Many of us dream of being able to work for ourselves — and it’s no surprise that we do — with the numerous benefits such as better flexibility, autonomy, and the power to make our own decisions. With the emergence of more ride-hailing, food delivery, and task-oriented digital platforms, the gig economy is growing faster than ever. In Singapore alone, the number of freelancers has increased by about 10 per cent — up from 200,000 in 2016 to 211,000 in 2019. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has also made the concept of freelancing even more attractive as many who have lost their full-time jobs turn to freelance jobs or part-time jobs due to its more flexible nature and lower barriers to entry.
Having said that, working for yourself does come with its own challenges and drawbacks too. In this article, we cover everything you can expect if you are looking to be a freelancer, as well as some well-paying freelance jobs in Singapore ranging from different skills and experience required.
High-paying freelance jobs in Singapore
1. Food delivery rider
With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing about a surge in the number of food deliveries to homes, it comes as no surprise that about 60 per cent of Singaporeans joined the gig economy as a food delivery rider during the pandemic. While the recent easing of the COVID-19 rules has led to a drop in earnings of some food delivery riders, food delivery companies such as Deliveroo and Foodpanda have remained optimistic that the demand for food delivery can be sustained.
Word has also gone around of a particular food delivery rider who earned a whopping S$8,511 in a month alone. While that is a rare and standalone case, for a job that does not require much experience, this is considerably one of the better-paying ones.
Most of you would know that being a food delivery rider essentially means delivering food from one place to another, but what are some attributes that would be good to have as a delivery worker?
If you possess some or all of these qualities, being a food delivery worker may be suitable for you:
- Able to provide stellar customer service
- Able to manage a high volume of orders
- Good interpersonal and conflict-resolution skills
- Good time management skills
- Good planning skills
- High level of patience
The best thing about being a food delivery worker is that you do not need any prior experience or skills, so the barriers to entry are extremely low. You can even choose to deliver by foot if you are not able to cycle, drive, or ride a motorbike.
Based on Glassdoor, the average salary of a food delivery worker is about S$15 an hour, but as we know, food delivery workers are paid per delivery. Back in 2020, Foodpanda highlighted that their food delivery workers earn an average of S$7.50 per delivery, while Deliveroo revealed that their food delivery workers earn an average of S$17 per hour. As with any freelance jobs, the earnings will vary depending on how much time and effort you put into the job itself, as well as the current supply and demand of the service.
You can expect to earn an average of S$5 to S$7.50 per delivery, across the three major food delivery companies in Singapore — GrabFood, Foodpanda, and Deliveroo. An estimated hourly rate would be S$15-S$17 per hour, but this is largely dependent on how many deliveries you do in an hour.
Did you know that you do not need to have any formal experience to be a caregiver in Singapore? The idea of being a professional caregiver is slowly gaining popularity in Singapore, especially due to our ageing population which has caused the demand for caregivers to rise exponentially.
If you are looking to explore a meaningful career in the healthcare industry, but lack the experience and skills required for other healthcare roles, joining the caregiving space can be a good stepping stone to bolster your resume and get you to where you want to eventually.
As a freelance caregiver, you can expect to assist with the activities of daily living for the people you’re caring for. This would include, but is not limited to, some of the following services:
- Vital signs check
- Oral medication reminder
- Companionship and facilitating recreational activities
- Grocery shopping & meal preparation
- Light housekeeping for seniors
- Supervise physical exercises and activities
- Medical appointment escort
- Personal hygiene care (e.g. showering, toileting)
- Night caregiving
- Check-in visits
- Personal grooming (e.g. haircut, shaving)
Some relevant attributes and skills to have include:
- A genuine service mindset, to provide care from the heart and enjoy helping people, especially seniors
- Detail-oriented and attentive, with a pleasant and calm demeanour
- Personal integrity
- Physically capable of assisting a senior to perform activities of daily living and improve his or her mobility
- A team player who is dedicated and committed and desires to make a big and positive impact
Barriers to entry to being a caregiver are low, and the biggest draw to the role is the fact that you are making a meaningful impact on the lives of our seniors, while building on valuable skills that will go a long way, especially if you are looking to enter the healthcare industry, or make a mid-career switch.
Based on Talent.com, a caregiver makes an average of S$3,000 per month or S$18.46 per hour. Experienced workers make up to S$4,000 per month or S$23 per hour. For freelance caregivers, you can expect to earn up to S$19 per hour.
