Online marketplaces: 46%
Direct clients: 28%
LinkedIn/Professional networking sites: 15%
Headhunter/recruiting firm: 6%
Other: 5%

Source: The Payoneer Freelancer Income Survey 2015

Want to know how freelancers and businesses are finding each other? A new survey has revealed that traditionally, three in five freelancers find their jobs through online social networks – Facebook even more than LinkedIn.

The results of new Freelancer Income Survey in which more than 230,000 freelancers from 180 countries were surveyed has provided a complete look at the average income rates based on factors including geography, experience, industry and more.
In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, the report has big implications for freelancers and for the businesses that hire them.

The findings enables skilled professionals to compare average hourly rates to industry peers, and ultimately better understand what drives competition and find new ways to increase income and also provide a useful guide for businesses to determine competitive pay rates for freelancers.

Australasian freelancers are securing 14% of the freelancing work in the countries surveyed, though it also shows that not all freelancers were created equal, with ratings varying between $1 and $100 an hour. More than 80% of freelancers are juggling between one and three jobs at a time, but some are juggling 10 or even more.

The survey, conducted by a payments company, Payoneer, found that the average global hourly billing rate of about $21 is significantly higher than the average wages in most of the countries included in the survey. The analysis is based on all survey answers between $1 at the lowest hourly rate and $100 at the highest.

“There’s an obvious appeal to freelancing. Businesses worldwide can tap into a larger and more diverse talent pool than ever before, and it enables freelancers and service providers to secure work with international companies in ways that were previously unavailable to them,” Scott Galit, CEO of Payoneer says.

“Freelancing offers smart, talented, hardworking professionals and business owners in emerging economies such as Argentina, Bangladesh, India, the Philippines and Serbia a major breakthrough in job prospects and earning potential, that they would have never thought possible a few years ago. There has traditionally been very little standardisation and transparency when it comes to freelancing rates, so we wanted to provide a resource that would provide a benchmark for the freelancing landscape globally.”

The survey also measured education levels for global freelancers, finding that a higher level of education mattered less in determining fees that experience and skills. It also revealed near gender parity, with almost identical rates charged by male and female freelancers worldwide, and some markets such as Russia and Pakistan indicating women charge more than men for freelance work.

“Much of what we found in this survey is that companies hiring freelancers are more interested in their skills, experience and ratings than traditional education,” Gailt says.

It’s all the proof we need to continue freelancing from here to eternity, though we believe that the hourly rates are a bit higher here in Australia. What about you? What’s your average hourly rate?