The Ultimate List of High-Income Skills You Can Learn Yourself

Matthew Gillman | April 7, 2022


    Key Takeaways

    • Software engineering, web design, blockchain, and copywriting are among the top high-income skills you should acquire. Plenty of them are IT-focused, yet you still need soft skills to achieve a higher salary.
    • Explore the free and paid learning alternatives opportunities to improve your capabilities. You should also look for a mentor to support you in your journey. And always utilize and upgrade your skills. Whether it’s full-time employment, business, or freelancing, they are your ticket to successful, well-paying jobs.
    • Tips for increasing your odds of getting approved for equipment loans for bad credit include working with a lender you already know, adding a cosigner, offering a larger down payment, applying from online lenders, and pledging another collateral.
    • There are a variety of soft skills that you can for sure master and can help you generate income consistently across your entire career. These skills include problem-solving, leadership, interpersonal skills, and a grasp of human psychology.

    You’re probably aware that certain professions pay far more than others. To land the big jobs, you’ll need the perfect blend of high-income skills. But did you know that if you put in a reasonable amount of work, you can develop high-income skills regardless of what degree you finish or pursue, whether you have a degree or not?

    Ironically, creating a boundary between what they know and what companies desire is one of the most complex things for most graduates. Your degree provides you with a set of competencies, but it just scratches the surface of who you are and what you can offer society. You can, however, further accumulate a wide range of abilities via a diversity of experiences. The more you can add to it, the more in demand you’ll be.

    With the massive changes occurring in the workforce, COVID-19 has boosted remote-working options. It also makes the workplace more flexible. Simultaneously, technological advancements will alter many occupations, and robots may substitute for others.

    High-income skills will enable you to secure an in-demand career in the modern world. And lets you earn a significant profit this 2021 and beyond. These skills will equip you to future-proof your professional career, making you relevant to any workforce.

    We gathered for you some of the high-income skills you can learn today to boost your earnings in the list below.

    What Do You Mean by High-Income Skills?

    Professional qualities and expertise that may earn you a six-figure yearly wage are referred to as high-income skills. Because of disparities in living expenditures, the concept of high-income varies by locality. But an annual six-figure salary is a fair starting point for defining high-income skills.

    Critical and creative thinking and distinctive problem-solving approaches are unlikely to be superseded by technology shortly.

    Human-centric skills such as leadership and empathy will become increasingly vital, and machines will not substitute them.

    Complex skills, such as technology, are also in limited supply in the marketplace, so honing them might provide you a competitive advantage and let you gain more profit.

    Thankfully, if you’re passionate and committed, you can develop several of these hard and soft skills. There are various in-person and online programs online, and not all of them require years of study. You can even accomplish some of them while you’re working on your present work.

    The Top 7 High-Income Skills in 2021 and Beyond

    You’ll learn about the high-income skills you might want to learn to elevate your standard of living. This list is not in any particular order. However, you’ll observe a considerable emphasis on IT and tech skills, reflecting the growing significance of tech-based competencies in the workplace.

    Each of the skills you’ll see is in great demand and is expected to stay that way for the coming years. Let’s get started if you’re ready to change your life and your finances.

    1. IT Expert Knowledge

    As we indicated at the outset, if you want to build expertise that will bring you a lot of money, you should concentrate on IT skills. So let’s take a glance at some of the IT fields that are in great demand right now and can pay substantially.

    Blockchain: Blockchain isn’t only about Bitcoin. Online payments, file storage, identity management, secure voting, smart contracts, and other areas are all expected to be transformed by blockchain.

    In the blockchain engineering world, demand is tremendous. Employment growth is quicker than usual, so there are many prospects to make a good living.

    Blockchain technology has grown to service various businesses since its inception in 2009. Its demand is expected to grow in the future decade. This is one of the reasons why blockchain is such lucrative expertise.

    You may use this expertise to work as the following:

    • Blockchain Solutions Architect
    • Blockchain Developer
    • Blockchain User Experience Designer (UX)
    • Blockchain Legal Expert

    However, you are not restricted to a single industry. You may work in any field as a blockchain expert.

    The majority of blockchain developers have a background in computer science and software development. You can enroll in web-based learning classes to boost your expertise if you have this background. IBM, Udemy, Coursera, and edX are some of the platforms you can consider to learn more.

    Now for the best part. What can you expect to earn as a blockchain expert? As a blockchain engineer, you’ll be among the top paid software engineers on the planet. Your yearly salary will most likely be between $124,500 and $231,500.

    Cyber Security: As we all become increasingly reliant on technology, the risk of cyber-attacks increases as well. Reports of hacked bank accounts or opportunistic people gaining access to sensitive or private data are prevalent.

    With this, there is a growing need for cyber security professionals. You’ll be in charge of the following tasks if you have cyber security skills:

    • Installing firewalls in computer network systems
    • Developing security software to safeguard sensitive corporate data
    • Providing cybersecurity consulting and guidance to businesses.

    To work as a cyber security specialist, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Cyber security wages in the United States vary from $60,000 (25th percentile) to $145,500 (75th percentile). The highest earners (90th percentile) receive $185,500 yearly.

