There’s a misconception that independent workers can’t make enough money but the reality is, of those who quit a traditional job in order to freelance, 73% of full-time freelancers say they earn more now than they did at a traditional employer.

We compiled a list of the 20 highest-paying skills for U.S. freelancers out of more than 5,000 on our site. The data shows some independent professionals are earning more than $250 an hour for work in categories spanning nearly every industry, including legal, tech, finance, and marketing.

According to Upwork Chief Economist Adam Ozimek: “This data illustrates that work of a very high skilled nature is being done by professionals on Upwork. Highly-paid skills aren’t just anecdotes or limited to one field. They range from law to marketing to finance to high tech, and a significant percentage of U.S. freelancers earn quite high hourly wages on the platform.”

Check out the skills that companies are paying the big bucks for:

Want more industry-specific information? Here’s a look at tech and marketing skills.

Top tech skills and their average hourly rates
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  1. Bitcoin – $215
  2. Image object recognition – $180
  3. Virtual machine – $175
  4. SQR – $170
  5. Lucene search – $165
  6. OrCAD – $165
  7. P-CAD – $165
  8. Clustering – $165
  9. DHTML – $150
  10. SAP CPI – $150
  11. Google Adsense API – $150
  12. Oracle Integration Cloud – $145
  13. Dell Boomi – $140
  14. Google Experiments – $140
  15. VWO – $140
  16. Virtualization – $135
  17. Backup administration – $135
  18. Open CV – $135
  19. Expression engine – $130
  20. Systems development – $125

 

Top marketing skills and their average hourly rate
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  1. Behavioral design – $195
  2. Event photography – $150
  3. Lead magnet – $150
  4. Paid social – $145
  5. Hotjar – $130
  6. Scenario planning – $125
  7. Innovation strategy – $125
  8. Citrix / GoToMeeting – $125
  9. Pricing strategy consulting – $115
  10. Video processing – $110
  11. Executive coaching – $105
  12. DoubleClick Bid Manager – $105
  13. Pitch deck – $105
  14. Venture capital consulting – $100
  15. Social listening – $100
  16. Partnerships – $100
  17. Food photography – $95
  18. Facebook ads – $95
  19. DoubleClick for Publishers – $95
  20. Marketo – $90

This data was sourced from the Upwork database and is based on average hourly rates charged by U.S. freelancers from Jan 1, 2019 – June 30, 2019. Each skill had a minimum of 2 contracts and 40 hours billed (equivalent of 1 week of work and more than 1 project) for reliability.