contract workers looking for contract opportunities

What are the fastest-growing sectors for contract opportunities this year?

Written on February 24, 2020 by Daryl Riley

A recent study by The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (ipse) estimated that the number of contractors in the UK now stands at around 1.4 million – which is a 14% growth in just over 10 years. Even with the disruption caused by IR35 reform the benefits of freelancing include flexibility to work in a way which suits your personal circumstances, enabling you to diversify your skills and broaden your experiences, the opportunity to experience diverse working life, a great way to network and it can also be much better paid than a permanent job (although this has to be weighed against the fact you won’t receive sick or holiday pay.)

If the idea of contracting appeals to you, there are lots of opportunities available to you. We’ve pulled together a list of some of the fastest-growing contractor sectors – here are the ones to watch:

Accounting and Finance

Efficient and effective finances are the cornerstone of any successful business, and so candidates who understand bookkeeping, business expenses, payroll and taxes are key people in any firm. You could work independently with a range of clients, or inhouse with just one.

  • Typical contractor accounting job titles you may find are Accountant, Auditor, Bookkeeper, Business Analyst, Controller, or Finance Manager.
  • Average salaries tend to vary on position and contract type, but an average salary for a contractor accountant is £42500, the average salary for contractor bookkeeper is £27000 and for a contractor, the finance manager is £38,483.


Administration workers are also key to successful businesses as they keep everything on track – however, this sort of work does not need to be completed on-site. The virtual freelance sector is growing massively, especially for those offering services
which would normally be completed by a PA or secretary. Many firms prefer to outsource this work to freelancers to save on the overhead costs of having them in house.

  • Typical contractor administration job titles you may find in this sector include: Administrative Assistant, Executive Assistant, Office Coordinator, Office Manager or Virtual Assistant
  • Average salaries vary by position and contract type but Virtual Assistants can earn on average £19,500 a year and an Executive Administrative Assistant could earn £29,00 a year on average.

Computer and IT

This is a really broad industry and so the range of positions you may come across include everything from IT repair and security to website maintenance.  The beauty of this sector, however, is that it serves all others, and so every business really depends on it. Every
business relies on computers to function nowadays so your skills pretty much meet a universal need.

  • Typical contractor computing and IT job titles can include Computer Analyst, IT Consultant, IT Service Technician or Technical Architect.
  • As with other sectors, the average salaries will vary on position and contract type but you could be looking at around £57,500 for an IT security manager job or £27,000 for a Technical Support Assistant.

Software Development

Businesses dependence on computers also means that we are all also dependent on software which in turn means we have a growing need for software development experts as well. If you have the skills needed to design, test and debug software then you
should be able to find a great contracting gig in this area.

  • Typical contractor software development job titles include Apps Developer, DevOps Developer, Mobile Developer, Software Developer and Software Engineer
  • Again, average salaries will depend on contract type and position, but average salaries for a Software Developer can be around £47,500 and for DevOps could be as much as £65,000

Here at Agile Recruit, we have experience of both permanent and contract jobs throughout the computer, IT and software sectors – so if you are looking for a contract role or a contractor to fill a skills gap in your firm then please get in touch. You can call us on 0161 416 6633 (Manchester) or 0203 800 1222 (Milton Keynes) or you can email us at if you prefer.