Finding an independent contractor job in the United States is a great way to get started on your own while leveraging a pre-existing business model.
Contractors are able to work for as many clients as they wish and are only liable to those clients for the work that they do. It can be a fantastic type of life for a driven, ambitious person. Most of them prefers to work on their own terms. The number of independent contractors in the U.S has risen steeply over the course of just the last few years. Almost 30% of the entire population is now self-employed!
On the flipside, however, contractors are wholly responsible for their own taxes, retirement benefits, and other expenses necessary to run a business. The increased freedom and varied job duties comes at a price, and that price is complete economic self-sufficiency.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to find an independent contractor job in the United States, including tips & techniques for doing so efficiently. Let’s dive in!
How to Find an Independent Contractor Job in the United States
How do you find independent contractor jobs in the United States? Thanks to the internet, there are myriad places and opportunities to look, in addition to traditional job-hunting approaches. What follows are a few short ways you might go about it:
1) Determine what type of contract you’re looking for, whether it’s full-time or part-time. Full-time contracts can be more lucrative, but often have a significantly higher barrier to entry – keep this in mind!
2) List some of the areas you’re interested in working in so that prospective employers can target their opportunities more effectively. If you’re a web designer, for example, make sure to say so in your job proposal or advertisement.
3) Speaking of advertisements, put those independent contracting skills to work and write an attractive ad that includes your skills and experience and lays out your work history effectively. Ensure that it narrowly defines what type of independent contractor job you want. One that pays well enough to suit your needs and offers good benefits while still offering freedom and flexibility to do what you want.
4) Use databases and other websites that list contractors looking for independent work opportunities. There are plenty all over the internet, including places like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer.com, and more. Many of these databases are searchable by zip code as well as by profession. Check in from time to time to see if any new opportunities come up near where you live!
Independent Contractor Job Research
Finding an independent contractor job in the United States can be a little tricky, but it’s not impossible. All you need is patience and persistence.
If you’re looking for an independent contractor job, try to maintain your sanity. You may not be able to control the job market or your competition, but you can control how you go about finding one. Use your networks and talk to people in the industry. Don’t be shy about talking about what you’re looking for, and go after work like your life depends on it! Our economy rewards people that are hungry for success and willing to chase what they want.
Additionally, be flexible and open to changing jobs once you find one that meets your needs. The more you move around, the higher the likelihood that you find a niche in the market that you can use as leverage to get a better opportunity later in life. Network online with sites like LinkedIn, and create a profile with your qualifications and experience.
Optimize Your Profile
Optimizing your resume, CV, and online profile is key to getting the right independent contractor job. In our company, for example, we hire based on knowledge, past work experience, and professionalism, and the degree to which your online profile stands out goes a long way towards us extending a job offer.
One thing that can drive your pay down when applying to independent contractor jobs in the United States is if you have an unpaid internship on your resume. Unpaid internships often imply that you’re okay getting paid for no work – which, if you’re looking for a lucrative job, can be highly disadvantageous to you achieving your goal!
Another issue is that there are certain kinds of companies (like landscapers or some event based businesses) that will not offer contract jobs during one or more seasons – usually the winter or summer – so it is important to research this before accepting a job offer.
Once you have the job, make sure to build out a smooth workflow for managing your expenses, receipts, taxes, and invoices. One of the big things most independent contractors don’t realize is that the process of running their business sometimes takes just as long as actually performing their job! Services like PayStubsNow offer efficient, highly automated services (in our case, paystub creation) that can help you save time and become a more effective independent contractor, so make sure to keep your eyes open!
The Advantages of working an independent contractor jobs
Make your own decisions.
Contract work offers more autonomy and, for many people, a higher perceived level of job security than traditional employment.
Maintain a healthy work/life balance.
There will be less commuting, fewer meetings, and less office politics, and you will be able to work the hours that are most convenient for you and your lifestyle.
Increase your earnings
Working at independent contractor jobs, you are paid at the market rate for each hour of work you complete. Your income could be high if your skills are in high demand.
Try out a new area of expertise.
Not sure if your skills have a market? You can try out a new industry without committing to a full-time position. If it doesn’t work out, you can easily and quickly cut your losses.
Begin on a part-time basis.
This may appeal to young people fresh out of college or to older people interested in pursuing a second or even third career.
Try out a business.
If you’re not sure if a new company is offering the right full-time job for you, try working for them as an independent contractor first.
If these advantages appeal to you, you may have the right mindset and skills to become a contractor.
Plan your earnings
Contractors frequently begin as employees before venturing out on their own. They are well-versed in the pay rates and the type of work that is expected of them. If you’re unsure how much you can charge, look at sites like Upwork for rates and other information.
Remember that you will only be paid for the work you complete. When you’re sick or on leave, you usually don’t get paid. There will be no corporate pension or mini retirement plan, as well as no corporate healthcare or dental coverage.
However, some people can perform high-value work in a short period of time. Even after accounting for the loss of holiday pay, sick pay, and other benefits, such workers can still be financially successful as contractors.
How far ahead are we? Consider how much you could charge per hour or per job. Investigate the costs of providing your own healthcare insurance, sickness and vacation coverage, retirement plan, equipment, and so on.
Put these figures into your accounting software to calculate your anticipated income. Do the numbers stack up? Only by properly planning will you know whether it’s time to go it alone. Before making a final decision, it may be beneficial to consult with a financial expert.
How do you begin independent contractor jobs?
If you’re ready to start working as an independent contractor, here are some practical measures to take:
- Set up your company: Check out our beginning business guide for advice on registering your company, deciding on a business structure, budgeting, and more.
- Prepare a business plan: Include items like your pricing, expenses, and planned growth. Consider employing a self-employed accountant at this time to help you establish a realistic and professional plan.
- Personal and commercial banking should be kept separate: This greatly simplifies account management.
- Get insurance: The most important ones are usually professional indemnity and public liability. Get more information on small business insurance.
- Select high-quality accounting software: It can be used to track spending, send invoices, and reduce end-of-year tax labor.
It’s also a good idea to have your own standard contract, non-disclosure agreement (NDA), and services agreement available for your clients to sign. Please keep in mind that certain clients may choose to utilize their own documentation.