The average annual cost of attending college in the U.S. has ballooned to more than $20,000, and the price tag is much more exorbitant if you are interested in attending a private university. This means that the vast majority of today’s students need an income source throughout the year, but it can be difficult to balance school with a typical work schedule. Additionally, the level of flexibility that is needed can force students to work a minimum wage job. In other words, even if they somehow managed to work 40 hours a week while attending school full-time, they would still fall at least $5,000 short of their tuition fees. Fortunately, there is a good alternative that can help: freelancing.
What Type of Freelance Work is Available?
The number of freelancers working at home continues to grow, and they are needed in a diverse mixture of industries, ranging from copywriters to insurance inspectors. The beauty of freelance work is that you can choose your hours and capacity, and it is often possible to set your own rate. As an added bonus, these jobs typically compensate at a much higher rate than minimum wage. According to Due.com, which is an online invoicing resource for freelancers, more than half of the people who choose this type of work earn between $20 and $59 per hour. Highly skilled developers can command as much as $180 hourly.
How Can College Students Find Freelance Work?
There are numerous freelance opportunities available online, including many websites that are devoted to bringing freelancers and clients together. For example, writers can turn to content mills such as Textbroker.com to earn some extra cash. Entrepreneur also recommends checking out Upwork and Elance for writers, mobile developers, designers and programmers. Individuals who are already experienced programmers might be eligible to join the top 3 percent of freelancers at Toptal, and this is a very viable way to make some serious money. If all of these options do not suit your specific talents or needs, you can even turn to Craigslist as a job resource for freelancers.
What Are the Perks of Joining a Freelancing Site?
Most reputable sites collect payments from each client and deposit them into your account, so this will minimize the risk involved in working with people on a short-term basis. Additionally, content mills may pay a cheaper wage than you can attract on your own, but they also give you the opportunity to hone your skills and attract some loyal clients. Another nice perk of getting involved with freelance sites is that you can join several of them to ensure that you will always have some work to choose from.
Freelancing does not offer the same stability as punching a time clock, but you will have the opportunity to earn a lot more money and to set your own hours. It is also really liberating to handpick the projects that interest you instead of being forced to do whatever your boss asks of you. When you combine all of these benefits with being able to build a portfolio that can help you find permanent work in the future, it becomes clear that freelancing is one of the best ways for a college student to make ends meet.
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