7 High-Income Skills You Can Start Learning Today

One of the great things about our immersion into the online world is that it allows anyone to learn high-income skills. 

Whether that means working online from home or learning a skill online, you’ve got a variety of options within your grasp.

You may not necessarily make huge money at your day job. However, you can learn a high-income skill that can usher you into a much higher income level. 

We’re sharing information about several high-income skills you can learn that can boost your income by tens of thousands of dollars per year in this post. 

What Is a High-Income Skill?

Simply put, a high-income skill is a skill that pays a more considerable income than what many other skills may pay. 

For this article, we’re sharing skills that can pay you $25, $50 an hour, or more, depending on your efforts and level of experience. 

If you’re earning $50 an hour at your skill and putting in 40 hours or more, you could be making over $100,000 per year. 

Your skill may pay you a high hourly wage, or it could pay you a large dollar amount for each job. 

For instance, I’ve got a friend who paints interiors and exteriors of homes and businesses. He charged me $300 to paint a hallway at my house that has high ceilings. 

It took him about four hours to do so. His income, not including travel time and expenses (I provided supplies), was about $75 per hour.  

Entrepreneurship Is Key

That example brings up a great point. One of the keys to boosting your income by working a high-income skill is to solicit your skill as your own small business. 

Entrepreneurship is key to maximizing earnings because you no longer split the profits from your jobs with an employer when you work for yourself. 

Because of this, more of that profit goes into your pocket.  

Let’s take my painter friend as an example. According to Payscale, the average hourly rate for a painter is $17.75 per hour.

My painter friend earns far more as a sole proprietor than working for a painting company.

So, you can see how promoting your high-income skill as a business owner can put more money in your pocket. 

And my painter friend is just one example. There are a plethora of skills you can use to earn a high wage. But how can you develop high-income skills?

Related: Ultimate Freelancer’s Guide: Freelancer Tips and Tricks

How to Develop High-Income Skills

Luckily, there are a host of resources you can turn to if you want to develop a high-income skill. Here are some places you can find learning resources for high-income skills.

Find Online or In-Person Courses

There is a nearly endless amount of online or in-person courses that can help you learn a high-income skill. 

If you visit your Community Education website, you may be able to find classes on computer coding or voiceover acting. 

When you search on a website such as Coursera, you can find courses on social media marketing or graphic design. 

Courses range in price, but almost all of the online courses you find in your skill of choice will cost significantly less than what you’d pay for a college degree in said skill. 

Once you’ve decided on the high-income skill you want to learn, find the appropriate course(s) and start learning. 

Research the Skill

Another way to learn a high-income skill is to start doing some research. You can find online articles or blog sites for almost any skill.

Neil Patel has plenty of tips on how to become an SEO master. The Family Handyman can teach you how to lay a tile floor or build a staircase. 

By doing a simple internet search for just about any skill you learn, you can gain some fundamental knowledge on how to get started – and how to excel – in said skill. 

With all of its faults, the internet is an ocean of resources for learning just about anything. 

Use it to research the skill you want to learn and use to boost your income. 

Practice, Practice, Practice

Once you’ve learned the basics of your skill, there’s no better teacher than that of practice. 

For example, I started freelance writing in 2013 after a blog owner, having read my blog, approached me about writing for them. 

I’ve been “practicing” freelance writing ever since. Because I’ve improved my skill through practice, I’ve tripled my salary from those early writing days.

I learn much of what I need to improve my skill simply by reading what other writers write. Then I work to improve my skills by adapting improved techniques into my articles. 

Although I’m far from Pulitzer prize work, my skills have improved exponentially over the last eight years. 

I’ve taken my non-degreed writing passion and turned it into a 5-digit annual income that is vital to supporting myself and my four kids. 

And I believe you can do the same if you’re ready to put in the work. So, what are some high-income skills you can learn without a degree?  

7 High-Income Skills You Can Learn Without a Degree

Luckily, you can learn several high-income skills without a degree, and you can make good money using those skills. 

Here are some of our top choices, what the skill entails, how you can learn it, and where to find work doing each one.

1. Computer Coding

Computers aren’t going away anytime soon. For that reason, computer coding experts will always be in high demand.

What Is It?

Computer programmers analyze needs and problems with computer programs and write instructions needed to get a computer to complete a task. 

The coder, on the other hand, implements the actual code into the computer. It’s akin to learning a second language and then translating a book into that language. 

