12 Highest Paying Freelance Jobs: Hone Your Skills at Home

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As the old saying goes: freelancers have more fun. Okay, that phrase doesn’t exist, but freelance work does have many benefits. 

You can use freelance work job roles in order to work from home, earn extra cash on the side, or give yourself more professional independence. Whatever your reason, you’ll want to find the highest paying self-employed jobs out there to give yourself a strong start on your new career path.

It just so happens that we’ve got 12 of the highest paying freelance jobs listed below, in order of ascending average salary, along with the skills you’d need and tasks you’d take on.

The 12 highest paying freelance jobs are:

  1. Customer service support agent ($12 p/h)
  2. Administrative support office ($13 p/h)
  3. Translator ($15 p/h)
  4. Transcriber ($15 p/h)
  5. Social media coordinator ($16 p/h)
  6. Copywriter ($24 p/h)
  7. Video game programmer ($27 p/h)
  8. Video editor ($40 p/h)
  9. PR consultant ($45 p/h)
  10. Graphic designer ($50 p/h)
  11. Web developer ($60 p/h)
  12. Web designer ($60 p/h)

Using the average hourly rate, we’ve also calculated the equivalent annual salary if you worked 40 hours per week for 50 weeks. Naturally, these figures are estimates, and will vary depending on each business, the amount of work you’re given by clients, and your skill level.

1

Customer Service Support Agent

Average pay: $12 per hour ($24,000 per year)

What it involves

Many businesses will go through phases when they need more hands on deck to help with customer issues and queries.

For example, right now during the COVID-19 crisis, most companies will be dealing with high call volumes due to cancellations. Other types of business – video streaming services or internet providers, for example – may be experiencing an increase in online tech queries.

Required skills

You’ll need to have strong communication, listening, and problem-solving skills in order to help as many customers as possible. The more problems you solve, the more likely it is you’ll work more hours – and, ultimately, earn more money.

highest paying freelance jobs customer support
Some customer support roles will require lots of research into the product or service
2

Administrative Support Officer

Average pay: $13 per hour ($26,000 per year)

What it involves

We all need some help organizing our daily lives sometimes. The same goes for companies. Many businesses will need extra support to assist with admin duties, which may include fielding telephone calls, responding to emails, transcribing, and organizing software files. Best of all, these tasks can all be done at home.

Required skills

Ideally, you’ll have some office-based admin experience already. That way, you’ll be able to secure a relatively highly paid role. With a proven track record, recruiters will trust you to successfully complete your duties from your own home. While it’s not one of the highest paying freelance jobs around, administration is the unsung hero of smoothly operating companies.

It’s vital that you make a good impression with your application, taking care when creating your online resume that you display your strengths in the best light. This can be done quickly and easily using a resume website builder.

3

Translator

Average pay: $15 per hour ($30,000 per year)

What it involves

You can put your multilingual tongue to money-making use with a career in freelance translation. Not only will you need to translate written and spoken words into one or more languages, you’ll also need to apply the appropriate context and references to each language to ensure the right message is put across.

Required skills

Your advanced language knowledge is a given, but you’ll need to possess a strong international cultural understanding. For example, you might need to translate an article which references a sports team, brand, or band that’s popular in one country, but unheard of in another.

Also, there are many words which have no direct translation into other languages, so you’ll need to be able to think outside the box when it comes to translating these tricky terms. Your writing and research skills need to be solid, too.

translator highest paying freelance jobs
You can apply to translation agencies and work from the comfort of your own home
4

Transcriber

Average pay: $15 per hour ($30,000 per year)

What it involves

Whether you’re transcribing legal, medical, or sport documents, your daily tasks will involve typing the recorded speech you hear through digital documents. Your salary will depend on the company you work for, your typing speed, and the overall volume of work that you’re transcribing. You can easily carry out transcribing tasks at home, around the clock, which could make it one of the highest paying self-employed jobs you’ve ever had.

Required skills

Can you type between 50 and 80 words per minute (WPM)? Because those are the typing numbers you’ll need to be hitting regularly. With those WPM, you should be taking roughly four to five hours to transcribe one hour of recorded audio. You can find free touch typing practice software online, such as Keybr or TypingClub, to help increase your speed.

