Last Updated March 6, 2023
If you are looking for an alternative to your 9 to 5 job or a side hustle to complement your income, you'll need to know the freelancer's most in-demand skills for 2022 and beyond. Freelancing is one of the most lucrative career options if you have skills that are in high demand. There are over 59 million freelancers in the USA, with over 95% full-time. This shows that millions of people rely on freelancing for their livelihood.
Many companies across the US and the rest of the world are also embracing the idea of hiring freelancers because it enables them to cut recruitment and employment costs that come with hiring full-time employees. So, if you plan on becoming a successful freelancer, there is plenty of demand for your services online as long as you have the right skills.
The first thing you need to do to become a freelancer is to acquire or master one or two in-demand skills. Freelancers with in-demand skills are more likely to negotiate for better pay and favorable working conditions than those with less marketable skills.
The good news is that in-demand skills can be learned if you are committed to earning a living through freelancing. This article will share the top ten in-demand skills you should consider learning to have a successful freelancing career in 2023 and beyond. This list includes the best freelancing skills for students and professionals. Let's dive in.
The Freelancing Skills Needed For 2023
Freelancer Most in Demand Skills – Graphic Design
Graphic design is one of the skills in high demand over the last couple of years for freelance workers. Some of the work that graphic designers do includes logo creation, product packaging design, social media infographics, YouTube thumbnails, and more. Almost every company today relies on digital marketing, so they need graphic designers to help them create visual content that they can use to promote their company on different digital platforms.
How to become a freelance graphic designer
Becoming a graphic designer is about more than just time and commitment. You will need to learn to use professional graphic design and photo editing tools such as Photoshop. Yes, it is possible to use more straightforward tools like Canva. However, the quality of work you will get from template-based tools like Canva may not be enough for some projects.
There needs to be more than just learning how to use Photoshop alone. It would help if you challenged yourself with a couple of design projects to help you broaden your understanding of design and fill critical skills gaps in the market. You can also start doing some freelance work for free to allow you to learn how to handle design projects without pressure.
How much do freelance graphic designers earn?
Many factors will affect how much you earn as a freelance graphic designer. However, the two main factors affecting your pay are your skill level and the platform you choose to offer your services. Experience freelance workers on platforms like Fiverr and Toptal can earn up to $200 per hour. Beginners can earn between $10 and 50 depending on the platform and the complexity of the project at hand. When you are just starting, it is essential to focus on satisfying the first clients before you think of hiking your prices. In freelancing, the first five to twenty clients will significantly impact whether you succeed or fail on any freelance platform.
When you do good work for these first clients, they will leave good reviews on your profile. These good reviews will give confidence to everyone who checks your profile, making it easier for them to choose you over other freelancers. Once the demand for your work increases, you can gradually increase your prices as you monitor your client's reaction.
Where to find graphic design jobs
There are several freelance platforms that you can use to find graphic design jobs. Here are some of the best ones to review.
Web Tools Advisor Recommends: 99designs
Freelancer Most in Demand Skills – Video Editing
There is much demand for video editors, thanks to increased video content consumption in recent years. Over 78% of internet users watch weekly videos posted on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and others. This content needs editing to make it more appealing and meaningful to consumers. That's where the editing skills of freelance editors come in.
The role of a video editor is to take the raw footage and turn it into one cohesive video that is usually way shorter than the raw footage. Most businesses find video editing tedious and time-consuming, which forces them to hire freelance editors to do it for them. That's why freelancers with good video editing skills have high demand on most freelance marketplaces.
How to become a freelance video editor
To become a video editor, you must first learn to use video editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or DaVinci Resolve. Most clients will be okay with whatever software you use for their projects. What matters most to them is the outcome of your work.
Learning to edit videos using any of the above applications can take one to two months, depending on your learning speed and commitment. However, becoming an expert at video editing will require working on multiple projects. You could start by taking online courses. There are several courses on platforms like Skillshare and Udemy that you can take to learn from some of the best video editors.
How much does a freelance video editor earn?
According to Zippia, freelance video editors in the USA earn an average salary of $48,188 per year or $23/hour. However, the top 10% can earn over $71,000 per year. Your pay will depend on the quality of your work and, of course, the platforms you choose to offer your services.
