So what does this average mean for you? Most freelancers (student or not) want to know how much they can expect to earn as a freelancer, how many hours they typically work, and how happy they will be with their careers. Most certainly, I was curious only days ago how much other student freelancers were making as well.
In Amanda’s book, she uses stats from 3,200 freelancers. Pretty impressive number of freelancers to get an average from. What she discovered was this:
Freelancers, age 21 and younger, make on average $12,756 a year, with an hourly rate of $29.91 working less than 5 hours a week, and are 99.5% happy.
Wow. Pretty impressive for the college student freelancer. Most students can’t even make that amount working at a part time job, let alone working roughly 5 hours a week. And check out that hourly rate: $30!
How does your hourly rate compare to the average 21 and under freelancing crowd? Does this come as a wake-up call to raise your rates? These are good questions to consider, if you wan to be making wealthy income compared to your colleagues.
And what’s that? Those age 21 and under work only 5 hours a week and still able to pull five-figures? I must stay that has the characteristics of a student freelancer hungry for success. Think about that. An average student in college is enrolled in 12 credit hours worth of classes, meaning that the student is in classes for an average of 12 hours a week. It is also universally understood that the student should spend just as much time outside of the classroom studying as they do in the classroom. So doing the math, the average student is dealing with school activities for about 24 hours a week. I am sure that most students have more than five hours they can spare a week.
With knowing that students have more than five hours a week they can spare on average for a job, why wouldn’t students find ways to freelance, especially if they can pull in $30 an hour on average. Good question.
Let’s analyze those numbers a bit further. If the average 21-and-under freelancer makes roughly $30 an hour, divide that into the average yearly rate, and you get roughly 425 hours of billable work. Divide by weeks in a year, and you get a workweek averaging 8 hours of billable time. So the idea of working 5 hours a week on average may be adequate, but that would mean that there are weeks where the student freelancer is working close to 10-15 hours a week. For me, if I was working an average of 5 hours a week (billable), and I wanted to boost my income, what would I need to do? Boost my hours per week.
My point behind all of these random thoughts is this: the student freelancer has the potential to make a substantial living freelancing while in school, compared to getting a part time job. This should excite those student freelancers who are on the fence about freelancing, and those that have just started to see what is possible with hard work and determination.
Who says freelancing as a college student wasn’t a nice career-starting path?
By the way, you should really check out “Freelance Confidential” if you are looking into freelancing full time. This is one of the best and up-to-date sources of information when it comes to the real issues of freelancing, not just the ideal. Find out how much freelancers get paid, how much they work, what they do, what their experience is, and much more.
Does the aforementioned statistics make you want to jump into student freelancing?