What are the Highest Paying Freelance Careers?

The freelance world has definitely changed recently.

With big media sites laying off journalists and the tech industry laying off hundreds of people, there has been a flood of freelancers wanting to find the best career to start.

What are the Highest Paying Freelance Careers?

As a start to a new year in 2024, the gig economy continues to flourish, offering not just flexibility but also the potential for substantial earnings.

Whether you’re thinking of a career shift or looking to diversify your income sources, diving into the realm of freelancing can be both rewarding and liberating.

In this guide, I’ll explore some of the highest-paying freelance careers this year, providing you with a roadmap on what each career entails, how to get your foot in the door, where to scout for opportunities, and, most importantly, the earnings potential backed by credible stats and sources.

Get ready!

1. Software Engineer

Software engineer is the heartbeat of the tech industry and are in high demand in today’s job market.

There are many opportunities to work on cutting-edge projects from anywhere in the world.

As a freelance software engineer, you could develop applications, create systems software, or even work on artificial intelligence projects.

Your role involves problem-solving, coding, and collaborating with teams to bring digital creations to life.

What’s great about this high paying freelance career is that in 2024, the demand for software engineers rose to 17%.

As a freelance software engineer you can earn over $160,000 per year.

Becoming a software engineer starts with understanding the basics of computer science and choosing a programming language, with Python often recommended for beginners due to its readability and versatility.

Dive into online courses offered by platforms like Coursera or edX, and don’t shy away from utilizing free resources available through Khan Academy or Codecademy.

Equally important is hands-on experience; begin by tackling personal projects or contributing to open-source initiatives on GitHub to apply your learning in real-world scenarios.

Building a diverse portfolio of projects not only solidifies your coding skills but also showcases your abilities to potential employers or clients.

As you progress, networking and engaging with the software engineering community becomes invaluable.

Participate in hackathons, join forums like Stack Overflow, or attend local meetups to connect with peers and industry professionals.

This can lead to mentorship opportunities and even job offers.

Prepare for the job market by creating a compelling portfolio and resume that highlight your programming prowess, projects, and any relevant experiences.

When ready, target job applications to positions that align with your skills and interests, leveraging job boards such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor.

Remember, the journey into software engineering is unique for each individual but is unified by a common thread of continuous learning, practical application, and community engagement.

2. Digital Marketer

In 2024, the digital marketing landscape is ripe with jobs.

From e-commerce companies and new tech startups to creative advertising firms and specialized digital marketing agencies, the range of potential employers is vast.

Digital marketing involves using online platforms to promote products, services, or brands.

It encompasses SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, and more.

As a freelance digital marketer, you can make up to $89,000/year.

To kickstart your freelance digital marketing career, start by mastering the fundamentals of

  • SEO
  • content creation
  • social media marketing
  • analytics

Online courses and certifications from platforms like Google, HubSpot, and Coursera can provide you with the necessary knowledge and credentials.

Building a personal brand as a digital marketer on social media and through a professional blog can also help attract clients.

Don’t forget to showcase successful campaigns or projects you’ve worked on; they can be your ticket to landing your next gig.

Freelance digital marketing jobs can be found on platforms like Freelancer, Upwork, and Flexjobs.

Additionally, tapping into your professional network and marketing yourself on LinkedIn and X/Twitter can uncover opportunities not listed on job boards.

Engaging in digital marketing communities and forums can also lead to job referrals and collaborations.

3. Content Strategist

As a freelance content strategist, you excell at craft narratives, able to weave stories, and engage with audiences on a level that grabs attention.

This freelance work role is not just about creating content; it’s about creating connections, drawing in viewers, readers, or listeners with compelling storytelling, informative articles, or captivating visuals.

You could find yourself doing many jobs as a content strategiest:

  • writing insightful blog posts
  • producing videos for a company’s Youtube channel
  • designing infographics

Developing content strategies is another critical facet of this career.

This involves a meticulous process of planning, creating, distributing, and managing content to achieve specific objectives.