As a new video editor, keeping your services high enough is best to get the first clients. When you're a beginner, your goal should be building a reputation. Once you get good reviews from your first clients, getting more work from other buyers on the platform who view your profile will be easy.
Where to find video editing jobs
Web Tools Advisor Recommends: 99designs
Freelancer Most in Demand Skills – Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO involves creating and organizing content on a website to improve its performance in search engines. Organic traffic from search engines like Google currently contributes over 53% of the total traffic that goes to websites. Businesses need people who can help them optimize their websites to get more organic traffic.
If you can help businesses grow their traffic by optimizing their website design and content for SEO, there is much work for you. Some of the tasks you will need to do as an SEO expert include keyword analysis, backlinking, optimizing images for search, improving site loading speeds, blogging, optimizing websites for mobile devices, and more.
How to become an SEO freelancer
Unlike graphic design or video editing, there is no single software package you need to learn to become an SEO. Becoming an SEO expert requires constantly learning about the different SEO practices and how best to apply them to improve the performance of their client's websites.
Of course, you will need to use some tools like SEMrush, KWFinder, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, Google Keyword Planner, or GrowthBar to do tasks like keyword research and analysis. However, most of these tools are very intuitive and easy to learn. What matters most is what inputs you give them and how you use the output data these tools provide.
Most premium SEO tools are not free, so be ready to pay some monthly subscription fees as you learn how to use these tools. SEO is as much about creating website content that improves user experience as it is about keywords and tags. As an SEO expert, your goal is to ensure your client's website design and content provide users with the best experience.
How much do SEO freelancers earn?
Like any other skill on this list, SEO freelancers are paid based on their experience and the impact created by their work. According to Search Engine Journal, SEO freelancers can earn an average of $1,779 per client monthly, depending on the platforms they choose to offer their services. Your earnings will largely depend on the number of clients you get per month.
It all goes back to the impact your work creates. Getting new clients becomes easier if you earn good reviews from your first clients. Different from video editing or photo editing, the result for most SEO-related freelance tasks won't show after you complete a project. Search engines take a couple of days or weeks to reflect changes made to determine if a website should rank higher in search results.
Clients must be patient for several days or weeks before determining whether your work impacted their site. Either way, ensure you do your best for every client you get. These same clients will come back looking for you in the future if the work you did for them grows their website's traffic. Good work puts you in a position of strength while bargaining for future projects.
Where to get SEO freelance jobs
Web Tools Advisor Recommends: Fiverr
Freelancer Most in Demand Skills – Website Design
Many businesses and individuals need your services if you are good at designing and building websites. Almost every company started in this era needs a website to use as the focal point of its digital marketing strategy. These businesses will need experts to help them build and maintain their websites.
Web developers always have client work. Businesses always need websites which means website development will always be in demand. For effective web development, you should keep learning new skills. Clients hire freelancers for web development with the skills required to develop a stunning website.
How to become a web designer
Becoming a website designer requires learning to use any of the most commonly used website builders, including WordPress, Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, etc. You could specialize in just two or three platforms because you can only learn some. Learning how to build websites using these platforms is easy since they don't require coding.
It is possible to create your first website using Weebly or Wix in under one hour. Most of your time will be spent adding pages and content that may vary depending on the client's needs. Another web design skill that requires practice is arranging the different sections and content on a web page.
As a web designer, your main goal is to create a website that will make it possible and easy for your client's audience to find whatever they are looking for on the site. Like any other skill, you will have to do enough practice to master the art of designing beautiful websites. Of course, people with some design background will have a slight advantage over those new to designing.
Some web design projects may require you to code the entire website or specific sections. Such projects usually earn more than web design projects that don't need coding.
How much do freelance web designers earn?
Freelance web designers earn between $30 to $80 per hour. The most experienced designers who know how to code can even charge up to $200 per hour, primarily if they work on complex projects like eCommerce websites. If you want to earn more as a freelance web designer, it is vital to learn how to create sophisticated sites.
Of course, the main challenge will always be getting the first clients. It would be best to build some demo sites that your first clients can look at to gain confidence that you can handle their project. It is also essential to constantly update your web design knowledge to learn about new tools and faster ways of doing specific tasks. You will significantly boost your earnings if you can increase the amount of work you can deliver per hour.
