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The hottest freelance jobs in America

The creatives have it

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Online freelance jobs are on the rise, and it appears creative opportunities are dominating many of the top spots, as more and more companies seek tech-savvy creative professionals with a wide range of skills.

For the yuccie — young urban creatives — who want the chance to be recognized and paid well for their creativity, this is good news.

Said to be the cultural offspring of yuppies and hipsters, yuccies are a cross between "the yuppie's new money thirst for yachts and recognition with the hipster's anti-ambition, smoke-laced individualism," said self-proclaimed yuccie David Infante, who coined the term in a Mashable post last June. Yuccies, he says, are "a slice of Generation Y ... infected by the conviction that not only do we deserve to pursue our dreams; we should profit from them."

Sebastián Siseles, director of International for Freelancer.com, says they have seen an uptick in job growth across creative industries. "It's never been easier to make a viable creative career as a freelancer," he said, explaining that the Internet has enabled this demographic to provide services such as graphic design, video production and writing to a large number of businesses around the globe.

Freelancer.com has listed more than 8.5 million jobs since its inception in 2009 and post an average of 6,000 new jobs per day across its platform of more than 18 million employers.

Check out which creative fields top the list.

— By Barbara Booth, CNBC.com
Posted 28 March 2016

Video services

Eldar Nurkovic | Shutterstock

General video services — encompassing video upload, video broadcast, video production and video editing — has experienced a job growth of 64.3 percent since 2014. In most roles, all you need is a powerful laptop that's loaded with editing software, a hard drive of footage and a great pair of headphones.

Video servicers take care of multiple tasks related to video streaming, including animated video service, video service on YouTube, video production, transparent video service, promotional packages, video clippings for advertisement, logo animations and splash screen animations.

National average hourly rate: Varies from $17/hour to $21/hour depending on role (national average salary: $40K to $58K)

(Source: PayScale)

Cartoon illustration

Eugenio Marongiu | Shutterstock

For sure, traditional illustrators have seen a decline in job growth over the past decade, especially due to the large volume of stock imagery. Yet there are many opportunities for cartoon illustrators in the digital marketplace, such as button and icon design, illustrated labels and infographics. Since 2014, this industry has seen a growth of 61.4 percent.

National average hourly rate: $20/hour (national average salary: $44,588)

(Source: PayScale)


Monkey Business Images | Shutterstock

Employment opportunities for designers abound in a number of industries, including advertising, publishing and specialized design services, as well as in the growing field of website design, specifically Internet advertising. As more industries utilize 3-D printing to bring product ideas to life, 3-D design jobs have surged, experiencing a 61.2 percent growth since 2014.

Branding and corporate identity continues to be top of mind for businesses, resulting in an increased demand for freelancers to design brochures and flyers. Job growth for flyer design has increased 50.6 percent since 2014, while banner design increased 45.8 percent.

National average hourly rate: $20/hour (national average salary: $50,647)

(Source: PayScale)

Content writing

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The demand for digital writers and editors with Web or multimedia experience is growing exponentially as online publications and services continue to emerge. Content writing applies to all types of writing on the Internet, including blogs, news updates, reviews and articles. Among creative projects, this field continues to lead the way, with a job growth of 49.6 percent since 2014.

National average hourly rate: $16/hour (national average salary: $40,951)

(Source: PayScale)


Stock-Asso | Shutterstock

While the job outlook for traditional media photographers, such as news photographers, is still in decline, there is still a demand for commercial and portrait photographers. According to Freelancer.com, the growth in these photography jobs has increased 37.2 percent since 2014, with the image-centric Internet expanding opportunities. Freelancers can now easily market their services and photographs directly to consumers and businesses.

National average hourly rate: $15.00/hour (national average salary: $42,375)

(Source: PayScale)

Voice talent

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While voiceover work has been around for decades, the move to digital is enabling talent to record from virtually anywhere. Telephony, audiobook readers, dubbing work, e-learning instruction, animation dialogue and video game voices are just some of the jobs calling for voice actors. Job growth has seen an uptick of 19.9 percent since 2014.

National average hourly rate: $30/hour (national average salary: $40K)

(Source: PayScale)

Social media marketing

Your Design | Shutterstock

As more and more companies rely on social channels to market their brands, they understand the need to have a bold, creative, fresh presence online. Gartner predicts that by 2017, U.S. customers' mobile engagement behavior will drive mobile commerce revenue in the United States to 50 percent of U.S. digital commerce revenue. As a result, one of the hottest career trends for today's marketing major is that of a social media strategist, who can create a successful social media marketing campaign. This industry has seen a job growth of 10.35 percent since 2014.

Statista estimates that social media marketing will more than double by 2018, to nearly $18 billion in the United States alone.

National average hourly rate: $40/hour or more, depending on experience

(Source: PayScale)