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Discussion on: Free like a freelancer or secure like an employee? There's a third option: The contractor

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Johannes Kettmann Author

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Sam. Interesting to read. It sounds like many of the things I mention are not valid in the US. That makes me wonder: What are the advantages of being a contractor in the US?

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Sam Wight

Hey so sorry, didn't get notifications on this!

I think the main advantages of being a contractor for me were:

  1. If I need a job for a variable period of time (e.g. one semester in between one of my co-op rotations), then contractor positions are usually more flexible and generous.
  2. Slightly higher pay than most other jobs. If you're in a lower income bracket (which I am, as a college student), you don't pay as much in income taxes, so the slightly higher pay is much-appreciated.

Honestly those are about all for me, I much prefer working as a W2 employee, just because it takes all the stress out of taxes and it's usually impossible for me to remember to pay my quarterlies. Highly recommend taking W2 options over contractor positions.