Where to get web design freelance jobs?
Web Tools Advisor Recommends: 99Designs
Freelancer Most in Demand Skills – Freelance Writing
As the number of websites on the internet increases, the need for more content creators rises too. These websites need blog posts, product descriptions, and static content for the different pages. Getting freelance jobs from almost any freelance platform will be easy if you are a writer.
Besides websites, businesses also need freelance writers to create content for their social media pages, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Several companies now use content marketing to build trust in their target audience, eventually leading to sales.
Copywriting and effective communication skills would help you launch and scale your freelance business quickly. You will get a broad range of clients as every business needs sales. Copywriting is a gratifying freelance skill that you can learn today.
How to become a freelance writer?
Writing is a skill that anyone can learn with practice. You don't need to use any complicated software to learn how to write. The typical word processing applications, including MS Word or Google Docs, will get the job. However, you may need to buy some extra tools to help you enhance the quality of your work.
Such tools may include a typing assistant such as Grammarly to help you review spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity, engagement, and several other writing mistakes. You may also need some SEO assisting tools to help you optimize your content for Google by adding relevant keywords since some clients may need SEO-optimized content.
More than typing assistants like Grammarly is needed to guarantee quality. You must proofread your articles to ensure every sentence makes sense to the reader. These typing assistants may also not capture some of the errors, so proofreading will help fix all the mistakes that these assistants may have yet to find.
But like any other freelance skills covered on this list, writing also requires practice. The first articles or page content you create will surely not be the best. However, you will continue to improve your craft the more content you create. Becoming a good writer requires you to read a lot. Take time and read articles on leading websites to get an idea of what good content looks like.
How much are freelancer writers paid?
Word count is the most reliable metric you can use as a freelance writer to charge for your services. Writers can earn between $20 to $200 for every 1000 words. Of course, expertise and the quality of your output are the main factors determining your pay. More experienced freelance writers who create content for top websites can earn more than $200 per 1000 words.
The best way is to start with lower prices and gradually increase them as you get more demand for your services. Businesses are willing to pay more as long you can create content that will give their website visitors the best experience. Consider starting a blog that you can use as a reference for clients who would like to see your writing style before giving you freelance work.
Where to get freelance writing jobs
Web Tools Advisor Recommends: Fiverr
Freelancer Most in Demand Skills – Accounting and Bookkeeping
Accounting is one of those jobs that you can do from home if provided the data you need. Most small businesses prefer hiring freelance accountants to avoid the expense of hiring a full-time accountant. Most small businesses and startups usually need accounting services at the beginning or end of the month, so it doesn't make sense to hire a full-time accountant because they may need to utilize him fully.
If you are a professional accountant, several businesses and bookkeeping clients out there need your services and skill set. Most clients, especially in the US, only require you to have professional accounting certificates before giving you the job. All you need is to be proficient in the accounting software of your choice.
Bookkeeping is more than data entry, making it a valuable freelance skill. Clients regularly need the services of skilled bookkeepers to manage their businesses. You will get plenty of work if you have all the skills for efficient bookkeeping.
How to become a freelance accountant?
Becoming a freelance accountant requires learning to use popular tools like QuickBooks, Xero Accounting, FreshBooks, Wave Accounting, and many more. These applications are just tools; your starting point should always be understanding accounting fundamentals and how to use them to handle various accounting tasks.
There are plenty of accounting courses on platforms like Udemy and Skillshare that you can take to acquire or improve your accounting skills. You can also find some free accounting courses on YouTube. It could take you a couple of months to learn the basics needed to get started working as a freelance accountant. However, your time investment will be worth it eventually.
Certifications should be part of your plans to further grow your accounting freelance career. Some clients are willing to pay more if they get the assurance that the accountant they are hiring has certifications from a recognized educational institute. The good news is that some of these institutes now have the option of studying online if you wish to. So, you no longer need to attend physical classes to become an accountant.
How much do freelance accountants earn?
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for freelance accountants is around $64,990. Of course, this rate will vary depending on your expertise and the platform you use to acquire clients. Experienced freelance accountants can make more than $100,000/year using the right platforms to acquire clients.
