Professions categories and skills list on Upwork

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Big list of professions, niches, work examples on Upwork with average hourly rates. From jobs, which not required special skills (like Data Entry) to IT developers and even lawyers and scientists.

Projects for the following professions are publishing on Upwork:

  • IT-Specialists, programmers, QA, system administrators etc;
  • Working with sound/video;
  • Marketing, SEO, SMM etc;
  • Designers, illustrators, UI/UX etc;
  • 3D-modeling and work in CAD software;
  • Copywriters;
  • Translators;
  • Photographers;
  • Scientists (writing algorithms and solving problems);
  • Only computer skills (no special knowledge).

People think that in order to start freelancing you need to get a special skill. But they are mistaken – you can start working with basic computer skills and minimal English. For example, you can find next jobs:

  • Extract text from photos;
  • Manually open websites and copy the necessary information (for example, phone number in each profile);
  • Write a text (or rewrite);
  • Student homework;
  • Manually test website or program;
  • Virtual Assistant or secretary (deal with mail, order anything on a website etc).

This is not a complete list of what you can do on Upwork without special skills. Of course, it is impossible to earn very much working on such kind of tasks, because competition here is very high. But it’s a good option to get started on Upwork right now, even if you don’t have special skills. It will be easier for you to determine profession on Upwork which suits you in the future.

More information about freelance on Upwork you can find in free eBook “Upwork Tips & Tricks“. If you have questions you can join our freelancers Facebook community.

Web, Mobile & Software Dev

Web, Mobile & Software Dev is one of the most popular categories of freelancers on Upwork. It includes programmers, QA, product managers etc.

Average earnings: $20 – $30 per hour.

Desktop Software Development

This category is mainly for Java SE, C # (.Net) and other developers for Mac/Linux/Windows (not corporate).

Work examples:

    • Creating a desktop version of the messenger;
    • Creating a password manager.

Average earnings: $10 – $30 per hour.

Technologies: Java SE, C# (.Net), Qt.

E-commerce Development

It is not entirely clear for which projects this category was created, but you can find a lot of web e-commerce jobs here, which in my opinion is wrong. In my opinion, this category is for enterprise projects. Such projects are present on the platform, but the vast majority of such projects are not published in the Upwork feed, clients select freelancers themselves and send them invites.

Work examples:

  • Internal banking application;
  • Data processing in the supermarket;
  • Sensor status data visualization at the factory.

Average earnings: $20 – $40 per hour.

Technologies: Java SE, C# (.Net).

Specializations: Banking, Big Data, eCommerce.

Game Development

Here is Game development in any form. Projects are published mainly for programmers and sometimes for game designers. Most of the projects are for Unity, in which you need to make a prototype or re-skin an already finished application. There are significantly fewer projects than in other categories for development, but there is also less competition.

Work examples:

  • Tower Defense for Unity;
  • HTML5 platformer for Facebook Messenger;
  • Advertising integration in Unity project.

Average earnings: $20 – $30 per hour

Technologies: Unity, Unreal Engine, C++, cocos2d-x, HTML5

Specializations: Virtual reality, interactive books, educational games, mobile games, game design.

Mobile Development

There are tasks of creating turnkey applications, someone needs a clone of an existing application for another platform, someone needs a developer for a team. Cross-platform solutions such as Flutter are gaining more and more popularity, the demand for them is comparable to the native (Java, Kotlin, Swift) development.

Work examples:

  • Photo editor for Android, native using Java;
  • Cross-platform (iOS, Android) application for online store using Flutter;
  • Add analytics SDK to iOS project.

Average earnings: $20 – $30 per hour.

Technologies: iOS, Android, Kotlin, React Native, Flutter, Qt, Java, Xamarin.

Specializations: Blockchain, social networks, instant messengers, image processing, artificial intelligence.

Product Management

The idea is that in this category there should be proposals for managers who are able to manage the creation of a software product. But in fact, there are practically no projects for such people in this category; instead, you will find proposals for working on products/services that are not at all related to development, for example, drop shipping.

