Learn what high-income skills are, why you need them, and which skills are in demand in 2024. Also, discover strategies to acquire them.
Freelancing demands a unique blend of determination, adaptability, and, most crucially, the right high-income skills. These specialized abilities don't just make you competitive, but they also propel you to the forefront, facilitating richer opportunities and enhanced earnings.
In this guide, we'll explore high-income skills, how they can benefit you, and the best skills to learn in 2024. Whether you’re just starting in the corporate world, either as a full-time employee or freelancer, or have been working for some time, developing the highest-paying skills is vital to marketing yourself and earning more. If you’re looking to improve your resume, this one’s for you.
What are high-income skills? 💰
High-income skills refer to abilities that are in demand by industries and employers and, as the name suggests, can earn you quite a bit of money. These aren't just your ordinary soft skills, like time management or convincing a customer to make a sale. Instead, these are highly specialized skills requiring in-depth training, experience, and knowledge. It's worth noting that what constitutes a high-income skill typically depends on where you’re from, and these skills change over time. For example, being able to write engaging newspaper prints was in demand 50 years ago, but so much now.
When learning high-income skills, aim for transferability so you aren't limited to one career or field. For example, you may use an extremely unique programming software for developing AI that’s exclusive to your company. But if you lose this job, you can't apply that knowledge and experience to another field. However, if you were a data analyst, your analytical and problem-solving skills could be used in many industries and roles; in fact, data analysts are necessary and needed across many industries.
Why develop high-income skills? 🤩
Before entering the professional landscape, you likely thought getting a job was as simple as seeing something you liked and applying for it, only to learn that there are people more qualified than you.
High-income skills make you valuable and, more importantly, marketable –– they’re money-making skills. Mastering these fosters personal growth and paves the way for entrepreneurial pursuits, granting a distinct competitive edge.
In essence, investing in high-income skills doesn't just enhance your immediate prospects but future-proofs your career, ensuring sustained growth and adaptability in an ever-evolving landscape.
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10 high-income skills to learn 🤹
Now that you better understand high-income skills, here are 10 examples of skills to learn to make money for inspiration:
1. Copywriting ✍️
Copywriting is the art of writing engaging and persuasive content to prompt a reader to take action, like buying something or signing up for an email list. Businesses need copywriting skills to:
- Represent their brand by giving voice to their personality
- Influence consumer behavior using a copy for social media, emails, and marketing materials
- Increase social media engagement with copy that speaks to the reader
The expected salary is about $53,000 yearly.
2. Software development 🖥️
Software developers design, code, and maintain software applications. This is a highly sought-after skill because businesses are still integrating technology as part of the workflow, and many even need software developers to create and manage their websites and develop and maintain platforms and applications, among other things. You’ll make about $76,000 annually.
3. Sales 📦
Sales representatives primarily sell products and services and are experts in closing deals. Every industry needs sales representatives, and it's not something you can study. Your skills in creating and maintaining customer relations and drive to meet targets with irresistible sales pitches will be highly sought-after. You can expect around $51,000 per year.
4. Digital marketing 💻
Digital marketers create digital marketing strategies for businesses, including campaigns for social media, content creation (blog content), or paid online advertising. Also, these skills are in high demand because almost everything is going digital. The expected annual salary in this domain is about $68,000.
5. Project management 👥
Project managers typically oversee task completion. They also define a project's scope, assign resources, and manage teams, where management skills come handy. Businesses always need quality project managers to optimize budgets and boost project productivity, and there’ll be many of them. You’ll earn around $75,000 annually.
6. Search engine optimization (SEO) 🥳
SEO is all about increasing a website’s traffic organically. As someone with SEO experience or skills, you'd need to perform keyword research and on-page SEO. As an increasing number of businesses create websites and try to improve their brand awareness, your skills with SEO will be in demand. You’ll make about $51,000 yearly.
7. Google Analytics 🧑💻
These specialists possess the knowledge and expertise of Google Analytics. They identify bottlenecks in the conversion process, optimize websites, and provide insights into an audience. Many businesses attempt their own SEO and communicate with a Google Analytics specialist to:
- Evaluate a marketing campaign’s effectiveness
- Monitor a website’s performance post changes
- Understand how to improve user experience
The expected annual salary is about $57,000.
8. Content creation 🤳
Content creators typically craft content for blogs, podcasts, social media, websites, and advertisements. This skill will help you drive engagement and deliver messages to an audience to promote sales and discoverability. You can earn about $60,000 annually as a content manager.
9. Trade skills 🧑🔧
Not all skills relate to the digital world. There are many high-demand skills for the real world, too, like that of a plumber, carpenter, or electrician. All trade jobs require high technical expertise, at least if you want to charge top dollar for your services. These skills will always be needed, as there is always electrical work or a sink to be fixed. An electrician’s expected annual salary is around $53,000.
10. Administrative support 🌟
Another real-world skill that’s highly sought-after is admin support. This involves ensuring a business’s smooth operation by managing communications, preparing documents, and scheduling meetings or appointments. This is a high-income skill as behind every great boss or team leader is a great administrative assistant keeping things organized. You can make about $39,000 annually.
How to develop and learn high-income skills 🧑🎓
Developing high-income skills takes time and well-thought-out strategies. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Enroll in paid courses: Many online e-learning platforms, like Udemy, provide certification degrees. Some cover the basics, while some are more specialized with high-paying skills to learn, which will determine the price. This is a great place to start to see if a line of work is for you since it's cost-effective and you benefit from learning new things.
- Take advantage of free resources: Content on the internet is a wealth of knowledge, and it's free, so you can gain high-income skills without a degree. Research topics you want to learn about, read blog posts, and watch YouTube videos that cover skills you want to learn.
- Participate in an internship: Sometimes, the best learning takes place on the job, and if you have time, participate in an internship program. Many businesses let you intern for a brief period in exchange for little-to-no wages, but it gives you a chance to experience the line of work firsthand and gives you practical experience.
- Take formal classes: Unarguably, the best form of learning is in a more formal setting with a carefully thought-out syllabus. If you have the time and money, pay for formal classes to get qualified. You can do this both online and in person.
Use your skills with Contra 🔧
In the ever-evolving freelancing world, having the right high-income skills can set you miles ahead of the competition. And if you have experience and skills in any of the jobs listed above (or with those that aren’t, we have many clients), start earning with Contra for Independents. The platform is commission-free; all you have to do is create a profile, and we’ll match you with clients needing your expertise. Similarly, if you’re already a seasoned freelancer and want to boost your discoverability, try Contra Pro.