5

Social Media Coordinator

Average pay: $16 per hour ($32,000 per year)

What it involves

One of the many ways to make money on social media, becoming a social media manager/coordinator is one of the most in-demand freelance roles of 2020, with social media dominating digital marketing strategies across the globe. That’s why it’s one of our top online business ideas for 2020.

Businesses of all sizes nearly always need an expert pair of hands to handle their social networks, developing campaigns and increasing brand awareness through tweeting, sharing, and liking.

Required skills

Fabulous writing skills go without saying, but you’ll need to know your way around snappy captions and pithy puns, ideally. Understanding the subtle differences between social channels is hugely important – Instagram and Pinterest are visual, LinkedIn is all about editorial writing such as press releases, Facebook is full of informative content, while Twitter is primarily used for sharing news.

social media coordinator highest paying freelance jobs
Advertising on social media is challenging but offers lots of room for creativity
6

Copywriter

Average pay: $24 per hour ($48,000 per year)

What it involves

One of the many ways to make money on social media, becoming a social media manager/coordinator is one of the most in-demand freelance roles of 2020, with social media dominating digital marketing strategies across the globe. That’s why it’s one of our top online business ideas for 2020.

Businesses of all sizes nearly always need an expert pair of hands to handle their social networks, developing campaigns and increasing brand awareness through tweeting, sharing, and liking.

Required skills

Fabulous writing skills go without saying, but you’ll need to know your way around snappy captions and pithy puns, ideally. Understanding the subtle differences between social channels platforms is hugely important – Instagram and Pinterest are visual, LinkedIn is all about editorial writing such as press releases, Facebook is full of informative content, while Twitter is primarily used for sharing news.

7

Video Game Programmer

Average pay: $27 per hour ($54,000 per year)

What it involves

Similar to web development, game programming involves planning, designing, and building software using code. You’ll be programming video games for computers, mobiles, or game consoles, rather than programming websites. A career in gaming? It’s not only one of the highest paying freelance jobs, but also one of the most fun!

Required skills

Again, similar to the skills required for web development, you’ll need to gain proficiency in various coding languages – such as C# and C++ – first and foremost. Naturally, you should be stoking a burning passion for video games within your creative and analytical mind. In terms of software, you’ll need to understand areas like stop motion animation, multimedia design, digital graphics, and concept art.

Find out more

Not sure where to start learning to code? Check out our list of the 10 Best Online Coding Courses to get started!

8

Video Editor

Average pay: $40 per hour ($80,000 per year)

What it involves

You’ll be responsible for editing and transforming ‘raw’ video material into a ‘finished product’ that’s suitable for broadcast. That will usually involve cutting camera footage, adding dialogue, implementing sound effects or graphics, or tinkering with the light, all to ensure there’s continuity throughout the video.

Required skills

If you don’t already have a degree or qualification in media production or something similar, then you can find various courses that teach you how to use the right software. The most important video editing software to master would include Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, and Adobe Premiere Elements.

video editor highest paying self employed jobs
Software like Adobe Premiere Pro has made it even easier to achieve your video editing dreams
9

PR Consultant

Average pay: $45 per hour ($90,000 per year)

What it involves

The role will vary depending on the client, but you’ll usually provide advice on how to perfectly execute press releases, public announcements, business events, and much more. Your job is to ensure the client releases information to the public in the most effective way, in order to generate public interest in the product, service, or company.

Required skills

Becoming a freelance PR Consultant requires previous experience in public relations, so it’s vital that you build a strong portfolio to present your case. This can be done quickly and easily using a website builder

Ideally, you’ll also have a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations or Marketing, and a minimum of one to two years’ experience at a PR agency. In terms of personal attributes, you must have strong networking, writing, and speaking skills.

10

Graphic Designer

Average pay: $50 per hour ($100,000 per year)

What it involves

You’ll create visual concepts to be used on brochures, magazines, advertisements, or business reports. The idea behind your work is to engage consumers through your chosen layout of art, colors, designs, and overall aesthetic concepts.

