33 High Income Skills Anyone Can Learn

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If you want to boost your income, have you considered acquiring some high-income skills?

This can be a great way to use any free time, with the long-term aim of making plenty of money.

The good news is, that there are serious dollars to be earned by anyone who possesses skills in high demand. 

You don’t need to have a university education.

Plenty of people with little formal education are running their own businesses, and making money from their specific skills.

High Income Skills Anyone Can Learn_Woman working in front of her computer

33 Learnable Skills That Command A High Income

This list of high-income skills might even change your life by introducing lots of different ways you could forge an entirely new career path – and a lucrative one at that.

If you want to improve your skillset to make extra money, then read on for the lowdown.

This guide includes examples of high-income skills, how much you could earn and how to learn them – such as via self-teaching, real-life work experience or remote learning.

Whether or not you have a formal education, you could join the ever-growing list of small business owners.

It doesn’t matter if you’re seeking a side hustle or want to earn a full-time income.

Why not make as many dollars per hour as you possibly can so your family can enjoy the kind of lifestyle you dream of?

What do you mean by ‘High-Income Skills’?

A high-income skill is any valuable skill that people will pay handsomely for.

If you have abilities and/or knowledge someone else doesn’t, then they are likely to pay you well for performing tasks that you can do for them.

If you have a great skill, you don’t need a higher – or even a bachelor’s – degree to make a six-figure income each year.

Why acquire High-Income Skills?

What’s more is that you can often work whenever and wherever you want to – which is ideal for busy mums with kids to consider.

You don’t have to live in or close to expensive locations like New York, San Francisco, London, Sydney, Toronto, Singapore or Paris, where real estate prices are at a premium.

Many high-income earners can work remotely, choosing their hours and working less of them.

As well as where they live.

A Hard Skill or a Soft Skill?

So, what’s the difference between soft skills and hard skills?

A hard skill is something measurable you can do. For example, typing 70 error-free words per minute can be tested, so that’s a hard skill.

A soft skill is more difficult to quantify. For instance, possessing ‘good communication skills’ is a soft skill.

Soft skills are far more difficult to teach than hard skills. 

The judgment of soft skill is also far more subjective and may vary widely from person to person.

If you apply for a job, then your prospective employer can easily find out whether you really can type 70 words per minute, but it’s far more difficult to judge how you would handle the customer relations aspect of the role in daily life.

What amount is considered a ‘High Income’?

Your income is relative, as how far it goes depends mainly on where you live. 

Living in certain countries will result in a much higher disposable income than in others.

Put simply, money stretches far further in some places.

For example, to earn six figures or $100,000 per year, based on an average 40-hour working week, you would need to earn about $50 per hour.

That doesn’t mean you have to earn this amount, however. $25 per hour, for instance, is a lot of money compared to the minimum wage.

Where Can I Learn High-Income Skills?

Most people who earn from their high-income skills will have done some training or experience.

Some sort of time and financial commitment from you may, therefore, be required – unless you already have a strong professional background to draw upon.

Here are some reputable online platforms that provide a vast range of online courses to kickstart your online business.

Whatever you want to become, these can be a great place to start – without spending much money upfront.

We also detail some other ways to learn before you earn.


If you ever watch YouTube videos, you might well be familiar with – they advertise frequently via the video-sharing platform.

SkillShare offers monthly or yearly subscription plans, starting from as little as $8.25 per month at the time of writing.

They usually offer a brief trial period for free at the start. 

Signing up for a year is generally more cost-effective if you would actually use it for that long.

Skillshare offers over 18,000 online lessons. 

Experts in their field deliver these and include subjects like writing, editing and design.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s always something new to learn via SkillShare. 

They also offer various courses aimed at developing your soft skills.


Udemy offers high-quality online tuition and claims to have the largest online courses available anywhere on the planet.

Their courses are individually priced. They currently have millions of students.

Whether you want to be a web developer, learn about search engines or artificial intelligence or find out what affiliate marketing is all about, Udemy should have the course to set you on the right path.

Some Udemy courses may cost around $20 or less, while longer, more intensive ones may go up to about $200.

Other online sources

Places like Facebook groups and blogs can also be a great source of information. 

Experts often run these in their field, and the best ones are frequently updated.

If you’re interested in something, why not perform simple searches on social media or the web and see what comes up?

After all, you are reading a blog right now, and are bound to have joined one or more Facebook groups already.