At Homage, on top of your base pay, there are also various cash incentives if you take up cases on public holidays or peak hours. Incentives are also given for cases that require more travel time or are more challenging. These incentives can go up to $20 per visit and can easily boost your hourly rate quite significantly.
Homage freelance caregivers also have a flexible employment period and flexible working hours – this means that the commitment level is low and you do not need to maintain a minimum number of working hours to continue being a caregiver.
If you have just graduated and are waiting to enlist into National Service or University, this could be a great way for you to spend time doing something meaningful, while earning some pocket money.
This job is also great for students or those looking for a side hustle as well. During your busier weeks, you can choose to take a break from your caregiving duties and focus on your studies or full-time job, and choose to take on more assignments during weeks that you are more freed up.
Being a tutor could be a great freelance option to consider especially with the booming education industry in Singapore, where every parent seems to be on the constant lookout for the best tutors for their children.
As a tutor, your main job responsibilities would include engaging your students and making them interested in the subject(s) that you are teaching. Apart from that, you would also be expected to create lesson plans in accordance with the latest academic curriculum and to monitor the progress of your students based on their results.
Don’t forget that you also have to forge a good relationship with not just your students, but with your students’ parents as well by updating them consistently on their child’s progress and areas that their child will need improvement in.
Your pay rate would largely depend on the grade level you are teaching and of course, how much you would like to charge. Based on Glassdoor, the average salary is S$28 per hour, with the highest amount being S$50 per hour. You can also increase your rates as you build your reputation as a good tutor and get more student referrals via word of mouth.
4. Website Developer
In our digital age, almost all companies would need a website in order for them to build credibility as an agency, thus website developers are in high demand.
There are mainly three different types of website developers:
- Front-end developer: Builds the interface that website visitors will see and interact with. Includes design, layout, and navigation to make the website visually attractive and easy to navigate.
- Back-end developer: Manages and maintains the technology behind the website’s user interface which includes databases and Application Programming Interface (APIs).
- Full-stack developer: Does both front-end and back-end web development.
Some relevant attributes and skills to have include:
- Able to write efficient code
- Basic understanding of Search Engine Optimisation
- Strong eye for detail
- Good understanding of what end users want
- Good knowledge of the best web software and tools in the market
- Good time management
- Good communication skills
Web developers can be paid from S$500-S$5,000 per project depending on what work needs to be done and the developer’s expertise, experience, and skills. It can be a lucrative and exciting freelance job, especially since you are able to choose the types of clients and industries you’d like to work with. On top of your web development skills, you may also charge a higher rate if you have other relevant technical skills such as UI and UX design.
While the pay rate of a website developer can be quite high, the skills required for the job is also highly specialised. If you have been learning how to develop a website on your own and would like to see if this is a good long-term career for you, starting out as a freelancer is a great way for you to hone your skills without a long-term commitment.
As a freelance videographer in Singapore, projects can range from shooting weddings and parties to shooting corporate videos such as advertisements, events, or real estate. On top of doing the video shoots, you may also render the full videography package from pre-production (storyboarding, scripting, conceptualising), production (filming), and post-production (editing, voiceovers, video rendering etc.) if you have the skills and bandwidth for it. As with most freelance jobs, the job scope would also largely depend on your client’s needs.
Some relevant attributes and skills to have include:
- Familiar with industry-standard filming equipment and techniques
- Video editing skills with industry-standard editing software (Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Media Encoder, Final Cut Pro etc.)
- Creative and passionate about storytelling
- Good communication skills and the ability to give direction
- Good eye for detail
When it comes to how much you’d like to charge, you may generally choose to charge an hourly rate, project-based rate, or day/half-day rate. Do remember that you’d also have to factor in the rental cost of your camera equipment, lighting setups, and all the gear you need for the shoot.
Depending on one’s skill level, freelance videographers in Singapore can charge a day rate of S$200 to S$1,000.
6. Pet sitter
In Singapore, it is quite common for pet owners to require pet sitting services should they have to travel, or be away from their homes for a significant amount of time. If you love animals, this job would be perfect for you.
