Top 20 In-Demand Freelance Skills

Today’s work culture is changing more rapidly than ever – as many employees are finding themselves trying to make sense of an increasingly competitive job market and a dwindling number of jobs to meet that need. But even with these uncertainties, there’s a growing number of those in the workforce taking matters into their own hands. An increasing number of employees are taking on either part-time or full-time freelancing – either to fill their time with work they’re passionate about, earn some extra cash, or to diversify their skill set for future opportunities.

But for those who have been interested in freelancing but unsure where to start, there’s good news. Upwork, one of the leading websites for freelancers to connect and find work, has released their first-ever index of the most in-demand skills for freelancers in the U.S. job market today.

Along with finding the skills that make freelancers the most valuable to clients and employers, it was found that “development skills (including web and eCommerce development) account for one-third of the Top 20 fastest-growing skills”. It was also found that “future technologies are in demand”, pushing companies to seek experts in “virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and robotics”. Content marketing skills – SEO writing, proofreading, and video editing – have also been on the rise in popularity.

Here are the top 20 skill sets that could help you either jumpstart your freelance career or take it to another level.

1. User experience design
2. ASP development
3. Shopify development
4. English proofreading
5. SEO writing
6. Animation
7. Virtual assistant
8. Lead generation
9. Data mining
10. Video editing
11. WordPress development
12. AngularJS development
13. Java development
14. Accounting
15. Android development
16. iOS development
17. Zendesk
18. MongoDB
19. Data visualization
20. AutoCAD

In an article surrounding the skills index, Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel had this to say about the index and how the skills will affect future freelancers:

“We’re releasing this skills data to serve as a resource for professionals, educators and policymakers. As skills gaps persist, this information can be leveraged by smart professionals who continue to educate themselves in order to capitalize on market demands. Information about emerging skill demands may also be useful for those seeking to bolster our education system and economic competitiveness.”

Did you find this article helpful? Click on one of the following buttons
We're so happy you liked! Get more delivered to your inbox just like it.

We're sorry this article didn't help you today – we welcome feedback, so if there's any way you feel we could improve our content, please email us at

Written by:
Cameron is a tech and culture journalist, comic book enthusiast, and lives near New York City. A graduate of Stockton University, she's using her words to shift the world of online journalism, one byline at a time. When she's not writing, she can be found reading sci-fi novels, collecting succulents, and planning her next obnoxious hair color. Cameron is an editorial fellow at Tech.Co. Send your tips to or tweet @BlkGirlManifest.
Back to top