April 01, 2018

Top Paying Gig Economy Jobs in 2018

Today there are over 57 million freelancers in the United States, contributing nearly $1.4 trillion to the economy each year. The country’s freelancing growth rate averages 8.1% every year (while the U.S. traditional workforce sees growth of 2.6% each year). It’s no wonder more and more people are interested in analyzing, talking about, and joining the gig economy. A recent analysis of data from freelancing websites (including Upwork, Freelancer, People Per Hour, HubStaff, and Guru) by Fit Small Business uncovered the highest-paying jobs in the gig economy this year. Here are the top 7.

1)    Deep Learning | $115.06/hour

With the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it’s no wonder that deep learning jobs are the highest paying gig economy jobs. Deep learning is a category of machine learning that involves the development of neural networks that are similar to and inspired by the human brain, not needing structured data to function. Freelancers who have skills in algorithms and programming languages (such as Python, R, Java, Perl, C++, etc.), are likely to find high-paying gigs in deep learning.

2)    Blockchain | $87.05/hour

Cryptocurrency has been all over the media for the past year, so it’s no surprise that blockchain gigs ae the second highest paid. Besides the highly popular Bitcoin and Monero, more and more digital currencies are emerging, and companies are looking for freelancers with backgrounds in development or digital architecture to help them design and develop blockchain technology for new cryptocurrencies or build exchanges and set up cryptocurrency transactions for customer purchases.

3)    Robotics | $77.46/hour

It’s no secret that robotics and automation are being applied in many verticals to streamline tasks and make operations more efficient. Freelancers engaged in robotics jobs generally are responsible for building and designing mechanical elements and machinery, and often have experience using mechanical engineering software such as SolidWorks Professional, Simplify 3D, or Photoview 360.

4)    Penetration Testing | $66.44/hour

Penetration testers are also known as “ethical hackers” and are instrumental to companies for checking their systems for potential security vulnerabilities and protecting them from criminal hacks. Freelancers working as penetration testers typically have a strong skill set in coding and programming and are certified systems security professionals.

5)    Bitcoin | $65.37/hour

As mentioned previously when discussing jobs in blockchain technology, Bitcoin has been trending for the past year. The price of a single Bitcoin went from $900 in the beginning of 2017 to $20,000 by the end of the year. Today it’s value is about half of that. In this volatile market, the skills surrounding it are highly sought after. Freelancers engaged in Bitcoin jobs are involved in building automated tools for trading and exchanges, developing market charts, and setting up Bitcoin payments on apps and websites. These workers generally have strong programming skills in languages such as Python, Ruby, PHP, and Javascript.

6)    Amazon Web Services Lambda | $51/hour

Amazon Web Services Lambda only runs code when an event triggers it and only charges for the time that codes run, which is different from traditional servers that run all the time and charges for the space the application occupies even when not in use. As such, more and more businesses are transitioning to AWS Lambda due to its lower costs, creating freelance jobs for those skilled in writing and loading code for Lambda.

7)    Virtual Reality | $50.18/hour

Virtual reality freelancers are generally responsible for developing algorithms for virtual reality applications. They generally have a background in 3D modelling and scanning, as well as programming knowledge in C#, C and C++.

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