As a strategist, you will align your content with the brand’s goals, ensuring that every piece of content serves a purpose, whether it’s to educate, entertain, inspire, or convert.

This strategic approach is what elevates a brand’s online presence, making it not just seen but also felt by its intended audience.

A freelance content strategist can earn around $93,000/year.

To start out as a freelance content strategist, start by honing your writing or multimedia production skills.

Familiarize yourself with content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, and understand the basics of SEO to optimize your content for search engines.

Creating a portfolio that showcases your best work is essential.

Whether it’s a blog, a YouTube channel, or a digital portfolio, make sure it reflects your unique voice and skills.

Content creators strategists can find freelance opportunities on platforms such as LinkedIn, Upwork, and ProBlogger.

Networking with other content professionals can also help you find the right company to work for.

4. Cybersecurity Consultant

2023 so massive jobs for the cybersecurity industry. There were 5.5 million cybersecurity jobs in 2023 – the highest it’s ever been.

There is a great need for skilled cybersecurity consultants due to the ever present and rise of cybersecurity attacks businesses face every day.

Freelancers in this field offer expertise in protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks.

They conduct vulnerability assessments, develop security strategies, and implement measures to safeguard against breaches. Given the critical nature of this work, cybersecurity consultants command high fees.

So, to start this freelance career you need certain skills and knowledge.

This includes a strong understanding of cybersecurity principles, network security, encryption, and risk management.

Familiarity with laws and regulations related to data protection, such as GDPR and HIPAA, is also important.

Obtaining certifications like Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) can enhance your credibility.

Once you have the technical skills, it’s important to define your niche and the services you’ll offer, such as compliance, penetration testing, or network security.

Creating a detailed business plan will help outline your goals, target market, pricing strategy, and financial projections.

You’ll then need to register your business, obtain any necessary licenses, and ensure you have adequate insurance.

Building a strong brand is essential.

Develop a professional website, create a logo, and produce marketing materials that reflect your expertise.

Networking is key in this industry, so attend conferences, join forums, and connect with potential clients on platforms like LinkedIn.

Use digital marketing strategies like content marketing and SEO to reach a wider audience.

Finally, set up your business operations with the necessary tools and software for security assessments and project management.

Remember, the field of cybersecurity is constantly evolving, so it’s vital to stay updated on the latest trends and technologies.

Continuous learning and adapting to new threats and technologies will be crucial for the success of your cybersecurity consulting business.

5. Web Design and Development

If a business doesn’t have a website, does it even exist? Probably not.

But here’s the thing – not every business owner knows how to whip up a website. That’s where you come in as a freelance web designer.

According to Indeed, there are 26981 Web Design Web Development jobs available right now!

Sure, it might seem like everyone’s jumping on the web design bandwagon, but trust me, if you’ve got the skills, you’ll stand out.

So, what skills do you need to start this freelance job?

To be a successful freelancer in web design and development, you’ll need a combination of technical skills, design skills, and soft skills. Here’s a breakdown:

Technical Skills:

  1. HTML/CSS: Understanding the basics of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is essential for creating and styling web pages.
  2. JavaScript: Knowledge of JavaScript is crucial for adding interactivity and functionality to websites.
  3. Responsive Design: Ability to create websites that look great and function well on all devices, from desktops to smartphones.
  4. Frameworks and Libraries: Familiarity with popular frameworks and libraries like Bootstrap, jQuery, Angular, React, or Vue.js can be beneficial.
  5. Backend Development: Understanding server-side languages like PHP, Ruby, Python, or Node.js, and database management (e.g., MySQL, MongoDB) is important for full-stack development.
  6. Version Control: Experience with version control systems like Git helps in managing and tracking changes to your codebase.

Design Skills:

  1. UI/UX Design: Understanding user interface and user experience design principles to create intuitive and visually appealing websites.
  2. Graphic Design: Proficiency in graphic design tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or Sketch is useful for creating custom designs and assets.
  3. Typography and Color Theory: Knowledge of typography and color theory to enhance the readability and aesthetics of a website.

