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Top 10 highest paying freelance gigs

What are the best paying freelance jobs you can work from home with your cats and pajamas? You might be surprised.



Freelancing is an increasingly popular option

The advantages of freelance work are obvious. People like being able to choose their own projects, set their own pay rates and schedules, and work from home. Some freelance to make a little extra income here and there, while others are able to make a living entirely from freelance jobs alone.

As of 2014, about 34 percent of the entire working population in the US (53 million people) were engaged in freelancing.

Technology has made it more appealing to freelance

This data comes from Upwork (formerly Elance-oDesk), a broker who helps connect hiring companies with skilled freelancers. Upwork and the Freelancers Union commissioned the independent research firm Edelman Berland to find out more information about American freelancers.

According to Upwork’s CEO, Stephane Kasriel, “we’ve entered into a new chapter of work, in which technology has made it much easier for people to find work faster and reach beyond Industrial Era boundaries in order to create a more flexible work-life balance.”

The most lucrative freelance jobs

The survey looked at the average wages of Freelancers from the beginning of 2015 through May to find out the top 20 most lucrative freelance jobs. The data was pulled from the combined databases of Elance and Upwork.

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As you might expect, several tech jobs made it into the top twenty, including several specific kinds of programmers, Microsoft SQL server administrators, and experts on wireless network implementation and internet security.

However, a few creative fields made it into the high ranks as well, with book cover design ranked at number eleven, and voice actors at number four. Korean translators make an average of $49.23 per hour, giving them a rank of number 6 on Upwork’s list.

The most lucrative freelance job, by a significant margin, was in intellectual property law, averaging $121.73 per hour; the number two job, in general legal consulting, pays a fraction of that at $68.06.

The top ten:

10 API documentation, $34.22
9 Industrial design, $34.63
8 Wireless network implementation, $34.86
7 Tableau software, $35.65
6 Korean translation, $49.23
5 Internet security, $51.39
4 Voice talent, $56.78
3 Financial writing, $56.86
2 Legal consulting, $68.06
1 Intellectual property law, $121.73


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Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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