    Programming: Programming is fundamental to almost every aspect of IT. Develop a solid working understanding of the most in-demand programming languages, and your salary will undoubtedly rise.

    Software Engineering Manager, Director Software Developer, and Software Engineering Specialist are some of the most prominent positions in the programming field.

    These roles pay between $23,149 (33.6%) and $75,287 (109.4%) in the United States, more than the average Programming Specialist income of $68,806.

    Website Design: A well-designed and functional website is an essential requirement for businesses transitioning to digital. This is where web designing as a high-income skill comes into play.

    Web designers are in charge of producing aesthetic and efficient websites that benefit businesses in establishing and maintaining a web presence. If you are creative but would not want to study deep coding, web design is your ideal option.

    How do I go about becoming a web designer? You may be asking now. Often these web designers have a design or computer science background.

    In the United States, the average yearly salary for a Web Designer is $60,202.

    Artificial Intelligence: The world of employment is about to change because of artificial intelligence. AI is being integrated into more and more corporate processes, and demands for AI professionals are expected to stay high.

    The dread of being substituted or dominated by robots arises when AI is mentioned. You probably feel and think this way whenever you hear the words artificial intelligence. However, it does not appear this is the case.

    AI is expected to eliminate over 1.8 million jobs by 2020, according to Pew Research Center. The same AI, on the other hand, will generate 2.3 million new jobs throughout the world. So why not join the 2.3 million others?

    You may develop programs like Apple’s Siri (weak AI). Or any other advanced and powerful application built to execute intelligent tasks. If you know how to program with machine learning expertise, this high-income skill might be the right fit for you.

    According to 52% of experts, even if automation displaces people from their employment, it will still lead to new jobs. After all, it’s not that horrible. With over a billion skilled individuals becoming unemployed, the future is bleak. There is, however, a ray of light on the horizon. Experts believe that human inventiveness will lead to the creation of additional jobs that do not require AI. Humanity will thrive after the AI conquest, just as it did after the industrial revolution.

    How can you learn artificial intelligence and machine learning? You reckon. A master’s or doctorate in Data Science is required to become a machine learning engineer. You’ll also need programming languages knowledge, notably Python.

    In the United States, data scientists may make an average of $119,413 per year, and machine learning engineers can earn up to $130,530 per year.

    Cloud Computing: Simply describe cloud computing as the delivery of computing cloud-based services. Why not learn cloud computing and turn it into a high-income skill? As more businesses transition to the cloud, demand for cloud computing is expected to soar. The industry is known to be valued at more than $1.3 trillion by 2025.

    As a cloud computing professional, you’ll be in charge of assisting businesses with their data migration to the cloud. How to become a cloud computing expert, you may ask? You’ll need to take a programming course before you can become a cloud computing specialist. You may have to master project management and systems automation if you want to specialize even more.

    With an annual compensation of over $174,000 per year, Principal Cloud Engineers are among the highest-paid cloud computing experts in the United States on the list.

    2. Digital Marketing

    If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, the future of business is in the digital realm it is. Consider how successful online companies have been despite the pandemic. Although some large brands and corporations have begun to migrate into the online world, the year 2020 has witnessed an exponential increase in the number of enterprises coming into the digital space.

    These businesses will need to create a web presence and on social media. This is where digital marketing enters the picture. You’ll be responsible for increasing brand visibility and generating leads as a digital marketer. You are the mastermind of creating a marketing plan. Furthermore, you are responsible for developing a content marketing strategy. As a digital marketer, you make and manage ad campaigns.

    In the United States, the average yearly salary for a digital marketing specialist is $52,778.

    3. Search Engine Optimization

    Another beneficial technological skill is SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Businesses are willing to pay thousands of dollars to be on Google’s first page of search results. Appearing at the top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) will likely boost eCommerce site sales. This is where SEO comes into play.

    So, what exactly is SEO? The method of ensuring that a company’s website shows as high up as possible in search engine results, notably Google, is known as search engine optimization. The higher a web page ranks in the search results, the more visits it receives, leading to more webpage awareness and sales.

    With SEO know-how, you’ll be able to serve businesses’ websites rank better in Google search results, resulting in more revenue.

    SEO is in increasing demand as companies attempt to increase organic traffic to their websites and goods. Organic views are pretty lucrative because the alternative involves bringing in visitors via social media posting or advertising. Organic traffic, on the other hand, is distinct. It’s comprised of individuals who are passionate about finding answers to the queries they’re addressing.

    You’ll need to enroll in an online course to learn SEO further. Backlinko, run by Brian Dean, is an excellent resource for learning SEO fundamentals. You might also want to have a look at the following SEO-related sites:

    The most exciting thing is that you may make up to $129,963 each year as an SEO expert. The average SEO salary in the United States is $60,810. However, roles like Head Of SEO, SEO Director, and Enterprise Search pay between $23,253 (38.2%) and $69,153 (113.7%) more. If you’re eligible, working in one of these related SEO jobs might enable you to gain more profit than the standard SEO job.