There are jobs for Product Managers on Upwork, but it’s better to look for them in other categories related to the development and most likely it will look like a job for a developer, but with the need to manage an additional team. Also, clients often look for such freelancers personally, that is, if you fill out a profile for this niche, then there is a good chance to receive regular invitations for interviews.

Average earnings: $20 – $30 per hour.

QA & Testing

Projects in this category are usually suitable for one of the following types:

  • Manual testing. Similar work is also published in the Admin Support sections and prices here are $5 – $10;
  • Automatic testing. Mostly UI tests using frameworks such as Selenium for PHP.
  • QA. On Upwork this term means very different things. But usually, it is an audit associated with quality.

Work examples:

  • Manual testing of a mobile application on Android 4 devices;
  • UI functional tests of the cryptocurrency exchange web platform.

Average earnings: $5 – $30 per hour.

Specializations: Manual testing, automatic testing, QA.

Scripts & Utilities

Parsers, automation, data handling category. Basically, projects for Web Scraping, that is you need to extract information (phones, email, etc), and tasks of Bash automation (Unix command line). There are also tasks for working with Google Docs/Sheets/etc using GoogleScript, which will automate routine actions.

Work examples:

  • The script to collect email from the site ads in a specific category;
  • Script for automatic backup on Linux server.

Average earnings: $10 – $25 per hour

Technologies: Python, Bash, R, JavaScript, GoogleScript.

Specializations: Scraping, Data management, Linux, Google Docs/Sheets.

Web Development

This is probably the most popular category on Upwork. On average, one new project is published every minute. Here you can find a project of any complexity and volume. From landing page on HTML/CSS (or even on a constructor such as Wix) or a business card website on some CMS to a web platform using all modern technologies. Clients need both highly specialized front-end/back-end developers with experience in working with certain frameworks and development teams for big projects.

Work examples:

  • Landing page using Wix;
  • WordPress small business website;
  • Web platform with online courses on Laravel, Angular, Bootstrap.

Average earnings: $10 – $30 per hour.

Technologies: HTML, CSS (Bootstrap), JavaScript (jQuery, Angular, Vue.js, React, Node.js), PHP (Laravel, Yii, Zend, Symfony), Python (Django), Ruby (Rails), CMS (WordPress, Joomla, Magento), Tilda, Wix

Specializations: eCommerce, CMS, Landing page, PWA, Front-end, Back-end,

Web & Mobile Design

Tasks related to the interface of a mobile application or website (UI/UX). From design in Photoshop or Sketch to an interactive prototype or ready-made user interface (layout). A beautiful appearance is not always required, there are tasks to create interface wireframe that will display functionality, not appearance. Usually, you do not need to be able to simultaneously do a good UI/UX and implement it programmatically. Usually client will hire several specialists for that.

Work examples:

  • Interactive prototype of the mobile messenger application;
  • Flat design for news website.

Average earnings: $10 – $25 per hour

Technologies: Photoshop, Sketch, HTML, CSS

Specializations: UI, UX, Material, Flat, Bootstrap, interactive prototypes, wireframe.

IT & Networking

Jobs related to IT infrastructure.

Average earnings: $10 – $40 per hour.

Database Administration

I would divide these projects into two categories:

  • working with databases as independent products, for example, MS Access;
  • projects with databases, the main purpose of which is to store information, such as MySQL for sites.

For the first category, you usually need to add functionality or create from scratch that will help solve business problems. For the second category, projects are usually associated with optimizing the processing speed of a database and its architecture.

Work examples:

  • PostgreSQL optimization for many simultaneously writing operations;
  • design of MS Access database for spare parts management.

Average earnings: $10 – $25 per hour.

Technologies: SQL, Microsoft Access, Excel, VBA, Azure, Oracle, Postgres, MongoDB, MariaDB, MySQL.

ERP/CRM Software

Most of the tasks in this category are associated with the integration of a certain CRM/ERP in the client’s business and setting up/developing new functionality, which is missing in the original CRM/ERP. There are also small projects related to the integration of CRM/ERP and any other product, such as Slack alerts of new customer responses.

It is very important to have specialization and narrow it to one of the systems, otherwise, it is difficult to receive a job. A lot of clients search for freelancers and invite them to an interview without posting a public job.

