Updated: Nov 30, 2018

Freelance vs In-House Audio

Freelance vs In-House Audio

Freelance vs In-House Audio is a question often faced by people entering into the creative field of audio. There are definitely some pros and cons to each.

Whether it’s sound design, composition, or even voiceover, you will have to make the choice of where you want to fit in.

Freelance Audio

As a freelancer, you can choose your hours to work, you can have more leverage in negotiating pay, and you can be more independent & take on multiple projects at once if you wanted to.

The work you get is usually on a per-project basis, this is known as being a contractor. Taking this route will bring you closer to being an entrepreneur.

You'll be responsible to do your own taxes, get work, and to get your paycheck. Most of the time, freelancing can allow you to work remotely, but sometimes you may be asked to work on-site with the rest of the team.

A freelancer can definitely have more freedom than in-house workers, but you need to be self-disciplined, and getting consistent work is not an absolute guaranteed.

But hey, you get to work in your pajamas and sleep in if you wanted to.

Being introverted doesn't necessarily mean this path is the perfect fit for you. You'll still need to negotiate, communicate and put yourself out there, to get on board with a project.

Pros & Cons

To sum it all up into two lists, here are some of the possible pros to freelancing:

  • Choose your hours
  • More negotiation leverage
  • Determine your workload

Here are some of the possible cons to freelancing:

  • Responsible for taxes
  • Get projects (and collect payment)
  • May not be as reliable as in-house

In-House Audio

Working in-house can be more secure, reliable and engaging compared to freelancing.

Being surrounded by others can really help with inspiration, motivation and can present an opportunity to learn new things faster.

In this position, you can also stick around with people you like to work with and potentially on many projects in the future, instead of having to work with different people on most projects.

Now, being employed by the company directly will have you working hours they give you but don't let that make you feel trapped though.

Working hours assigned to you can keep you from overworking yourself (and under-working yourself - if you like to put things off until last minute).

Having the obligation to work during set hours will encourage a routine as well as help you focus and be more efficient.

Pros & Cons

Here are some of the possible pros to working in-house:

  • More reliable and secure
  • Engaging, social, and collaborative
  • Set schedule (could be good)

Here are some of the possible cons to working in-house:

  • Commute to work (time & expense)
  • Less freedom and independence
  • Set schedule (could be bad)

Audio Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur, you may do the same work as a freelancer but you may take it to another level. This could mean starting your own business and creating your own products and services.

You can also take on larger client projects and outsource work (hiring others). The benefit of this is that you can focus on bigger opportunities and problems.

You can also stop trading time for money as much by selling digital products and services that can help many people after doing the work only once.

Think of stock music, sound libraries, e-books, courses, etc.

With starting your own brand, you can appear more professional and trustworthy in some cases. While it is good to have some personality behind it, you can do fine without sharing your life story.

Pros & Cons

To sum it all up into two lists, here are some of the possible pros to entrepreneurship:

  • You’re the boss
  • Passive income opportunities (products, blog ads, etc.)
  • Larger projects (possibly more income)

Here are some of the possible cons to entrepreneurship:

  • People count on your for income
  • You need to manage resources (time, people, money)
  • More responsibilities

Whatever path you chose, don't worry. What's more important is actually getting out there and going after what you're passionate about, whatever approach you take.

You can always be a mix of any of the above three, even all at once!

I hope you enjoyed this article.

If you did, you might really enjoy how to start a career in audio, as it goes over some important topics like getting the right clients and how to start charging money.

As always, thanks for reading. Share this if you found it helpful too!

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