14 Self-Employed Jobs in the UK

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 16 November 2022

Published 25 August 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Being self-employed gives you the freedom to work on your own time and terms. You are your manager, you set your wage and you only take the jobs that you want. There are many benefits to self-employment, and it can be a great way to start in a new role or industry or earn extra money part-time. There are many jobs in the UK that can be undertaken in a self-employed role.

In this article, we explore 14 self-employed jobs in the United Kingdom and provide salary details and primary duties for each.

Related: Self-employed vs employed: Differences between the two options

14 self-employed jobs in the UK

Here are the top 14 self-employed jobs in the United Kingdom:

1. Labourer

National Average Salary: £10.25 per hour

Primary Duties: Construction workers and labourers are hired on a self-employed basis to work on building sites across the United Kingdom. Specific duties vary based on qualifications but can involve manual labour, operating construction tools and working heavy machinery.

Requirements: Workers and labourers need experience on building sites and knowledge of health and safety within the construction industry. Some tasks require qualifications or certifications, such as working heavy machinery, and in some cases, self-employed people might be required to supply their own tools and safety equipment.

2. Photographer

National Average Salary: £22,220 per year

Primary Duties: Photographers can work on a freelance basis for news outlets, weddings or personal events, sports events or on studio-based shoots. These artistic professionals can charge clients to photograph their events or personal shoots, or they can sell photographs of nature, subjects or in other genres to art lovers or collectors.

Requirements: Photographers typically have their own equipment and must be proficient in lighting, subject posing and other important photography principles. Photographers also need to know how to use photo editing software and be able to produce prints or physical photographs, as well as digital content, depending on the client's needs.

3. Event coordinator

National Average Salary: £22,540 per year

Primary Duties: An event coordinator plans and executes the logistics of events like weddings, corporate functions, festivals, trade shows or team-building weekends. Independent event coordinators may be in charge of finding vendors, choosing venues, creating invitations and handling communication between guests and hosts, depending on their clients' needs.

Requirements: An event coordinator needs to be able to manage a team and delegate tasks amongst a wide range of different departments, such as catering or security. They need a knowledge of health and safety, evacuation procedures, logistics, time management, budget management and event planning or organisational software. More prestigious clients may prefer event coordinators with formal education and/or training through university or a professional programme.

4. Video editor

National Average Salary: £23,517 per year

Primary Duties: Video editors produce films, commercials, personal videos for clients and many other types of video content. They take traditional or digital video files and compile the footage together into a cohesive video. They also add or revise transitions, visual effects, colour, sound and other features.

Requirements: Independent video editors can learn the skills and develop a portfolio of work on their own without formal education. Some clients may prefer university education in filmmaking. Overall, these professionals should know how to use camera equipment as well as video, audio and visual effects editing software and should have proficiency in advanced video editing techniques.

5. Virtual assistant

National Average Salary: £11.41 per hour

Primary Duties: Virtual assistants help run businesses or projects. They often work remotely on a freelance basis to provide specialised skills and knowledge, such as social media insights or marketing strategies. Tasks can vary but usually involve either logistics, the day-to-day management of a professional's business or calendar, email marketing campaigns or data input.

Requirements: Virtual assistants need to be versatile and have a range of skills. These include excellent communication, great planning skills, advanced computer skills and knowledge of working in a remote capacity. They also need to be self-motivated and able to stick to deadlines.

6. Graphic designer

National Average Salary: £25,368 per year

Primary Duties: Graphic designers create logos and many other marketing and branding assets for a variety of projects, including leaflets, advertisements and product packaging. Other independent graphic designers may complete commissioned graphic art projects for clients.

Requirements: Graphic designers need strong creative and artistic skills. They must know how to use design software programmes and be able to meet deadlines. Many graphic designers can learn the skills and software on their own, while those who complete professional education and/or training may be able to earn more due to proof of their qualifications.

7. Freelance writer

National Average Salary: £101 per day

Primary Duties: Freelance writers can work across several different industries, producing articles and copy for websites, magazines, journals, newspapers or blogs. Sectors in the UK in need of freelance writers include advertising, travel, marketing and many more.