    4. Copywriting

    Have you ever come across a sales flyer that persuaded you to pull out your bank card and place an order? That is what successful copywriting is all about: selling with words. Copywriting focuses on creating promotional and marketing materials to sell a product or service.

    Copywriting, like digital marketing, is a high-income skill that is in great demand as more businesses shift to digital. It’s a high-income valuable skill in almost every industry, and it’s especially well-suited to freelance working.

    You’ll be accountable for the following if you work as a copywriter:

    • Writing ad copy for websites, social media, billboards, magazines, and more
    • Composing and sending out sales emails
    • Scriptwriting for marketing videos

    In the United States, the average copywriter’s remuneration is $59,084 per year. However, if you’re one of the best in the field, this is one of those skills that will get you prime income. Excellent copywriters are in high demand and may charge a hefty fee. They can also negotiate a percentage of the sales that their content produces, so if you’re successful, it can be pretty rewarding.

    Visit Laura Belgray’s blog, Talking Shrimp, for a sample of excellent copywriting. Her webpage explains why she’s one of the top copywriters in the business. Eddie Shleyner’s site, Very Good Copy, is also a good one to explore.

    More often than not, it’s all about selling when it comes to copywriting. However, if you read the finest wordsmiths in the industry, you’ll understand why they’re so good.

    5. Mentoring and Coaching

    Do you have a rep for being the go-to person for guidance and motivation? Or maybe you are an incredible communicator and a good listener? If you are nodding while you read this, then it’s time for you to consider coaching to be one of your high-income skills.

    Coaching and mentoring are in a growing market, even though they are not regulated. There are a plethora of coaching specializations to choose from. Dating coaches, life coaches, and personality coaches are just some of the few examples.

    To become a coach, you must get training from an ICF-accredited organization.

    How much money can a coach make? Your specialization determines it. In the United States, the average annual income for a Business Coach is $73,805.

    6. Digital Content Creation

    For a few years, we’ve known that content marketing will be valued at slightly over $400 billion by 2021. The revolution that was taking place could not be stopped.

    According to research conducted by Technavio, the industry will increase by another $269 billion or more by 2024, increasing the total value to nearly $600 billion.

    And can you guess what the most popular outsourced activity is? Content Creation. This is why one of the high-income skills you should acquire is digital content creation. You may engage in any niche and with any form of content as a digital content creator.

    Here are some of the things you can do:

    • Design infographics
    • Make blog entries
    • Audio producer for podcasts
    • Digital photographer

    What steps do you need to take to become a digital content creator then? You’ll need first to pick what kind of content you would like to make. Fancy creating podcasts? Taking an audio-production course can be ideal. You should pursue a film or broadcasting course to become a videographer, filmmaker, or editor.

    So how much can digital content creators make? This is entirely up to you and the sort of content you produce. In the United States, the average yearly compensation for a content creator is $47,416. As a video editor, you can expect to make $47,003 a year. You may wish to earn up to $54,924 income per year as a podcast creator.

    7. Soft Skills

    We’ve discussed thus far are hard skills or technical competencies that allow you to do your job. However, you should not overlook soft skills, such as interpersonal skills, which determine how you collaborate with others. Nurturing these skills can also let you make a lot of money.

    Listed below are a few examples:

    Adaptability: You’ll maintain your earning capacity on target if you adjust to the evolving nature of work and expand your competencies to meet rising demands.

    Problem-solving: Moving ahead with novel approaches to business challenges and minimizing risk from occurring in the first place is a highly sought-after skill.

    Management and Leadership: To progress in your job and earn more money, you’ll need to lead and manage people effectively.

    Transferable Skills: Cultivating a transferable skillset that you can use in various occupations and sectors will allow you to pursue new and more profitable options. Transferable skills are a must-have if you want to make a good living.

    Collaboration: To earn a decent living, you should know how to work well with others. Collaboration skills lead to more outstanding overall performance appraisal, which translates to a higher compensation package.


    Consider what you want to do or your dream career. Then pick the high-income skills that go with it. That way, you may embark on a career path that is profitable, gratifying, and enjoyable.

    So there you have it. Those are the seven high-income skills you can learn and master. The skills listed above are valuable to acquire in 2021 and beyond. They allow you to apply for jobs with high earning potential, such as six-figure roles that would otherwise be out of reach.

    Why not study one of these in-demand skills and move up if you feel stuck in your current field, especially if you hold a degree that seems completely ineffective? Learning high-income skills can assist you in defining the value you provide in the marketplace so you may be paid more.

    What new skills will you acquire? Let us know in the comments section below. Also, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have questions regarding any of the high-income skills covered. Best of luck!

    About the Author

    Matthew Gillman is the founder and CEO of SMB Compass, a bespoke business financing company focused on providing financing and education to small businesses across the U.S. The company has provided over $250 million to more than 1,250 businesses. Coming from a family of small business owners sparked Matthew’s passion to not only become an entrepreneur, but also to work with his fellow entrepreneurs to build long-lasting relationships.