15 Best High-Income Skills to Make Money

15 high-income skills

The internet is the quickest and best way to put our freshly brewed competencies into practice. With freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Taskrabbit it has never been easier to earn money and get feedback on our skills.

If we don’t have luck on freelance platforms, we can use cold emails to acquire clients, but before we do, we need something.

We need skills.

But not every skill can be monetized easily, and not every skill can be scaled or turned into money quickly. So how can we go about this?

First, we must find skills that can help us increase the numbers on the income side. After that, we must figure out how to learn those money-making skills. And guess what you lucky dog, this is exactly what we will be covering in the following.

High-income skills

Skills in high demand are often the best skills to learn to make extra money. Whether you want to do video editing, become a software developer, or work within the digital marketing niche is up to you.

There are no wrong or right skills to acquire as long as you make sure the new skills are in high demand.

The reason is that with skills in high demand two things follow.

First, there will be a lot of clients and jobs for you to take on if you possess the competencies that many people need. That’s simply how the free market powers work.

Secondly, if there are a limited number of people with the same skills, but the skill is in high demand, it means that your clients will be willing to pay a premium for your service.

In other words, high-demand skills can help you make a great amount of extra money.

With that in place, it’s time to look at some high-income skills that you could consider learning yourself.

On the list should be at least one skill that would pique your interest, so without further ado, let’s get started.

Graphic designer

First, on the list, we have the graphic design. This is the art of planning and creating visuals to communicate messages most effectively.

You cannot walk around in today’s world without your eyes spotting graphic designs, it’s everywhere. From billboards to websites to mobile apps to book covers.

It includes elements such as:

  • Colors
  • Form
  • Line
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Space
  • Texture

These are all elements that graphic designers work with to create the most powerful and striking messages in the online and offline world.

With creative instincts and a great visual eye, they design graphics that people and companies are willing to pay for.

For instance, some people design a logo for $5,000 to $10,000. A freaking logo. Thus this skill is definitely to be considered a high-income competency.

The average salary for graphic designers I around $48K a year. While that might not sound as much this is due to most graphic designers being employed by a company.

If you instead work on your own, you’ll be able to increase that income by a lot.

Video Editor

Video editing is the next skill on the list. Although many video editors also know how to film a video, video editing is post-video production.

a man sitting on front of the computer while editing video
Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

That means you’ll be the one receiving all the video files, and then transforming them into relevant aesthetic video sequences.

It’s not only about cutting, color grading, and sounds, but also about creating video content that delivers messages – especially if you edit a video commercial.

When working as a video editor you’ll most likely end up editing one or more of these kinds of videos.

  • YouTube videos
  • Commercials
  • Movies (might be difficult to get a contract here)
  • Short films
  • TikToks
  • Biographies
  • Wedding videos

And so many other kinds. Since there are so many kinds, it’s essential that you learn to edit videos differently.

For instance, YouTube videos are often cut in a way that makes them look fast while movies can have long sections of almost nothing.

The average salary as a video editor is around $49.3K a year. Again, this income can be increased if you do some freelancing besides your main job, or if you turn your skill into a money-making business.


Being an UX-designer sounds fancy, and it might also be if you’ve never worked with user experience (UX).

People working as UX-designers are concerned about the following three things:

  • How do users feel about a specific website?
  • How easy is it the navigate the site and its flow?
  • How easy is it for users to accomplish their goals?

You can view UX-design as a website design approach where people’s experience is the number one priority.

And user experience is more important than ever nowadays. People have less time for research, and they want to accomplish their goals fast. So, if a website doesn’t fulfill that, visitors will leave resulting in a high bounce rate.

And a low bounce rate is an alpha omega for companies, and therefore they are willing to pay great sums of money for a UX-designer that can help them both design and test their websites.

Now the average salary for a UX-designer is about $117K in the United States. And if that’s not a high income, I don’t know what is.

So, if you like website design, and you want to increase your income tremendously, why not learn UX-design?

Software Developer

Having skills in software development will most likely yield an average salary of $110K a year, and therefore it’s a great skill to learn. Being a software developer, you can create close to everything. For instance:

There’s almost no limit to what you can develop. You’ll be the mastermind behind computer programs of all sorts.

Most likely you’ll concentrate on one or two areas such as mobile app development and games, while others might develop huge underlying tracking systems for large corporations.

And that’s also what differentiates the many software developers from each other. Some are application software developers while others are system software developers.

It’s a choice you’ll have to make later on when you have obtained enough knowledge and skills.

Being a software developer you can choose whether you want to work for a corporation, be a freelancer, start a business or just sell your own software.

SEO expert

We cannot complete this list without talking about search engine optimization.

seo tiles
Photo by Sarah Blocksidge on Pexels.com

SEO is simply the art of ranking high on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. to make your content visible to people. The better visibility you have the more people will view your site, which can lead to customers.

The reason it works is that programmed bots constantly look through sites and gather information to see which pages are most relevant to a given keyword.

The bots or the algorithm is complex and consists of hundreds of factors to determine where a specific webpage should be ranked.

