own businesses, while others work for agencies. To succeed as a wedding photographer, you must possess excellent technical skills, proper equipment and creativity. Building a portfolio of your best photographic work will enhance your chances of gaining clients and respect in the industry. While being able to go out into the field and take photographs is necessary to this occupation, you will also need to spend a significant amount of time either developing your photographs or editing pictures on a computer with specialized editing software. A Bachelor's or Associate's degree in photography may be helpful to some, but it is not always necessary for those who are self-employed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual earnings for salaried photographers was $29,440 in 2008, and that annual wages tend to vary amongst freelance photographers because they are able to set their own rates.

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