12 Top Money Making Skills That Can Help You Earn a Six-Figure Income

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Is growing your income one of your big money goals?

Having more money coming in can make life less stressful, especially if you’re struggling to pay the bills or get out of debt on a low income. 

Nearly half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. As someone who’s been there and done that, I know how much it sucks. 

Mastering a new skill–or fine-tuning one you already have–is a proven way to earn more money on the side or in place of a full-time job. 

And learning the right money making skills could even help you grow a six-figure income. 

Sounds crazy, right? But it’s totally doable. 

If you’re interested in the top skills to learn to make money now, this post is a must-read!

12 High Income Skills That Pay Well

Growing your income is a big goal. 

Once upon a time, I set an income goal for myself of making $100,000 a year. And I was so overwhelmed by the idea of making that much money!

But having that goal gave me the motivation to keep moving forward. And it also helped me break down my goal into bite-sized steps. 

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 skills listed here require special training but others don’t.

The good news is, you can do any of these things without needing a college degree. 

So think about which skills are a good fit, based on the learning curve. And consider the amount of time or money you’d need to invest to get started. 

1. Writing 

make money freelance writing

Any time we’re talking about ways to make money, writing is always at the top of my list.

Specifically, that means freelance writing. It’s hands-down one of the best high income skills to have these days!

I personally make $20 to $30k a month writing online. And I don’t have a degree in journalism or writing.

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. 

How to use this skill to make money:

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

  • Freelance blogging
  • Grant writing
  • Copywriting
  • Resume writing
  • Technical writing
  • Content writing
  • News writing
  • Product description writing
  • Magazine writing
  • Real estate writing

That’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Bookmark these posts to learn more about making money as a writer:

How to Start Freelance Writing and Make Your First $100

7 Ways to Get Paid to Write Online That Can Earn You Thousands Each Month

How to learn this skill:

The great thing about getting paid to write is that you don’t need a degree or professional writing experience to get started. 

All you do need are basic writing skills and a passion for writing. That’s enough to help you land your first freelance writing gig.

The more you write, the more you can polish your skills. But it doesn’t hurt to check out books on freelance writing or online courses. 

If you’re interested in a more detailed introduction to writing for money, sign up for this free mini-course on how to get paid to write!

2. Blogging

Blogging is a popular way to make money online and it can be insanely lucrative.

If you don’t believe me, just Google ‘blog income reports’ and you can find bloggers who are making $100,000+ every month!

A little disclaimer, it takes years of work to get to that income level, unless you’re extremely lucky.

But you can definitely make money with a blog, even with all the changes blogging has undergone these past few years.

And the best part is, it’s never been easier to start a blog!

In terms of money making skills, you need:

  • Some basic technical know-how to get your blog up and running
  • Writing skills to create some awesome content!
  • Social media savvy so you can promote your content
  • Lots and lots of patience

Okay, that last one isn’t really a skill but you still need it if you want to turn blogging into a business. 

But otherwise, if you’ve got those basics covered you can be on your way to making money as a blogger!

How to use this skill to make money:

If you want to make money blogging, there are several ways to do it.

You could make money blogging with:

  • Sponsored posts
  • Ads
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Products
  • Services

This blog makes money from ads and affiliate marketing. But depending on what you want to blog about, you might go an entirely different route. 

The smartest bloggers (in my opinion) are the ones who create multiple income streams!

How to learn this skill:

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

But taking a blogging course can be immensely helpful if you’re just getting started. The key is picking the right one.

I personally recommend Elna Cain’s Ready, Set, Blog for Traffic course.

It’s the one 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.

She runs 6+ blogs and makes much more than a full-time income from all of them. So if you’re ready to dive into blogging, check out Ready, Set, Blog for Traffic

Or if you want to take the plunge without a course, you’ll want to read this ultimate beginner’s guide to starting a blog with Siteground!

3. Virtual assistant

Before I became a freelance writer, I was a virtual assistant.

If you don’t know what that involves, virtual assistants or VAs help 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!

Some of the money making skills you need to succeed as a VA include:

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

But the great thing is, those are skills you might already have that you could easily monetize!

How to use this skill to make money:

Making money as a VA is kind of like making money with freelancing writing or blogging; there are lots of ways to do it.

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 social media or email management. When I did VA work, I dabbled in copywriting, social media scheduling and database management. 

VA work could be right for you if you’ve got a passion for helping others and you’re super detail-oriented. 

How to learn this 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. 

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 Fully Booked VA to learn how to make money as a virtual assistant!

4. Proofreading skills

make money proofreading online

Proofreading could be a great money maker for you 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:

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 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:

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. 

How to learn this 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 now!

6. Scoping skills

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:

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 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 FREE 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. 

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:

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 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. 

