High Income Skills to Earn More Money

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Meet Joe. Joe is fresh out of college and working a full-time office job, making a decent entry-level salary. 

Carol, on the other hand, also has a full-time job, spends her lunch breaks learning how to code, and has a lucrative side hustle. She spends her free time blogging on nights and weekends. 

As a result of Carol’s decisions, she’s putting herself in a position to make six figures using diverse skills in different fields while Joe skates along depending on one source of income. 

Just like Carol, you can use high income skills to earn more money. The economy is changing, and more and more young people are choosing to learn skills to get ahead instead of just accepting their place at whatever company they work for. 

This article explores how you can develop high income skills to build a stronger financial future and achieve true financial independence. 

High income skills to learn

  1. Software development and web design
  2. Graphic design
  3. SEO
  4. Email marketing
  5. Provide corporate cloud training
  6. Public speaking
  7. Copywriting
  8. Landscaping
  9. Teach online courses
  10. Plumbing
  11. Audio production
  12. Sales
  13. Translation

Here are some high income skills that you can use to advance yourself and your career. 

1. Software development and web design

The world is becoming increasingly digital as consumers and businesses use apps and websites for just about every task imaginable. With so much development taking place, it could make sense to learn the high income skill of coding and begin designing software and services. 

To help narrow your focus, consider designing programs that help businesses solve problems. You might also approach the problem by seeing which languages and technologies leading companies are using and try to learn them. 

Either way, companies are always on the lookout for coders and web development specialists.

2. Graphic design 

Behind every great piece of content is solid graphic design. This is true whether a piece of content lives on a website, on a piece of paper, or as a PDF or email. 

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a degree to excel in graphic design (although it definitely helps). If you’re talented enough, you can develop this new skill on your own and put together a portfolio of impressive assets. In this line of work, most employers only care about your samples and your ability to get high-quality work done quickly. 

To make money with graphic design, you’ll need to pay for the Adobe Suite. You’ll also need a powerful computer to create and process graphics.

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3. SEO 

Another skill in huge demand is search engine optimization (SEO). This is what companies use to rank at the top of Google. This section of the search engine is prime digital real estate, and a business owner wants to be one of the first few options that come up when customers search for related keywords.

Learning SEO isn’t all that complicated. In fact, you can get up to speed for free using a program like LinkedIn Learning. Once you master SEO, you could get a job providing consultancy services for organizations that need to improve their rankings. 

4. Email marketing

All you have to do is take a look at your inbox to see that many companies are having a hard time with email marketing. 

Even today, many businesses are spending money creating poorly designed emails that do little to sell their products or services. 

Online businesses are always looking for talented email marketing professionals who know how to work with HTML, have an eye for design, understand databases, and can expertly craft subject lines. 

If this describes you, consider becoming an email marketing specialist. You could find work in just about any industry if you’re talented enough and capable of producing messages that stand out and drive clicks.

5. Provide corporate cloud training

Right now, businesses everywhere are moving their workflows and applications to the cloud to improve reliability and availability and make it easier for employees to access critical services. 

There’s just one problem: Many teams lack advanced knowledge about cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. 

If you’re tech-savvy and have advanced knowledge about how cloud systems work, you could make extra money by hosting corporate training seminars and conveying your wisdom to IT teams. 

With this high income skill, you can help upskill workers, providing up-to-date information and training about configuration, deployment, maintenance, cloud security, and cost control.

6. Public speaking 

If you’re far enough into your career, chances are you have a lot of ideas and experiences worth sharing. If so, you can potentially bring in a lot of money as a public speaker giving keynote addresses or TED-style talks in your industry. For inspiration, just look to someone like Dan Lok. 

You can potentially earn thousands of dollars with this skill traveling around giving speeches and even giving keynotes online as well.

7. Copywriting 

Companies across all industries need written content for their websites, social media, and sales documents. 

There are a few different ways you can start making money as a copywriter. You can work full-time as a writer for a website, or you start your own business and work as an independent contractor. Some also choose to use their copywriting skill as a side hustle on top of their full-time job.

Copywriting and doing content marketing aren’t easy, but they can be decent side jobs. You may not even need a college degree to be a copywriter.

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8. Landscaping 

You don’t have to be a technical wiz to earn a lot of money. You can also bring in a lot of money if you’re skilled at physical labor. 

One of the best high income skilled jobs you can perform is landscaping. Start by taking on small jobs in your neighborhood: mowing lawns, trimming hedges, and installing and maintaining gardens. In time, you may bring in enough business to buy more equipment and even hire a team. 

There is a lot of money in landscaping, and if you’re talented and have an eye for design, you may even consider going to school for it and pursuing a degree in landscape architecture. 

As far as high income skills go, landscaping is a bit like the pet supply industry: there is almost always demand, regardless of how the economy fluctuates.

9. Teach online courses

If you already know a valuable skill like copywriting, graphic design, or SEO, you should feed into the demand and consider sharing your knowledge with others by teaching online courses and tutorials.

To teach high income skills online, you could make YouTube videos or work as a blogger and monetize your services. If this sounds interesting to you, head to Teachable to create online courses and market your services. 

10. Plumbing

If you’re handy with a wrench, you may consider a trade skill like becoming a plumber. Working as a plumber can be very lucrative, especially if you start your own company and build a client base. You can charge anywhere from $50 to $200 or more per hour to complete a job—and more at odd hours on nights and weekends!

Plumbing may not always be the most glorious work. But it’s another type of industry where there is always high demand and high pay, making it a great skill to learn.

