15 Money Making Skills That Can Help You Be Your Own Boss in 2023

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Last Updated on November 12, 2022 by Rebecca Lake

Learning new skills can be the best way to earn more money.

You can apply the money making skills you learn to negotiate a raise at your current job, land a better-paying job or branch out and make money from home with an online business or side hustle so you can be your own boss.

  • But which high-income skills are worth the most money?
  • Is it possible to develop in demand skills without a formal education or specific training?
  • What are the best (low-cost) ways to learn money making skills in your spare time?

Today I’m answering those questions and sharing some of the top skills to learn to help you make good money from home so you can quit your day job.

Related post: How to Make an Extra $1000 a Month (50 Ways That Really Work!)

What Is a High-Income Skill?

High-income skills are skills that you can leverage to earn six figures (or potentially even seven figures).

In-demand money making skills can include hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are specific abilities someone learns are acquires. So digital marketing skills, for example, are hard skills.

Soft skills include interpersonal skills or skills that are otherwise intuitive. Analytical reasoning is an example of a soft skill.

Both can be important if you’re not making much money but you want to change that.

Related post: $20 an Hour Is How Much a Year? Is $20 an Hour Really Good?

15 Best Money Making Skills to Learn

When deciding which money making skills to learn, it’s important to consider the return on investment you can expect, based on the time and money you have to put in to develop them.

For example, if you want to make a six-figure income before taxes, you’d need to make about $50 an hour if you work 40 hours a week. (You can use this salary calculator to play around with the numbers.)

As you go through this list of money making skills, consider what’s going to yield the biggest pay off for you. But also pay attention to these two things:

  • Which skills you already have
  • Which ones you’d be most interested in learning

Some of the money making skills listed here require specific training but others don’t.

The good news is, you can do any of these things without needing a formal education. With many of them, a high school diploma may be sufficient.

1. Content writing

make money freelance writing

Freelance writing is one of the best ways to make good money from home using skills you may already possess.

For example, I make $20,000+ a month writing online and while I do have a bachelor’s degree, my background isn’t in journalism, English or a related field.

Writing is one of the best money making skills to have simply because it’s so versatile and it’s something you can master if you’re willing to put in the time. And over the past decade, demand for freelance writers has grown tremendously so there’s definitely money to be made.

How to use this skill to make money online:

If you want to get paid to write, there are lots of ways to do it, including:

  • Blog post writing
  • Grant writing
  • Copywriting
  • Resume writing
  • Technical writing
  • Content marketing
  • News writing
  • Product description writing
  • Magazine writing
  • Real estate writing

How to learn this money making skill:

You don’t need a degree or professional writing experience to get started as a freelance writer. You do need:

  • Basic writing skills
  • A laptop and internet
  • A PayPal account (so you can get paid) 

It also helps to have an in-demand niche to write about. For example, my niche is personal finance which pays very good money because it’s a specialized topic that a lot of people want to know about.

Practice can be the best way to polish your writing skills. Starting a blog can be a great way to build your writing skills and develop a portfolio of writing samples.

But it doesn’t hurt to check out books on freelance writing or online classes. And you might consider using a tool like an artificial intelligence tool like RankIQ to help you write faster.

If you’re interested in a more detailed introduction to writing for money, this free mini-course covers the basics of how to get paid to write.

2. Blogging

Blogging is one of the most useful money making skills simply because you can learn so many other related skills.

If you’re starting your own blog, for example, you’ll learn how to:

  • Set up and design a WordPress site
  • Code using basic HTML
  • Write and format a blog post
  • Master project management
  • Leverage SEO to write content that includes valuable information and gets attention from search engines
  • Navigate different social media platforms
  • Build a brand through email marketing
  • Edit images and videos for Pinterest

You might not learn all those new skills at once but you can pick them up over time as you work on your blog in your free time.

And the good news is, there’s no specific training or formal education needed to start a blog.

