12 Best Jobs If You Want to Be Your Own Boss

Sometimes the best career path is the one you blaze yourself. Self-employment affords you the opportunity to take full control of your work life: You can make your own hours, set up shop where it best suits you and pick your projects. But with all that power comes great responsibility: You have to build and keep your own schedule, manage your workspace and equipment and develop and maintain a stable of clients and projects. You also have to handle more complexity when it comes to start-up costs, cash flow, health insurance, saving for retirement, taxes and other financial matters.

Whether the pros are worth the cons really depends on your personal priorities and preferences, but certain jobs work better for the self-employed than others. To help you find which lines of work are best for being your own boss, we ranked 773 popular occupations from best to worst based on number of current positions, median pay, projected job growth and educational requirements (favoring jobs that don't necessarily call for a huge investment in education to get started). Then, we scoured the top of our job rankings for occupations with above-average rates of self-employment. After all, if a large share of the profession is making it work, chances are better that you can, too. The following 12 jobs offer generous income potential, bright prospects and a good shot at being a successful boss.


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Total number of jobs: 393,399

Share who are self-employed: 7.1% (All jobs: 6.4%)

Projected job growth, 2017-2027: 13.7% (All jobs: 9.7%)

Median annual salary: $200,774 (All jobs: $43,992)

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