19 Highest-Paying Freelance Jobs in 2024

Freelance work is a great option if you’re looking to set your own hours, work from anywhere, or pick up projects that interest you. Many professionals are switching to freelancing as more companies recognize the benefits of engaging independent professionals through job boards like Upwork. One consideration is that market pay rates differ, so you can find better-paying freelance jobs to match your experience level.

This article shares some of the highest-paying freelance jobs and the benefits of showcasing your skills and expertise.

19 highest-paying freelance jobs

Note: Market rate data reflects the time of writing and may vary from one project or freelancing platform to another. This information acts as a general guide on what you can expect from the market. Rates are based on statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and median rates earned on Upwork.

19 of the highest-paying freelance jobs

Whether you’re a tech expert, designer, or writer, as a freelance professional you can find countless project opportunities. And with so many categories of freelance jobs to choose from, there’s no reason you shouldn’t find something to match your skills.

19 Highest Paying Freelance Jobs

Public relations manager

Public relations (PR) managers help companies develop effective PR strategies that promote a positive image of an organization. Regular duties might include crafting well-polished press releases, building relationships with key media contacts, and managing crises. Companies in various sectors require experienced PR professionals to improve public communications via several channels, including social media.

Experience and qualifications in media, online marketing, and other related fields are critical for success. You can qualify for the highest-paying freelance projects once you gain considerable experience handling challenging PR campaigns.

Public relations consultancy work pays between $50 and $100 per hour. Analysts predict job opportunities for public relations managers will grow by 8% by 2031.

Access a wide selection of public relations manager jobs by browsing Upwork’s listings.

Business consultant

A business consultant helps clients gain an in-depth understanding of specific operational matters. In many cases, the professional plays an active role in solving complex business challenges.

Companies typically hire consultants to seek advice on practical ways to improve day-to-day operations or profitability. The consultant may specialize in one or more business areas, such as marketing, finance, or human resources.

As a freelance consultant, you can work with multiple entrepreneurs at any given time, allowing you to maximize your income. In fact, the median hourly rate for business consultants ranges between $28 and $98, depending on your skill level and project scope. Opportunities for management analysts could grow by 11% through 2031.

Find the right clients and projects by browsing business consultant job listings on Upwork.

Media buyer

Media buyers help businesses determine the ideal ad placement for their specific budget and targeting needs. Placement options might include physical, print, digital, and broadcast advertisements.

Depending on the client’s requirements, a media buyer’s roles and responsibilities may include managing social media ad campaigns. Large, midsize, and small businesses tap into media buyers’ ability to negotiate better rates and reduce advertising costs.

Media buying professionals typically charge between $50 and $200 per hour. And while job opportunities for advertising agents are expected to decline by 8% by 2031, nearly 11,000 openings for media buyers are projected each year.

Check out Upwork’s media buyer job listings if you’re thinking about looking for work as a media buyer.

Photographer

Photography is a popular field that requires high levels of creativity and technical expertise to produce high-quality images for companies and individuals. As a freelance photographer, you can earn a living capturing images of events, physical products, places, and people. Clients are willing to pay well if you can produce images that tell a captivating story. Some may also want to hire photographers with strong Photoshop skills.

Whether you’re keen to work as a part- or full-time photographer, you can find high-paying photography work on Upwork. Job outlook data published by the BLS shows photography job opportunities will likely grow by 9% by 2031When it comes to average hourly rates for photography projects, you can expect between $40 and $100.

Keep your freelance work pipeline full by browsing for and bidding on photography projects on Upwork.

Artificial intelligence (AI) professional

Artificial intelligence (AI) professionals work on understanding and developing solutions to improve life and business through the use of artificial intelligence. They bring their computer programming skills to the table to develop algorithms and build natural language processing (NLP) models.

Machine learning engineers can make between $25 and $50 per hour. AI engineers can find jobs posted for $30 to $60 per hour, along with numerous fixed-price projects. With employment for computer and information research scientists expected to grow by 21% through 2031, there’s no shortage of opportunity in this field.

Find the top AI jobs and the best machine learning engineering jobs on Upwork.

Data analyst

A freelance data analyst helps clients analyze specific pieces of data involving historical transactions or events. You’ll play a critical role in uncovering key trends in customer behavior or other business aspects, allowing companies to make informed decisions about day-to-day operations.

Businesses of varying sizes count on data analysts to predict future trends more accurately. Your role is to tap into big data collected from various operational sources.

The median hourly rate for data analysts via Upwork hovers between $20 and $50. Although many data analysts work full time for companies of varying sizes, you can find a steady supply of well-paying projects on freelance platforms. Based on BLS data, the need for analysts is growing at a projected rate of 23% between 2021 and 2031.

Discover an array of data analyst jobs by browsing Upwork’s project listings.

Copywriter

The copywriting field is one of the most common options for freelancers. A freelance copywriter might compose newsletters, advertising copy, emails, ebooks, articles, and other types of polished content that grab readers’ attention.