As you can imagine rankings are crucial to companies and bloggers, which is why many will pay large sums of money for SEO experts to help them rank better on search engines.

Depending on where you are in the hierarchy at your job the average salary is between $49,000 to $63,000 a year. But of course, if you pursue SEO on your own and start a freelancing agency that income might sky-rocket in no time.

Social media marketing

With the increasing number of people on social media, the demand for people with social media marketing skills increases.

Social media is a great place for companies to promote their services and products. And not infrequently you’ll see promo videos on social media like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube.

However, it’s not enough for companies to just post two videos a month. Social media marketing is so much more, it’s about:

  • Maintaining and optimizing social media profiles.
  • Posting pictures, videos, stories, and live videos that represent the brand of a given corporation and attract a relevant audience.
  • Responding to comments, shares, and likes and monitoring the company’s reputation.
  • Following and engaging with followers, customers, and influencers to build a community around the brand of the business.

To execute these things, you need to know how to run a social media account on different media.

By setting up a social media account(s) for yourself and your services, you’ll be able to see if you really can drive traffic and customers – it’s a great way to test your knowledge and your competencies in the beginning.

If you do good, you should expect to hit an average yearly salary of around $50K.

Project manager

I bet you’ve heard the title ‘project manager’ before, but what is it?

It is a person that plans out and executes different projects within specific restraints such as a budget and deadlines. It’s called project management.

That’s an extremely valuable skill to learn, but often you’ll only learn it when you have a job that gives you the opportunity.

You see, you’ll need to lead teams, define goals, set up schedules, and communicate everything effectively. And that’s hard to learn from the comfort of your home.

That being said, a great place to start would be to read about the topic and get into a corporation, where you know that you possibly could be given a project manager position in the future.

To sum up, you need skills in multiple areas to become a project manager:

  • Leadership: You’ll lead a team to achieve a goal.
  • Communication: You are the one with the overall responsibility of a project, and therefore you need to communicate effectively.
  • Organization: Capable of prioritizing and structuring is crucial.
  • Critical thinking: Think 5 steps ahead by Analyzing and evaluating a situation. This will help prevent critical situations from happening.

The average salary varies a lot from business to business, but the median income in the United States is about $77K a year. That’s not bad.

Real estate

Ever heard about self-made millionaires in the real estate industry? Of course, you have, it’s an industry that’s very lucrative if you know what you are doing.

house lights turned on
Photo by Binyamin Mellish on Pexels.com

Becoming a real estate agent will probably yield an average salary of $84K a year.

But what is a real estate agent? It’s a licensed individual that puts sellers and buyers together and acts as their representative in negotiations.

But who says you need to go through an education and become a licensed professional? Nobody.

You can earn money from real estate without being an agent or a broker. If you know enough about the topic you could start purchasing your properties and rent them out to generate monthly cash flow.

Not only that, but your property will also most likely appreciate over the next decade resulting in a great overall return.

Read a book or two, and make sure you have some money in your bank account to start this one.

Soft skills

So why are soft skills on the list, and how do they help you make extra money?

Let’s start with an example. If you have your own business a soft skill such as adaptability is crucial. It will be easy for you to change direction in different scenarios or follow new trends. This will give you a competitive advantage.

Also, other soft skills as leadership, emotional intelligence, teamwork, etc. are crucial when running a business with a team.

If a business owner knows how to lead, motivate, communicate, and work together with other people I guess that that company will outcompete the businesses with a leader that does not possess those qualities.

Regarding the average salary, there’s none since these skills can be used in every area of your life. But one thing is for sure, they can help you make more money in the long term.

Affiliate marketing

This single one might be one of the most mentioned skills or side hustles to pursue to make extra money. Either you hate or love it.

For those who have not yet gotten acquainted with the term affiliate marketing, it’s a way to earn a commission by promoting other companies or people’s products.

Affiliate marketing infographic

No, you should not just copy-paste your affiliate link into comment sections on different social media. Instead, you need to learn how to attract a relevant audience to the page where you promote your affiliate link.

It takes time and practice to get good at it, but when you do, you should expect a yearly average salary of $53K a year.

Public speaking

Speaking publicly is something many fears, and therefore avoid. And if not many dares to speak in front of a large audience, that’s an opportunity for you.

First of all, learning this skill will help you at your job when you for example have a meeting. Standing up and speaking to your colleagues and communicating effectively might result in you getting noticed, and later promoted.

That’s just one way this skill can help you make more money.

If you dare to go on podcasts or host events where you talk about valuable topics, that might help your brand get recognized. Thus, getting more clients and brand awareness. That’s another way of using public speaking to generate more money.

You might be able to think of other options too. The list could be endless.

So how much can you earn from running your mouth on stage? I hope you sit down because the average public speaker in the United States earns $92K a year. For talking – that is crazy.


Blogging is a combination of many of the other skills on this list.

person in white long sleeve shirt using macbook pro
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

If you run a blog on your own, you’ll need to write blog posts, do SEO, maybe some affiliate marketing, and website design. And that’s even not all of it.

