Should I Take a 1099 Job? + Quiz


5/9/20245 min read

woman placing sticky notes on wall
woman placing sticky notes on wall


If you're scratching your head about whether you should take a 1099 job, it's not surprising. It's a big decision that can have an even bigger impact on your life. So let's cut to the chase: self-employment is never easy, but with the right mindset and tools, it can be rewarding (and lucrative). Here are some questions that will help you decide if being self-employed is right for you.

What is a 1099 job?

A 1099 job is a type of employment in which you are paid as an independent contractor rather than as an employee. As an independent contractor, you will not receive benefits like health insurance or vacation pay from your employer and you'll be responsible for paying your own taxes at the end of each year. In exchange for these benefits, employers may offer higher pay than they would if they were hiring employees (although this isn't always true).

In general, 1099 jobs are freelance or contract work that doesn't require any face-to-face interaction with coworkers--you'll likely be working out of your home office most days without much oversight from anyone else on the team beyond what's outlined in your contract agreement with them.

Pros and cons of a 1099 job


  • You can choose your own hours. If you are a freelancer, you have the freedom to set your own schedule and work at any time of day or night (or both).

  • You don't have to worry about payroll taxes. With 1099 income, you are not subject to payroll taxes like Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance because these are paid by the employer on behalf of their employees. This means that if you make $100k per year as an independent contractor, only $89k will be taxable at normal rates; the remaining $11k is considered self-employment income and gets taxed at 15%.

Am I eligible to be a 1099 worker?

  • If you are a freelancer, contractor or consultant

You are eligible to be a 1099 worker if:

  • You get paid by the hour or project.

  • You do not have any employees (other than yourself). This includes other freelancers who work for your company.

  • You don't have to report your income on a W-2 tax form at the end of the year.

How to find a 1099 job

If you're looking for a 1099 job, your first step should be to use your network. If you don't have anyone in mind who could provide you with this type of work, it's time to get out there and make some connections!

You can also look online at freelancing sites like Upwork and Fiverr; local newspapers; craigslist (or their equivalent); or Glassdoor.

How to negotiate a 1099 rate

  • If you're going to negotiate a 1099 rate, it's important that you know the going rate for your skill set. You can find this out by talking to other contractors, who will be able to tell you what they charge and what their competitors are charging.

  • It's also helpful if you know how much clients are willing to pay for work like yours--and if there has been any increase in demand lately (i.e., if there's a lot of construction happening nearby).

  • Finally, consider whether or not there might be room for negotiation on your end: Are there ways in which your skillset could benefit this particular employer? Could they see themselves using your services again in the future?

How to pay taxes as a 1099 worker

As a 1099 worker, you must pay self-employment taxes. Self-employment taxes are 15.3% of net income and are paid on top of income tax and Medicare tax. That's right: when you're an independent contractor, you not only have to pay your share of Social Security and Medicare but also pay another 15% on top of that! If your total federal income tax rate is 25%, then self-employment taxes add another 5% onto your bill (and don't forget about state taxes).

But wait--there's more bad news: unlike regular wage earners who get an automatic deduction for half their Social Security contributions from their paycheck, independent contractors have to figure out how much money this costs them themselves--and if they don't add it up correctly at year's end, they could end up owing money instead!

Fortunately for us all this headache can be avoided by deducting these additional payments from our gross incomes when filing our returns; however, there are strict rules governing what qualifies as an allowable deduction and how much can actually be subtracted before being taxed again as part of our AGI (adjusted gross income).

Self-employment deductions

When you're self-employed, you're responsible for paying your own taxes. This means that even though your income may be lower than if you worked for someone else, there are still deductions that can help reduce the amount of tax owed.

Deductible expenses include:

  • Car expenses

  • Office supplies and equipment (like computers)

  • Home office expenses (if the space is used regularly for business)

Non-deductible expenses include: * Personal spending on a credit card

If you have the skills, resources and drive, being self-employed can be great for your wallet, career and sanity.

If you have the skills, resources and drive, being self-employed can be great for your wallet, career and sanity.

  • You're in charge of your own success. The old adage "work smarter not harder" is especially applicable when it comes to freelancing or starting your own business. You can work on projects that interest you most (and avoid those that don't). If there's an opportunity that comes along but would require extra hours or spending money out-of-pocket--or if someone asks why they haven't heard back from you in a while--you can decide whether or not it's worth pursuing based on its potential ROI (return on investment) rather than just taking whatever comes along because it's convenient or pays well enough at the moment.

  • Self-employment offers flexibility in terms of hours worked per week/month/year: some people will choose full-time employment with more regular hours; others might prefer part-time jobs where they'll only put in 20 hours per week but still make more money overall due to higher hourly rates; still others may choose not just one type of job but several different types simultaneously!


If you're considering becoming self-employed, we hope this article has helped answer some of your questions. As we mentioned earlier, there are many benefits to being a 1099 worker and we think it's worth considering if you have the right skillset and mindset for it. However, there are also some downsides to consider before taking on such a big project. If you've decided that working as an independent contractor or freelancer sounds like something that would work well with your lifestyle and career goals then great! You now know what kind of job opportunities exist out there so go ahead and start searching!