Soft Skills:

  1. Communication: Clear communication is essential for understanding client requirements and providing updates on project progress.
  2. Time Management: Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines effectively.
  3. Problem-Solving: Skills in troubleshooting and solving issues that arise during the development process.
  4. Attention to Detail: Precision in coding and design to ensure high-quality outcomes.
  5. Continuous Learning: Staying updated with the latest web technologies and trends to remain competitive in the field.

Business Skills:

  1. Project Management: Skills in planning, executing, and delivering web projects within scope, budget, and timeline.
  2. Client Management: Ability to manage client expectations, handle feedback, and build long-term relationships.
  3. Marketing: Understanding of basic marketing principles to promote your freelance services effectively.

6. Internet Security Specialist

Now, with everything going digital, this freelance job is taking off.

With over 16,800 jobs available for this type of freelancer, there is no shortage for you.

As an internet security specialist, you’re not just about changing passwords.

Businesses need someone to develop and implement robust security measures to keep their data safe. And if you can do that, you can command a higher rate, especially if you’re an internet security architect.

Pretty cool, right?

To break into the field of Internet Security as a freelancer, you’ll need to start by getting the necessary technical skills.

This includes gaining a solid understanding of networking, operating systems, and security principles.

You should then specialize in areas such as network security, penetration testing, encryption, and cybersecurity frameworks to build your expertise.

Building a strong portfolio that showcases your skills and past projects is essential for attracting clients.

Networking is also crucial in this field, so attend industry conferences, join online security forums, and engage with potential clients on platforms like LinkedIn.

As you start taking on freelance projects, focus on delivering high-quality work and maintaining strong communication with your clients to build a positive reputation and secure future opportunities.

7. Financial Planner/Consultant

Here’s the deal – just because someone’s making money doesn’t mean they’re spending it wisely.

That’s where a financial planner comes in. There are around 25,600 financial advisor jobs available for you!

You get to sit down with clients, look at their finances, and help them come up with a plan to live within their means.

It’s super rewarding, and if you know your stuff, especially about laws and estate planning, you can really make a difference. Plus, you can charge a good rate for your services.

So, breaking into the field of freelance financial planning and consulting involves a combination of education, certification, and networking.

Start by obtaining a strong educational foundation in finance, economics, or a related field. Earning certifications such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) can significantly boost your credibility and attract clients.

It’s also important to gain practical experience, which can be achieved through internships or working in a financial advisory role.

Building a strong professional network is crucial, so attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with potential clients on platforms like LinkedIn.

Create a professional website and portfolio to showcase your expertise and services.

As you begin taking on clients, focus on providing personalized and high-quality advice, and maintain clear communication to build trust and a positive reputation in the industry.

8. Virtual Assistant

Starting as a virtual assistant is a great way to dip your toes into freelancing.

You’ll be doing all sorts of tasks, from managing calendars to handling emails and social media.

And there are many small business owners, bloggers, content creators and entrepreneurs need a VA for their busienss.

It’s all about being organized and adaptable.

And while the average pay is around $17.52 per hour, you can charge more depending on your experience and the services you offer.

To succeed as a virtual assistant, you need a diverse set of skills and the ability to find and retain clients.

Essential skills for a virtual assistant include strong organizational and time-management abilities, proficiency in communication tools and office software, and excellent written and verbal communication.

Familiarity with social media management, basic bookkeeping, and customer service can also be valuable.

To find clients, start by creating a professional online presence with a well-designed website and active social media profiles.

Networking is key, so join virtual assistant groups on social media, attend industry conferences, and connect with potential clients on platforms like Instagram for solopreneurs, coaches and authors.

As you start working with clients, focus on delivering high-quality work and maintaining excellent communication to build a positive reputation and encourage referrals, which can be a significant source of new business for virtual assistants.

Freelance Jobs For You!

There ya go!

Those are the highest paying freelance jobs you can start today!

My name is Chelsy and I am a single mother, blogger, and freelance writer. I blog about co-parenting at Motherhood+Mayhem and about working from home at Mama Needs Coffee. When I'm not writing or blogging, you can find me building blanket forts in my living room.

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