The 10 Highest-Paying Gig Economy Jobs of 2019

Robotics engineer
••• 聽 Georgijevic/Getty Images聽

The聽gig economy is often mistaken for limited side hustling鈥攑art-time work that can only yield part-time (i.e., low) income. If you鈥檙e tech-savvy, now is the time to change your perspective. Professionals with the right skills have lucrative freelance options, according to a FitSmallBusiness.com . Their research revealed the 10 disciplines with the in 2018鈥攁nd the job growth to match:

1. Deep Learning/Artificial Intelligence: $115.06 Per Hour

  • : Deep learning is a fast-growing industry used to create self-teaching systems. Google, for instance, uses deep learning in their voice and image recognition algorithms, and streaming sites like Netflix use it to predict which titles you鈥檙e likely to watch. At its core, deep learning involves feeding computer systems massive amounts of data, and then 鈥渢eaching鈥 them to assess the data鈥檚 meaning in the same way a human brain breaks down information. When successful, the system will use the data to make future decisions.
  • Background and Training: Most employers require a bachelor鈥檚 or master鈥檚 degree in computer science, but you shouldn鈥檛 discount relevant work experience, including Java and C++ proficiencies.
  • Where to Find Gigs: There currently are over 8,000 deep learning jobs posted on LinkedIn, so you鈥檒l have no shortage of opportunity in this field. For telecommuting gigs, check out extensive list of opportunities.

2. Blockchain Architecture: $87.05 Per Hour

  • Job Description: The internet was once run on servers, also known as cloud computing, in which users share data on third-party servers via Google and Microsoft. Blockchain architecture allows users to connect directly using a peer-to-peer system, which increases security and eliminates the need for a middle-man. Blockchain infrastructures are becoming increasingly popular in banking and cryptocurrency transactions, e.g., Bitcoin, and the possibilities are endless for other consumer businesses.
  • Background and Training: need a strong background in programming, including knowledge of C++, Solidarity, and Python, Ethereum, and Java to qualify for the average position. It鈥檚 also helpful to have previous experience helping clients set up cryptocurrency payments for their businesses.
  • Where to Find Gigs: You鈥檒l find long-term blockchain opportunities within FlexJobs鈥檚 database, and you鈥檒l find one-time gigs on Upwork鈥檚 job board, many of which list their budgets at $1,000 or more.

3. Robotics: $77.46 Per Hour

  • Job Description: Robotics engineers are responsible for conceptualizing, designing, and modeling the mechanical elements of robotic mechanisms. Robotics disciplines include mechanical and electrical 鈥攁nd companies are expanding to develop devices in the as well.
  • Background and training: Securing a robotics position usually requires a bachelor鈥檚 degree in mechanical engineering, but a proven proficiency in 3D modeling using computer-aided design (CAD) might be considered. You鈥檒l also need experience using eDrawing, Simplify 3D, SolidWorks Pro, and Photoview 360.
  • Where to Find Gigs: FlexJobs and Upwork list a few robotics positions with the option to telecommute, and you may have additional success searching for 鈥渕echanical design engineer鈥 or 鈥渞obotics engineer.鈥 A LinkedIn job search also found nearly 800 robotics engineering jobs with big names like Apple and Toyota in the mix.

4. Ethical Hacking: $66.63 Per Hour

  • Job Description: Hacking is synonymous with data breaches and identity theft鈥攗nless you鈥檙e on the ethical side. Ethical hackers are paid to spot vulnerabilities in online systems before malicious hackers can take advantage. This usually involves reviewing installation processes, bypassing firewalls, cracking encryptions, and exploiting web servers to gain access to sensitive information.
  • Background and Training:聽The best freelancers in this area are information systems security professionals or certified (CEH), who to qualify for top positions.
  • Where to Find Gigs: The phrases, 鈥渆thical hacker鈥 and 鈥減enetration tester鈥 return one-time gig results in Upwork, and you鈥檒l find hundreds of ongoing positions using the same terms in FlexJobs鈥檚 database.

5. Cryptocurrency: $65.37 Per Hour

  • Job Description: Bitcoin has changed global commerce and fostered the growing need for blockchain technology. Freelance developers with the ability to build automated payment tools using altcoins are sought after, including those who understand how to integrate bitcoin payment technology into existing websites and apps.
  • Background and Training: Blockchain architecture and cryptocurrency development go hand-in-hand, which means that most positions require similar experience, including C++, Solidarity, and Python, Ethereum, and Java proficiency. You鈥檒l also get bonus points if you鈥檝e set up cryptocurrency payment systems in the past.
  • Where to Find Gigs: has dozens of freelance listings for cryptocurrency developers, with a few that offer more than $100 per hour. FlexJobs and Upwork are also reliable sources for your gig search, and you can also apply to , a staffing service that connects freelancers to businesses in search of skilled professionals.

