How a Filipina freelancer made P1.5-M in a year

by Kathleen A. Martin,

Posted at Apr 27 2013 12:41 PM | Updated as of Apr 30 2013 06:31 PM

MANILA -- A growing number of Filipinos are choosing to do freelance work, mostly for convenience and being able to work anywhere they want.

Doing freelance work can also be quite lucrative. According to online freelance platform Elance, a Filipina freelancer, who was not identified, made $36,612 (around P1.5 million) in 2012 after completing 35 jobs involving writing and translation. This was the most made by any Filipino freelancer last year.

Elance continues to see growth in the number of freelancers in the Philippines as the firm saw an 89% rise in the volume in the first quarter over a year ago.

In its report entitled The State of the Filipino Freelance Market, Elance said it hired 12,218 new freelancers located in the Philippines in the first quarter, bringing the total number of Filipino freelancers in the firm to 95,490 as of end-March.

"The progress in the Philippines is above the overall growth Elance is experiencing," Kjetil Olsen, vice president for Europe at Elance, said in a separate statement.

"In fact, with the potential for even greater growth as companies continue to embrace online freelance work, the future is indeed bright for Filipino talents and local economy alike," he continued.

Highest paid freelance jobs

According to Elance's report, IT and programming freelancers enjoyed the highest hourly pay at $14.30 last year, followed by engineering and manufacturing at $12.2, and design and multimedia at $12.

The average hourly rate for all categories--which includes administrative support, writing and translation, sales and marketing, finance and management, design and multimedia, IT and programming, and engineering and manufacturing--stood at $8.3 in 2012.

But the report showed the administrative support category had the most number of earning freelancers in 2012, followed by writing and translation.

Why go freelance?

The report showed that what Filipino freelancers love the most about their job is having control over their own schedule and being able to work anywhere. It also showed Filipino freelancers enjoy following their own passion and being their own boss.

It also showed more than a third or 67.7% said they are happy being a freelancer than being a full-time employee, although some 27.7% said their level of happiness is the same whether freelancing or working full-time.

The survey was conducted in September 2012 and covered 120 selected Filipino freelancers.