What Are The Most Searched For Freelance Roles in The UK?

  • “Freelance graphic designer” is the most searched for freelance role in the UK.
  • Data suggests traditional professions could be left in the office whilst creative roles enjoy more flexibility.
  • Freelancing as a side hustle contributes more than £72 billion to the UK economy.

New research from Hiscox confirms that creative jobs are the most popular when it comes to the online search for freelancer. The most used online search term for freelance roles in the UK is “freelancer graphic designer”, with “writer” and “photographer” also finishing in the top five.


The Most Searched For Freelance Roles in the UK

The majority of the most searched for roles sit within creative sectors, suggesting that there could be a clear line between professions seen as freelance viable and those which remain primarily office based.

Hiscox’ analysis looked at popular freelancing search terms over the past four years to understand how the UK’s behaviour has altered and revealed trends which make for sobering reading for any creatives hoping to secure a traditional office-based job in 2022.

Online search interest in social media freelancing terms has increased dramatically since 2018, with the term “freelance social media manager” seeing its search volume triple in that time. Writing related search terms are very popular with writer, copywriter and journalist all making the top ten list.

The most searched for freelance roles in the UK, according to Hiscox’ research:

  1. 1. Graphic designer
  2. 2. Writer
  3. 3. Copywriter
  4. 4. Photographer
  5. 5. Web developer
  6. 6. Designer
  7. 7. Accountant
  8. 8. Social media manager
  9. 9. SEO
  10. 10. Journalist


The State of UK Freelancing

Freelancing is becoming more of a desirable career option, with freelance jobs platform PeoplePerHour reporting a 63% increase in registrations between 2019 and 2020. According to the Office for National Statistics, there were more than four million self-employed jobs in the UK as of June 2022.

Whilst many people choose to freelance full time, many freelance as a “side hustle”, these second jobs contribute more than £72 billion to the economy, that’s 3.6% of GDP. Although, self-employment can be lucrative, there are downsides to going it alone. Freelancers take ultimate responsibility for their taxes, the quality of their work, and do not have the same employment rights as their employed counterparts.

Isha Patel from Hiscox draws attention to the often-overlooked administrative side of freelancing:

“The self-employed market is a vital part of the UK economy and brings with it the opportunity for a more flexible working lifestyle. What’s clear from these results is that more careers are ‘freelance viable’, but freelancers new to the self-employment workforce should take care to protect themselves against unexpected risks like client complaints, accidents or a legal issue.”


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