6. Amazon Web Services, Lambda Coding: $51 Per Hour

  • Job Description: Amazon Web Services鈥 Lambda technology enables trigger-based code execution. In layman鈥檚 terms, it allows you to minimize server space by running code only when a pre-set trigger event exists. For example, if a user completes an order form, the Lambda system might trigger the information to be loaded into another database as a one-time action, rather than taking up space when no actions are in progress.聽
  • Background and Training: In addition to a degree in computer science, lambda freelancers are generally skilled users of Node.js, Java, C#, and Python. They also understand how to design triggers and load code onto Lambda.
  • Where to Find Gigs: Amazon鈥檚 lists hundreds of Lambda-related positions all over the country, but only a few are work-from-home. If you鈥檇 rather stick to freelancing, check out Upwork鈥檚 job listings using the search phrase, 鈥淎WS Lambda.鈥

7. Virtual Reality: $50.18 Per Hour

  • Job Description: If you鈥檝e ever entered the worlds of Pokemon Go or Geocaching, you鈥檝e experienced . App designers create digital content that combines visual and audio to create an interactive world in a user鈥檚 environment.
  • Background and Training: Freelancers looking for gig jobs in this area must have expertise in developing augmented reality algorithms and fluency in C#, C, and C++. Most also have a background in 3D modeling and 3D scanning.
  • Where to Find Gigs: Industry leaders like Microsoft, Facebook (Oculus), and Google are looking for virtual reality developers right now via Indeed.com, and many of them offer telecommuting and flexible schedule options. If you prefer freelance work, you鈥檒l find temporary and telecommuting gigs through FlexJobs, Upwork, and Guru.

8. ReactJS聽Developers: $40.75 Per Hour

  • Job Description: Created by a Facebook software engineer in 2011, React is a Javascript library that allows developers to build user interfaces with existing templates, eliminating the need to start from scratch. Companies like Yahoo, Airbnb, and American Express rely on React to allow consumers to make multiple selections on a page (the number of bedrooms in a rental, for example) it.
  • Background and Training: While some positions may require a bachelor鈥檚 degree in computer science, work experience is heavily valued in this field, including proficiency in React, JavaScript, Redux, Webpack, EcmaScript, RESTful APIs, and API debugging.
  • Where to Find Gigs: FlexJobs has hundred of active listings seeking React developers for freelance and full-time telecommuting jobs.

9. Final Cut Pro Editor: $37.12 Per Hour

  • Job Description: Visual communication is crucial in our culture, and the ability to edit material with Apple鈥檚 software is a marketable skill. This professional-grade software allows you to cut video clips, alter pace, integrate music, edit scenes, insert transitions, and more. As an editing freelancer, you can find work in almost every professional field.
  • Background and Training: Software proficiency is key in this job description. While some employers might require a bachelor鈥檚 degree, you鈥檙e likely to stand out with a convincing portfolio of past work.
  • Where to Find Gigs: You鈥檒l find one-time gigs through Upwork by searching for 鈥淔inal Cut Pro,鈥 and 鈥渧ideo editor,鈥 many of which advertise rates of $350 or more. FlexJobs also lists more than 750 telecommuting opportunities ranging from freelance to full-time.

10. Instagram Marketing: $31.23 Per Hour

  • Job Description: Instagram is home to , many of which sell products through their personal feeds. As a marketer and influencer, you鈥檒l connect with brands and advertise their products through your photos for an agreed-upon fee.
  • Background and Training: Little professional training is needed to qualify as an Instagram marketer; your followers are credential enough. That said, brands are more likely to work with influencers with a larger following, and it鈥檚 a good idea to use the tools at your disposal. Entrepreneur Magazine using the platform鈥檚 built-in analytics to track and improve your promotion strategies. It鈥檚 also wise to cross-promote your posts across multiple social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.
  • Where to Find Gigs: While some brands seek out Instagrammers, be prepared to pursue them yourself if you don鈥檛 yet have a large following. You can join influencer networks like and to connect with brands, submit campaigns, and begin earning cash.

With gigs like these, it鈥檚 clear that freelancing isn鈥檛 a small-time pursuit. Use your tech skills to take advantage of the changing landscape of remote employment. You might find a future that involves working less鈥攁nd earning much more.