Highest-Paid Freelance Jobs of 2021

Highest-Paid Freelance Jobs of 2021

Because of the COVID-19 crisis and the social distancing protocols that come with it, most companies have transitioned into the digital space. And while we can’t speak for everyone, recent studies show that several employees across the globe have come to love the remote work setup—no more daily commutes and rigid schedules, and there’s plenty of time for work-life balance!

The thing about full-time jobs, however, is that they’re not for everyone. In terms of the hours and the workload, freelance gigs give people way more liberty and flexibility in choosing their available time as well as the projects they want to take.

And the cherry on top? With freelance jobs, there’s no limit to how much you can earn!

Oddly enough, it took a pandemic for people to realize this. As a matter of fact, Upwork revealed that two million Americans have started freelancing since the past year, and earnings from the freelancing industry in the U.S. increased by 22%, contributing $1.2 trillion to the country’s economy in 2020.

What’s even more astounding is that another survey showed 65% of freelancers actually tend to like their work more as compared to full-time employees.

Wanna get into freelancing? Check out our list of high-paying freelance jobs you might find interesting!


Tutors work with students of all ages from different backgrounds to support their learning and help them achieve academic excellence. Being a freelance tutor means using teaching methods to help students gain a better understanding of topics they’re having a hard time with in school

As a tutor, you need to plan out activities that will help students learn. You also have to evaluate them to ensure that they are making progress. The topics you can cover are very diverse—from Math, Science, English, to cooking, writing, and even photography. Just make each of your lessons engaging and enjoyable and everything’s going to be worth it.

Typically, the average salary of a freelance tutor is $57,612 per year, or roughly around $27.70 an hour for 48 hours a week. This isn’t a far cry from the average public school teacher salary, which is $63,645. And when you come to think of it, it’s still a win-win situation because private freelance tutors do not have to deal with the stress that comes with teaching a whole class and keeping track of each student’s performance.

Needless to say, freelance tutoring gives you more leeway to enjoy what you do without sacrificing too much.

If you want to launch your freelance tutoring career, you can start by searching for online tutoring jobs or finding local companies that offer tutoring as a freelancing service.

Programming and Software Development

Nowadays, companies are beginning to see the need to switch to a digital framework for work. And they need people who have expertise in programming, which is why it has become one of the most sought-after skills and in-demand jobs in many industries. If you are a skilled coder and you have knowledge in Java, Python, and the likes, consider doing this for a freelance job.

Programming jobs are one of the highest-paying in the freelance world. You can expect to make around $35 per hour as a freelance coder. As enticing as the pay sounds, programming is a hard skill to master, and you have to exhibit patience as you do it.

If you want to make a commitment to it, consider investing time and money to learn and practice developing proper coding skills. While you might be earning $40 per hour right away, possessing solid skills in programming languages can give you the leverage to negotiate your wage for a higher rate.

Video Marketing/Social Video Marketing

Video marketing is a niche of its own and is considered a separate skill from digital marketing. Contrary to popular belief, it is a complicated endeavor involving optimizing videos for different existing platforms. Requirements for each platform can differ greatly and can be quite daunting to keep in mind.

As a video marketer, you will need skills to optimize each video for search engines to help businesses gain the visibility and reach they need to scale further. Capture audiences with new ideas and effective marketing strategies and this will help bring projects your way.

Given the rise of video content marketing on social media channels such as YouTube, Instagram video, or TikTok, this skill will be relevant for years to come. Video marketers earn around $30 per hour, but it can scale up depending on their skills as well as their client’s satisfaction.

Web Design and Development

According to Upwork, web design is among the top 15 in-demand skills for freelancers in the IT industry. Working as a web designer and developer is a good freelance choice. With good experience, you can charge an hourly rate of $60 more and earn up to $130,000 per year. Given that an experienced developer gets $87,000 a year working full-time for a single company, going freelance is surely a huge step.

A web developer collaborates with clients to design, create and publish pages and websites. The developers oversee creating the overall design, aesthetic, and layout of the website. They work with the technical features too, which include capacity, traffic, capabilities, and performance.

While there is a great demand for this skill, it is worth noting that the industry itself is crowded right now because it is relatively easier to learn than programming. The strategy to stand out is to find a forte in the field. There are a lot of avenues that can create opportunities, the choice is yours to make. You have a higher chance to earn more for offering the right kind of service to the right clientele.

Content Marketing and Writing

The sudden boom in online marketing trends paved the way for content marketing and writing to become one of the most in-demand jobs in the field for freelancers. Salaries vary wildly but writing well-thought-out articles for businesses' blogs and content for marketing can earn you up to $48,092 per year.  

The goal is to write content that will appeal to readers but should also be optimized to rank higher in search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Writing articles that rank higher in search engines is important to companies as well as website owners and they are willing to pay more for content that will help them reach their goals. With excellent prospecting skills and an impressive portfolio by your side, earning six figures can definitely be something to aim for in this field.

Graphic Design

Graphic Design ranks number 2 in Upwork's most in-demand skills. On average, a freelance graphic designer can earn around $49,228 per year with top freelancers making up to $85 per hour. Infographic design has seen higher demands these days and logo design, icons, and illustrations also pay well. 

Graphic designers work with different clients and develop visual concepts via physical drawings or using computer software. These visual concepts are used to create the overall design and layout for various applications such as advertisements, reports, and magazines. Expertise in animation is also increasingly helpful in this field, which is expected to grow at a 4% rate by 2028 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Consistent with other studies, 75% of freelancers are earning even more if not the same as they used to be pre-pandemic. It’s not only that but there is also even less stress from commuting and social interactions which is both time and money-saving. The rise in earnings and the number of freelancers is not just a coincidence. People value a healthy work-life balance just as well as good pay.

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