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What kind of work can I get done?

Anything that can be done on a computer – from web and mobile programming to graphic design – can be done on Upwork. Freelance experts can tackle a range of projects:

  • Big or small
  • Short or ongoing
  • Individual or team-based

Whether you need a writer to knock out a 500-word blog post or a full-fledged software development team to support your business, our tools and the expert freelancers in our marketplace can accommodate.

How do I hire the right freelancer?

Start by writing a clear and concise job post. Each freelancer submits a cover letter and link to their Upwork profile covering:

  • Skills, experience and portfolios
  • Client feedback
  • Language and communication skills

You'll get applications from independent professionals and receive our personalized recommendations within minutes. From there, just interview your strongest candidates and hire your favorite.

How do payments work?

Pay your freelancer per hour or per project, whichever you choose. For hourly projects, the freelancer bills you once a week, and we'll send a secure payment to your freelancer. For fixed-price projects, we'll release funds to your freelancer after they meet pre-set milestones. In either case, you're covered by Upwork Payment Protection, assuring that you only pay for work you approve.

All payments go through our secure system. Choose from the following billing methods:

  • Credit card
  • PayPal
  • Bank account

When we send your payments to the freelancer, we deduct a 10% fee from the rate they charge you. For example, if you pay your freelancer $20, they earn $18 and we receive $2.

How do I know I'm protected?

Enjoy peace of mind with systems designed to provide a safe and trusted workplace, including:

Work Diary. This tool captures snapshots of your freelancer's screen every 10 minutes, helping to verify that on hourly jobs, work has been completed as invoiced.

Payment Protection. Upwork Payment Protection assures you that you pay only for work you've approved.

Dispute Resolution. If an issue ever should arise, we have programs to help fix the situation.

Top 5 Questions We Hear Customers Ask

  • What projects can I do on Upwork?

    What kind of work can I get done? Anything you can do on a computer can be done through Upwork. Freelancers in our marketplace can tackle a wide range of projects — big or small, one-off or repeat, individual or team-based. Whether you need a content writer for an SEO-friendly blog post, or your own 24/7 software development team to build a mobile app or create a web portal, you’ll find talent on Upwork ready to support your business.

  • How do I find the right freelancer?

    How do I know my freelancer is going to get the job done? It’s easy. First think about the skills you need, then describe your job and post it. Next wait for freelancers to submit their best proposals for your review. You can also invite freelancers to submit proposals from potential matches we highlight, or search our entire freelance community for that perfect fit.

    Does Upwork screen freelancers? At Upwork we strive to provide a fair and trusted marketplace. This includes working diligently to verify that freelancers are representing themselves correctly. We begin by authenticating the email address of registered users. We then provide many forms of screening for clients to use, from online tests (where freelancers can demonstrate their expertise) to our Job Success score. Ultimately however, it is your responsibility to do the final screening to help ensure that the freelancer is a great match for you and your project. We do have features in place to help facilitate the screening process, from Upwork Messages for real-time communication with freelancers to custom screening questions to assist you in identifying the best matches.

    What is the Top Rated Program? Our Top Rated Program is designed to showcase talent who consistently deliver at the top level of their field. Freelancers who achieve this level display a Top Rated badge on their Upwork profile, representing great work, excellent relationships with clients, and other critical factors in creating successful projects.

  • Am I safe working here?

    How do I know my freelancer is actually working on my project? Upwork has several processes in place to enable you to confirm work completed on your projects. On hourly contracts, this includes the Work Diary. It’s a visual billable time system that records work completed. It also takes screenshots of the freelancer’s screen six times per hour to verify work, as well as counting keystrokes during sessions. We also include Upwork Messages which allows for simple, real-time communication with your freelancer.

    What if I’m not happy with the results? Most projects on Upwork get completed on-time and as expected. If there’s a disagreement between you and your freelancer, we’ll provide free dispute assistance and, if needed, connect you with arbitration.

    How can I ensure that my IP is safe? The Service Contract terms in our User Agreement set forth confidentiality obligations and your right to ownership of intellectual property. You can also add additional terms to your job, and you can have your freelancer sign an additional Non-Disclosure Agreement if needed.

    Who owns the legal rights to work product developed by a freelancer engaged on Upwork? Once a freelancer receives payment for work completed on a project, our Terms of Service specify that ownership of that work transfers to the client. If desired, freelancers and clients may also agree on different or additional terms regarding work product ownership. For details, see Section 8.6 of our User Agreement.

  • How do payments work?

    How does Upwork make money? Upwork charges your freelancer a 10% service fee on payments. For example, if you and your freelancer agree to a $1,000 price for a job, when you send $1,000 through our payment system, we deduct $100 (10%) and release the remaining $900 to your freelancer. We also make money by offering optional premium memberships and subscription services.

    How often will I be charged? How are payments and invoices handled? When/where do I provide my CC info? You have two options for working with your freelancer: hourly or fixed-price. With hourly projects, you must have a payment method on file before your freelancer begins work. Using our automated billing system, your freelancer will bill you each week. Once you review and approve each weekly invoice (you have one week to do so), Upwork charges your payment method and releases funds to your freelancer through our escrow service. Or, with fixed-price projects, you have the option of dividing a large project into agreed-upon milestones. Before each milestone begins, you must fund escrow for that portion of the project with a payment method on file. Once a milestone is completed by the freelancer, and you review and approve the work, your funds are released to your freelancer from escrow. For additional information, see our Terms of Service, including the hourly escrow instructions and the fixed-price escrow instructions.

    What methods of payment do you accept? You can use your MasterCard, Visa, American Express, PayPal, or a bank account to pay your freelancers. Your financial information is safe and will not be shared.

    How do I work with and pay freelancers? Beginning with the hiring process and through project completion, Upwork makes it easy to communicate with and pay your freelancers online. This includes Upwork Messages, which allows for real-time sharing and collaboration. You make payments to your freelancer through our escrow service, using a credit card, PayPal or through your bank account.

  • How do I get started?

    What should I do after I register? Once you sign up as a client, it's time to define your project. Outline your goals, deliverables, the skills you're looking for, and your desired deadline. By thinking through and articulating your needs, you make it easier to write an effective job post and explain your project to others. Now that you know what you need, post a job. We’ll instantly match you with promising freelancers, but you can also search the entire marketplace for freelancers and invite qualified experts to submit proposals.

    How do I hire on Upwork? What do I look for in a freelancer? First think about the work and skills you need, then describe your job and post it. Freelancers will soon submit their best proposals for your review. You can also invite freelancers to submit proposals from a list of potential matches we highlight, or search our entire freelance community for that perfect fit. Next, evaluate freelancers by reviewing their Upwork profile – which can include work experience and samples, client feedback, test scores and much more. You may also want to look for freelancers in our Top Rated Program. Then, have a quick interview with your top candidates to answer specific questions. To enlist a freelancer’s services, simply click the “Hire” button to get started.

    How do I make my project a success? Start by writing a clear and concise job post. When evaluating candidates, focus on freelancers with proven work on similar projects (we'll match you with a short list of freelancers likely to succeed). Once you’ve selected your freelancer, communicate clearly about your needs.