Work examples:

  • SugarCRM modifications to create automatic reports for sales;
  • Notifications from Salesforce in the Telegram channel.

Average earnings: $15 – $30 per hour.

Technologies: Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Hubspot, SugarCRM, Zoho CRM, openERP, Zapier.

Information Security

Projects for white-hat hackers: vulnerability search, auditing. Half of the tasks are related to the security of a web resource, and the rest are related to mobile applications, enterprise solutions, Darknet. It will be difficult for ordinary developers to get a job in this segment, it is important to have experience with information security and to show for client your specialization (the profile should reflect your experience in information security).

Work examples:

  • Website audit for possible vulnerabilities.

Average earnings: $20 – $50 per hour

Network & System Administration

Tasks for system administrators and DevOps engineers. From working for a few hours to set up a web server via ssh, to complex tasks to build the company’s cloud infrastructure.

Work examples:

  • Setting up Nginx on Ubuntu 16.04 via ssh for a network of sites;
  • DevOps specialist for creating a cloud infrastructure based on AWS.

Technologies: AWS, Google Cloud, Linux, Virtualization, SSH, Cisco, VPN, Bash.

Specializations: DevOps, Networking, System Administrator.

Average earnings: $10 — $20 per hour.

Data Science & Analytics

Projects related to data processing and analysis, for example:

  • Do cohort analysis of user behavior data on a site;
  • Do A/B test with the required accuracy;
  • Create reports with charts based on huge amount of data;
  • Extract data (manually, script) from raw sources.

Average earnings: $20 – $30 per hour.

A/B Testing

Design, creation and analyzing of A/B test results.

Work examples:

  • Do A/B test of the registration page on the website;
  • Do A/B on-boarding test in Android application via Firebase.

Technologies: Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics, Firebase, Google Optimize.

Average earnings: $20 — $30 per hour.

Data Visualization

Visualization (for example charts) of big raw data using special software (for example, R) or developing own solutions.

Work examples:

  • Create a visual representation of data changes;
  • Visualize data from sensors on Google Maps.

Technologies: PowerBI, R.

Specializations: Big Data.

Average earnings: $20 — $30 per hour.

Data Extraction/ETL

ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) – extract data from one repository, transform it and write it to another repository. Most of the work is related to manual or automatic data extraction (tasks for automated extraction are also published in the category Scripts & Utilities).

Work examples:

  • Transfer text from PDF to text document;
  • Create a script for converting a database from one format to another.

Average earnings: $5 — $30 per hour.

Data Mining & Management

Finding relationships in a particular data set using ready-made solutions (for example, R) or by writing your own scripts.

This category also includes a lot of tasks from other specializations (Data Extraction / ETL, Data Entry), which are associated with manual search/processing of information.

Work examples:

  • finding relationship between the data of barometers and changes in the weather;
  • statistical analysis of users who filled out a feedback form to predict their interests.

Average earnings: $20 — $30 per hour.

Machine Learning

Creation of machine learning models and complete solutions based on them for finding relationships in data, object identification, prediction, artificial intelligence etc.

Work examples:

  • Neural network training for recognition of certain objects on a photo;
  • creation of artificial intelligence based on the logs of actions of real people.

Technologies: MATLAB, NLTK, Python, TensorFlow, Keras, Google AutoML.

Specializations: Deep Learning, Neural Networks, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Prediction.

Average earnings: $20 — $50 per hour.

Quantitative Analysis

Mathematical and statistical analysis of data, usually from the financial area.

Specializations: Accounting, Finance.

Average earnings: $30 — $50 per hour.

Engineering & Architecture

Design for construction (architecture and communications) and production.

Almost all tasks require knowledge of standards of the United States or Europe, without this knowledge, it will be difficult to find a job.

Average earnings: $20 — $50 per hour.

3D Modeling & CAD

Computer-aided design (CAD) – object design that allows you to calculate on the computer its characteristics and behavior in various conditions.

Creating models of objects that will help solve practical problems of its use, without creating a physical model.

Almost all jobs require knowledge of US or European standards.

Work examples:

  • Create Jewelry 3D model and calculation of the required material;
  • Create model of a toy according to a photo and prepare for 3D print.