Adult learning

Don’t dismiss your local community college or adult learning centre – they could be a great source of affordable and high-quality courses in all areas.

Often, these are led by very experienced tutors.

You can sometimes gain more from that kind of personal interaction – not least a list of possible contacts for securing future work.

Work experience

You don’t have to work as an intern for an entire year to gain some valuable work experience. 

Shadow a friend, or help out someone who already does the job you want to do.

Finding out how someone else has done it can be invaluable. Once you’ve discovered this, you can emulate their methods.

You may also be able to create your own portfolio during this time.

How can I achieve a High Income?

There are various factors at play here. Hard work and a great idea can go a long way. 

Putting in the effort to gain a set of skills sought after can be the key.

The best way forward is to research and play to your strengths while considering what you want to achieve.

If, for instance, you’ve always found technical skills easy to learn, then you may have a future in software development.

Those who find figures fascinating may succeed in financial services like bookkeeping, while anyone who enjoys content creation might find work as a digital marketer or in content writing or social media marketing.

Read on to discover the ultimate list of high-income skills that could enhance your future earning prospects.

Below, we also list some soft skills that are worth working on while developing those hard skills that will secure you plenty of work.

20 of the Best High-Income Skills to Learn – and Earn from

What are the top new skills to learn to earn big money?

Here are some of the most valuable skills worth developing – and offering in exchange for some serious cash.

From small businesses to major companies, people will pay you well for these skills.

1. Copywriting

A skilled copywriter can earn good money, which will only increase with experience.

Meaning that a decent content writer can look forward to seeing their income rise steadily over time.

Copy is any published wording you see online, in print or TV.

Copywriters thus create text designed to market a particular service or product.

Advertising slogans are one of the most memorable examples, but for many copywriters, creating product descriptions, blog posts, and articles is their bread and butter.

Email marketing also requires good copy.

You do not necessarily need formal training to offer your services as a copywriter.

A good grasp of language is a must, and some understanding of human behaviour also helps – after all, that’s who you’re writing for.

Getting people to buy is what content marketing is all about.

If you can create high-quality content, you can do it anywhere.

Decent copywriters can be surprisingly hard to find, so if you have an aptitude for this, you might never need to worry about money again.

Some senior copywriters earn $100 per hour or more.

Content writers are paid per word, hour or day or may be paid per article or project.

Copywriting work can be found via social media like Facebook groups or LinkedIn if you’re prepared to put some effort into networking.

More often than not, clients will want to see examples.

You could write your own blog, pen guest blog posts for someone else’s, or write some copy for a friend’s business so you can provide this.

There are also specialist websites to list your services, such as Fiverr, Upwork, People Per Hour and Textbroker.

With some sites, you may be required to sit a test – to see if your copy is up to scratch – before you can begin any work.

2. Proofreading

So once that copy is written, who checks it?

Yes, a good copywriter will, of course, check their own work, but it’s often easier for a fresh pair of eyes to spot errors or inconsistencies.

Proofreading is a different ball game, requiring good attention to detail.

The idea is to help make a text the best it can be.

This may sound simple, but many people require professional assistance to check grammar or ensure the text makes sense to the reader.

A proofreader may just check for spelling or grammatical errors, or they may also edit and improve the text.

You can see if proofreading is for you by taking a free 76-minute course run by Proofread Anywhere.

 Owner Caitlin has created a six-figure business and can help you to do the same.

As before, you can promote your services as a proofreader via sites like Upwork, People Per Hour or Fiverr.

We have a beginner’s guide to proofreading here to get you started.

3. Transcription

Transcription is surely the ideal job for any speedy typist.

Whether your experience dates back to a class you took in Year Ten or a stint as a receptionist or administrator, this could be the perfect job for you.

You type everything that’s said while listening to audio. This may come from videos, podcasts or other types of media.

Many companies require someone who can offer this service, and it’s great for quickly making the working day pass.

The likes of Upwork and LinkedIn are good for finding transcription work.

Related: How to Become a Transcriptionist: Step-by-Step Guide

4. Social Media Management

Hard to believe as it may be, some people have no clue regarding running their social media accounts.

They may not even have the confidence to set one up in the first place.

Even if they have gotten that far, many will happily pay someone else to post, comment, network and reply to messages for them.

Digital marketing is big news, and you can earn from creating social media posts and other content for small and large enterprises.

This often goes hand-in-hand with other tasks, such as copywriting.

