Self-Employed Job Ideas

Self-employed Career Ideas

Always wanted to be your own boss? If your current career no longer satisfies you, then there’s no better remedy than to become self-employed.

With the sheer range of self-employed jobs available, it’s never been a better time to create your own venture. It’s also now easier than ever to work remotely, or even use the internet to market your in-person services to find clients and grow your business. 

You can decide to become self-employed full-time, or even create a side hustle to top up any existing work or pension income. Plus, there’s no age limit on becoming self-employed either, making it an all-round win. 

All that’s left for you to do is decide on the right avenue of work, and inform the relevant people of your trading status. If you’re in need of some inspiration for a career direction, here are our top self-employed job ideas that you can start today. 

What To Consider Before Becoming Self-Employed 

  • Is there a demand for your services, and is it a viable way of earning income in the current climate?
  • What will be the going rate for your service, and how can you remain competitive?
  • Do you plan on offering your services in person, or would a digital remote job suit your industry better? 
  • Your income will fluctuate each month, so you need to financially prepare for this.
  • As a self-employed individual, you are responsible for the legal, financial and administrative sides of the business, so you’ll need to be able to handle this. 
  • You will need a way of professionally marketing your services to your target audience to drum up continual business.
  • As you’re working for yourself, you cannot claim statutory sick pay (SSP) or any other similar maternity or paternity benefits (if applicable). 
  • You may require professional indemnity insurance, and you’ll also need to set up a private pension. 
  • By January 31st of each year, you’ll need to have submitted and paid your tax return.

You may be interested in: Should You Continue To Work Into Retirement?


  • Accounting
  • Bookkeeping
  • HR work 
  • Financial advisor
  • Mortgage broker
  • Office administrator
  • Personal assistant 
  • Talent agent
  • Virtual assistant 

Do you have a talent for staying organised, creating opportunities for others or know how to use office software? 

There are various skills that can be put to good use within an office environment, with some roles such as a virtual assistant or bookkeeping even suited for remote work. While many of the above jobs exist as regular employment, there’s no reason why you can’t become self-employed instead. 

The key with any kind of administrative role is that you are there to make the life of your client much easier. If you can do this well, and be someone who can be trusted and relied upon, then your services will command higher rates.  


  • Acting
  • Clothing machinist
  • Crafting 
  • Event planning
  • Furniture restoration 
  • Interior design
  • Life coach
  • Occasion cake maker
  • Photography
  • Podcasting
  • Social media marketing
  • Stylist 
  • Makeup artist 
  • Marketing 
  • Musician
  • Video editor
  • Voiceover work 
  • Writing

The internet means anyone can exchange any kind of creative talent with those who need it with ease. Namely, businesses in need of creative assets to help promote their business with the likes of content writing, video editing and photography. Although, if you have other creative skills, it may be possible to create them as physical assets to sell, or even to offer as in-person services. 

Becoming a self-employed creative can be a tough gig depending on the exact job you opt for. That’s because the likes of singing, painting or crafting will have a smaller audience, compared with those who offer marketing services. That said, it’s all about finding what you are best at, along with pitching your skills, services or products to the right clientele. 


  • Accessibility consultant 
  • Business consultant
  • IT consultant 
  • Financial advisory consultant
  • Management consultant
  • Merger consultant 

Have you spent years building up experience in your career? If you’ve reached the point where there’s nowhere else to climb on the career ladder, then you could switch to being a self-employed consultant. 

Working for different businesses and individuals, consults go in to add expertise that a company is lacking. For instance, when a company is looking to train employees with new skills or make a merger run smoothly. Sometimes, consultants can also be brought in to help a business become more productive or even save money. 

Depending on the consultancy service you can offer, this particular line of self-employment can be extremely lucrative. 

Health & Wellbeing

  • Counsellor 
  • Dietician 
  • Personal trainer
  • Physiotherapist 
  • Yoga teacher
  • Zumba teacher

Have any experience working in a healthcare or fitness role? Many people opt to provide their services under their own name. If there’s a huge demand for what you provide, or if you feel there’s a better way of doing things compared with your current work setting, then there’s no reason why you can’t become self-employed too. 

The likes of counselling, physiotherapy or nutritional services will require the most amount of qualifications along with more rigorous insurance. Though, these types of professional services will also command a higher rate due to the specialism involved. 

A personal trainer can be self-employed within a gym, work from home or even work in their client’s homes. There’s also the option of offering 1-2-1 private tuition or group classes. 

It’s even easier to get qualified to teach Yoga or Zumba, with dedicated programs available that don’t require a degree like some of the other options. Many people teach fitness classes on a self-employed basis to fit around existing employment. 

Service Based 

  • Beauty therapy
  • Dog walking 
  • Care work
  • Cleaning
  • Deliver driver
  • DIY
  • Food truck
  • Hairdressing 
  • Hospitality
  • House sitting 
  • Pet sitting
  • Taxi driver/chauffeur work 
  • Translation
  • Tutoring

Not everything can be bought or completed online, and this is where the service industry comes into play. It’s possible to use your skills or even attend training to gain new skills so that you can be self-employed in the service industry.