Technologies: Rhino 3D, 3Ds Max, AutoCAD, ArchiCAD.

Specializations: 3D printing, CAD, Jewellery.

Average earnings: $20 — $40 per hour.


Interior and exterior design.

Almost all tasks require knowledge of US or European standards.

Work examples:

  • Design house in 3ds Max;
  • Industrial building architecture project.

Technologies:  3ds Max, AutoCAD.

Specializations: Interior, Exterior.

Average earnings: $20 — $40 per hour.

Chemical Engineering

Job for scientists related to chemistry and biology.

Work examples:

  • Develop new recipe for takeaway coffee.

Average earnings: $20 — $50 per hour.

Civil & Structural Engineering

3D projects and calculations when creating civil engineering objects.

Almost all tasks require knowledge of US or European standards.

Technologies: ArcGIS, AutoCAD.

Average earnings: $20 — $50 per hour.

Contract Manufacturing

Designing or even producing components for any physical product. For example, a wood table with special features or design electronic board.

Electrical Engineering

Creation, study, correction of electrical circuits.

Work examples:

  • Create documentation for electrical board;
  • Calculate electric circuit properties.

Average earnings: $20 — $40 per hour

Interior Design

Interior design: from personal apartments to industrial buildings.

Work examples:

  • Kitchen design;
  • Terrace design;
  • Living room design.

Average earnings: $20 — $30 per hour.

Mechanical Engineering

Creating objects models with complex mechanical structure or interactions.

Work examples:

  • Create a 3D model and calculate properties for pump;
  • Calculate fan parts properties.

Average earnings: $20 — $50 per hour.

Product Design

Product visual style.

Work examples:

  • Toy design;
  • Furniture fittings design.

Technologies:  SolidWorks, Autodesk.

Average earnings: $20 — $40 per hour.

Design & Creative

Work with audio/video/photo/image, for example:

  • Character animation for a cartoon;
  • Book cover;
  • Character model for a video game;
  • Logo and corporate identity for a company;
  • Comics;
  • Photo retouching.

Average earnings: $5 — $30 per hour


Creating animations for videos and video games.

Work examples:

  • Create 2D character animation;
  • Create screensaver animation for video;
  • Create 3D character skeleton animation.

Technologies: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Blender.

Specializations: 2D, 3D, skeleton animation.

Average earnings: $15 — $30 per hour.

Art & Illustration

Illustrations (vector or raster) for websites, books or advertising campaigns.

Work examples:

  • Create a cover for books for kids;
  • Create art for instructions on auto website.

Technologies: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator.

Average earnings: $15 — $30 per hour.

Audio Production

Creating and processing audio.

Work examples:

  • Edit audio tracks for podcast;
  • Mix Hip Hop song.

Average earnings: $10 — $20 per hour.

Technologies: Audacity, Adobe Audition.

Logo Design & Branding

Creating a logo and corporate identity.

Work examples:

  • Create a logo for fast food cafe.

Average earnings: $10 — $30 per hour.

Brand Identity & Strategy

There are many job for logos and corporate identity in this category too, but there are also jobs related to SMM for companies.

Work examples:

  • Create content (images and text) for social networks post about the advantages of the company;
  • Create a logo and corporate identity for the company.

Technologies: Adobe Illustrator.

Average earnings: $10 — $20 per hour.

Graphics & Design

Any work is related to the creation or processing of images.

Work examples:

  • Photo retouching;
  • Design of the magazine.

Technologies: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop.

Average earnings: $10 — $30 per hour.

Motion Graphics

Creating animations for video from text and simple elements.

Work examples:

  • Create captions animation;
  • Create text and screenshots animation for video tutorial.

Technologies: Adobe After Effects, 3Ds Max.

Average earnings: $10 — $30 per hour.


Create and modify photos.

Work examples:

  • Make a dish according to the recipe and take a photo at each step;
  • Make a photo report about the event;
  • Retouching (improve) wedding photos.

Technologies: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom.

Average earnings: $10 — $15 per hour.

Physical Design

Design of physical items.

Work examples:

  • T-shirt’s design;
  • Gym bottle design.

Average earnings: $15 — $25 per hour.

