Blaze your career path with these seven high-tech freelance jobs

We round up some of the highest-paying freelance roles in the IT industry

Man sitting at a computer in a shop

If you're a freelancer, you can generally work when you want, where you want, and you choose how many hours you put in. IT is well placed as an industry to absorb the growing numbers of freelancers, especially as high-tech freelance jobs are on the rise. A range of companies are looking constantly for these type of workers to fill long-term or temporary voids.

As of 2020, 57 million Americans chose to take this route instead of working a full-time job from an office, making up a huge 35% of the workforce. Moreover, there was an ever-higher density of freelancers in a number of tech-focused specialities, such as computers and mathematics, as according to the numbers 42% were freelancers.

There are a wide range of reasons as to why workers prefer freelancing to heading into an office every day. In order to make this switch, you'll need the ability to get your work done independently and reliable high-speed Wi-Fi. You should also be able to work from home or while on the road. 

Does your partner need to travel somewhere for an important business meeting? You can now accompany them without missing a thing. If you choose, you can work on a sandy beach or by the swimming pool while sunbathing. Feel free to switch a stuffy suit and tie for a pair of comfy sweats, too. Plus, if you need to get some work done around the house in the middle of the day, your freelance gig should be able to give you the freedom to do so. 

What's more, even though you'll have this newfound freedom, it's not essential to sacrifice your wages. Read on to find out about seven high-tech freelance jobs with all the freedom you want and the great salary you need.

Web development and design

Average Hourly Rate: $61-$80

Useful Certifications: 

  • Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) $60

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) $450

New websites crop up by the minute, and many companies prefer hiring a freelancer developer instead of shelling out a salary and benefits for a full-time employee. If you know what website users want and how to code, and you have experience as a website developer or designer, there a deep pool of potential clients looking for a worker just like you. 

You’ll need to know HTML, coding, and some Javascript. It also doesn’t hurt to invest some time and money into a few certificates, including the Microsoft Technology Associate and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer certificates. The more you can put on your resume, the more available jobs you can land. 

Internet security specialist

Average Hourly Rate: $40-$55

Useful Certifications:

  • CompTIA Security+ $349

  • Certified Informations Systems Security Professional (CISSP) $699

If you are looking for an in-demand position, look no further. Securing data, networks and computer systems is a top priority for companies of all sizes. Some may prefer to bring in a freelancer rather than keep a full-time person on the books. If you have skills in networking and security, this could be a great niche for you.

If you have a CompTIA Security+ certification or are a Certified Informations Systems Security Professional, you will find it even easier to land a high-paying remote job. 

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Mobile app developer

Average Hourly Rate: $61-$80

Useful Certifications: 

  • Associate Android Developer $149

  • GIAC Mobile Device Security Analyst (GMOB) $769

We all have and use mobile apps regularly, and it’s still a growing field. Statista expects there to be as many as 258 billion mobile app downloads in 2022. That means that there is a lot of demand for talented, reliable mobile app developers. 

Due to the nature of mobile apps, many businesses don’t feel the need to invest in a full-time developer. They just need the app built and the ability to reach the developer for troubleshooting. 

This is a gig that’ll keep you on your toes and on the cutting edge of modern technology.

3D modeling and CAD

Average Hourly Rate: $40-$60

Useful Certifications:

  • AutoCAD Levels 1 & 2 $995

If you are the creative techie type and thrive on variety, working as a freelance 3D modeler could be your dream gig. 

You could use your skills to help create movies, video games, website animations and more. The best part is these skills are in high demand, so you could have a steady stream of remote work. 

Variety, fun and a steady income. That’s the freelance trifecta right there.

Game development

Average Hourly Rate: $40-$50

Useful Certifications: 

  • Programming in C# $165

  • Unity Certification $150-$349

If you like to sit down and lose yourself in an incredible video game, why not make a career of it? 

Freelance game developers use their skills to help plan, design and produce video games for computers, mobile and gaming devices. You get to work in a field you love, and there’s always hope that the game you help create will be the next Angry Birds or HALO.

Software developer

Average Hourly Rate: $81-$100

Useful Certifications:

  • Javascript $120

  • Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications $165.00

Are you a programmer who is always thinking of better ways to do things? 

As a software developer, you could create applications that help people do specific functions easier and more efficiently. It may be a program for chiropractic patient record-keeping one day and a fantasy football draft organizer the next.

Individuals and companies always have new ideas for software that can make our lives easier. Freelance developers make those ideas a reality.

IT project manager

Average Hourly Rate: $40-$50

Useful Certifications: 

  • PMP (Project Management Professional) $405-$555

  • PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Professional) $435-$495

If you pride yourself on your organization, leadership skills and resourcefulness, you may want to think about becoming a freelance IT project manager. 

As an IT project manager, you’d be in charge of planning, organizing, budgeting, allocating resources for and executing specific IT goals for individuals or companies. It could be a network upgrade, the rollout of new software or upgrading cybersecurity protocols. 

IT project managers can see a lot of variety and have a lot of responsibilities, but if you’re good at it, you’ll stay in high demand and always be able to find job opportunities.

Methodology

We curated this list from a number of surveys and reports on high-paying freelance jobs for 2020. Because freelancing is highly dependent upon landing projects regularly, we focused on tech-related freelance jobs that pay well and are in high demand. 

We pulled hourly wage data pulled from various sources, including ZipRecruiter and Arc. Freelancers can set their own rates based on their skill level and ability, but the rates represent an average range.

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