So many things go into blogging that it can’t be covered in this post alone. Consider reading this piece to understand blogging better.

But in short, you can earn money from ads, sponsorships, affiliate marketing, selling digital products, or offering services on your blog. And being consistent, patient and a great blogger can yield great income in the long run.

The salary from blogging varies a lot. Some make $11,000 a year, while some make +$100K a year. But on average a great blogger will make $23K to $50K a year. It all depends on which niche you are in, and how much effort you put into your blog.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a full-time blogger makes more than a blogger who only works a couple of hours on the weekends.

The cool thing about blogging is as time goes you don’t need to write as much to maintain the same income.

If you take it seriously from the start and write great content, you can leave the blog for six months without seeing any significant drop in earnings. That’s why blogging is so lucrative and a great passive income.


So, we just saw above that writing can be profitable when having a blog. But that’s not the only place you can make money from writing.

If you’ve ever heard of content marketing, you’ll know that writing great content on websites for companies is extremely profitable.

Companies need people who know how to write content to tell stories about their brand, and others need people to write content for their websites.

Then we must not forget people who want a ghostwriter to write their books or guides. Again, the list just keeps going since people need a writer for so many different tasks.

Myself, I’ve used my writing skills to earn around $5,000 from the platform Medium in my spare time. The average writer will make around $56K a year. Of course, that income will vary depending on the jobs you take on.

Data entry

Some people just have an eye for detail, and they can spot even the smallest mistakes. If that’s you, then data entry might be something you should consider

Data entry involves adding, verifying, and editing electronic data. And the data you work with can be everything from numbers to audio to huge amounts of text.

For instance, you’ll see a huge demand for transcribing services, where businesses need someone to transcribe board meetings.

Typical tasks of a data entry would be:

  • Collecting various data and entering it into a company’s system.
  • Fulfilling general administrative tasks.
  • Scanning, printing, and storing documents electronically and physically.
  • Reviewing data to locate any mistakes or errors.
  • Maintaining accurate customer and account records.
  • Securing information by doing regular backups of the database.

The big question now might be: are all these repetitive tasks worth it, and should you allocate some time to learn to become more detail-oriented?

Well, if the tasks are something you would enjoy, then sure, why not. The income however isn’t the largest ranging from anywhere between $20K to $35K a year. But it all comes down to where you work and how many jobs you take on.

Web development

Being a web developer overlaps a bit with being a UX-designer and a software developer, but it’s not the same thing.

A web developer builds, creates, and maintains websites. When working with websites you quickly face the terms; backend- and frontend development.

The frontend is what visitors see such as design and visuals, whereas the backend is all the HTML, CSS, and Javascript code that makes any website look and run as it does. In other words, without the backend, there will be no frontend.

You might be overwhelmed with all these words and terms, and that’s good. The reason you may ask. If you are confused a lot of businesses are too, so that’s an opportunity for you.

If you master web development, you can help bloggers like myself and corporations with their websites.

If you in the process also learn a bit of UX-design, you’ll be a great asset to almost every company out there.

The average yearly salary of a web developer is $69K a year, and if you supplement your web development skills with some of the other ones as well, that income may be flying soon.

Where to learn?

Now we’ve covered the 15 best high-income skills to learn, we then need to know how we can teach ourselves these competencies.

First, there are a lot of free online courses on YouTube, which is a great start when looking into a new skill.

When you’ve emptied YouTube for all its content you can move to paid course platforms. Just to list a few platforms:

You may be a person that gets more out of reading and taking notes than watching an online lesson. That’s fair, and there are many places to read.

The most obvious one is to borrow books from the local library or buy them yourself. A book I’ve learned a lot from is “the self-taught programmer” – worth a read if you consider learning to code.

Another method is to find comprehensive articles on the internet, which can be done easily. Many people want to rank well, and they know valuable content is key, and therefore they make these sorts of articles for free.

Finally, it takes hard work, patience, and a lot of practice to attain to master any of the 15 skills listed above. In addition, I can mention that Ultra Learner by Scott H. Young is a great book to read if you want to know how to learn skills fast.

What are the most profitable skills?

Is it possible to say that one skill is more valuable than the other? Yes and no. It all comes down to your financial situation, mental health, passion, and lifestyle.

Do you want to spend hours typing in data and looking for errors, or do you want to design aesthetic posters for companies?

Whether a skill is valuable or not is subjective, and you need to be enjoying both learning and putting it into practice. If not, the skills will not be a sustainable solution for you.

With that said, there of some skills that are in higher demand than others, and some are more difficult to learn. That alone makes some more valuable to companies, and financially they might also be more valuable to you.

Wrapping it all up

Whether you have a job currently, are looking for one, or if you just want to make some extra money on the side, these 15 skills are great examples.

Some yield higher income compared to the rest, while some are easier to master quickly. It’s all about how much money you want to make, how urgent is it, what’s your passions, and so on.

These are just examples, and there are many other skills that can also help you generate a little extra money for your next weekend trip.

If none of the ones listed above is your cup of tea, I guess you’ll have to look a little longer.

At least I hope this gave you some inspiration and good luck.

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