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10 High-Income Skills Perfect for Freelancers

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  By Freelancer Nomads | Last Updated:  June 29, 2020

10 High-Income Skills Perfect for Freelancers

With the freelance industry standing at $1.5 trillion right now, it comes as no surprise that many people are attracted by the ‘gig economy.’

If you have high-income skills, you can probably make more money sitting at home than in an actual office.

People like David Feldman, a digital marketer and web developer earning $230,000 annually, are proof that freelancing is not just a side hustle anymore.

However, not everyone is making the same amount of money. People with high-income skills like coding and programming are the ones making bank.

Let’s talk about some of the best high-income skills for making money at home.

What is a High-Income Skill?

The definition of a high-income skill varies from person to person. Regardless of the different hourly rates, a high-income skill must earn you more than a regular job.

Keep in mind that a high-income skill will not earn $100 from your first gig. However, it will have a higher entry-level hourly rate than other gigs.

We have only mentioned skills earning over $50/hour in this guide. You can calculate how much you want to earn per year by using this handy hourly rate calculator

1. Programming

If you want to learn high-income skills, programming should definitely be on your list. With most businesses going digital these days, programmers are essential to the workplace.

However, you don’t need to be in an actual office to analyze data or manage software workflow. Thus, you can take on multiple jobs at once.

Programming lets you earn more by pricing your gigs higher as clients are willing to pay good money for web services. Secondly, it allows you to increase your streams of income by working for multiple clients at once.

For every hour, a programmer may be paid as high as $160.

Depending on how high-authority your clients are and how many hours you work, you can earn over a hundred thousand dollars per year with programming.

Currently, the high-demand languages are Python, Kotlin, Java, and C++. If you’re familiar with SQL, you can earn some extra bucks by offering additional services on your gig.

2. Legal Entity Structuring

If you’re a lawyer, you can make money by taking your skills to online platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.

Legal Entity Structuring topped the list in Upwork’s 2019 highest-earning categories database. Some freelancers are earning as high as $255 an hour.

As a legal consultant, you can help clients draft lease, partnership, and non-disclosure agreements.

Almost all businesses need legal entity structuring, especially for tax purposes. While entrepreneurs have investment money and an idea, they lack legal expertise.

When businesses don’t structure themselves properly, they end up paying more in taxes. Besides, they might get fined for not following business laws.

Due to this, many companies have resorted to using legal advice from freelance lawyers.

Since most law firms charge hefty fees, companies don’t hesitate to pay a higher hourly rate to freelance advisors instead.

They get a better deal by paying someone $200 an hour than paying a corporate attorney $100,000 every year.

Clients may also hire you for suggesting new strategies, improving existing ones, or drafting legal documents.

3. Applied Behavioral Analysis

If you’ve never heard of this term before, you’d be surprised to know how much of your web surfing habit is governed by it.

Nowadays, there’s a lot of information on the Internet. With over a billion websites in the world, there’s fierce competition out there.

However, some websites manage to gain attention and rank higher on search engines. It’s not sheer luck. Behavioral analysis plays a huge role in setting some websites apart from others.

Search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, show content based on the audience’s behavior.

To be visible, website owners optimize their content for the search engines, indirectly optimizing it for the users.

Applied behavioral analysts apply psychology in a systematic way to change human behavior. They work with businesses and corporations to improve consumer response and interaction. 

Applied behavioral analysts are making up to $150 per hour on Upwork. Coupled with data analysis, they can earn even more.

4. Web Design

One of the most popular skills to make more money is web development. Almost every business, no matter how big or small, has a website.

However, hardly any business owners know how to create one. So, they mostly head over to freelancing sites, as web design agencies are often out of their budget range.

The core skills of a web designer include HTML, CSS, Javascript, Photoshop, SEO, and WordPress handling.

Although it seems like a lot, web development is one of the easier things to learn in our list of high-income skills.

Web designers make websites look the way they do. Their job is to create a layout and then integrate graphics and written content in a presentable way.

With so many options available, visitors are likely to leave a page if they see poor website design.

Due to this, all businesses focus on having well-designed websites, which means there’s no shortage of work.

On average, a web designer charges up to $75 an hour.

Along with web designing from scratch, you can also earn by offering integrations. For example, clients might hire you for merely changing the theme or adding a checkout section on their ecommerce site.

Looking for more money? Check out these easy ways to make $5,000 fast!

5. Cyber Security Consultancy

If you’re wondering why most high-income skills are tech or IT-related, it’s because the sector is still new. While businesses can somehow write their own web copy or design a logo on Canva, they can’t make an app or secure their online data themselves.

Cybersecurity consultants are earning $62 to $140 an hour for their services. As a consultant, your job is to guide businesses on how to keep their online data safe.