Your job will mainly to look after the pet(s) by bringing them out for walks if needed, feeding them, playing with them, and clearing their excretion. This is usually done at the owner’s home, however, if you have the capacity at home to look after a pet in your own space, you can also charge a higher rate to be a pet boarder.
The owner may also request that you share daily photo or video updates to them.
Pet sitters charge an average of $20-$25 per visit. You’d usually only have to go in for 1-2 hours, so it can be a fun way to earn some side income at the same time. As a pet boarder, you should be able to charge up to $60 per night or more.
7. Swimming instructor
Being able to swim is an essential life skill that many parents in Singapore would like to equip their children with. Swimming lessons are thus, high in demand, and can be a lucrative side hustle especially if you have a private pool in your residence.
As a swimming coach, you should have had experience working or competing in water environments which include swimming competitions, triathlons, diving, lifeguard duties etc. You should also be certified to be proficient in lifesaving as well as all four swimming strokes (front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly) if you’d like to be a private swim coach.
You can choose to conduct your swimming lessons in your own condo, your clients’ condos, private pools, or in public swimming complexes as well. Do note that the safety of your students is your responsibility, so it’s better not to have too large of a group so you can keep an eye on every one of your students.
Swimming coaches charge an average of $15-$50 per hour per student. If you were to hold group swimming lessons, you can easily earn $200 per hour, if you were to teach a group of 5 students.
Advantages of being a freelancer in Singapore
Being a freelancer can be a great way to transition into a new career path that you would like to build experience in. If you are good at what you do, you can even make more money being self-employed, than doing it full-time for an employer.
Other advantages include:
- More autonomy over work: Choose assignments that you find meaningful to you, and reject those that you aren’t as interested in.
- Better control over working hours: You don’t have fixed working hours and can usually work at any time as long as you get the job done by the deadline.
- Greater exposure to a wide variety of assignments: You can pursue assignments from different industries, career areas, and countries – providing you with more dynamic work that is less mundane.
- Better control of workload: Work as much or as little as you are comfortable with.
Disadvantages of being a freelancer in Singapore
While being a freelancer has its benefits, you should not forget that it comes along with its own drawbacks as well. Some of them include:
- Inconsistent income stream: As a freelancer, your monthly income would be quite irregular depending on what assignments come in for the month, how many assignments you take up, and when your clients pay you.
- Potentially low starting rates: As a freelancer, it is important to build a portfolio of your various work completed. If you are new to the area and are just starting out, it can be difficult to command a high rate without a good portfolio and client reviews.
- No employer CPF contributions: For people aged 55 and below, employers will have to pay 20% of the employee’s monthly salary to their CPF account. Being self-employed, you will not receive any CPF contributions from your employer and will have to build your retirement funds on your own. On top of that, you will also need to portion a part of your income to your compulsory Medisave contributions – how much you will need to contribute is dependent on your age, income level, and net trade income for the previous year.
- Sourcing for own clients: If you are not under any company, you will need to be motivated to network and find your own clients, and to also make sure your clients are reputable and trustworthy.
✅ Leave the client sourcing to us!
Starting out as a freelancer with no guidance can be a scary feat. Enjoy the flexibility of being a freelancer at Homage and leverage on our large pool of clients for your choosing.
As a freelance Homage caregiver, you are:
- Covered by insurance for all care visits
- Not required to have any formal experience
- Able to choose the assignments you’d like to take
- Able to do as many or as little assignments as you are comfortable with
- Exposed to a variety of care settings
- Able to make a tangible impact on people’s lives and build a meaningful career
Send in your application here and our team will be in touch with you shortly.
Tips on thriving as a freelancer
- Find work on freelance platforms: Look for assignments on platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, Gigworks, or Cultjobs.
- Build a portfolio: Compile all your best works to showcase on a website, portfolio, or blog to highlight your skills and expertise at a glance.
- Have good discipline: Without fixed working hours, it can be challenging to find the motivation to work. Set fixed working hours that is most comfortable for you and stick to them as much as possible.
- Manage your time and prioritise well: It’s important to be able to manage your various clients well and plan your time accordingly such that you can deliver all your projects on time.
- Network: Build your network with other freelancers in the industry. This way, your network may be able to recommend your services to other clients they know.
There are many different types of freelance jobs – some that involve you needing experience and a good portfolio, and some that don’t. If you would like to work freelance, but have no experience, being a caregiver or a food delivery worker may be good options to consider.