5 of the Most In-Demand Job Skills for Freelancing in 2023

Freelancer sitting at a computerProstock-studio / Shutterstock.com

Around 60 million Americans now freelance. Some do so for a little extra cash on the side, while others make a full-time living contracting with businesses.

Freelancers need the right skills to succeed. But what are they?

Upwork, a marketplace for freelance work, recently ranked the 10 most in-demand job skills across five categories for independent workers in 2023.

In compiling its list, Upwork looked at skills data from its own database based on freelancer earnings in the U.S. from January through October 2022.

Following is the list of the top skills for freelancers this year.

Full stack development

Full stack developerViDI Studio / Shutterstock.com

Full stack development is the most in-demand skill for those who freelance in the area of tech.

This skill includes the development of applications from start to finish, including both the front end and back end of an application.

Search engine optimization

Older woman workingVane Nunes / Shutterstock.com

Search engine optimization (SEO) expertise is the most in-demand skill for those who freelance as marketers.

Freelancers with search engine optimization skills know how to create or modify content in a way that helps it rank higher in search engines.

The goal is to boost the visibility of this content and increase the number of visitors to the site hosting the content.

Email, phone and chat support

Happy remote worker talking on the phone while working on laptopDavid Benito / Shutterstock.com

Email, phone and chat support is the most in-demand skill for those who freelance in customer service and administrative support.

Freelancers who specialize in email, phone and chat support engage in customer service troubleshooting. They often represent the first line of help when a consumer has a problem with a new product or service.


A female accountant works from homeRoman Samborskyi / Shutterstock.com

Accounting is the most in-demand skill for freelancers who engage in accounting and consulting work.

This field involves recording transactions for a business. Those who work in accounting also might collect and analyze financial information, among other tasks.

Graphic design

Graphic designerRawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Graphic design is the most in-demand skill among freelancers who work in the design and creative skills category.

Those who work in graphic design combine text and pictures for advertisements or publications, such as magazines and books.

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