The threat of hackers is always looming over poorly-protected businesses. Thus, they’re often in need of security guidance.

Consultants can expand their reach by offering other services such as intrusion detection and security testing.

Since security assistance and consulting isn’t as time-consuming as some other gigs, you can do it as one of your side hustles. As your experience increases, the earnings do too.

6. Financial Planning

According to Bloomberg, 80% of the businesses fail within the first 18 months. That’s roughly eight out of ten startups.

So, how do the remaining two survive? They manage their finances well.

They form the market for freelancers who have expertise in financial planning and advising.

Financial planners help businesses layout their long-time financial goals. They do so by reducing risk, finding the best investment opportunities, and creating financial timelines.

To save money and minimize interference from firms, businesses often go for freelance advisors and planners.

Basically, financial planners and advisors tell businesses how to make money while mitigating risk.

Although you can learn high-income skills, financial planning requires an educational background. 

At a minimum, you should have a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, or related fields.

You can earn up to $62 per hour as a financial advisor. With a business background, you can make up to $120,000 per year from your side hustles.

7. Accounting

Accounting is one of the best high-income skills to generate income while working from home.

Accountants and bookkeepers are charging up to a whopping $220 per hour on and other freelance platforms. Along with being a high-earning gig, accounting also helps you build relationships.

If a company entrusts you with their accounts and you do a good job, they’ll likely hire you again. 

Accountants keep track of a businesses’ financial operations to keep the workflow smooth.

Freelancers who have experience working with bigger corporations readily land clients online. For example, if you’ve previously worked with Nestle, a client will prefer you over someone fresh out of college.

However, this does not mean that entry-level accountants won’t find work.

Small businesses are always on a lookout for accountants that will do the job for less. If you want to make money from your skills, you can use small businesses to build a portfolio.

8. Contract Creation

According to Upwork, freelancers are charging up to $175 an hour for creating property and equipment leases.

People who lease their houses, vehicles, or equipment usually have zero knowledge about the paperwork.

The leasing market is expected to stand at $2.6 trillion by 2022. 

Therefore, it’s inarguably the best time to step into the industry. If you have experience with business consultancy and real estate, you can help clients abstract their leases. 

This means that you summarize the critical points of their lease, so they know what they’re signing up for.

Most people pay more for lease creation and abstraction. They’d rather spend an extra hundred bucks upfront than face the damage in thousands later.

9. Video Editing

If you know your way around Adobe Premiere Pro or other video editing tools, you can earn up to $100 an hour on Upwork.

Many influential Youtubers pay freelancers to process and edit their videos. Also, businesses hire video editors for branding or launching a product.

Even with high-quality content, videos can fail to attract an audience if they’re not edited well. Content creators are aware of this aspect, so they hire professionals to make their videos appealing.

From color grading to audio integration, video editors do pretty much everything to make a video presentable. The market for video editing is quite vast and growing. Video editors are working on documentaries, corporate promotions, and explainer videos.

It is one of those high-income skills that require creativity too. So, if you have a flair for editing and an imaginative brain, nothing can stop you from making money.

If your work stands out, you might end up working on a movie trailer or music video.


According to Forbes, 2020 might be Bitcoin’s year. It’s expected that the cost per Bitcoin may reach up to $20,000.

If you have any knowledge of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, it’s your time to shine.

Freelancers who work with Bitcoin know about the platforms, have technical backgrounds, and understand Blockchain security. They help clients integrate cryptocurrencies, improve exchanges, and build automation tools.

If you’re a Blockchain expert, you can earn up to $180 an hour from your couch. Additionally, some clients may require you to write financial forecasts and regular market analysis. Thus, you can earn even more if you have a flair for writing.

Related: How to Build a Money Making Machine

How Do You Develop High Income Skills?

The Internet has made it very easy to learn new skills. You can be a nutritionist and design logos as a side hustle. The possibilities of learning are endless.

Nowadays, you can take courses, attend workshops, and read eBooks to develop high-income skills.

YouTube is your friend when it comes to learning. You can watch expert videos and lectures to polish your existing skill or develop a new one.

In some gigs, such as accountancy and financial advising, it helps to have an educational background.

In contrast, skills like web design do not require a diploma or degree. Tumblr creator David Karp didn’t even graduate high school. Yet, his website has an estimated worth of $200 million.

Final Words

The freelancing market is on the rise, and the trend of working from home is catching on. Even if you don’t have a skill, you can develop one in as little as six months.

We hope this guide has answered all your questions relating to high-paying freelancing gigs.

Now that you have a list of high-income skills to choose from, it’s time to get to work.

Freelancer Nomads is the ultimate freelance community. We’re on a mission to help over 50 million freelancers work better and smarter. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest below. 
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