If you can string a sentence together and create graphics via a platform like Canva, so much the better.

All organisations want to get their name and products or services known.

Even university students and mums often start doing this sort of digital marketing work – simply because they’ve grown up during the social media age and are familiar with how it all works.

You can often learn social media marketing via courses available on the platforms themselves.

Plenty of online courses are also available, often at a low cost.

Word of mouth is often a good way to get to work.

You can also advertise on local or national Facebook groups or use the aforementioned freelancing sites to pitch for clients.

There are also increasing numbers of full-time jobs in this field being advertised, so keep your eyes peeled if you’re after a regular gig.

5. Graphic design

Graphic designers are in demand – you only need to look around to see their work displayed everywhere.

Companies often outsource graphic design work to freelancers, who can make a lot of money when working for the right organisations.

You’ll need a combination of creativity and skills – plus a good eye for an image to succeed.

Graphic designers create logos, banners, characters and other graphics that help promote products.

Unlike web designers, a graphic designer does need some artistic flair.

Many successfully promote their services via Fiverr.

The basic principles of graphic design can be learned in person or online.

There are many free online resources, and you can also learn by experimenting with a platform like Canva.

6. Web design

A good web designer will never be out of work – especially as various platforms require different approaches.

UX designers, for example, focus on the user experience, ensuring the website, app or mobile site is appealing, works efficiently and is user-friendly.

It’s all part of web development as a whole.

Web designers often create websites without using any code at all.

Instead, they may simply use WordPress or another type of software.

Web and graphic design may go hand-in-hand, but a web designer might use pre-produced images rather than creating their own.

There are plenty of online courses to teach you how to design websites.

Many bloggers, for example, will create their own using WordPress – without any training.

When they get stuck, they can search online to find the right written or video instructions to guide them through.

7. Computer programming

There are so many opportunities in the information technology field, which can make great side hustles or online businesses for those with technical know-how.

If you are comfortable with programming languages, cloud computing, artificial intelligence or machine learning, you could play a part in the world’s digital development.

At present, humans still write, test and maintain computer code.

Programming is thus ideal if you can do it.

As a sought-after skill, it’s well paid, as programmers can create custom CSS or JavaScript.

8. Software development

Being a software developer could mean creating exciting online gaming experiences or developing software that helps businesses perform routine tasks more efficiently.

There is lots of demand for software engineering as gaming explodes in popularity and more businesses move online.

Mobile app development is also growing, as more of us use smartphones and tablets.

Software developers thus create apps and computer software, and this type of development is used however, there are smartphones, tablets and PCs.

Some app-building software means that people can create an app – without any coding knowledge at all.

9. Video and audio editing

Video and podcast production can involve a lot of editing, so a reliable video editor will always be required by someone somewhere.

As will anyone experienced in audio production.

Who edits all those YouTube videos and podcasts?

A video or audio editor may put in long hours to create flawless audio or visual content, but is well rewarded for doing so.

A great portfolio of work will be required to secure new business.

But it’s well worth the effort when a simple Upwork search reveals that video, podcast or audio editors may earn over $100 per hour for their services.

If you can learn how to use editing software – such as Premiere Pro and After Effects from Adobe – and have good attention to detail, you can make a name for yourself as an audio or visual editor.

10. Project management

What does a project manager do, exactly?

It’s all about organisation, coordination and leading a team.

If you have experience – from your professional or personal life – of seeing events through to completion, you could be good at project management.

This role also requires multi-tasking, accuracy, communication, and good attention to detail.

The project manager will keep everything progressing towards the set target, until the project comes to a successful end.

11. Public speaking

A good public speaker will always be in demand, as for so many, it’s something to fear.

If you have the required confidence, positivity and knowledge of your subject, you could earn big bucks as a paid public speaker.

This is the ideal gig for someone very familiar with a particular industry. 

There are many online and physical platforms where public speakers can share their wisdom.

If you’re an expert in something and are willing to shout about it, this could be an avenue worth pursuing.

While it’s easy to think you haven’t got nothing worth discussing, even the simplest story can be worthwhile.

What have you done?

Even a convicted criminal could talk about prison reform proposals, or someone who’s done a triathlon could discuss why that made them better at their day job.

Toastmasters is also a brilliant resource for any would-be public speaker and can teach you all you need to know.

12. Become a real estate agent

Realtors sell or buy residential or commercial property on behalf of their client.

