Working as an independent contractor is becoming a popular career choice, compared to the traditional 9 to 5 job.
If you’re looking to become an entrepreneur, or you feel there is a gap in the market, then becoming an independent contractor may be a great career path for you!
Did you know that almost 17% of the Australian workforce are independent contractors? Out of all the females in our workforce, 12.55% are independent contractors. In contrast, 20.77% of men in our workforce are independent contractors.
Independent contractors Females vs. Males
How do you work as an independent contractor?
An independent contractor is someone who performs work or a service to another business or individual. However, they are not an employee – they are a completely separate business entity. In other words, they own their business.
Usually, independent contractors set up their business as a sole trader and run their own business with their own Australian Business Number (ABN). Therefore, they are responsible for providing their own benefits. This is because they are not entitled to conditions such as annual leave, sick leave, and redundancy entitlements unless it is specified in their contract. Therefore, they are responsible for paying their own taxes and superannuation, as no tax will be withheld from their pay.
What are the benefits of being an independent contractor?
Be your own boss
Working as an independent contractor means that you have the freedom to have more control over your work. It also provides you with more job security, as those you work with aren’t your colleagues, supervisers or managers. They are your clients.
You also have the ability to be selective with what projects you take on. If you’re not interested in one, then you’re not obliged to accept it.
Being an independent contractor means that your work hours can be on a flexible work schedule. This means that you can choose your own work hours to complete your work assignments.
Working independently gives you more control over your personal schedule, without having to negotiate work terms and conditions. You may find yourself working on multiple projects for different businesses at one time!
Increased earning potential
Working as an independent contractor means that you are paid for the work that you do. This may be an hourly rate, production or fixed amount.
In fact, businesses are willing to pay more for an independent contractor. This is so they don’t have to pay extras, and so they don’t have to enter into a long-term commitment. Therefore, if you are offering skills or a service that is high in demand, you can make a great income. Also, if overtime is needed, you may be able to do this at a higher rate.
Freedom for trial and error
It can be touch and go when you start your own business. Therefore, working as an independent contractor can come with some uncertainty.
However, you also have the flexibility to test the market. If you aren’t sure if your field or skills have a strong market, you can always try it out before completely committing yourself to it. If there isn’t a need for your skills or services, then you can move on and try something else.
Customise your conditions
As you are your own boss, your work conditions can reflect your own personal needs. Therefore, you can still get the benefits you are looking for.
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you may find that a business you are contracted with will offer additional benefits in their contract.
How do I become an independent contractor?
From our research, one of the best ways to start a career as an independent contractor is to become a medical transcriptionist! As medical transcription is a primarily online occupation, you have the flexibility to choose your own work hours.
Here at TalentMed, our Diploma of Healthcare Documentation could be the perfect opportunity for you to change your career and become an independent contractor. A career as a medical transcriptionist provides you with the opportunity to work from home.
If you would like more information on how you can start your career to become a medical transcriptionist check out our Ultimate Guide, or you can register for a free consultation with one of our Career Advisers below!
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Sarah-Louise is a Career Adviser with over 5 years experience in Vocational Education and Training. Having completed a Bachelor of Business majoring in Human Resource Management, Sarah-Louise understands the importance of having a quality education. Feel free to comment and ask questions below.