Best Job Roles for Gig Workers and Freelancers in 2021

The American economy lost more than 22 million jobs at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it regained about 12 million jobs, that leaves 10 million fewer jobs now than the United States had one year ago. In a report issued on January 1 by FlexJobs, a silver lining to the sluggish economy is that freelance opportunities are on the rise. Their study found that about 36% of American workers reported freelancing full-time in 2020, which was an 8% increase compared to 2019. The income of freelancers rose by an average of 22% over 2019, which makes the work more appealing to people. While some freelancers didn't choose this path, they're reporting more options and more satisfaction with what they do.

Future of Freelancing Is Uncertain

Many economists believe that freelancing will be a new normal part of the American economy. That's because employers are loath to offer full-time, permanent jobs. Those jobs necessitate providing at least a minimal level of benefits, such as health insurance. The benefits are costly to employers, and using freelance and gig workers saves them a lot of money. The onus ends up on the worker to find health insurance. Unfortunately, freelancers who get sick have to choose between not working and not getting paid or working and risking getting worse or spreading their germs to others. This is a huge problem during a pandemic, and it's a serious issue even when there isn't a pandemic. The lack of paid vacation, personal time and employer-based health insurance also puts freelance workers on the fringe of the economy and in a precarious financial position. However, experts do expect more people to be working as part-time or full-time freelancers in 2021 compared to 2020, which was already a record year for this type of work.

Best Industries for Freelance and Gig Workers

Whether a person chooses to be a freelancer or ends up out of work with no solid job prospects with traditional employers, it's important for them to specialize in an in-demand industry and in a role that pays well. Here are some of the fastest-growing job categories for freelance and gig workers for 2021.

Information Technology

Computer and information technology jobs are popular among freelance workers. The available roles include IT help desk support, designing websites, search engine optimization, user interface and quality assurance. Having certifications makes it easier to obtain freelance work in IT.

Financial Services

Gig workers can find work with organizing records, processing data and preparing tax returns. They also help with payroll and accounting. It helps to have a CPA to do gig work in this area.

Office Administration

Freelancers can find work in processing and preparing communications, social media and marketing. They may also help with client support, executive support and managing in-person or virtual offices.

Project Management

Project managers handle every part of a project, from start to finish. They also create schedules and budgets. Project managers coordinate time management for projects and update the relevant parties about milestones.

Customer Service

Customer service representatives handle customer inquiries, complaints and other issues. They may take orders or payments or issue refunds. These opportunities include phone, email and chat services.


Freelance jobs in healthcare include direct patient care, insurance billing and appointment scheduling. Independent contractors may find direct and indirect patient services options.

Editing and Writing

Freelance opportunities exist for writing original content, updating older content, proofreading and editing for accuracy and precision. Writers may do this for online or printed publications in a wide range of industries.


Freelance educators may offer tutoring. This category also includes test graders, essay coaches, college application assistants and substitute teachers.


Independent marketing jobs often include social media coordination. They can also include cold-calling, warm-calling and mining for data in customer relationship management software applications.


Freelance recruiters seek candidates for job openings. They may do this for one or more companies. Recruiters may also review applications or check references.


Independent therapists include those who work in counseling, physical therapy, rehabilitation and more. They work with clients who have injuries, chronic health problems or mental health disorders. Licenses are required for freelance therapists.


Independent designers create visual products, such as logos. They coordinate branding and messaging to connect consumers and products. Designers may do this for entrepreneurs, small businesses or large corporations.

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