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:

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. 

For example, I’ve seen Outschool classes priced as low as $5 while others are priced at $100+. 

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

How to learn this 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

As a blogger, one of the money making skills I have yet to develop is course creation. 

But it’s definitely on my list of high income skills to learn since I see so many bloggers making a killing with their online courses!

Course creation is a great skill to have because you can use it to make passive income.

You create a course and host it for sale through an online platform. People buy it and you make money!

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:

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 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

I’m terrible at design but if you’re good at it, you could be sitting on a gold mine of money making skills. 

Graphic design can cover a lot of ground when it comes to making money. And you can easily make a great income doing it!

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:

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.

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 skill:

You could go to school to get a degree in graphic design. But if that’s not in your budget or you don’t have time, 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. Caregiving skills

Taking care of others (whether it be people or pets) is a skill that some people just naturally seem to have. 

Those are skills I’ve had to learn as a mom and it definitely hasn’t been easy. 

But if you’ve got a nurturing personality, you could use those money making skills to earn a solid income. 

How to use this skill to make money:

There are different ways to make money as a caregiver. 

If you want to work in the health care field, for example, you work as a home health aide or nurse. Or if you want to work with kids, you might look for a job at a daycare center. 

But those kinds of jobs require schooling and a degree. 

If you don’t have a degree in either field, you could still make money as a caregiver. An easy way to do that is to work as a sitter for either kids or seniors through Sittercity. 

Sittercity allows you to create a profile and browse listings for people who are looking for sitters. Since you’re an independent contractor, you can choose which gigs you want to take.

And if you’d rather care for pets, you could look for dog walking or dog-sitting jobs on Rover instead. 

Either one could easily put $1,000 or more in your pocket every month, even just working part-time hours. And the more caregiving you do, the more you could earn. 

⇒Create a profile with Sittercity

⇒Sign up to pet sit with Rover

How to learn this skill:

Being a nurturer or carer is more about your personality than learned skills. 

But if you plan to do caregiving for kids, seniors or pets, there are some other skills you might want to pick up.

Getting CPR certified, for example, might be a good idea if you’re taking care of people.

Or you could take dog training classes if you’re interested in taking care of pets. 

12. Driving skills

If you’ve got a driver’s license and a car, you could have everything you need to make money. 

Driving skills are in-demand, especially now when more people are using ride-sharing services or having food and other items delivered to their homes. 

But can make you make six figures driving?

According to this article, yes you can. 

But you don’t have to rely on just driving skills to get you to the $100,000 a year mark. The more money making skills you put to work, the more you could earn!

How to use this skill to make money:

There are several ways you can make money driving. Some of the best options if you want a way to make a flexible income are:

  • Driving for Uber
  • Driving for Lyft
  • Delivering food with DoorDash
  • Delivering groceries with Instacart
  • Delivering almost everything else with Postmates

If you’re interested in a ride-sharing or delivery side hustle, consider what kind of time you can put in. And also factor in what the wear and tear to your vehicle might add up to. 

How to learn this skill:

Chances are you don’t need help learning driving skills if you already have a license. 

But you might benefit from developing some soft money making skills, such as time management skills or organizational skills. 

The more efficient you can be with your time, the better.

Because the more rides you offer or deliveries you make, the more you could earn! 

Other High Income Schools You Could Use to Make Money

woman working on a laptop

The money making skills I’ve mentioned so far are my favorites because they’re all things you can do to earn an income from home.

But they aren’t the only high income skills you might want to master. 

So here are a few more skills to learn to make money if you want to grow your income in a big way!

  • Video editing (start a YouTube channel)
  • Photography (Sell your stock photos online for cash!)
  • Coding
  • Website design and development
  • Mobile app development
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Facebook ads management
  • Animation
  • Crafting
  • Furniture rehab and flipping
  • Real estate investing
  • Passive investing (Generate income using your spare change!)
  • Sales
  • Public speaking
  • Translation
  • Computer programming
  • Microsoft Suite certification
  • Google ads certification
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Voice-over acting
  • Data entry
  • User testing
  • Insurance claims processing
  • Dropshipping
  • Blog flipping
  • Tax preparation
  • Organizing and decluttering

best money making skills

Turn Your Money Making Skills Into Cash!

By now you should have plenty of ideas for high income skills you could learn to make money, or skills you already have that you could turn into income. 

Do you have a favorite money making skill? Head to the comments and tell me about it.

And don’t forget to pin and share this post!

Read these posts next for more money-making ideas:

How to Make More Money in 2021: 21 Genius Ways to Grow Your Income

15 Best Survey Sites for Making Quick and Easy Money

25 Legitimate Ways to Make an Extra $1000 a Month Online (and Offline)

Best Money Making Skills to Grow Your Income

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