How to use this skill to make money online:

There are several ways to make extra cash (or even replace your income at your day job) with blogging skills.

You could make money blogging by:

  • Writing a sponsored blog post
  • Running ads on your site
  • Earning commissions through affiliate links
  • Selling products that you develop
  • Selling services, such as freelance writing or social media marketing if you’re working as a virtual assistant on the side
  • Getting paid to write blog post content for other bloggers or website owners

The smartest bloggers (in my opinion) are the ones who create multiple streams of income with their sites.

How to learn this money making skill:

Blogging is a lot of trial and error. And one of the best ways to learn the necessary money making skills involved is just trying things, failing at them and trying again.

But taking online courses can be immensely helpful if you’re just getting started because they can save a lot of time.

If you’re looking for a good blogging course, I personally recommend Elna Cain’s Ready, Set, Blog for Traffic course. It’s the course I took when I started this blog and it’s a very in-depth guide to getting your blog going and ready to make money.

Or if you want to take the plunge into blogging without a course, you’ll want to read this ultimate beginner’s guide to starting a blog.

3. Virtual assistant

A virtual assistant or VA helps business owners run their businesses. And because they do their work online, becoming a VA is a great option if you want to make money from home as a stay at home mom, college student or retiree.

Some of the money making skills you might need to succeed as a VA include a mix of hard skills and soft skills, such as:

  • Time management skills
  • Communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Computer skills
  • Writing skills

But the best part is those are skills you might already have that you could easily monetize.

How to use this skill to make money online:

There are different ways to make money with virtual assistant skills.

You could become a general VA that performs a wide variety of tasks. Or you could specialize in just one or two things.

For example, Pinterest VAs can make $50 an hour or more by helping bloggers and businesses run their Pinterest accounts. 

Other VAs might focus on managing social media accounts, content writing or email marketing. When I did VA work, I dabbled in copywriting, social media scheduling, video production and database management. 

Again, these are technical skills you may have or be able to learn fairly quickly in your spare time.

How to learn this money making skill:

Becoming a VA doesn’t require any special training, though a VA course can be a great investment. 

If you’re just starting as a VA, a course can walk you through everything you need to know to start making money.

The one I recommend is Fully Booked VA from Gina Horkey. This course offers insight into how to:

  • Choose a virtual assistant niche
  • Find potential customers or potential clients
  • Market yourself to those clients so you can create a steady income stream
  • Manage the technical side of running a business and being your own boss.

I started following her when I was just getting into freelance writing and she’s an absolute authority on making money as a VA.

⇒Check out Gina’s free intro webinar to learn how to make money as a virtual assistant.

4. Proofreading

make money proofreading online

Proofreading could be a great money making skill to learn if you like to read and you’ve got an eye for detail. 

Online proofreading jobs can pay around $53,000/year on average but top proofreaders are making well over $100,000!

As a proofreader, you review written content to check for grammar errors, spelling errors and typos. 

It’s a high income skill you can learn at home, to make money from home, which is perfect if you want to earn an income online!

How to use this skill to make money online:

There are two broad ways to make money as a proofreader:

  • Being a general proofreader
  • Specializing in a specific type of proofreading (i.e. legal proofreading)

You can work one on one with companies to offer proofreading services. Or you can become an independent contractor with a company that hires freelance proofreaders. 

If you’re interested in how to find work as a proofreader, here are 30+ online proofreading jobs to check out now!

How to learn this money making skill:

The main money making skills you need to be successful as a proofreader include:

  • Attention to detail
  • Proficiency in English or the language you plan to proofread in
  • Time management skills
  • Communication skills

If you want to become an online proofreader, the easiest way to do it is by taking an online course. 

And if you need a recommendation, I can’t say enough good things about Caitlin Pyle’s Proofread Anywhere course

Her course walks you through everything you need to know to get paid to proofread but it’s not overwhelming. 