This type of content creation could be a great fit for anyone with strong communication skills and a good grasp of the English language. Depending on the specific client, you may use Google Docs or a content management system like WordPress.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for this field is likely to grow by 4% between 2021 and 2031. And although statistics show that roughly 15,200 job openings become available to writers in the United States each year, the figure is undoubtedly much higher for freelancers because they can work with clients worldwide.

Copywriters working on freelance writing jobs via Upwork earn a median rate of between $19 and $45 per hourSome content writing jobs are fixed-price projects, while other content writing roles may pay hourly or by the word.

Explore extensive project listings on Upwork to find the best copywriting and content creator jobs.

Project manager

Those who enjoy analyzing complex business processes and identifying possible improvements for existing workflows might like working as a project manager. Project managers ensure teams stay on track to meet deadlines. They eliminate uncertainty and help organizations save time, money, and resources while they work.

Project managers tend to make between $19 and $45 per hour on Upwork. The need for project management specialists is on track to grow by 7% through 2031.

Find your next project management job on Upwork.

Digital marketing consultant

A freelance digital marketer helps businesses bolster their online visibility and lead generation to increase sales. You can achieve these objectives through search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and online advertisements. In addition, clients can tap into your expertise to solve specific digital sales and marketing challenges.

You can expect excellent pay rates in return. Median hourly rates for digital marketers on Upwork range between $15 and $45Furthermore, the BLS projects management jobs in advertising, promotions, and marketing to grow by 10% between 2021 and 2031.

Find well-paying consultancy projects and other digital marketing jobs on Upwork.

Editor

Editors and proofreaders play an important role in the editorial process by reviewing and revising written texts to ensure they meet specific guidelines. They check various aspects, such as syntax, punctuation, flow, and style, and verify facts. Editorial processes are vital to producing high-quality content.

Those with a knack for identifying grammar and other issues can explore freelance opportunities in this field. Finding high-paying freelance jobs for editors on Upwork is easy. Median pay rates for copyediting projects range between $20 and $40 per hourWhile the need for editors is expected to decline by 5% between 2021 and 2031, over 10,000 openings are projected each year.

Finding quality editing work just got easier thanks to Upwork’s extensive freelance job listings. Gain access to the highest-paying projects by browsing and bidding for more than 150,000 editing jobs on Upwork today.

Mobile app developer

Mobile app developers create native, hybrid, or cross-platform mobile apps. Some projects may require you to start from scratch, while others may involve improving an existing app by adding new integrations. If you’re well-versed in a programming language like Swift or Kotlin, you might have a leg up on the competition as you begin looking for opportunities.

You can expect to make $18 to $38 per hour on a platform like Upwork. The software development field is on track to grow by 25% through 2031.

Those interested in learning more about mobile app developer jobs can check out the projects currently available on Upwork.

Social media manager

Using social media is a lucrative approach for businesses to promote products and services directly to target audiences. Social media managers help brands formulate and implement marketing strategies to enhance lead generation.

Freelancers can work with several brands at any given time, helping them improve communication techniques on various social media platforms. Clients will likely expect you to provide expert advice about content generation and targeting, so you must demonstrate savviness with different social media channels.

You can expect to command a median pay rate of $14 to $35 an hour on platforms like Upwork. The demand for workers in similar fields like marketing and advertising management is projected to grow by 10% through 2031.

Are you currently looking for the highest-paying jobs? If so, browse social media management projects on Upwork.

Accountant

An accounting professional performs recordkeeping of business finances and may help interpret the records. This professional plays an integral role in ensuring financial record accuracy for reporting and tax purposes. Companies rely on accountants to provide accurate and well-presented financial information to help them make informed decisions about business operations and to assure compliance with regulations.

Proper recordkeeping processes make it easier to analyze profits and losses more effectively. Additional duties may include preparing invoices, determining payroll requirements, collaborating with auditors, and analyzing operating budgets.

Those keen to kick-start a freelance career as an accountant can find an extensive list of high-paying accounting projects on Upwork. These projects pay median hourly rates of between $12 and $32, depending on your skill set and other factors. By 2031, professional accounting is projected to grow by 6%.

Get your share of the action by browsing and bidding for accounting jobs on Upwork.

Web designer

Web designers help clients create websites to suit specific requirements. A web designer might also update existing websites. This industry is ideal for anyone with creative and technical know-how who can create high-quality webpages and other website features.

You may need to develop skills in specific programming languages (like JavaScript, Python, or SQL) to handle various projects. The role may also require proficiency in relevant software and UX design programs, like Adobe XD.

Depending on your experience, earning between $15 and $30 per hour on platforms like Upwork is possible. And with job opportunities in this field likely to grow by 23% by 2031, you’ll be in high demand as a web designer.

Browse thousands of current web design projects on Upwork to maintain a steady supply of work.

Web developer

Web developers use their advanced programming skills to develop code that determines how websites function. The best freelance jobs typically require professionals with experience in front- or back-end web development or both (full-stack development).

Front-end web developers concentrate on a website’s design and visual aspects, while back-end specialists focus on its behind-the-scenes components or administrative areas that aren’t visible to users.