Unlike some of the in-demand freelance skills on this list, Accounting is a delicate profession because a simple error you make could cost your client hundreds or even thousands of dollars. While starting, it is vital to focus more on the quality of work you deliver. Most clients will always return to you if satisfied with the output of the initial projects.
Most of these businesses don't want to go through the hustle of looking for another reliable freelance accountant; they would instead stick to the one they trust, even if it means paying him more. So, having several clients who trust you should be your top priority. It will be much easier for these clients to pay you more because they know your capabilities.
Where to get accounting freelance jobs?
Web Tools Advisor Recommends: Toptal
Freelancer Most in Demand Skills – Social Media Marketing
Almost every business in this era relies on major social media platforms to reach its target customers. As a freelancer, you will be paid for creating content and for the social media management of these platforms. You may also be required to develop a social media marketing strategy to help the business grow its presence or generate more sales on social platforms.
Some clients may require you to also engage with their clients who comment on your published posts or via DMs. You will need to understand your client's business, including what it does, its values, and the nature of its customers. Another task you may take on as a social media marketer is running paid Ads.
Most clients will value your work based on metrics like engagement, increase in followers, and conversions generated from social websites. So, before agreeing to work for a particular client, you need to understand their needs and the metrics they will use to evaluate the impact of your work.
Video marketing skills are becoming more critical for social managers. With people consuming more content in video format, video marketing is something businesses can't ignore anymore. Freelance photographers, voice actors, editors, virtual assistants, and others would strengthen your team for running a successful video marketing campaign.
How to become a freelance social media manager?
Social media marketing is one of the most effortless freelance skills to acquire, especially for young people that spend much time using social websites. All you need is to understand how these platforms work and the type of content their algorithms prefer to work as a virtual assistant.
If you are new to online marketing, consider taking a social media marketing course on platforms like Skillshare or Coursera. You also need interpersonal and communication skills to work as a virtual assistant. Clients also hire freelancers for outsourcing sales and problem-solving, so you must polish your soft skills.
You also must continuously follow the changes these platforms implement to know their impact on your client's social site performance. For instance, when Instagram introduced reels, many businesses needed to learn how to utilize this feature to reach more people. As a digital marketer, it is your job to use the latest features in any social platform to help your client's accounts grow in terms of following and engagement.
Another crucial area you need to put your emphasis on is running Ads. Take time to learn how the different platforms handle ads. You will need this knowledge to create well-optimized ad campaigns that reach more people at the least price possible.
How much do freelance social medial managers earn?
According to ZipRecruiter, the median salary for freelance social media managers in the US is around $50,834 annually. The most skilled social media managers can earn over $100,000 per year. However, it will take time to get to that level if you start now.
However, if you can help your clients grow their followers and engagement, you will be assured of retaining most of them, thus allowing you to charge higher rates.
Where to get freelance social media marketing jobs?
Web Tools Advisor Recommends: Fiverr
Freelancer Most in Demand Skills – Cloud Computing
If you can help businesses deploy and maintain web applications on cloud computing platforms such as AWS and Microsoft Azure, there is much work for you. Individual web developers and companies usually need more time or expertise to deploy and maintain their apps on the cloud. That's why cloud computing experts have high demand.
As a cloud computing expert, your role will be to help your clients plan, design, maintain, manage, and support the apps they deploy on the cloud. Of course, every client will come with their needs. Most clients will also specify the platform they would like you to deploy the apps. But overall, cloud computing tasks are simple and convenient if you know what to do.
How to become a freelance cloud computing expert
Becoming a cloud computing expert requires certifications from leading cloud computing platforms, such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. These platforms have multiple certifications that you can get depending on your specialized field.
You can have some certifications to get started. One or two are good enough for you to start working for clients. For instance, AWS currently offers 11 certificates, including six core and five specialty certifications. You can accomplish much if you have the first two core certifications.
These certifications require you to sit for live exams prepared by the cloud provider. You will also have to pay a fee before being allowed to sit for these exams. For instance, AWS's Cloud Practitioner exam is $100, Associate-level exams are $100 Professional-level, and Specialty exams are $300.
One of the ways to prepare for these exams is by using the documentation of the different services on the cloud computing platforms' support web pages. However, the easiest way to study for these exams is by taking a structured online course to help you understand the basics and how best to approach the exam. There are also plenty of beginner courses on YouTube.