Required skills

As well as the necessary artistic flair, you’ll need excellent IT skills and experience with photo-editing software, such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Your attention to detail must stand out among the competition, while you’ll also need to clue yourself up on the latest design trends.

Understanding the graphic design skills and experience that clients look for in a designer should help you prioritize growing the most appropriate skills.

graphic designer highest paying freelance jobs
Use free tools like Canva to hone your graphic design skills before building your portfolio
11

Web Developer

Average pay: $60 per hour ($120,000 per year)

What it involves

First off, development is different from design. A web designer focuses on the layout and design of the website, while a developer works mainly in the backend, fixing issues and developing new pages using code, adding new functionality, and fixing any issues.

Coding computers and apps is a unique skill – it’s difficult to master, but the rewards are great. Most companies are willing to pay big bucks for top-level developers, making it one of the highest paying freelance jobs out there.

In terms of tasks, you could lay the coding foundation for websites, monitor the performance of various software, create new apps, and a whole host of other code-related tasks.

Required skills

Unsurprisingly, you’ll need to know how to code. Whether you want to speak many coding languages to keep a varied schedule, or become a specialist in one or two, you’ll need to invest some serious time and money to become a top-level programmer. Once you’ve practiced developing some software, you should display your work through an online portfolio in order to help your application stand out.

We’d say the most important and sought-after code languages to learn include Java, Python, JavaScript, C, and PHP. When it comes to coding courses, you normally get what you pay for: Cheap classes will result in cheap coding skills. We’d recommend checking out CodeAcademy instead.

12

Web Designer

Average pay: $60 per hour ($120,000 per year)

What it involves

Keen on computers, but looking to express yourself more creatively? Then you should try web design rather than web development. As a web designer, you’ll create the layout, look, feel, and features of websites, but may also be asked to customize the coding structure for some web pages.

Required skills

To be successful, you’ll need to grasp most of the web design trends out there, such as UX (user experience), typography, ecommerce, and mobile design. And, as we mentioned, you might need to customize code. However, web design and coding are two digital skills you can easily learn at home via online courses.

web designer highest paying freelance jobs
Try free website builders like Wix to you practice and sharpen your web design skills

How to Find Clients: Top Tips

There’s no point spending months perfecting your craft to land your dream job when you can’t show off your skills, is there? If you fail to show employers a stunning resume or portfolio, you’ll likely fall at the first hurdle.

These days, it’s super simple to give your application that shine to help you stand out amongst the competition. Learning how to make an online portfolio is the first and most important step for landing your dream job. Most website builders offer portfolio templates that are designed to let your work experience shine online.

Venturing into the freelance world can be daunting, and you’ll need to get your name out there once you’ve built your resume or portfolio. You can start off by promoting your website online, or you can join freelance services websites like Fiverr that will help clients seamlessly enlist your skills.

Highest Paying Freelance Jobs: Summary

Of course, it’s not all about the money. There are more important things in life, like health, family, and Netflix. Having said that, if you secure a highly paid role that keeps you mentally enriched as well, then you’ve hit the jackpot. Let’s just recap our dozen desirable roles…

The 12 highest paying freelance jobs are:

  1. Customer service support agent ($12 p/h)
  2. Administrative support office ($13 p/h)
  3. Translator ($15 p/h)
  4. Transcriber ($15 p/h)
  5. Social media coordinator ($16 p/h)
  6. Copywriter ($24 p/h)
  7. Video game programmer ($27 p/h)
  8. Video editor ($40 p/h)
  9. PR consultant ($45 p/h)
  10. Graphic designer ($50 p/h)
  11. Web developer ($60 p/h)
  12. Web designer ($60 p/h)

We hope you’re inspired to take a new path in your career. And, as long as your freelance career path brings you joy and an adequate income, you might find that freelancers do indeed have more fun.

About Dan Barraclough

Dan Barraclough

I used to think website design was just for professionals. Because maybe like you, I have no coding or design experience. But, with the help of our expert researchers (and after testing every website builder myself), I can confidently guide you through on how to get the most out of each one.

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