Analysis spotlights median hourly rates for creative self-employed professionals in six major markets
Toronto, Canada— FreshBooks— the #1 accounting software solution in the cloud for self-employed professionals and their teams— released the below resource today to help creative freelancers in six major cities determine their optimal hourly rates. Fifty-five million Americans—around 35 percent of the workforce in the United States—are self-employed, contributing an estimated $1 trillion to the annual GDP. Yet many creative professionals—including writers, web designers, and photographers—often hesitate to go freelance full-time due to concerns about low pay.
FreshBooks decided to analyze its customer base and found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, freelance creative professionals are actually out-earning their full-time counterparts, living well above the cost-of-living in expensive cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City and Austin, Texas.
“We hear from freelancers all the time who don’t have access to real market data to help them determine what they should be charging, and as a result, end up underpaid for their expertise,” said Mike McDerment, the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks. “When we took a closer look at the data what we found surprised us: self-employed creative professionals are not only earning more than their salaried peers—they’re thriving in some of the most expensive cities in the United States.”
Key findings include:
- Self-employed creative professionals across fields charge a median rate of $60/hr.
- Compared to their salaried peers, self-employed creatives bring in more money annually across fields. Freelance marketers and interior designers bring in the most per hour—at a median rate of $75/hr—and writers bring in the least, at a median rate of $48/hr.
- Despite the high cost of living, high concentrations of self-employed creatives choose to live in major US hubs. The amount of money they make per year varies widely, from $37,200 a year in Chicago to $75,600 a year in New York.
“My income went up when I became self-employed, and I credit that fact with my value going up, as well. As a freelancer, I can focus on my clients’ needs, provide a fresh perspective, and speak creative truth to strategic power,” said Lisa Kaneff, a self-employed marketer and FreshBooks customer from Washington. “Asking for a competitive rate is something I see creatives struggling with. Here’s my mantra: know your worth and you’ll get paid what you’re worth. I mean, look at these numbers! Other creatives are out there crushing it.”
About FreshBooks FreshBooks is the #1 accounting software in the cloud designed exclusively for service-based small business owners and independent professionals. The company has helped more than 10 million people worldwide process billions of dollars with its ridiculously easy-to-use invoicing, time-tracking, expense management, and online payments features. Recognized with six Stevie awards for best customer service in the world, the company’s mantra is to “execute extraordinary experiences every day.” Based in Toronto, Canada, FreshBooks serves paying customers in 160 countries. www.FreshBooks.com.”