The programmer writes code along with many other tasks. Computer coders specialize in writing and implementing the code for computers. 

Computer coding is another high-paying job where you can earn $50 or more depending on the client and your experience level.  

How Do I Learn It?

Codecademy is a popular coding website that offers both free and paid classes. 

Other course websites, such as Coursera, offer coding classes as well. As with any skill, you can learn the basics for free and then practice on your own. 

freeCodeCamp is another website you could check out if you want to learn computer coding. And you can find hundreds of other learning sites by doing a quick internet search.

Where to Find Work 

Coding work is available on traditional job websites and freelance sites such as Freelancer.com, Upwork, or Fiverr.

The traditional job websites may include freelance coding positions as well. Depending on which site you use, you can upload a profile and or apply for open positions. 

2. Freelance Writing

I may be a little biased, but freelance writing is one of my favorite high-income skills. I’ve been getting paid for freelance writing for over eight years.

And I typically never make less than $40 per hour. Many times I can make up to $100 per hour or more.

If you like to write or have a gift for writing, you may want to consider learning more about this high-income skill.

What Is It?

Freelance writing can come in many forms, such as:

  • Content marketing
  • Copywriting
  • Technical writing
  • Blog writing
  • Grant writing
  • Resume writing

And more. And in my experience, there’s never any shortage of freelance writing jobs available. 

How Do I Learn It? 

Getting work as a freelance writer starts with assessing your writing skills. 

If you need a refresher, start with writing and English classes on websites such as Coursera.

Many blogs and websites will give you tips on becoming a proficient writer. Do an internet search on writing or grammar.

You can also learn how to write well by reading. Read articles that are similar to what you want to write. 

For instance, if you want to become a technical writer, read SOP manuals. If you’re going to write articles for parenting blogs, read parenting blogs. 

And most of all, practice! Write often, and critique your writing with the intent of improving. 

Check out Holly’s Earn More Writing course for fast-track learning on working as a freelance writer.

Where to Find Work

Upwork is an excellent site for finding freelance writing work, as is Fiverr. Another option is to start a blog and begin networking in your writing genre.

Lastly, don’t hesitate to reach out to bloggers and ask if they need writers. Be sure to include writing samples in your queries. 

Note: Writers are often paid on a per word basis. If you’re a new writer, start quoting a low price, like five cents per word. 

As you get your name out there and improve your work, you can raise your rates accordingly. 

3. Voiceover Work

Do you have an engaging voice? Or are you great at mimicking your favorite actor or TV character’s voice? 

If so, you might want to consider working in the voiceover industry.

What Is It?

Voiceover artists are the people you hear talking on radio commercials and TV commercials where there’s narration involved. 

Many voiceover jobs are completed right from home these days, provided you have the right computer equipment. 

Voiceover artists make between $30 and $146 per hour, according to Payscale. 

How Do I Learn It? 

There are dozens of voiceover courses available, such as Carrie Olsen’s Online Voiceover Training.

You can also learn voiceover for free by browsing internet articles. However, you’ll probably get work much faster by taking a course from an experienced voiceover artist. 

Where to Find Work

Search Upwork and traditional job sites to find voiceover work. And when you’ve put together an attractive portfolio, start an email marketing campaign.

Target businesses that could benefit from your unique voiceover skills. 

4. Real Estate Agent

Here’s another biased high-income skill I recommend. I’ve been a real estate agent for nearly four years. 

And I’m continually impressed with the paychecks I receive. The check I’ve ever received as a real estate agent was just over $400 for about three hours of work. 

What Is It? 

When you work as a real estate agent, you help people buy and sell houses. You can also use your real estate license to work as a:

  • Property manager
  • Real estate marketing specialist
  • Property developer
  • Real estate assistant

Or a host of other career options. It’s not uncommon to earn 1% or more from a real estate sale if you work as an agent. 

So, on selling a $300,000 house, you could earn a pre-tax income of $3,000 or more. My first real estate sale was a $4,500+ commission on selling a $280,000 home.

My total time spent listing and marketing the house? Roughly 20 hours. 

How Do I Learn It?

Every state has different licensing standards for real estate agents. Go to your state’s Secretary of State website to learn what the licensing requirements are.

In my state, you need to complete 90 hours of education and take the coordinating tests. There are continuing education requirements as well. 

