The 2018 Freelancer Income Survey results are in!

How to set your freelance rate is one of the most hotly-debated questions in the freelance world. Should you charge hourly or a flat rate? And what should you charge in the first place?

Figuring this question out is one of the hardest parts of being a freelancer, especially when you’re first starting out. How can you strike the perfect balance between finding the rate that reflects your expertise, pays you what your worth, and makes you appealing to clients?

In 2015, Payoneer set out to discover what freelancer income looked like across fields, regions, experience level and more. For the first time, freelancers were able to see what others were really earning, with statistical insights on all the determining factors.
The global freelance market is evolving, fast. The past two years have seen significant changes for freelancers, with the number of freelancers worldwide rising all the time.
This past summer we rebooted the survey, to bring updated industry insights as the global market evolves.

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Payoneer surveyed 21,000+ freelancers in 170 countries

The survey had a massive response rate, with 21,313 participants from around the globe. Over one-third of respondents, the biggest group, are located in Europe.

The survey consisted of a variety of questions about the freelancers’ background and work. We asked freelancers about their:

  • Demographics
  • Academic background
  • Specific field of work
  • Hourly rate
  • Self-marketing efforts
  • Methods for finding work
  • Work schedule
  • Income and work satisfaction levels

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Key findings


  • The global average freelance rate is $19, the survey shows. 

  • Freelancers who work in the Legal field have the highest average hourly rate – $28.
  • Freelancers providing Finance, Management & HR services work the most hours a week.

Finding work

  • Nearly three-quarters of freelancers worldwide find work via freelance marketplaces.

  • Over half of freelancers report using Facebook to promote their business.

These are just a handful of the many insights we gathered from the survey responses.

To learn more and read the full report, download it for free!

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