The best part about working as a self-employed web developer is that you can earn between $15 and $30 per hour on Upwork. In addition, job opportunities in the web development field are likely to grow by 23% by 2031.

Find web development projects that pay higher rates by checking current listings on Upwork.

Programmer

‍Programmers play an important role in today’s digital world by writing code that controls the features and functions of computer and mobile applications. In addition, they keep systems running smoothly by handling maintenance routines and troubleshooting technical issues. Tech professionals with advanced programming skills typically help businesses handle software and web development.

Programming jobs offer a median pay rate between $15 and $30 per hour. Despite the fact that employment could decline by 10% through 2031, about 9,600 new jobs are expected to open for computer programmers each year.

Find well-paying jobs by checking out the comprehensive list of programming projects on Upwork.

Videographer

Videography involves capturing events and editing videos to ensure a quality presentation. A combination of filming and video editing skills is vital for success in this field.

You can operate as a solo freelancer or collaborate with other professionals to get the job done efficiently and correctly. Examples of events requiring professional videography services include weddings, corporate seminars, and parties.

You can market your services via Upwork to keep a steady stream of high-paying videography projects. The median salary for videographers on Upwork hovers between $15 and $30 per hour. The need for video editors will likely grow by 12% through 2031.

Take a look at Upwork’s many videographer jobs to find new clients and maintain a steady stream of freelance jobs.

Podcast host

Podcast hosts entertain and inform their audiences by conducting interviews or sharing their perspectives on a particular field or topic. They prepare for the show by researching guests or compiling show notes. Once the show is over, some podcast hosts edit and publish the episode before the release date.

Podcast hosts on Upwork can earn anywhere from $15 to $25 per hourIf you’re good at facilitating interviews and have prior experience with search engine optimization (SEO), landing page creation, or social media marketing, podcast hosting could be a great fit for you.

You’ll find plenty of job postings for podcast hosts on Upwork.

Virtual assistant

Clients hire virtual assistants to perform various administrative tasks, such as data entry, calendar organization, and managing email communications. These professionals may run errands on behalf of their clients, such as making restaurant reservations, scheduling medical appointments, and purchasing goods.

These services enable busy clients, particularly small business entrepreneurs, to focus on day-to-day operations. Most virtual assistants handle tasks directly with the client or through freelance platforms.

A virtual assistant can earn between $10 and $20 per hour performing wide-ranging administrative duties on Upwork. Typically, your experience determines the type of projects available to you. And while all administrative assistant roles are projected to decline by 8% through 2031, the BLS expects over 350,000 annual openings for secretaries and administrative assistants.

Keep the freelance projects flowing by bidding for the best virtual assistant jobs on Upwork.

What is a freelance job?

A freelance job is a project involving contract work assigned by a company or individual to a self-employed professional. The freelancer can handle the work remotely or on-site, depending on the client’s requirements. Most freelancers can choose to work part time or full time, and the majority of freelance positions allow you to work from home.

Those who decide to participate in the freelance market can browse and apply for jobs via freelancing platforms like Upwork. Once a client (i.e., a business or individual) approves your bid, you can perform the tasks remotely based on specific project guidelines. Most clients pay a fixed price or an hourly rate, depending on the nature of the work and your agreement.

Venturing into the world of freelancing can provide several benefits. These advantages include:

  • Flexible hours. If you’re not a morning person, you can take advantage of the flexibility that comes with controlling your work hours. As a freelancer, you can juggle personal and work tasks more conveniently.
  • Location flexibility. The laptop lifestyle makes it easier to work in different locations without undermining your ability to do your job correctly and on time.
  • Select clients and freelance jobs. Working as a full-time employee typically involves handling projects assigned to you by a manager. Freelancing lets you select projects that match your skill set and interests.

What is the best freelance job for beginners?

The best freelance job for beginners is one that leverages your strengths and interests and helps you get your foot in the door. The job should also enhance your skills in these areas.

In-depth knowledge of digital marketing, SEO, and copywriting can prove beneficial for beginners involved in several fields, such as public relations, editing, web design, and social media management. These skills can help make a positive impression on potential clients.

Some benefits of familiarizing yourself with these topics include faster career growth and the ability to cross-leverage digital media channels. In turn, you can offer a more comprehensive service to clients.

Copywriting can be a useful skill when handling public relations campaigns, while SEO boosts content visibility across the internet. When it comes to web design, integrating SEO elements allows search engines to crawl and index webpages more efficiently. This provides a high-quality service to clients looking to maximize content visibility.

Explore freelance jobs on Upwork

Whether you’re just starting as an independent professional or are a seasoned freelancer, you can access higher-paying jobs by choosing the right freelance platform.

Upwork provides access to wide-ranging jobs for independent professionals posted by clients from around the world. Find projects for graphic designers, software development specialists, freelance writers, online marketing experts, and more.

If you’re keen to grow your freelance career, take the next step by browsing job listings on Upwork.

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19 Highest-Paying Freelance Jobs in 2024

The Upwork Team

Upwork is the world’s work marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent from across the globe. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

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