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3 in-demand freelance jobs that you can do from home—one can pay $500 an hour

More Americans are experimenting with freelancing, either as a side hustle or a full-time career. 

The number of professionals freelancing in the U.S. hit an all-time high in 2023, increasing to 64 million people, or 38% of the U.S. workforce, from 60 million the year earlier, according to recent research from Upwork. 

Businesses are increasingly relying on freelancers to save on headcount and real estate expenses, Yoav Hornung, head of verticals and innovation at Fiverr, tells CNBC Make It

But the services businesses are hiring independent contractors for are constantly changing, Hornung says. For example: In recent months, Fiverr has seen a marked increase in requests for AI professionals, including video editors and prompt engineers, who can help businesses leverage AI technologies to be more efficient or profitable. 

In addition to AI services, here are three of the most in-demand freelance services for 2024, according to Fiverr, including what professionals on the platform are charging for them. All of these gigs can be done from home and pay over $100 an hour:

Video editing 

Video editors work in post-production, assembling raw footage into finished packages using different software applications. Two kinds of video editing have seen “huge demand” as of late, according to Hornung: AI video editing and social media video editing. 

Between January and July 2023, searches for AI video editors increased by more than 625% on Fiverr. These creators leverage AI to customize video backgrounds, generate voiceovers and enhance audio and visual elements, among other services.

Video editing for short-form content is another in-demand skill. “The increasing popularity of ‘snackable’ content in the form of Reels, Shorts and TikTok has spiked demand for freelancers who can make snappy, engaging content for brands,” Hornung says.

Video editors on Fiverr typically charge at least $100 per hour. 

Social media management and content creation

Social media managers and specialists develop, edit and promote content across different channels for a client or organization to engage with and grow their audience.

The value of a strong online presence for brands and businesses has “never been higher,” says Hornung, as more people — especially younger consumers — shop on social media platforms. 

One skill that will be “especially valuable” for freelance social media managers to possess in 2024, he adds, is the ability to create content that feels “authentic and genuine” for clients as more consumers demand authenticity and transparency from the brands they support.

Social media managers and specialists charge at least $150 per hour.

Mobile app development 

Mobile app developers are software engineers who create apps for smartphones, tablets, computers and other devices. These professionals typically work alongside graphic designers and data scientists. 

Globally, people recorded nearly 77 billion mobile app downloads during the first half of 2023, up 3% from 2022, according to data.ai, a data analytics tool. 

Hornung points out that, on Fiverr, searches for “app development” have seen a consistent increase since the start of 2023. He explains that more brands are adopting mobile-first strategies to meet consumers’ growing preference for interacting with businesses through their phones versus computers or in person.

Mobile app developers charge at least $500 per hour. 

If you’re considering a freelance career or side hustle in any of these fields, it’s not enough to learn the technical skills you’ll need to do the job — what sets the most successful freelancers apart, says Hornung, is their soft skills and endorsements. 

“Trust is king,” he says. “Investing in soft skills such as communication and organization, and proof of how you’ve used these skills, can go a long way in establishing trust between freelance professionals and their clientele base.”

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay.

My side hustle brings in $400K a year—how I spend my money

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