The Freelancer Income Survey

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Have you tried making money online as a freelancer? The global freelance economy has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years.

In the United States, over one-third of the work force is currently comprised of self-employed individuals; India’s workforce has a reported 15 million freelancers.

These numbers are expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. While the demand for freelance work is growing worldwide, so is the competition.

Setting and negotiating rates can often be challenging. Professionals must understand the freelance economy in order to set rates that are both lucrative and competitive in their
respective fields.

This year, Payoneer set out to capture the state of affairs for freelancers worldwide in regards to demographics and income.

With the goal of helping freelancers navigate the rapidly evolving professional landscape, we surveyed over 21,000 freelancers from 170 countries to determine how they operate and what rates they charge.

This survey will be of interest to freelance marketplaces, industry analysts and many others, but most of all for the freelancers who make this economy thrive.

Related: 9 selling freelance job ideas to consider

Utilize this survey to compare average hourly rates, better understand what drives competition, and find new ways to increase income.

Key Findings

Below are the key findings about freelancers and how they stack up in the services they render to make money online.

  • The worldwide average hourly rate charged by freelancers is $19, well above the average hourly salary in most of the countries where the freelancers we surveyed are based.
  • The freelance scene is young – over 50% of the respondents are under the age of 30. At the same time, older freelancers earn more than their younger counterparts.
  • Freelancers with advanced degrees earn more than those with high school and bachelor’s degrees. Regardless of their own location, more than two-thirds of freelancers work for clients based in North America, and half of them work for clients based in Europe.
  • Over 80% of the professionals surveyed focus on 1 to 3 jobs at a time. Almost half of the freelancers have an average work week of 30-50 hours.
  • Freelancers providing Finance, Management & HR services work the most hours a week.Freelancers providing Legal services charge more than any other service ($28 per hour) but work the fewest hours per week.
  • Freelancers who work in the field of IT & Programming have the highest levels of job
    satisfaction.
  • Nearly three-quarters of freelancers find projects via online marketplaces.
    The preferred social media channel to promote the freelancers’ work is Facebook, utilized by 54% of the respondents.

Download the complete report from Payoneer to have detailed information on the promising future of freelancing and how you can have a share of the big pie.