These are the top skills you need as a freelancer in 2023 (2024)

Approximately 58 million Americans have opted for temporary, contract, freelance, or gig work over full-time employment, according to McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey. Around 36% of employed people identify as independent workers, including those who engage in independent work outside of their full-time positions.

On Wednesday, freelance marketplace platform Upwork unveiled its new report featuring the most highly sought-after freelance skills in tech, design, marketing, customer service, and accounting. Upwork says that in the past year, 60 million Americans did some type of freelance work, an all-time high.

As tens of thousands of workers across tech, finance, manufacturing, and real estate cope with the permanent reality of an unstable job market, more people are turning to independent work. Here are the most in-demand skills for 2023, according to Upwork.


  1. Full Stack Development
  2. Front-End Development
  3. Back-End Development
  4. Mobile App Development
  5. Web Design
  6. Ecommerce Website Development
  7. UX/UI Design
  8. CMS Development
  9. Manual Testing
  10. Scripting & Automation


  1. SEO
  2. Social Media Marketing
  3. Other Digital Marketing
  4. Lead Generation
  5. Sales & Business Development
  6. Telemarketing
  7. Search Engine Marketing
  8. Email Marketing
  9. Marketing Strategy
  10. Marketing Automation

Customer Service & Administrative Support

  1. Email, Phone & Chat Support
  2. General Virtual Assistance
  3. Data Entry
  4. Digital Project Management
  5. General Research Services
  6. Tech Support
  7. Dropshipping & Order Processing
  8. Community Management
  9. Market Research
  10. Transcription

Accounting & Consulting

  1. Accounting
  2. Recruiting & Talent Sourcing
  3. Bookkeeping
  4. Financial Analysis & Modeling
  5. Management Consulting
  6. Instructional Design
  7. HR Administration
  8. Business Analysis & Strategy
  9. Tax Preparation
  10. Financial Management/CFO

Design & Creative

  1. Graphic Design
  2. Video Editing
  3. Illustration
  4. 3D Animation
  5. Presentation Design
  6. Image Editing
  7. Cartoons & Comics
  8. Product & Industrial Design
  9. 2D Animation
  10. Video Production

Upwork determined the list by looking at earnings data on its platform from January through October of last year.

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These are the top skills you need as a freelancer in 2023 (2024)
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