If you’re interested in learning more, sign up for this FREE introduction to proofreading webinar.

5. Transcription and typing skills

Transcribers take audio files and convert them into written documents. Online transcription jobs are another way to make a six-figure income if you’re good at typing. 

The national average salary for transcriptionists is $58,441 but highly skilled transcribers can make $135,000 a year or more. 

If you want to become an online transcriptionist, you’ll need these money making skills:

  • Typing skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management skills
  • Basic computer skills
  • Excellent listening skills

You’ll also need a computer and a reliable headset to make money as an online transcriptionist. 

For more on how to become a transcriptionist, read this guide on how to get paid to type

How to use this skill to make money online:

Similar to online proofreading, making money as a transcriber can mean working on one with companies or working freelance. 

You can find online transcription jobs through companies like Rev. Or you can use regular job boards, like Indeed or Monster to find paid transcription jobs and connect with potential customers.

How to learn this money making skill:

If you know how to type and you type well, you’re already ahead of the game. 

But if you want to go more in-depth with your transcription knowledge, taking a course can help. 

Transcribe Anywhere is a great choice for learning the ropes of how to be a transcriptionist. A transcription expert teaches this course and it details exactly how to turn your interest in typing into high-income skills. 

⇒Register for a FREE mini-course on how to make money transcribing.

6. Scoping

Scoping falls into the category of lesser-known money making skills but it can be very profitable. Scoping is similar to transcription but it’s not exactly the same. 

Online scopists specialize in transcribing court records. Specifically, they transcribe the shorthand notes taken by court reporters for depositions and other legal proceedings. 

You need typing skills but you also need to be familiar with stenographer’s shorthand and legal terms. 

In terms of equipment, you’ll need a computer and scoping software to get started. 

How to use this skill to make money online:

Scopists work with court reporters, typically in a freelance capacity. 

In other words, you’d be an independent contractor that handles a court reporter’s scoping tasks.

You can find scoping jobs online through regular job boards. Or you can also find paid scoping gigs through remote work sites, like FlexJobs and Virtual Vocations

How to learn this money making skill:

Scoping is something that you’ll need some training to learn. But the good news is, it’s a money making skill you can pick up at home. 

For example, you could sign up for Internet Scoping School

This is a detailed training program that equips you with all the tools and skills you need to make money as a scopist. 

The course is much cheaper than going to court reporting school. And the work is self-paced so you can learn at home in your spare time. 

⇒Sign up for a detailed intro course to learn how to make money as a scopist.

7. Bookkeeping

woman doing bookkeeping work

Bookkeeping is one of the most in-demand money making skills because it’s something many people need but don’t have time to do themselves. 

Businesses often outsource their bookkeeping to freelancers and independent contractors so they don’t have to worry about it themselves.

As a virtual bookkeeper, you’ll generally need these high income skills:

  • Math skills
  • Computer skills
  • Knowledge of accounting software
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management skills

It also helps to be interested in math and numbers in general. Because you’ll be spending a lot of time with them as a virtual bookkeeper. 

How to use this skill to make money online:

Virtual bookkeeping is something you can do to make money from home. 

You can start a virtual bookkeeping business and hire yourself out as a general bookkeeper. Or you could specialize in working with certain types of businesses, like retail stores or insurance companies. 

If you want to start your own business, starting a blog is a great way to market yourself and attract clients.

Or you could try Virtual Vocations, FlexJobs and other remote work job boards to find paid bookkeeping gigs. 

How to learn this money making skill:

There are different options if you’re interested in becoming a bookkeeper.

For example, you could earn an associate’s degree in bookkeeping. Or get a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Those options are time-intensive, however. Not to mention they can cost a lot of money.

Taking an online bookkeeping course can be an easier (and cheaper) way to go. 

If you’re looking for a course recommendation, check out Bookkeepers.com. You can enroll in a free web series to learn more about virtual bookkeeping to help decide if it’s the right way to put your money making skills to work!