11. Audio production

Pay close attention the next time you hear a radio ad, a commercial, or even a music track. That track didn’t just appear out of thin air. It required vision and someone to help transform a raw idea into a polished production. 

Like any other high income skill, you can learn audio production from the ground up by taking online classes or going through training. 

Become an expert on audio production, and you can make a great salary or even opt to make money as a freelancer. For example, once you learn audio production, you can work in podcasting helping companies create professional audio tracks that tackle industry issues for share-worthy content.

12. Sales 

People often turn their nose up at the idea of sales. The truth is that sales have changed in recent years (at least in the tech industry).

Take a look at any high-performing startup or enterprise, and you’ll find that it’s sales professionals who are responsible for driving profits. The best salespeople are usually rewarded handsomely for their efforts. It’s not uncommon for sales professionals to make six-figures a year with their high income skills. 

The best part about being a salesperson is that you typically don’t need any qualifications or a hard skill to do it. It’s more about having a great personality and believing in a product. 

If you have a big personality and you’re great at communicating your ideas to others, you should consider looking into sharpening your sales skills. 

Even if you fail at sales, you’ll still learn valuable skills that can permeate into just about any other line of work. Ultimately, every job requires sales skills in one form or another like building rapport, selling ideas, and persuading others to take action.

13. Translation 

Yet another way to make money is to become an expert in another language and work as a translator. You could learn Chinese or Spanish, or you could learn sign language and work with people who communicate using their hands instead of their voices.

In the translator job market, you could get a job working for a media company or an individual. For example, athletes and celebrities often have personal translators who follow them to various places and communicate information.

Thriving in the skills economy

We are now moving towards a skills-based economy. Job candidates have value based on their knowledge, skills, and ability to produce. 

As IBM’s Alex Kaplan says, skills are the currency of the future. According to Kaplan, companies will make hiring decisions and issue work based on the value of an individual’s skills and their current needs. For example, they might need a software developer to work on an app for three months. After that, they might look to hire an influencer to bring awareness to the new product.

In addition to understanding this shift, it’s also critical to develop valuable skills to remain ahead of the curve with respect to automation. Several industries—like the fast-food industry and manufacturing, to name a few—are already experiencing automation. 

Soon, automation will come for white collar jobs as well. To avoid ending up on the chopping block, workers need to prepare and adapt to the changing economy by gaining high income skills to avoid displacement in the years ahead. 

How to expand your skills

At the end of the day, there are nearly infinite high income skills you can learn. The more skills you acquire, the more opportunities you’ll have to bring in extra cash. 

Here are some common ways to expand your skillset. 

Take on an apprenticeship or internship

It’s never too late in your career to take on an apprenticeship or internship to increase your earning potential. You most likely won’t get paid or you’ll get paid very little, but the experience can be worth its weight in gold if you can fund the endeavor. 

Working as an apprentice or intern involves taking on a role and learning as much as you can during a set period of time. For example, you may start an apprenticeship with an artist and learn how they go about their craft or manage the business side of their work.

Take online courses

Not all types of skills require advanced schooling. In some cases, you can learn everything you need to monetize a high income skill by taking an online course. 

For example, Udemy offers great online courses that provide a wealth of information on a variety of useful topics.

You should also look into taking online courses through public or private universities or even local community colleges. 

Learn by doing

In some cases, you don’t need to take any courses to expand your skillset. The faster approach is to endure trial by fire and learn as you go along.

This strategy can be risky—especially if you’re doing paid work. Yet if you’re a fast learner, you may be able to get by just fine.

Ask team members for training 

You may also be able to go to members of your own team at work and ask for advice on expanding your skillset. 

For example, ask a graphic designer to sit down and go over the basics about how they got started with their job. Or ask a software engineer to provide a list of sources to help you get started learning coding skills. 

You may even ask to shadow someone for a day and learn more about what they do. This could be a great way to learn a different role and see if you like it before shifting your career or changing jobs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make a lot of money from podcasting?

Podcasting can be a great skill to learn if you’re good at audio production or you know how to interview someone. It’s also hard work, and it can be difficult to monetize. That being the case, there’s no guarantee you can make a lot of money at first. 

If you want to start a podcast, put together a solid plan first and consider working with others who can help with production. 

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are attributes that make it possible for you to interact with others. Some soft skills include good communication, organization, and likability. 

Soft skills complement hard skills like being proficient in programming languages like Python or Java, understanding social media marketing, video production, or knowing how to type quickly. 

In general, hard skills are easier to learn than soft skills. That’s not to say you can’t learn soft skills. They just tend to be deeper personality traits. 

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a strategy that involves embedding links into digital content that takes visitors to partner links. When someone clicks on your affiliate link or makes a purchase, you can receive a cut of the proceeds. 

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Is it hard to find digital marketing jobs? 

Digital marketing is very competitive, and it can be difficult for aspiring marketers to get started. Once you get your foot in the door as a digital marketer, however, working digital marketing jobs can expand your network and expose you to many different opportunities. Use LinkedIn and job sites, ask for referrals, and network constantly to discover digital marketing opportunities online. 

The Bottom Line

Using this list of high income skills can elevate your career and help you earn more money on your journey toward financial independence. 

Chances are you have some high-paying skills that could lead you to a life of entrepreneurship. If not, you may need to brush up on some new skills, which isn’t a bad thing, either. 

When push comes to shove, top earners don’t let anything hold them back. Figure out what makes you special, take your game to the next level, and earn your financial freedom.

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