A recent report by the BBC also highlighted how the service industry is booming on British high streets, where traditional retail is struggling. So if you’ve always wanted to transition into a career where you provide a service for others, now’s your chance.

Some service based jobs can also be provided in your own home, whether in-person or remotely. Others such as dog walking, house sitting or becoming a taxi driver will require you to be able to get out and about. Though, the service category definitely offers the greatest flexibility of all self-employed job directions. 

Specialist Building Services

  • Architect
  • Construction worker
  • Damp specialist 
  • Drainage specialist 
  • Electrician
  • Gardening/landscaping
  • Gutter installation/cleaning
  • High rise window cleaning
  • Locksmith 
  • Painter/decorator 
  • Plasterer
  • Property management 
  • Roofer
  • Surveyor 

Those with any extensive experience within the building trade, particularly those who are qualified, regulated and accredited could become self-employed experts in their field. 

Alternatively, many trades can be completed on a self-employed basis, rather than working for a company where you’ll inevitably be paid less as an employee. 

Naturally, the likes of architects and surveyors can command the highest rates. However, people are always going to need building work of all types completing, which creates self-employment opportunities across the board. 

Something that’s essential with any kind of trade is building up a quality reputation. Alongside word of mouth, internet reviews are make or break. But by providing a reliable, quality service you can easily scale your self-employment trade into a profitable business. 

Passive Income Self-Employment Ideas

Many of the above ideas have the potential to become passive income self-employment ideas. For example, writing a book and selling it, or charging people to download one of your images on a stock photography website. 

By far the most lucrative self-employment job is anything related to property. While property renovation is technically active income, letting that property out would be classed as passive income. 

A modern example of a self-employed passive income job would be to become a YouTuber. Once you reach a certain subscriber and view count threshold, your content will become eligible for advertising, and you’ll be paid each time these adverts are shown on your videos. Likewise, you can also create a website and have ads running on your pages to generate passive income too.

Read more: Making Extra Cash Without Working 

Becoming Self-Employed FAQs

Unsure about what becoming self-employed involves? We’ve answered some of the most popular questions below. You can also find further guides and advice on our retirement and working section. 

How To Register As Self-Employed?

How you register as being self-employed depends on how your trading status can best be described, along with the type of work you do. Becoming a sole trader is the easiest method, as you simply need to register with HMRC. For the formation of limited companies, you’ll also need to register with Companies House, and possibly your local council. Seek advice from a relevant professional if you are unsure how to register yourself as self-employed, bearing in mind your mortgage company or bank may also need to be informed of your changed working status. 

How To Pay Self-Employment Tax?

When you register with HMRC, you’ll be notified to complete your self-assessment, which must be submitted and paid before January 31st to cover the previous tax year. Everything you need to submit your return and pay it can be found on the HMRC website by creating a government gateway login. 

How To Become Self-Employed?

If you have a current job, it’s always wise to become self-employed on the side and gradually transition into full-time employment. Unless you have plenty of savings to offer a financial security blanket. 

In terms of getting started, all you need to do is decide what services you plan on offering, inform the relevant people (i.e. HMRC) and get started. Bear in mind you will also need a way of marketing your services to ensure a healthy turnover. 

How Much Tax Do I Pay If I’m Self-Employed?

The amount of tax you pay depends on your income. The only main difference between a regular taxed job and someone who is self-employed is that you will need to pay any tax, national insurance or VAT owed separately, rather than it coming out of your pay packet automatically. 

The first £12,570 earned is not taxed and is classed as a personal allowance. 

At the time of writing, UK tax brackets are as follows:
– £12,571 to £50,270 – 20%
– £50,271 to £150,000 – 40%
– £150,000+ – 45%

A top tip is to open a separate, high-interest rate bank account to store any future tax payments in so that you are always able to pay your tax bill. For most people, this would involve taking 20% out of each month’s gross income to pay any tax due.

Can You Be Self-Employed And Employed?

Yes. Many people take up an additional job on a self-employed basis to top up their income, or to help them transition into a new career. Be aware you may need to inform your employer you are also self-employed, and you will need to complete a self-assessment if you earn more than £1,000 from your self-employment. 

Discover Self-Employed Jobs & Advice For Seniors On Retirement Expert 

We hope our above list of self-employed jobs has inspired your next career move. From becoming a self-employed tradesperson to entering a creative field, there’s something for everyone. Best of all, in today’s times, you can find plenty of self-employment jobs that can be done from home, opening up a world of opportunity for those with mobility issues or childcare demands. 

Let us know in the comments if you’ve recently become self-employed, and what your top tips are for those just starting out. Or, if you have any other article ideas you’d like us to cover around the topic of work, pensions or finance. 

Remember, you can discover more free advice geared towards senior living here at Retirement Expert. Be sure to bookmark our website, or give us a follow over on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with our latest posts. 

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