Requirements: Freelance writers must be proficient in the language they are writing in, have excellent knowledge of grammar and tone and must keep to deadlines. Depending on their writing specialisation, some clients may prefer university education in English or a field relevant to the content they produce, such as marketing, business, journalism or science.

8. Web designer

National Average Salary: £26,621 per year

Primary Duties: A web designer creates user-friendly webpages and website layouts for various clients. They determine the colour scheme, theme, content organisation, interactive components and other elements to ensure a site is accessible, easy to navigate and pleasing to look at. They code pages and sometimes manage a site's security, too.

Requirements: Web designers must be proficient in the most up-to-date principles of various coding languages, including HTML, CSS and Javascript. Keen design and UX/UI skills are also necessary to create attractive websites. A strong understanding of cybersecurity and website hosting is also beneficial. Web designers can learn these skills and develop a portfolio on their own, though some may complete training and education at university.

9. Personal trainer

National Average Salary: £28,259 per year

Primary Duties: Personal trainers coach clients in reaching their fitness and wellness goals. A personal trainer evaluates a client's health and fitness, identifies goals for weight, diet and exercise, creates and guides them through personalised workout programmes and then monitors progress to ensure they're reaching their goals.

Requirements: Personal trainers must complete professional training and education to become certified, which allows them to work in gyms, fitness centres and other facilities that offer personal training services. Independent personal trainers may get certified to demonstrate their qualifications to clients. All personal trainers must be physically fit themselves and understand various techniques, like cardiovascular exercise, stretching and weight lifting.

10. Social media manager

National Average Salary: £31,036 per year

Primary Duties: Social media managers help plan social media campaigns alongside marketing or sales departments or on their own for small businesses or individuals. They may make posts, monitor insights, answer queries and respond to comments.

Requirements: Social media managers must understand how to use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They need to be up-to-date on social media trends, have excellent planning skills and creativity to make engaging content. Professional training or university education in communications or marketing can prepare these professionals for research and data analysis needed to effectively grow an online audience.

11. Courier

National Average Salary: £638 per week

Primary Duties: Couriers deliver packages and messages between businesses, individuals or government agencies. This might be on a local level or refined to a particular geographic region within the United Kingdom. Couriers can be vehicle- or bicycle-based, depending on the work.

Requirements: Couriers who must travel using a car need a valid driving license. They usually must have access to their transport, too, such as their own vehicle or access to mass transit. They must also know how to navigate efficiently as many deliveries will be time-sensitive.

12. Tutor

National Average Salary: £16.76 per hour (34,860)

Primary Duties: Tutors help students better understand concepts or improve their knowledge in specific subjects. They often assist school children, peers or adult learners, in subjects that like maths, science, history or English. Tutors may also help learners develop study techniques or prepare for exams.

Requirements: Preferred education may depend on the types of learners they assist. Those who help children may only need to demonstrate knowledge of general subjects. Those helping teen, peer or adult learners may be required to have an undergraduate degree or teaching qualifications.

13. UX designer

National Average Salary: £43,144 per year

Primary Duties: UX designers create and improve user capability and accessibility of websites. They use graphic design to develop navigable websites, product pages and sales pages. They conduct consumer and audience research to ensure target users are able to and want to visit a business's sites.

Requirements: UX designers may need to complete university education or professional training in graphic design, web design, marketing and UX/UI development. They should also have a portfolio of work to demonstrate their skills and results.

14. Project manager

National Average Salary: £43,977 per year

Primary Duties: Project managers lead a team of specialised professionals to accomplish a specific goal within budget and on a deadline. They handle the logistics, planning, resource allocation, goal-setting, delegation and progress reporting tasks to ensure the project is completed.

Requirements: Self-employed project managers may need previous experience as a project manager and/or in the field in which they are seeking clients. They may need university education in business or an industry-related field as well as professional certification to demonstrate qualifications.

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