10 of the Highest-Paying Gig Economy Jobs of 2019
There are 56.7 million freelancers in the United States, according to a 2018 survey of 6,000 U.S. workers by Upwork and the Freelancers Union. Freelancers represent one in three U.S. workers (35 percent); their numbers have increased by 3.7 million over five years.
Freelancers also tend to prioritize their lifestyle over their earnings: Fully 84 percent of freelancers surveyed felt this way, versus 64 percent of other workers.
Beyond figuring out your lifestyle priorities, to be successful as a freelancer or gig economy worker, you've got to cultivate the right skills. Many of those skills revolve around technology. To pinpoint the most highly sought-after skills that companies look for in their contract workers, Fit Small Business analyzed data from freelancing websites, including Upwork, Freelancer, People Per Hour, Hubstaff and Guru to uncover the highest-paying gig economy jobs of 2018. Here are the top 10.
Deep learning jobs, $115.06
With the rise of AI, it's no surprise that deep learning jobs take first place for the highest-paying gig economy jobs. Deep learning is a category of machine learning that entails the development of neural networks that are inspired by and similar to those of the human brain, without needing labeled or structured data to function. Freelancers in this area have job titles like data scientist (average hourly wage, $40.25), software engineer ($38.50) and machine learning engineer ($30.72), according to Indeed.com.The FitSmallBusiness report set their average per-hour higher: at $115.06.
These professionals have skills in algorithms and programming languages such as Tensorflow, Python, R, Java, Matlab, Perl and C++.
Blockchain jobs, $87.05/hour
Robotics jobs, $77.46/hour
People often fear that a robot will come in and take their job -- and unfortunately, that fear might not be so far-fetched. More and more robotics and technology companies are revealing advanced robots and automated technologies to help streamline tasks and make operations more efficient. However, while robots might take some jobs, there is still a need for people to fill robotics jobs. That's why this area is the third-highest-paying gig economy job, with an average hourly rate of $77.46. Robotics freelancers are typically responsible for building and designing mechanical elements and machinery, and have skills in mechanical engineering software such as SolidWorks Professional, Photoview 360, Simplify3D and eDrawings.
Penetration testing jobs, $66.33/hour
Bitcoin jobs, $65.37/hour
Amazon Web Services Lambda jobs, $51/hour
Virtual reality jobs, $50.18/hour
Virtual reality freelancing is the seventh-highest-paying gig economy job. With an average hourly rate of $50.18, virtual reality freelancers are typically responsible for developing algorithms and have backgrounds in 3D modeling and scanning. To excel in these roles, freelancers must also be fluent in C#, C and C++.