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High Paying Self Employed Jobs

by Terri Williams, studioD

As one humorous cartoon stated, when you’re self-employed, you'll always be employee of the month, and you’re guaranteed to win the best boss award every year. Self-employment also offers freedom, flexible scheduling and the absence of office politics. Having a high-paying self-employed job rounds out the benefits of being your own boss. Several jobs pay a lucrative salary and are growing in popularity as self-employment options.


According to 2012 national wage estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, podiatrists earn an annual mean salary of $132,470. Podiatrists treat foot, ankle and lower leg conditions through medical care and surgical procedures. These medical problems range from heel spurs and ingrown toenails to foot and leg problems caused by diabetes. The BLS reports that 26 percent of podiatrists were self-employed in 2010, while others worked in group practices, hospitals, the military and academic health centers. The educational requirement for this position is a doctor of podiatric medicine degree and a three-year medical and surgical residency. Through 2020, the BLS predicts demand for podiatrists will grow by 20 percent, faster than the national average of 14.3 percent for other jobs.


The annual mean salary for lawyers is $130,880, according to BLS data. Lawyers interpret laws, rulings and regulations and provide legal information to their clients. They also represent clients in courts when dealing with government agencies or in private legal matters. In 2010, approximately 22 percent of lawyers were self-employed, and the rest worked primarily for legal service firms or the government. The educational requirement for this job is a three-year juris doctor degree from law school. Through 2020, job growth for lawyers should be 10 percent, according to the BLS.

Financial Managers

Financial managers can expect to earn an annual mean salary of $123,260. These professionals manage and look for way to improve an organization’s financial health. They prepare statements, monitor activity and contribute to decisions relating to finances. In addition, financial managers analyze market trends and develop long-term financial goals. The educational requirement for this career choice is a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, accounting or a related field, and the BLS reports that financial managers usually have five or more years of experience as an accountant, loan officer, financial analyst or securities sales agent. Although the BLS predicts the number of financial managers hired by companies and enterprises will grow by just 3 percent, it projects a 20-percent growth rate for self-employed financial managers.

Art Directors

The annual mean salary of art directors is $94,260. They're responsible for the overall design and visual style of a project, with duties including managing layout, photographs, artwork and other design elements. For cinematic or theatrical productions, they oversee set designs and hire workers to complete them. Art directors need a bachelor’s degree in an art or design subject. Almost 59 percent of art directors were self-employed in 2010, according to the BLS, which projects a 9 percent increase in demand through 2020. An increase in electronic magazines and Internet-based publications, along with a rise in advertising, public relations and specialized design services, should offset the decline in print media, such as newspapers and magazines.

About the Author

Terri Williams began writing professionally in 1997, working with a large nonprofit organization. Her articles have appeared in various online publications including Yahoo, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report University Directory, and the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Photo Credits

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