Where to Find Work

Check with local real estate offices and talk to the broker manager about potential job openings. Each real estate brokerage runs differently and has different agent costs and varying commission breakdowns. 

Do your due diligence and understand the details before you sign on to work with a real estate broker. Check online job sites for other jobs you can work with a real estate license.

5. SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) skills are in high demand in today’s online world. Companies will pay good money for expert SEO advice.

What Is It?

Search Engine Optimization is all about getting web pages to increase in rank during organic internet searches. 

Business and website owners hire SEO experts to help improve their content and rank higher during searches for specific keywords. 

When an SEO expert helps a site owner drive more traffic to their website, that can translate to more business for the said owner. 

If you work for a company as an SEO specialist, you can earn $25 per hour or more. As with any field, working for yourself will double, triple, or quadruple that pay rate.

How Do I Learn It?

Many proven experts offer courses in SEO. Well-known SEO guru Neil Patel provides both free and paid SEO courses. MOZ founder Rand Fishkin also offers SEO training courses.  

Or you can find a host of SEO courses on learning sites such as Udemy or MasterClass.

Where To Find Work

As with most of these suggestions, Upwork or Fiverr are great places to advertise your skills and to search for work. 

In addition, you can find jobs on a traditional 9-to-5 job website such as Monster. Or, you could start your own SEO business and start marketing to lower-ranking websites.  

6. Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is in high demand these days. With so many aspects of our lives shifting to the online world, businesses need Social Media marketers to expand their company’s reach.

What Is It?

As a Social Media Marketer, you’ll help businesses spread the word about their products and services via social media.

You might create a Twitter post about an upcoming event or deal or spread the word about a sale.

Your goal is to post engaging content on social media sites to get customers or potential customers eager to buy or participate. 

It’s not uncommon for new social media marketers to make between $25 and $35 per hour. 

Once you’ve gained some experience and have some stats to back up your skill level, you can easily double that hourly wage.

How Do I Learn It?

There are a host of online courses and articles to help you learn social media marketing skills. They range in price from free to hundreds of dollars. 

For instance, Skillshare offers courses in thousands of different subjects. They have over 20,000 free courses.

Or you can pay $32 per month or $180 a year (average of $15 a month) to have access to all of the site’s courses.

Where to Find Work

Sites such as Fiverr or Upwork are great places to start to find social media marketing jobs. Create a profile and then apply for current listings.

Mainstream job websites also advertise social media manager positions. 

If you’re a seasoned social media marketer, consider building your own website and advertising your services.  

7. Trade Skills

Trade workers are in high demand these days. Since trades require specialized training, most people need to hire an expert for home renovations or repairs.

What Is It?

If you want to go into the trade industry, you’ve got several options:

  • Handyman
  • Auto mechanic
  • Carpenter
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Plumbing
  • Excavation
  • Welding

And more. Demand for trade jobs is very high, and pay is attractive. 

You can easily earn $25 or more when you work for a company in a trade industry. However, if you work for yourself, you can double or triple that hourly wage. 

How to Learn It

You can find courses for these types of trades at local technical colleges. 

Also, check with local employers in the industry you’re interested in about on-the-job training. Many employers offer on-the-job training for employees.

In addition, you can check for online training courses. For instance, SkillCat offers free HVAC training

Note that many trade professions call for certifications, licenses, and for you to be bonded and insured. See your state’s Labor Department web page for more information. 

Where to Find Work

You may want to work for a company before venturing out on your own. You can find jobs in the trade industry on job websites such as Indeed. 

After you’ve gained some experience and are ready to venture out on your own, advertise on local city and town group pages on Facebook. You can also spread the word about your services through family and friends. 

High-Income Skills: Final Thoughts

Don’t limit your income to what you make at your day job. Learn a high-income skill and expand your income potential so you can reach all of your financial goals.

Have you considered picking up a high-income skill? For inspiration, check out our guide to online learning resources. If you already developed one, please share your experience in the comments section, we’d love to hear about it!

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About Laurie Blank

Laurie Blank is a blogger, freelance writer, and mother of four. She’s psyched about teaching others how to manage their money in a way that aligns with their values and has been quoted in Bankrate.

She's a licensed Realtor with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, Minnesota (also licensed in Wisconsin too) and has been freelance writing for over six years.

She shares powerful insights on her blog, Great Passive Income Ideas, that will show you how you can create passive income sources of your own.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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