8. Teaching 

As a homeschooling mom, teaching my kids is a part of my daily routine. 

If you’ve got a talent for teaching as well, you could easily turn that into an income stream online. 

Teaching does require some special skills and qualities, including:

  • Passion for your subject matter
  • Organizational skills
  • Time management skills
  • Communication skills
  • Lots and lots of patience!

You’ll also need a computer if you want to teach classes online. 

How to use this skill to make money online:

There are lots of ways to make money teaching, including some you can do from home. 

Teaching English is a popular way to make money online, for example. Sites like VIPKID pay you to tutor non-native English speakers virtually. 

You could also offer tutoring services online. But my favorite way to make money teaching is with Outschool.

Outschool is an online learning marketplace for kids K-12. Anyone can sign up to teach on Outschool–you don’t need to be certified to teach there.

It’s a flexible way to make money since you can choose what classes to teach and when. And you can also decide what to charge. 

The average Outschool teacher makes $50 an hour but I know there are some moms out there making $10K a month this way. 

To learn more about getting paid to teach, check out my detailed Outschool review

How to learn this money making skill:

If you already have a teaching degree, then you could put that to work by researching online teaching jobs.

But if you don’t, don’t panic. You can still make money teaching online. 

Again, Outschool allows anyone to sign up to be a teacher. You just need a passion for your subject and a clean background check.

⇒Register to teach with Outschool and start making money!

You could also become an online kids yoga teacher if you love doing yoga and feeling zen.

Pretzel Kids offers yoga training online that you can use to lead kids’ yoga classes from your living room. 

⇒Learn more about getting yoga teacher certified with Pretzel Kids!

9. Course creation

Course creation skills are great money making skills to have because you can use them to make passive income online.

You create a course and host it for sale through an online platform. People buy it and you make money on auto-pilot.

You may nee to update the course occasionally to keep it fresh. But this is a legitimate way to make extra money from the comfort of your own home.

And you can get really inspired and build courses that speak to your interests while also filling a need. It’s perfect if you’re looking for creative ways to make money.

How to use this skill to make money online:

If you want to get into course creation as a way to make money, there are a couple of ways you can do it. 

The first is to start a blog and sell courses through your website. If you choose that option you can also make money in other ways, i.e. ads, affiliates, etc.

(If you’re interested in starting a blog, I suggest Siteground for hosting. Their plans are affordable and their customer support is top-notch!)

The other option is to sell your course through an online learning marketplace. 

The two I like best for that are Teachable and Thinkific

They both have lots of great features to help you sell your online courses. So be sure to compare them both to figure out which one works best for what you need. 

How to learn this money making skill:

Course creation is kind of like blogging–you learn by trial and error.

One tip I have for developing your money making skills as a course creator is to study what makes other course creators successful.

For example, Ready, Set, Blog for Traffic and Fully Booked VA are two of the best courses I’ve come across in the blogging and VA niches.

What makes them great isn’t just the content (which is awesome.) It’s also the way their creators market and sell them. And I know from reaching income reports that both of them are banking six figures for their efforts. 

Bottom line, studying what the pros are doing right can be a huge help as you start creating courses of your own. 

10. Graphic design

make money with online courses

Graphic design can cover a lot of ground when it comes to making extra money. And you can easily make more income than you might with a full-time job because it’s a valuable skill to have.

On average, graphic designers make around $45,000 a year at the entry level. But if you have design experience, you could easily double or even triple that. 

How to use this skill to make money online:

An obvious way to make money as a graphic designer is to apply for a job with a company that’s looking for a designer. That might include software companies, marketing companies, design firms–the possibilities are endless.

So searching Google for graphic design jobs can be a good place to start. Another option is to put your graphic design skills to use differently. 

For example, you could make money:

  • Designing logos
  • Selling printables
  • With a print on demand shop

Those are all things you can do to make money online, too.

