Full-Time VS Freelance Assessor
If you are looking to become an Assessor you may be undecided as to whether to go down the full-time employment route, or to try freelancing. There has been a huge increase in the number of people turning to freelancing. This is mainly due to the flexibility that it provides. Being your own boss certainly does have its advantages; but before you take the plunge it is really important to weigh everything up. Let’s explore both the pros and cons of becoming a full-time and freelance Assessor.
The main advantage here is that you will have financial security. Being hired by someone like an End-Point Assessment Organisation means you will receive a regular income. You won’t have to worry about all the extra things that come with running your own business like taxes and administration.
You will also receive the usual perks of employment such as paid annual leave, sick pay, maternity and paternity leave. There is no worrying about whether you have enough work to pay the bills, as it is just handed to you.
So full-time employment sounds like the perfect solution, right? Well, there are some drawbacks that you should be aware of. You will probably have very structured 9am-5pm working hours with very little in the way of flexibility. At the end of the day, you will be answering to your boss and will have no choice in the type of work you have to complete. The Assessor industry is also very competitive, so you will need a killer CV in order to give you the best chance of gaining employment.
Now let’s take a look into life as a freelance Assessor. You can either choose to be completely self-employed or employed via an agency where you dictate your own hours. When periods are very busy, you will be in high demand and the work should flood in. That is one of the main things to be aware of as a freelancer – the rollercoaster of highs and lows. One minute you may be up to your eyes in work and struggling to fit it all in; the next you may go through a quiet period. It does all tend to balance out in the end though.
Another advantage of becoming a freelance Assessor is that you can earn a much higher wage than permanent employees (up to three times as much!). Since you will be responsible for calculating your own taxes there are some added benefits there too. Finally, another benefit is that you can pick and choose which people you assess. If you have more experience in the health & social care sector, for example, you can assess learners solely in this field.
Now for the disadvantages. The bottom line is that you are not an employee. Which means, you miss out on receiving the standard benefits such as; paid holiday, sick pay, and all of those other things we take for granted. The harsh reality is that if you are not working, the money is not coming in. That being said, you do need to make sure you take time off as a freelance Assessor in order to achieve that work-life balance. Otherwise, you are likely to find yourself burning out, and probably returning to full-time employment.
We hope this has been a useful guide about both the advantages and disadvantages of being a full-time or freelance Assessor. Whichever route you decide to go down, make sure you have the correct Assessor qualification – we would recommend the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement. If you would like any more help on deciding whether to go solo or become employed, our team are more than happy to answer your questions on 01205 805 155.
Steve is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
He provides Educational Consultancy to the 19+ sector as well as being an Assessor, IQA, EPA and Digital Marketing Professional. When not doing any of these he finds time, every now and then, to write blogs and articles.