Thriving as a cloud computing expert requires staying updated about the latest services offered by the different cloud computing platforms to know which ones to use for various projects.
You will also notice that clients in the cloud computing space are very knowledgeable, so most of them will be specific about their requirements. This requires you to be on top of your game to gain their trust. You will also need to learn the technical jargon used in cloud computing to enable effective communication with such clients.
Many clients will only ask for your certifications after giving you a project to work on. However, if you have the credentials on your profile, more clients will find it easier to trust you and pay you more than freelancers with no certifications.
How much do freelance cloud computing experts earn?
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for a Freelance AWS Cloud Practitioner in the United States is $123,935/year. This income is almost the same for the practitioners on other cloud platforms. The most experienced freelance AWS cloud practitioners can earn up to $194,000 a year, making cloud computing one of the most paying freelance skills on this list.
Where to get freelance computing jobs?
Web Tools Advisor Recommends: Toptal
Freelancer Most in Demand Skills – Data Analysts/Scientists
Data is currently the most valuable asset in the world. Any company that wants to thrive in this era needs to take advantage of the vast amounts of data they collect to make data-driven decisions. That's where data analysts or scientists come in. The primary role of data scientists is to process, model, analyze, and draw conclusions from data to answer complex questions.
Any business that collects raw data, whether from its website or mobile application, needs a data analyst to help extract meaning from this data. Data science has recently gained popularity as more companies rely on data before making crucial decisions.
If you are a data scientist, getting jobs will be pretty straightforward, especially if you are good at what you are doing. Of course, the start will always be challenging as you will need to prove yourself to potential clients. Things will get a little easier if you do an excellent job for your first clients.
How to become a data scientist
Becoming a data scientist may require taking a data science course to get a mathematical, engineering, computer science, or scientific-related degree. However, most clients on the internet do not need your degree to give you jobs. They are mainly interested in what you can do and not your qualifications.
So, even if you don't have a degree in a field related to data science, you can take some online courses to learn the fundamentals of data analysis and how to use them to solve real-world problems. Some of the best platforms for taking data science courses include Codecademy, DataCamp, Coursera, HackerRank, etc.
Data science courses also involve learning programming languages such as Python, R, SQL, Java, Julia, Scala, and C/C++. If you are already familiar with any of these languages, learning the data science basics will take you less time to start working on clients' projects.
How much do freelance data scientists earn?
Data from ZipRecruiter shows that the average salary for data scientists in the US is about $100,349 /year. The top 5% in this field earn over $182,000/year. These numbers show that data science is one of the highest-paying careers in the US right now.
The programming languages you know will also affect your pay. Python and R are the most popular languages used in data science. Learning these two languages will give you an upper hand in the freelance job market. It is also essential to choose a programming-focused freelance platform. Getting good-paying clients from such media will be much easier than the general freelance platforms. Let's look at some of the programming-centered platforms.
Where to get data freelance data science jobs
Web Tools Advisor Recommends: Toptal
- LinkedIn Services Marketplace (formerly ProFinder)
Freelancer Most in Demand Skills – App Development
Billions of people use smartphones to access the internet every day. Many of these mainly use mobile applications to browse their favorite websites and web apps. That is why there is a massive demand for mobile application developers for both iOS and Android.
Thousands of companies need your services if you have the professional skills to code smartphone and tablet apps. App development is a great freelance skill that will help you get potential clients who pay highly regularly.
How to become an app developer?
Besides learning how to program, learning app design is vital. As a freelancer, you will be of much more value if you can do design and development work. Most clients prefer to use one person to do both tasks. Cloud computing knowledge is also an added advantage since some clients may require you to deploy apps on the cloud once the app's creation is complete.
Learning to code apps could take about 3 to 6 months, depending on your learning speed and how much time you put into mastering the skill. However, if you want to stay on top, learning should be a continuous endeavor since technologies and tools used for app development are constantly evolving.
How much do freelance app developers earn?
According to data from ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for a Freelance Android Developer in the United States is $119,171 a year. iOS app developers also earn within the same range. The most skilled and experienced app developers can make up to $200,000 depending freelance platform they choose.
The above numbers show that a