Who's Hiring Freelancers: Fuentek, FedEx, Northwestern Mutual

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If you need extra money but don't want a staff job, freelance work may be the answer. These days, companies hire freelancers for everything from writing and design to delivery and sales.

Pros and cons: You usually don't get benefits, but can often set your own schedule and may even be able to work from home. The pay is self-employment income, and is viewed differently than normal wages by the IRS. You'll need to file specific tax forms with your annual return – and, depending on what you earn, you might need to submit quarterly tax payments. On the plus side, you can deduct many of your expenses, and may qualify for the home office deduction.

Here are three companies hiring independent contractors right now.

Fuentek

What they do: Intellectual property and technology management services.

Freelance opportunities available: They need technology transfer consultants who have very strong technical, consulting and business backgrounds.

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in a technical discipline is required. Advanced technical degree or MBA is preferred. Background in intellectual property management or technology transfer is helpful.

Hours/Pay: Flexible work schedules are available, but consultants must have some availability during standard business hours. Consultants generally work five to 25 hours per week. The company says its "competitive hourly rates are commensurate with the consultant's technical background and depth of experience."

Other info: The company will be hiring on and off through the end of the year. Résumés will be kept on file for upcoming opportunities. You can learn more about the position here.

Apply here.


FedEx (Stock Quote: FDX)

What they do: Large shipping company specializing in overnight deliveries.

Freelance opportunities available: Truck drivers (owner operators) for their Custom Critical service.

Requirements: Must own a truck that meets one of three specific categories: cargo van, 14-foot/22-foot straight truck or tractor trailer. Must not have more than three moving violations in past three years. Must be able to pass a physical and drug test.

Hours/pay: These deliveries are time sensitive, so the service operates 365 days a year. Drivers do not have regular dedicated routes, and must be willing to drive anywhere in the U.S. Owner operators receive a percentage of the gross revenue on every load they take. Checks are issued on a weekly basis.

Other info: FedEx has negotiated discounts with certain hotels, truck stops, fuel stations and other providers, and owner operators can take advantage of these discounts.

Apply here.


Northwestern Mutual Financial Network

What they do: Large provider of insurance and investment services.

Freelance opportunities available: Financial representatives.

Requirements: College degree, prior related experience preferred.

Hours/pay: Financial reps set their own hours, with most work usually taking place during normal business hours. Pay is in the form of commissions and bonuses. During the first four years, financial reps receive enhanced commissions on certain products and policies. The company also offers medical coverage, retirement plans and other benefits.

Other info: Go-getters who really enjoy sales and have good people skills have the best chance of a rewarding – and profitable – experience here.

Apply here.

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