Should I Work As Full-Time Or Freelance Programmer?


Author: Somveer

Published On:March 11, 2021


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Published in:Fundamentals

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Currently, it would not be wrong to state that most of the businesses have tech needs to fulfil that incrementing the demands for developers/programmers. Developers enjoy lavish pay because of uninterrupted increasing demand. 

However, when you seek a career as a programmer, you require making a crucial decision on whether to pursue a full-time secured career or become a freelancer to embrace your entrepreneurial aspect. This decision holds great importance for your career path. And no doubt, both the alternatives come with their benefits and challenges. 

So, here we present an overview of freelancer versus full-time programmer to assist in your decision making. 

Freelance VS Full-time Programmer

Freelancing and full time are entirely different models even though they offer similar programming jobs. Decision making becomes challenging since freelancing emerges as a boom. 

Freelance programmer


  • Freelance offers a wider variety of jobs to choose from and an ample degree of freedom while choosing the desirable job. You can turn down any project in case you find the pay rate is unattractive or insufficient. Companies hire freelancers when they do not afford full-time programmers for small projects. 

  • Working as a freelance programmer allows you to work from home and invests some time with your family and friends. It means that you can maintain a perfect work-life balance by investing adequate time to work as well as personal life. 

  • Although it fails to provide the financial security you can enjoy more earnings eventually. You can have the choice of earning whether to work for more or less. There is no cap on earnings in freelancing. 

  • If you wish to become a freelance programmer, then it creates a business expansion opportunity for your career development. Overwhelming with excessive workload can offer you a lucrative way of handling such a situation. As an instance, you can hire one or more subcontractors as the case may be. 


  • Unlike full-time, you have to pay your salary, retirement fund, health insurance, vacation and other expenses all by yourself. It can lower your savings because no company offers to pay these benefits for freelancers. Further, you remain deprived of benefits such as performance bonuses, transportation facility, training budgets, sick days, gym memberships or annual leaves. 

  • Sometimes, it becomes a challenging task to get consistent work/projects through freelancing. You have the responsibility to find your work as well as clients which requires better communication skills. 

  • Since you are your boss, you have to deal with the problems yourself only. You do not have a mentor or superior to guide/assist you in delivering your projects on time and with good quality to clients.   

  • Unstable income can make you think twice before choosing a freelance programming job. Some days, you may have abundant clients with an overflow of work but other days, you may encounter with empty inbox making you sit idle. 

Full-Time Programmer


  • Employing as a full-time programmer ensures financial security in the form of salary, bonuses and other perks which you do not get in freelance. A full-time programming job offers a reliable and constant source of income. Further, companies do not easily fire an employee who performs well and proves to be productive.  

  • As a full-time programmer, you get multiple sources of internal and external motivation such as performance evaluation, promotion opportunities and rules etc. You work under a superior who constantly pins you to finish your projects and tasks on time and this can be a doubtful advantage. 

  • Every organization has to adapt to market and technological changes to keep pace with the competitive business market. In most cases, the organization itself provides required training and education to employees. Being a full-time programmer, you get the training opportunities that can be beneficial for your career growth and all at the company’s cost. 

  • From the company’s perspective, full-time programmers have proven to be more productive than freelancers in most cases. It is because a full-time programmer demonstrates more dedication because he/she is assigned with a single task at a time and not like freelancers who undertake multiple projects simultaneously which divides their dedication as well. Being an employer, you would be aware of all his strengths and weaknesses and can assign work accordingly. 

  • Salaried programmers get an opportunity to work in a learning and collaborative environment with colleagues and supervisors. You get to learn infinite skills while working in such an environment such as team working, collaboration, better communication, adaptability, leadership and interpersonal skills. Working from home does not allow you to improve these skills as you have to work in an isolated environment as a freelancer. 


  • You get to work for at least 40 hours a week or 6 days a week with a fixed schedule. It does not provide much flexibility for working. This makes it difficult for you to undertake additional tasks or maintain a work-life balance. 

  • Having full-time employment means you are working for a company that requires you to accomplish company goals or align personal goals with the company goals. In this light, sometimes your wish to achieve personal goals hinders due to the burden of the company.   

  • Full-time programmer deprives of adequate freedom of choosing own way of working for the assigned projects. Most likely, you have to work as per the preferred way of your team, supervisor or manager. It may include unnecessary record-keeping, frustrating project management or programming apps, needless reporting or monotonous estimation sessions and so on. 

  • You are not allowed to be your boss when it comes to decision making. For any project or task, there may be disagreements between your boss and you as a programmer. Micromanagement is what wins in this disagreement and it can result in employee disengagement, de-motivation and poor performance. You have to accept and follow your boss’s decisions no matter what the situation or project is. 

  • Unlike freelancing, a salaried programmer cannot enjoy the potential to work at a higher hourly rate irrespective of your skills and experience. But freelancers have the privilege to earn higher money per hour based on their experience and skills. To some extent, salaried programmers may not achieve much higher rates even in their lifetime. 

Final Words

I have understood that both types of programming jobs have their advantages and drawbacks. Although the tech world offers a bunch of freelancing jobs as a programmer, I would always prefer to work as a full-time salaried employee. Earlier, I was attracted to freelancing because it facilitates high earning opportunities along with perfect maintenance of work-life balance. 

But, now I believe that I should opt for a full-time salaried programmer as it can help me learn pivotal skills for my career development and growth. Even I can maintain a work-life balance while working full-time using my good management and organization skills. If you feel confusion while choosing between these two streams, then you must first analyze your personality. You always choose the type of programming job (whether freelance or full-time) as best suitable to your personality. Further, it is advisable to analyze your current financial situation as well to undertake better decision making. 

No matter what you choose, always be dedicated to your work and be an ongoing learner to achieve high goals in your career.

About The Author

Somveer Singh

Hey 👋 I am an engineer that likes to explore new fields and create new stuff. I like to code and share the journey of learning coding from scratch. I envision to help upcoming students to learn things with practical knowledge and help build better future technologies.

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