Technologies: Adobe Illustrator.


Content for presentations.

Work examples:

  • Infographics of company performance for the year;
  • Cryptocurrency startup presentation for investors.

Technologies: Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft PowerPoint.

Video Production

Create or edit video.

Work examples:

  • Create video tutorial for finance online tool;
  • Cut event video report;
  • Create a mobile game trailer.

Average earnings: $20 — $35 per hour.

Technologies: Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects.

Voice Talent

Text to sound or vocal skills. In most cases voice acting is in English and requires a certain accent or timbre.

Work examples:

  • Make audio track for tutorial video from captions.

Average earnings: $20 — $35 per hour.

Technologies: Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects.


Writing jobs:

  • Poems and literary texts;
  • Blog articles;
  • Article for websites;
  • Texts for advertising;
  • Spellchecking.

The vast majority of projects are related to English.

Average earnings: $5 — $80 per hour.

Academic Writing & Research

Writing scientific articles, books, and dissertations. It is important to follow formatting rules of scientific articles in the United States and Europe.

Work examples:

  • Write “Agile in IT companies” dissertation for student;
  • An article on “Predicting hurricanes based on meteorological data”.

Average earnings: $30 — $80 per hour.

Specializations: Math, IT, Biology, Chemistry.

Article & Blog Writing

Writing expert articles for websites by professionals in their field. For example, if you need an article about programming, then you will hire a programmer instead of a copywriter.

Work examples:

  • Articles for the blog about the development of mobile applications;
  • Articles about blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Average earnings: $10 — $50 per hour.


Writing or rewriting articles on a given topic, based on information from a client or freely available on the web.

Work examples:

  • Articles for a blog about computer games;
  • Articles for travel agencies.

Average earnings: $5 — $15 per hour.

Creative Writing

Writing slogans, poems, artistic texts.

Work examples:

  • Slogans for prints on t-shirts;
  • Dialog scenario for a video game.

Average earnings: $10 — $15 per hour

Editing & Proofreading

Spellchecking and proofreading, mainly in English.

Average earnings: $10 — $30 per hour.

Grant Writing

Create a proposal for grants, mainly for the US.

Average earnings: $10 — $40 per hour.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Creating CV (curriculum vitae), cover letters to apply for a job etc.

Average earnings: $5 — $20 per hour.


Texts, audio, video translation and transcription.


  • Legal Translation
  • Medical Translation
  • Technical Translation

Most popular languages:

  • English;
  • Russian;
  • German;
  • Chinese;
  • French.

Work examples:

  • Translation of a new cryptocurrency website from English to Russian;
  • Translation of dialog in a mobile game from English to German.

Average earnings: $5 — $30 per hour.


Lawyers and legal experts. In most cases, knowledge of US or European law is required.


  • Contract Law;
  • Corporate Law;
  • Criminal Law;
  • Family Law;
  • Intellectual Property Law;
  • Paralegal Services.

Average earnings: $30 — $100 per hour.

Admin Support

Jobs, which not demand special skills. You only need to know how to use a computer.

Average earnings: $3 — $10 per hour.

Data Entry

Enter or change data on the computer.

Work examples:

  • Entry product data information to the online store from the catalog;
  • Creating a table with users contacts from site search;
  • Suggest categories and tags for articles.

Average earnings: $3 — $8 per hour.

Personal/Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant (usually on an ongoing basis) for Admin Support work from neighboring categories.

Average earnings: $3 — $8 per hour

Project Management

Work on managing a team in a specific direction. Specialized skills are usually required for a specific area.

Work examples:

  • Manager for the marketing team;
  • Project manager for creating a mobile application and website.

Average earnings: $15 — $30 per hour.


Creating subtitles, captions or text versions for video and audio (transcription).

Work examples:

  • Create captions for YouTube video;
  • Create a text version of an audio podcast.

Average earnings: $3 — $8 per hour

Web Research

Find information on the web.

Work examples:

  • Find winners of the championship on Kangaroo in 2013-2018 in specified countries;
  • Find food delivery companies contacts from Colorado.

Average earnings: $5 — $8 per hour

Customer Service

This category is divided into two subcategories:

  • Customer Service;
  • Technical Support.

