7 Best Freelance Coding Jobs
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- Freelancing in tech provides flexibility and opportunities to diversify your resume.
- Common freelance positions are UX design, email design, and web development.
- The more programming experience you have, the more opportunities you'll have to freelance.
Freelancing has become increasingly popular for several reasons. Since the 2007 recession, some financial advisors have recommended multiple income streams to create financial stability.
Many of the best freelance coding roles require significant experience in one or more programs, so it isn't the best fit for recent bootcamp grads. However, part-time freelance work is a great way to increase your skills and unlock new experiences.
What Is Freelancing?
Freelance coders or programmers are often hired to help with a specific project for a company. The daily schedule for freelance programmers will vary, but here are some practices you may encounter.
- Most freelancers work remotely, particularly since COVID changed office culture. However, you can still expect regular meetings and check-ins with your team.
- Teams in tech typically have a daily stand-up meeting where everyone reports on their progress and challenges. Additionally, you may have meetings with clients when it applies to your work.
- Projects and progress are typically tracked in a project management system like Hubstaff or Asana. If you've worked in a tech office, you'll find much of the freelance routine is the same as in-person work.
What Are the Benefits of Freelancing?
Flexibility is a major benefit to full-time freelance coding. Freelancing allows you to determine when, where, and how many hours you work. Most successful freelancers will tell you scheduling and organization are key to maintaining your freelance business.
Perhaps unique to the tech industry, freelance coding can create faster professional growth. Because you pace and select your own projects, you can expand or enhance your skills at a faster rate than a full-time role might.
If you want to freelance part-time or in addition to your full-time job, you're likely looking for additional income. With expertise in a certain code or skillset, you can demand a higher rate for your work, which allows you to earn more even if you work fewer hours freelancing.
How Much Does a Freelance Coder Make?
Freelancing rates vary depending on skills and experience. The more coding languages you know, the higher you'll be able to set your freelancing rate.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for programmers was $46.46 as of May 2021. Upwork, a freelance job posting site, says rates range from $25-$80 an hour, depending on experience.
If you're making the switch to freelancing, either full- or part-time, you need to research your tax obligations. Taxes are not withheld from contractor (freelancer) payments. You'll need to set aside a portion of each payment to cover your taxes.
What Are the Best Freelance Coding Jobs?
We've rounded up a few freelance coding jobs that require a range of expertise and experience. These areas often have freelance job postings on a variety of sites.
If you don't have the expertise to land a job in these areas, don't worry! You can use this to decide what you need to learn next.
Mobile App Developer
Mobile app developers work on app development from start to finish, including coding, bug fixes, user experience, and more.
Common skills you might need include knowledge of mobile platforms, automated tests, and RESTful APIs. Of course, you'll need coding proficiency in a variety of languages. The more coding languages you know, the more versatility you have.
If you want to freelance as a mobile app developer, you'll want to update your LinkedIn profile and add your resume to relevant freelancing sites like UpWork or Toptal. Additionally, you'll want to build your own app and upload it to the appropriate app store to demonstrate your competency.
Freelance rates always vary, so it's important to research existing jobs and compare your skills before you set your rate. Mobile app developer rates on Upwork can run from $16-75 an hour, dependent on skills.
UX designers work with the user experience of websites and apps. A strong UX designer understands relevant tech such as wireframing, prototyping, and how to develop user flows. Knowing some front-end coding is often beneficial, as you will collaborate with user interface (UI) designers.
In the past, UX designers worked primarily with clients and users in person. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, freelance UX design positions have grown considerably. You'll want to build your website to showcase your skills and advertise your services, in addition to activity on social media and job boards.
On average, freelance UX designers make between $25-$75 an hour. This rate might be adjusted if you take on part of the UX role, such as wireframing.
Also known as web designers or webmasters, web developers are still in demand across industries. Almost every business, celebrity, or brand has a website, and a webmaster is likely involved at some point along the way.
While the rate will vary based on your experience and the work requested, most web developers can expect to charge between $61-$80 an hour.
Email design is a great freelance option for people with experience in marketing and design, as well as coding. If you have limited coding proficiencies, you might want to start here, as the only coding languages required are HTML and CSS. Many small businesses employ email management tools like Active Campaign or MailChimp, so experience in these programs is also beneficial.
Depending on the client, you might be hired to design an automated response or a series of branded emails. Knowledge of design tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and/or Dreamweaver is also important. Some clients may have the copy ready for you, while others might want you to complete this as well.
Freelance rates for email designers run slightly lower than other jobs listed here. Because this job requires less coding expertise, the average rate is $15-50 per hour.
Coding Tutorial Writer
If you have a passion for teaching, writing, and strong coding knowledge in one or more areas, you might consider writing freelance coding tutorials. There are plenty of free or paid coding tutorials all over the web.
Some companies might hire tutorial writers for employee development, while others want to produce content as part of their business plan. Coding tutorial writing is generally a good fit for full-stack developers.
If you have expertise in a specific language, coding tutorial work might be a great way to build your resume and earn additional income. To work on tutorials full-time, you'd need diverse and significant experience.
Your freelance rate could be close to that of a full-stack developer. According to freelance tech job site Arc.dev, full-stack developers typically charge between $61-80 an hour.
Coding Challenge Creator
Most coding jobs require a coding challenge during their interview process. Some large tech companies will put out an open code challenge to engage potential employees and draw in the best talent. Someone has to create those challenges — enter the coding challenge creator.
To be a coding challenge creator, you'll need full-stack expertise and fluency in various popular coding languages, such as C++, Python, and Java.
If you enjoy completing coding challenges and have expertise in a few coding languages, this freelance position might be right for you. While it might be difficult to freelance in coding challenges full-time, it could provide a steady secondary income.
Like most freelance positions, rates will vary based on experience and expertise.
Coding instructors, often known as coding tutors, teach code virtually or in person. To qualify for a tutoring position, you'll need expert-level knowledge of at least one coding language.
Prior experience in education may be required, but not necessarily. Some positions require video recording and production skills rather than education skills. Other positions may require candidates to have several years of tech experience.
This could be a good freelancing opportunity if you hope to move into teaching code at a bootcamp or other setting. Clients review freelancers on job sites like Upwork, so coding knowledge alone will not be enough to get outstanding reviews.
Frequently Asked Questions About Freelance Coding Jobs
Can coding be done as a freelancer?
Absolutely! This is a common practice for coding work and a great way to get started.
You could freelance to earn extra cash or gain additional experience. Your rate will vary depending on your experience and/or how many coding languages you know. According to the freelance job site Upwork, freelance coders' hourly rates range from $25 to $80.
There are lots of benefits to freelance coding, including flexibility, variety of work, and ample jobs.
Which coding is best for freelancing?
The most basic coding languages you need to freelance are HTML and CSS. You can find free courses to learn both languages. This is a great way to gain coding experience part-time or make a little extra money.
How can I get freelance coding jobs?
There are several ways to apply for freelance coding jobs. The most common are job boards, freelance marketplaces, and vetted freelance networks.
Job boards are places where anyone can post or apply for a variety of jobs. You could try Indeed.com, Monster.com, or LinkedIn. Some more specific sites for tech-focused work include RemoteOk or Hubstaff Talent.
Freelance marketplace sites focus exclusively on freelance hiring and application. Upwork is the most popular freelance marketplace site, with jobs in writing, coding, marketing, and more jobs.
Vetted freelance networks require employers and applicants to pass several screenings to utilize their services. Popular networks for coders include Toptal, Flexiple, and Arc.dev.