The typical commission is around 3% of each sale. For those who sell enough real estate, this can be very lucrative.

The Real Estate Authority enforces strict regulations around who can become a salesperson, agent and branch manager.

These range from taking courses at a minimum of level 4, having a clean criminal history and having referees.

You can find more information here: Required criteria and qualifications to work in real estate

You would then work for an experienced agent before becoming an agent in your own right.

This generally happens once you have years of experience, so it’s not a quick fix.

13. Consulting or business coaching

Business coaches and expert consultants are valuable and can be paid highly for their time.

If you have experience and business analysis skills, you can apply your analytical reasoning to help develop a business.

This is a realistic option if you have experience in this field that can be used to improve the future prospects of a company or organisation.

If your expertise could help others become successful, it can be a lucrative niche.

Advanced planning skills and knowledge of data analysis will be required for this role – it’s not one for just anyone.

But if you have experience in a particular industry – graphic design or web development – you could also make money by passing those specialist skills onto others who need to learn them.

14. Bookkeeping

Many people are not good at keeping accurate records or filing tax returns.

If you could help with that sort of financial planning, your administrative skills could provide a rich source of income.

You can work as a virtual bookkeeper from home – or anywhere in the world.

If you have any experience or training in financial management, you should be capable of maintaining yearly budgets, handling taxes and creating invoices for other people’s businesses.

15. Blogging

Why not start a blog or YouTube channel?

Not only is this a great way to hone and showcase your skills, it’s also a effective way of getting yourself known.

Blogging is a long game and requires a lot of work. 

That said, it can teach you many skills – such as how to write good copy, create graphics and manage social media.

Over time, some bloggers and vloggers earn six-figure incomes from their sites. 

To succeed in blogging, learning about search engine optimisation is best to ensure your content will be found. 

This will also help you discover where there may be a gap in the market to cover a niche you’re interested in.

To set up a blog, you will need web hosting, and it’s best to use WordPress to create your site.

These are the best blogging courses for earning a high income.

16. Vlogging

A creative YouTube channel can also be a fun way to earn.

If you can attract a loyal following by appealing to as broad an audience as possible, then you could have huge success.

Ideas range from funny channels filled with humour to creating videos of unboxing a product.

You can learn all you need to know via YouTube’s Creator Academy.

17. Podcasting

Another area of enormous growth is podcast production.

Podcasters broadcast their own audio programs meant to educate or entertain their audience.

You will need to know enough about your topic to talk about it. 

Otherwise, you can create a podcast centred around interviewing experts.

What’s more, it’s possible to make money from podcasts by providing the vocals for someone else’s. 

If you have a clear and appealing voice and don’t mind talking, that’s an avenue worth exploring.

18. Affiliate marketing

How do vloggers and bloggers make money?

They may be paid to place ads on their site/s or create and promote business content.

But that’s not all. Blogging and vlogging are often about creating multiple income streams where cash flow comes from various sources.

Marketing products that people then go on to buy is another method. 

A blogger may write an article or buying guide to recommend certain products.

If readers go on to buy any of these, the blogger makes a commission – usually a percentage of the sale.


They place what are called affiliate links on their site. When people click these, any sale can be traced back to the source, and the blogger will make a commission.

In a nutshell, the blogger or vlogger creates a type of sales funnel.

This marketing model focuses on the consumer, guiding each potential customer’s journey toward buying goods or services.

Affiliate marketing can also be done via social media – and some make big money from that.

19. Creating an online course

We’ve touched on the online courses provided by Udemy and SkillShare – so what’s to stop you from making your own?

If you can solve people’s problems or arm them with a new skill or knowledge, you can create an online course.

Once you’ve put it together and marketed it via a platform or another method, you can simply sit back and watch the dollars roll in.

It’s known in the trade as passive income, where minimal effort can lead to maximum rewards.

Online courses are currently one of marketing’s hottest trends. 

If you don’t have a skill to teach, it’s possible to overcome this barrier by doing lots of research.

If there is an online course you’ve taken, could it be improved, or do you have valuable input to add? 

If the answer is yes, then you could offer a similar but improved version of your own.

But never, ever copy someone else’s content. This is plagiarism and can have serious consequences.

Don’t be put off because your content can already be found for free. 

What’s important is putting it all together in a way that’s engaging and easy to understand.

Consumers will pay for knowledge that is delivered simply and effectively.

There are learning platforms to help you create and market your online course. 