The first category includes work that does not require special skills, for example, support of an online store using marketing scripts and prepared answers.

Specialists who are able to understand the technical problem of the user are needed in the second category, for example, hosting provider support job.

Average earnings: $5 — $15 per hour.

Sales & Marketing

Product promotion, advertising, and sales.

Average earnings: $15 — $30 per hour

Display Advertising

Create advertising companies on websites, social networks, stores.

Work examples:

  • Advertising a book on Amazon: setting up an advertising campaign.
  • Promotion of events on Facebook: create advertising posts and promote it for a target audience.

Average earnings: $20 — $30 per hour.

Technologies: Google AdSense, Facebook Ads Manager, Amazon, Google Play Ad, App Store Ad

Specializations: Mobile apps and games, eCommerce, YouTube, Instagram.

Email & Marketing Automation

Setting up notifications, automatic actions, sending email based on the characteristics of advertising campaigns.

Work examples:

  • Setting up automatic creation of posts in different social networks with the same content;
  • MailChimp and Google Analytics integration via Zapier.

Average earnings: $15 — $30 per hour

Technologies: Zapier, MailChimp, Google AdSense, Facebook Ads Manager, Amazon, Google Play Ad, App Store Ad.

Lead Generation

Find lead for business.

Work examples:

  • Find clients for web studio.

Average earnings: percentage for a given client.

Market & Customer Research

Analyze the market to help a client understand business opportunities.

Work examples:

  • Analyze food delivery market in Singapore.

Average earnings: $20 — $30 per hour

Marketing Strategy

Creating a plan to attract new customers for business.

Work examples:

  • Marketing plan for a yacht club in Turkey;
  • Search for new restaurants to connect to the client delivery service.

Average earnings: $20 — $30 per hour.

Public Relations

Search and communicate with the owners of resources that may be useful in promoting of client’s business.

Work examples:

  • Search for freelancers in Ukraine who may be interested in the Estonian e-Residency program.
  • Search for partners to start drop shipping service.

Average earnings: $20 — $30 per hour

SEM – Search Engine Marketing

Comprehensive website promotion in search engines using SEO and paid ads.

Average earnings: $20 — $30 per hour.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

Websites SEO optimizations, Amazon product listing search optimization, mobile application ASO optimization etc.

Average earnings: $20 — $30 per hour

Work examples:

  • SEO optimization of WordPress blog;
  • ASO mobile app promotion in the Google Play Store;

Specializations: Google, Bing, Blog, eCommerce, Enterprise, ASO.

SMM – Social Media Marketing

Promotion in social networks. Create content, organize contests etc.

Average earnings: $20 — $30 per hour.

Work examples:

  • Create posts for New York bar Twitter account;
  • Organize a contest for the autumn sale of a store on Facebook and Instagram.

Telemarketing & Telesales

Cold and warm calls. Level of a native English speaker is usually required.

Work examples:

  • B2C car sales;
  • B2B CRM system sales.

Average earnings: $10 — $30 per hour.

Specializations: B2B, B2C.

Accounting & Consulting

Accounting, financial services, search for employers, consulting services.

Average earnings: $15 — $50 per hour


Accounting and financial reporting. Usually for companies from the USA and Europe.

Technologies: QuickBooks.

Average earnings: $20 — $50 per hour.

Human Resources

Find and hire new employees.

Work examples:

  • Find a Java EE developer with 5 years experience who is ready to move to the USA.

Average earnings: $15 — $30 per hour.

Technologies: LinkedIn.

Specializations: IT.


Also, I recommend reading about Upwork skill index.

More information about freelance on Upwork you can find in free eBook “Upwork Tips & Tricks“. For example:

  • How to fill a profile?
  • How to write Cover Letter?
  • How to achieve Top Rated?
  • Much more.

If you have questions you can join our freelancers Facebook community.

If you like the article, you can support the author:

Mobile developer from Ukraine. Work on Upwork from 2013. Share experience about freelance from 2014 (jff.name blog in Russian). Wrote book about remote work "How to freelance on Upwork" and free eBook "Upwork Tips & Tricks"

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