Electricians named as the biggest earners amongst self-employed professionals

Published by Rachel Lacey on 08 May 2019.
Last updated on 08 May 2019

Electricians have been revealed as the highest earning self-employed professionals, following research from Bark.com

The typical self-employed sparky earns £51,200 a year, well ahead of the second highest earners, counsellors, who are typically earning £45,111 and landscape gardeners who rake in £40,140, according to Bark.

Bark surveyed 20,000 self-employed professionals across a variety of trades to find out how much they are earning and analysed the typical salaries of employed professionals to establish how much more they could earn by becoming self-employed.

It found that the average employed professional would see their earnings double (rise by 103%) if they were to become self-employed.

Cleaners – who didn’t make it into the top 10 below – saw the biggest gains by working for themselves, seeing their average salary almost triple from £10,573 to £29,584.

The top 10 professions for the self-employed by earnings:

  1. Electricians £51,200 (employed average £27,287)
  2. Counsellors £45,111 (employed average £24,454)
  3. Landscape gardeners £40,140 (employed average £19,143)
  4. Make-up artists £38,918 (employed average £20,952)
  5. Graphic designers £38,760 (employed average £22,012)
  6. Photographers £36,823 (employed average £20,812)
  7. Plumbers £36,359 (employed average £23,788)
  8. Tutors £34,147 (employed average £22,630)
  9. Painter and decorators £33,075 (employed average, £21,405)
  10. Personal trainers £33,029 (employed average £19,494)

Despite the financial incentive to go it alone, 90% of the self-employed professionals surveyed did admit that their workloads have increased substantially as a result.

Almost three-quarters (73%) however said that the additional stress was worth it for the financial reward. The ability to control their own work flow also made it easier for 68% of respondents to strike a better work/life balance.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark says: “At Bark we work with thousands of self-employed sole traders and thought it would be interesting to see how much they earn a year.

"We picked the top 11 most popular self-employed sectors in the UK, and you can see why so many people decide to go self-employed - a good living can be made from all of the professions.

“The survey took a good couple of months, but was well worth the wait, because the results speak for themselves - being self-employed results in a much higher income.

"We were expecting them to earn more, but almost double on average is a huge increase. That being said being self-employed comes with a lot more work, responsibility and pressure more often than not, it’s definitely not a career choice to be taken lightly.”

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