One of the most respected is Teachable, which offers various paid monthly plans starting at $29.

Courses to show you how to write an online course are also available via learning platforms like Udemy.

20. Writing an eBook

If you know more than other people do about something, then you can create and market an eBook.

Most do this via Amazon’s KDP – Kindle Direct Publishing – facility, and it’s simple enough to sign up and get started.

Some people give away free eBooks to get people interested in their blog, brand or business.

It can be a very effective marketing tool when used in this way, directing readers towards using your service or buying a product.

13 Super Soft Skills for High-Income Earners

A range of soft skills can be handy to any would-be entrepreneur who wants to earn big.

The following are some of the most practical examples to consider.

These ‘soft skills’ can sometimes be a natural ability rather than something that can be taught, but being aware of them surely means you’re more likely to use them.

21. Listening

The first rule of selling anything is to listen to your customer or client.

How else will you find out what they want, and how you can provide this?

22. Persistence

Don’t fall at the first hurdle – persistence really can pay off.

If you really want something and you know deep down that you can do it, do not give up until you get there.

Big rewards could await!

23. Reliability

If you do get good clients, then it’s a lot easier to keep them than it is to look for new ones.

Deliver when you say you will – if not sooner. If there are unavoidable delays, keep them informed.

Reliability can be a big factor in gaining repeat business via word-of-mouth recommendations. 

Unreliable people are unlikely to get given large projects to work on.

24. Efficiency

Sometimes, working as efficiently as possible comes with practice, but it’s something you can constantly work on.

Why would a client pay you more when someone else can get the job done for less? 

Assuming they provide a similar standard of work, that is.

25. Appreciation

Show your clients you appreciate their business, even if that simply means being polite and throwing a few kind words their way.

Those who treat their clients, co-workers or even competitors well are much more likely to stand out from the crowd.

26. Politeness

As many moms have said, good manners come for free. Showing respect, gratitude and consideration can go a long way in business – as with life in general.

27. Honesty

Being open and transparent can help you as well as others.

If you don’t make false promises and keep people informed, you’re far less likely to have to deal with complaints in future.

This can also apply to being honest about your abilities – if you’re not an expert in something, it’s best to make that clear from the outset, again to avoid time-consuming or troubling consequences.

28. Accuracy

Everyone makes mistakes – we’re only human, and we all have bad days. 

But with careful attention to detail, such errors can sometimes be avoided.

Don’t skim-read essential documents, for example.

If you have a question, ask rather than risk doing it wrong.

29. Planning

Success doesn’t come overnight – you must work hard and plan for it.

What is your strategy? What are your goals, and how will you get there?

Can you gain this insight by emulating someone else’s methods – or if you know them, by asking?

Spend some time planning – clarifying where you’re headed and how you intend to get there is essential.

30. Consistency

People complain sometimes because someone’s standard of work slides.

While we all have off days – and will be better at some tasks than others – it’s so important to stay on top of your game.

Is your work as good as it could be?

If not, why not, and can you do anything about it?

31. Diplomacy

You never know who knows who – so it’s wise to remain diplomatic.

Professional behaviour is what’s expected of high-income workers, although there’s no harm in being friendly and approachable too.

32. Communication

Developing good communication skills – both orally and in writing – can be key to the success of any enterprise.

As can keeping people informed and replying to queries in a timely manner.

If there are delays, apologise and explain – it’s good manners to do so and demonstrates honesty and respect.

33. Motivation

What motivates you? We all need to make money, but why do you want more? Do you enjoy what you do?

There’s an old saying about doing what you love and never working a day in your life, and that isn’t a bad rule to abide by.

Which High-Income Skills hold the key to your future?

You only live once, so you owe it to yourself to build your best life.

If any of these high-income skills appeal to you, then what have you got to lose by trying?

While some may require some sort of investment – such as in purchasing a course or spending money on marketing – these are nowhere near the costs of taking a university degree.

Whether you’re technically minded and would like to try something to do with information technology, prefer creative pursuits, would love to find someone their next home or to set up a YouTube channel, there are plenty of opportunities out there for those prepared to give it a go.

Good luck!

Related guides:

High Income Skills Anyone Can Learn

About Emma Healey

Emma is a recognised family finance and budgeting expert and founder of Mum's Money. Her advice has been featured in Stuff, NZHerald, Readers Digest, Yahoo Finance, Lifehacker, The Simple Dollar, MSN Money and more.