Freelance creatives earn more than full-timers, says new US report

10 February 2017
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1 minute read

A new report has found that freelance creatives in the US earn more than their full-time counterparts. The research study was conducted by accounting software firm FreshBooks on its customer base and includes data on average wages for creatives.

According to the report, self-employed creative professionals across fields including graphic design, illustration, photography, filmmaking, web design, interior design, marketing and writing charge a median rate of $60 per hour. This is more compared with peers on full-time salaries.

Graphic designers and illustrators charge on average $61 per hour, but their full-time salaried peers earn only $20 per hour. Freelance photographers earn $65 per hour compared with full-timers who earn $22 per hour.

Freelance marketers and interior designers earn the most at $75 per hour, while freelance writers earn the least at $48 per hour.

It found that self-employed creative professionals often earn well above the cost of living in expensive cities like San Francisco, Seattle, LA, Chicago, New York City and Austin. New York City has the highest earners, with the average income for a creative professional stated as $75,600 compared with the $43,500 annual cost of living.

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Jenny Brewer

Jenny joined the editorial team as It’s Nice That’s first news editor in April 2016. Having studied 3D Design, she has spent the last ten years working in design journalism. Contact her with news stories relating to the creative industries on

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