Recent studies from the Bureau of Labor Statistics have shown that over 14 million people in the US are self-employed. The majority of them are consultants, contractors, or freelancers, which means that they either work for themselves or business clients.
However, some other self-employed workers enjoy running their own small businesses, selling services or products to the general public.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, face much more complicated challenges than contractors or freelancers. They have to invest a large amount of money either into their own or other businesses in hopes of making it. However, all self-employed jobs come with some risk.
Even though you are self-employed, there are ways to keep yourself financially afloat.
In this article, we compiled the top ten low entry cost jobs where you get to be your own boss to help you decide what kind of self-employment you want to embark on.
1. Real Estate Agent
- Typical Pay: Real estate agents or brokers bring in a medium-income of $45,610.
Upfront costs: Upfront costs include advertising, training, and applying for a state-issued real estate license.
- Ongoing costs: Keeping your membership active with a real estate franchise.
Requirements: Before you start selling homes, you have to first take a pre-licensing course, along with passing a state-issued licensing exam. But, some states allow you to waive the course and head straight to the exam. However, the course can be an excellent refresher to ensure you don’t fail the licensing test.
2. Event Promoter
Typical Pay: Event promoters can expect to earn from $100 to $1,500 per night, pertaining to your experience and the length of the event you’re promoting. For beginners, this can round up to $30,000 annually and $200,000 annually for those who have been in the field much longer.
Upfront Costs: Expenses will vary on your type of contract and event you’re planning. These costs include booking venues, buying equipment, advertising, paying for entertainment, etc.
Requirements: Luckily, there is are no requirements to be an event promoter. However, those who have more experience and connections tend to get paid more and improve their careers in this industry. The best skills you can obtain for this job are communication, people, sales, and advertising experience.
3. Accounting and Tax Preparation
Typical Pay: Self-employed accountant salaries can range, but employed accountants can receive around $65,000 annually.
Upfront Costs: Upfront costs include education, supplies, software fees, and advertising.
Requirements: Normally, accountants and tax preparers should aim to have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or some similar field. You may also need to obtain a certified public accountant designation or CPA, where you will need to pass a national exam and meet specific state requirements.
4. Administrative Work
Typical Pay: Self-employed assistants, including virtual ones, can expect to be paid anywhere from minimum wage to $30 per hour. However, this depends entirely on your client and your job’s specifics.
Upfront Costs: Upfront costs include the internet, a computer, cellular service, and office supplies.
Requirements: You may need to meet education requirements, depending on the client you’re hired by. Typically, you should have experience in data entry, writing, communication, and organization. Plus, some clients may pay more based on how many words you can type per minute.
5. Personal Trainer
Typical Pay: Employed personal trainers make an average of $15 an hour, whereas self-employed ones make $10-20 per person per class.
Upfront Costs: Startup costs for personal trainers can add up pretty quickly as you must pay for gym fees, equipment, insurance, and advertising.
Requirements: As a personal trainer, you may be required to obtain specialized education, training, and licensing. However, these requirements vary among states and gyms.
6. Interior Designer
Typical Pay: The average annual pay of an interior designer is $41,779. If you are self-employed, you will be paid on a per-job basis. Your pay may be higher or lower than the average based on your training and experience.
Upfront Costs: You may have to pay educational costs upfront, as well as for advertising and office supplies.
Requirements: Some states have stricter requirements for interior designers than others, so it is best to first check with your state. Most designers have at least a Bachelor’s degree and are licensed in their state. You may also be required to take a state-approved National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam to call yourself an interior designer.
7. Makeup Artist
Typical Pay: On average, makeup artists make an annual salary of $66,560. You increase your earnings potential if you get a job working in the entertainment industry.
Upfront Costs: Makeup artists must pay for supplies, training, travels, and advertising to start up their businesses.
Requirements: Most states will require you to obtain a license to practice.
8. Shave Ice Stand Owner
Typical Pay: The average pay will greatly depend on how frequently you plan on going out and selling your shaved ice. However, on average, shaved ice stand owners made anywhere from $31,320 all the way up to $442,440. This shows that there is great potential for growth with this business.
Upfront Costs: The upfront costs are relatively minimal. You will only need to pay for a stand, shaved ice machine, syrups, cups, straws, and any necessary licenses.
Requirements: There are two routes you can choose to go down: either start your own shaved ice business or buy into a franchise. Franchises come with inherent benefits, including reduced costs for supplies and name recognition. All you must do is contact your city and complete obtain any licenses necessary to sell food. Some affordable franchise opportunities include Tropical Sno, Ululani’s, and Sno Shack
9. Life Coach
Typical Pay: According to the International Coach Federation, life coaches make an average of $61,900 per year.
Upfront Costs: Startup costs for life coaches are fairly low. You may need to spend on training, credentials, certifications, and advertising.
Requirements: Though certification is not required, it can help you stand out in a competitive field. Check out the International Coach Federation and the certifications they have to offer. Their certification programs take around four weeks to complete.
10. Event Planner
Typical Pay: Event planners that work consistently make a median of $42,260 annually. However, the actual payment can range anywhere from $25,000 to around $80,000 per year. If you are a self-employed planner, you will be paid per each event you plan.
Upfront Costs: Self-employed event planners may be looking at quite a few startup costs. This may include design, advertising, and regular office supplies. By working out of your home, you can save a bit of money.
Requirements: To truly establish yourself in the field, you may choose to obtain a Bachelor’s degree or a special license. While it is not required, obtaining a Certified Meeting Professional credential from the Convention Industry Council can help you establish authority and build your company.