In the past, holding a permanent, full-time job was the main way to earn a living. But the times are changing. If you're craving increased career flexibility, you're in luck; the "gig economy" is on the rise.
CareerCast has released a new report detailing the top 10 freelance, part-time and contractual jobs for 2017. Whether you're in the market for a side job or a full-time freelance career, there are plenty of ways you can work on your own terms.
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"In this digital age, the workforce is increasing mobile and work can be done from anywhere, resulting in a rise in short-term job opportunities," said Kyle Kensing, CareerCast online content editor. "Opportunities to work on a contract or freelance basis and make a great career of it are growing across a variety of occupations and sectors."
Learn more about 2017's 10 best jobs that make the best side hustle.
If you're good with numbers, taking on a side job or even going full-time freelance as an accountant will definitely help you pay the bills. The median hourly wage is $32.30 and the field is expected to see 11 percent growth through 2024.
Of course, you can't just decide to be an accountant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most employers will require you to have at least a bachelor's degree. Obtaining additional certifications — such as becoming a certified public accountant — will make you a more competitive candidate.
2. Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technician
Radio programs, television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings and movies need broadcast and sound engineering technicians to make sure everything sounds and looks great. Put your skills to work setting up, operating and maintaining electrical equipment to earn a median hourly rate of $20.09.
If you're not already in the field, you'll likely need to pursue an associate's degree or at least enroll in a training program where you can learn the basics. Job growth is expected to rise by 7 percent through 2024.
Working evenings, weekends and holidays is par for the course with broadcast and sound engineering technician jobs. This makes the gig a great side hustle, as it might not interfere with a daytime job.
Many people aren't great at making repairs and additions to their property, so your carpentry skills can make for an excellent side job. Expect to earn a median hourly rate of $20.24, doing everything from hanging drywall to installing doors.
The only formal education you'll need to become a carpenter is a high school diploma, as training is done on-the-job. Demand for carpenters is expected to increase by 6 percent through 2024, partially due to an expected rise in new home construction and the need to repair and replace roadway infrastructure, according to the BLS.
4. Delivery Truck Driver
Working as a delivery truck driver is a side hustle that will put a median hourly rate of $13.34 in your pocket. Some employers will require you to have a high school diploma or equivalent, but all will expect a driver's license in your state of employment and a clean driving record.
Demand for this job is expected to increase by 5 percent through 2024 due to a continued need for package delivery services. It's worth noting the growth rate falls below the 7 percent hike expected for all occupations, as innovative GPS technology is expected to help drivers work faster.
Bilingual abilities can earn you a median hourly rate of $21.24 as an interpreter or translator. This field is expected to surge 29 percent through 2024 — more than four times the rate predicted for all occupations — so take advantage of being in demand.
To land a side job as an interpreter or translator, you'll likely need at least a bachelor's degree. However, fluency in English and at least one other language is a top priority for employers, so you might be able to get hired without formal training.
6. Management Analyst
Otherwise known as a management consultant, companies hire management analysts to help improve efficiency. You'll likely need a bachelor's degree to get hired, but consider obtaining a Certified Management Consultant certification to increase your marketability.
A seriously lucrative side job, management analysts earn a median hourly rate of $39.10. Demand is expected to rise 14 percent through 2024, so if you're looking for increased career flexibility, you might be able to find enough work to make it a full-time freelance gig.
7. Multimedia Artist
Turn your artistic talents into a fun side hustle that will earn you a median rate of $30.76 an hour. In addition to the great pay, you'll get the satisfaction of seeing your work brought to life in television, movies, video games and other mediums.
To get hired, you'll need a bachelor's degree in computer graphics, art or a related field, as well as a portfolio that illustrates your skills. Job growth is expected to rise 6 percent through 2024, which is about average for all occupations, according to the BLS.
8. Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapists make a huge difference in the lives of sick, injured and disabled patients by helping them develop and improve essential life skills. To become one, you'll need at least a master's degree in occupational therapy, but some professionals opt to pursue a doctoral degree.
Since this career path requires a significant educational investment, it's more than a sporadic side job. You could take on a part-time job in addition to your regular gig or opt for a flexible schedule by freelancing full-time.
Either way, expect to earn a median hourly rate of $38.54 as an occupational therapist. Your job options will be plentiful, as the number of jobs is predicted to rise by 27 percent through 2024.
9. Software Developer
The highest paying side hustle on the list, software developers earn a median hourly rate of $48.41. If you have a bachelor's degree in computer science and a robust set of programming skills, you can earn some serious cash.
You'll have your choice of job opportunities, as employment is expected to rise 17 percent through 2024. Much of this demand is caused by insurance providers, as they need skilled developers to create new software to handle the digital enrollment and administration of policies.
10. Web Developer
Most people don't know how to design and create websites but just about every company has one. Consequently, the demand for web developers is expected to surge 27 percent through 2024, the BLS found.
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