Upwork debuts The Upwork 100, ranking the top 100 in-demand skills for independent professionals

The top 100 skills created nearly 170,000 work engagements on Upwork.com in Q3 2019

The average hourly rate for the top 100 for U.S. freelancers is more per hour than 88 percent of U.S. workers overall

SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Upwork, the leading online talent solution, today debuted the first list in a new quarterly series of the hottest skills in today’s U.S. freelance job market. The Upwork 100 ranks the top 100 skills and sheds light on skills that are both quickly growing and also experiencing a high level of demand, providing an indication of current trends in the independent labor market and tech industry. It also serves as a barometer of the skills businesses are seeking and that independent professionals are providing by balancing real-time insights with consistent patterns based on real work that’s been completed. Its methodology was developed by Upwork Chief Economist Adam Ozimek, PhD, and includes his commentary and analysis.

The top 100 skills on Upwork.com in Q3 2019 experienced more than 45 percent year-over-year growth, while demand for the top 10 percent skills grew more than 260 percent year-over-year. See the full list below.

Top 3 Trends from Dr. Ozimek

Trend #1: U.S. workers are supercharging global business

  • In addition to the many U.S. companies that are hiring U.S. freelancers, 38 percent of the jobs for the Top 100 skills are being hired for by non-U.S. companies.
  • The top 10 countries hiring U.S. freelancers for the Top 100 skills are 1) United States 2) Canada 3) United Kingdom 4) Australia 5) India 6) Israel 7) Germany 8) Singapore 9) United Arab Emirates and 10) China.
  • “Digital platforms not only provide businesses with access to a global pool of proven talent but also provide independent professionals with the opportunity to export their skilled services to companies around the world — including in both developed and developing countries. Too often, discussions about global trade focus only on goods; but the U.S. exports a lot of skilled services as well, and there is high demand for U.S. skilled services professionals, and Upwork helps them connect.”

Trend #2: The average hourly rate is higher than the majority of workers in the overall U.S. economy

  • The average hourly rate for the Top 100 skills in Q3 is $43.72, which is:

    • Higher than the median hourly rate for freelancers doing skilled services overall ($28)
    • More per hour than 88 percent of workers in the overall U.S. economy1
  • “Given the highly skilled and in-demand nature of the Top 100, the high rates earned are not surprising. Yet compared to traditional staffing agencies, businesses find online talent solutions to be more cost-effective, easier to use and faster.”

Trend #3: A diverse range of industries in the Fortune 500 leverage independent talent

  • Access to skills and talent scarcity are the biggest hiring challenges; and by 2028, it’s projected that 73 percent of all teams will have remote workers, according to a report.
  • The top 10 industries hiring U.S. freelancers for the Top 100 skills are 1) Consulting 2) Internet Software & Services 3) Internet 4) Consumer Discretionary 5) Health Care 6) Consumer Staples 7) Publishing 8) Education 9) Advertising and 10) Specialized Consumer Services.
  • “This data shows that a diverse range of industries are leveraging independent professionals to access the skills they need, when they need them. More than 30 percent of the Fortune 500 use Upwork today, and we expect that number to increase.”

The Upwork 100: Q3 2019

1. .NET Core

2. TypeScript

3. Landing pages

4. eBooks

5. Android

6. Electronic design

7. Presentation

8. Sketch

9. Research

10. Technical recruiter

11. Bank reconciliation

12. Slack

13. Google Tag Manager

14. Sourcing

15. Amazon Web Services (AWS)

16. Video post-editing

17. LinkedIn recruiting

18. Data visualization

19. Interviewing

20. Interior design

21. System administration

22. Kubernetes

23. Data scraping

24. Technical documentation

25. Project scheduling

26. Adobe Premiere Pro

27. 2D animation

28. Firebase

29. Customer retention marketing

30. Salesforce Lightning

31. DevOps

32. Selenium

33. Accounts receivable management

34. Microsoft Windows Azure

35. Database design

36. AutoCAD

37. Usability testing

38. C development

39. Accounts payable management

40. Lead generation

41. Product descriptions

42. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

43. Circuit design

44. eLearning

45. Google Docs

46. Docker

47. GitHub

48. Redux for JavaScript

49. Business planning

50. Data entry

51. Motion graphics

52. Infographics

53. Architecture


55. Asana

56. Instagram marketing

57. Shopify development

58. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

59. Architectural rendering

60. PostgreSQL administration

61. Salesforce app development

62. Python

63. Magento 2

64. Link building

65. MongoDB

66. Bootstrap

67. SEO writing

68. Web scraping

69. Animation

70. Network security

71. 3D rendering

72. Agile project management

73. Administrative support

74. Data mining

75. Internet research

76. English grammar

77. Squarespace

78. Elasticsearch

79. Startup consulting

80. AWS Lambda

81. Branding

82. Media relations

83. Appointment setting

84. 3D design

85. Bookkeeping

86. Romance writing

87. Budgeting and forecasting

88. Product design

89. Financial accounting

90. Adobe After Effects

91. Zendesk

92. Accounting

93. Virtual assistant

94. Google Cloud Platform

95. Postgre SQL programming

96. Tax preparation

97. Embedded systems

98. Audio editing

99. Google Analytics

100. Amazon S3

The Upwork 100 Methodology

The goal of the Upwork 100 is to highlight the fastest-growing skills that also have a consistent and substantial level of demand. To do this, using data sourced from the Upwork.com database, we first limit the analysis to skills that are the most in-demand by including only skills that have been in the top 500 on Upwork.com in terms of freelancer billings for the past four complete quarters. Within that, we then rank the top 100 fastest-growing skills based on year-over-year growth rates in freelancer billings for Q3 2019 versus Q3 2018.

The next Upwork 100 report will be released winter 2020.

1Economic Policy Institute. 2019. Current Population Survey Extracts, Version 0.6.13.

About Upwork

Upwork is the leading online talent solution transforming professional staffing. We empower businesses with more flexible access to quality talent, on demand. Through Upwork’s matching technology and services, companies have access to a global pool of proven professionals so they can scale their teams dynamically to meet business needs. Upwork also provides skilled professionals access to more opportunities.

Upwork’s mission is to create economic opportunities so people have better lives. The community of independent professionals working via Upwork spans many categories including software development, creative & design, finance & accounting, consulting, operations and customer support—over 8,000 skills are represented.

More than thirty percent of the Fortune 500 use Upwork. Clients include Airbnb, Automattic, GE, and Microsoft.

Upwork is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., with offices in Chicago, San Francisco and Oslo, Norway. For more information, visit Upwork’s website at www.upwork.com, join us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Christina Schultz



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