Sarah Titus, for example, makes millions selling printables through her Shopify store. You could try the same thing or sell printables through an Etsy shop or blog. 

How to learn this money making skill:

You could go to school to get an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Community colleges and four-year colleges can both offer a certificate program or degree program.

But if that’s not in your budget or you don’t have time to go back to school, you can learn money making skills related to graphic design on your own. 

Free graphic design courses can teach you the basics. And they don’t cost a dime.

Or you can use a design tool like Canva Pro to experiment and build a portfolio of design samples. 

11. Translation

Foreign language speakers are increasingly in high demand as companies seek to expand their global footprints. Translation and intrepretation are two highly valued money making skills for people who have solid command of different languages.

Companies may hire translators or interpreters to help with translating documents or facilitating meetings.

Translation or interpretor jobs could be a good fit for college students, stay at home moms or anyone who’s interested in making extra income without having to learn a lot of tech skills.

How to use this skill to make money online:

Making money with foreign language skills is possible with online translation jobs.

A platform like Gengo, for example, makes it easy to create an account, share your skills, browse jobs and claim work. You complete the translation tasks required and get paid.

Translate.com is another platform that offers paid translation gigs. If you’re looking for online interpreter jobs, you can try remote job boards like FlexJobs or Virtual Vocations.

How to learn this money making skill:

It’s possible that you may have foreign language skills that developed naturally as the result of growing up in a multilingual household or traveling extensively.

If you’re starting from scratch with learning a language, there are plenty of online resources that can help.

Some of the best websites for learning foreign languages include:

Some are free, some are paid but you can compare them to help find the site that’s a good fit.

12. Web development

Web developers create and maintain websites. They can work in a wide range of industries, including advertising and digital marketing, consulting and publishing.

In terms of how much web developers make, they can earn a median pay of $77,000 a year or around $37 an hour for their money making skills.

Web development is related to software development and mobile app development. Software developers analyze a need then design software programs that can meet that need while mobile app developers help create apps.

How to use this skill to make money online:

Web developers and software developers can make money working a regular full-time job or they can freelance as independent contractors.

There are plenty of companies willing to hire web developers and software developers who run their own business. The beauty of this approach is that you can set a flexible schedule that works for you and decide what to charge.

You can try remote job boards to find freelance web development and software development gigs.

How to learn this money making skill:

For a typical entry-level job in the web development or software development fields, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree.

But it’s possible that you could find work as a freelance web developer if you can teach yourself to code. Once you master basic programming languages, you can start looking for potential clients.

If you don’t have much money to spend on education, you can use an online resource like CodeAcademy to learn how to program.

13. UX design

As money making skills go, UX design has a lot of potential. The average annual salary for UX designers is $115,000 while some of the top earners are pulling in closer to $150,000 a year.

So what does a UX designer do? In simple terms, they’re concerned with user experience.

When a new product, service or app is developed it’s up to UX designers to ensure that it offers the best user experience possible. This is similar to user testing websites, which can be an easy way to earn extra money, only it’s done on a bigger scale.

How to use this skill to make money online:

Similar to web developers and software developers, UX designers can take on full-time jobs or work as independent contractors.

You might get paid to help a startup test out their new website, for example, or help an established company work out the bugs with an app it’s preparing to roll out.

It’s one of the best money making skills to have if you’re well-versed in programming languages and like a challenge.

How to learn this money making skill:

UX design is a high-income skill that can be learned online, you don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree to succeed in this career field.

Again, you can use a site like CodeAcademy to learn the basics of UX design. CodeAcademy offers insights from top coders and experienced UX designers.

14. Information technology

Information technology covers a broad set of money making skills. Some of the skills you might need to earn a living working in the IT field include:

  • Communication skills
  • Cloud computing
  • Network engineering
  • Data mining and analysis
  • Full stack web development
  • Project management

You’ll also need to be familiar with new and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence.

Information technology jobs can pay anywhere from $58,000 a year to over $200,000 a year so this is one of the top skills to cultivate if you want to earn more money.

How to use this skill to make money online:

There are plenty of remote IT jobs out there and companies who want to hire information technology specialists in a work from home capacity.

Some of the tasks you might get hired to do include:

  • Analyzing web security systems to look for vulnerabilities
  • Integrating point of sale software systems with cloud computing systems
  • Overseeing a large-scale undertaking as an IT project manager
  • Working as a senior software engineer

IT skills can be some of the top skills to learn because there are so many ways you can put these skills to work and earn good money.

How to learn this money making skill:

You could get a college degree in information technology. But you can also learn a lot of the most valuable IT skills online.

CodeAcademy, for example, offers classes in coding, web development, computer science and full-stack engineering. You can master different program languages like Javascript or Python and build on that knowledge to developed a well-rounded IT skill set that includes more advanced topics, like machine learning and AI.

15. Audio production/video production

Audio production and video production are two related money making skills that can you can leverage to make a full-time income from home.

With audio production, you’re editing audio files. Video production is the same thing, only you’re working with video instead. Depending on the job you’re doing, you might do a little of both.

Audio production engineers earn over $73,000 a year on average. Video production engineers make around the same on average, though it’s possible to make well over six figures if you work with the right clients.

How to use this skill to make money online:

Audio and video production is something you can do as a day job but you can also make money as a freelancer.

Fiverr can be a great place for beginners to connect with potential customers and advertise their services. You can create an account, set up your profile and start marketing yourself to clients.

Keep in mind that you’ll need some basic equipment to get started, including a computer, microphone, headphones and editing software.

How to learn this money making skill:

YouTube can be a great free resource for learning the basics of audio production and video production.

If you have a little money to spend, you might invest in some online classes in audio and video editing. You can find lots of options through Udemy, Teachable and Thinkific.

More Money Making Skills That Can Help You Grow Your Income

woman working on a laptop

Any of these money making skills could be an excellent choice for earning money from home.

Some of them involve learning tech skills or developing a mix of both hard and soft skills, others don’t. Some require a college degree and some don’t.

But they aren’t the only ways to earn an income online. So here are a few more skills you may want to learn if growing your income is a priority.

  • Photography (Sell your stock photos online for cash)
  • Search Engine Optimization (if you want to start a blog or try content writing)
  • Cloud computing
  • Facebook ads management
  • Animation
  • Customer service skills
  • Crafting
  • Furniture rehab and flipping
  • Real estate investing
  • Passive investing (Generate income using your spare change)
  • Sales
  • Public speaking
  • Microsoft Suite certification (great if you want to become a VA)
  • Google ads certification
  • Affiliate marketing (this can help you step up your blogging income in a big way)
  • Voice-over acting
  • Data entry
  • Tax preparation
  • Organizing and decluttering
  • Get paid to take online surveys (Survey Junkie is one of the highest-paying survey sites)
money making skills pinterest image
Top Money Making Skills

Final thoughts on the best money making skills to learn

Acquiring some high-income skills can be a good idea if it helps you to change your financial situation in a big way.

Earning more money could make it easier to save an emergency fund, pay down student loans or other debt or reach other financial goals.

Developing money making skills doesn’t necessarily require a lot of hard work either. You may have one or two in-demand skills under your belt already that just need a little honing or fine-tuning.

Be sure to check out my favorite Smart Money Tools for making and saving money.

Want more ideas on how to make money? Here are 21 Genius Ways to Grow Your Income Fast!

Best Money Making Skills to Grow Your Income

About Rebecca Lake

Rebecca Lake is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance, freelance writer and homeschooling single mom of two. Since 2014, she's paid off nearly $100,000 in debt and grown her net worth to seven figures. Her work has appeared online at top personal finance websites, including Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Investopedia, The Balance, CreditCards.com and U.S. News & World Report. Find out more.