9 High-Income Skills to Make Incredible Income without a Degree

High-Income Skills to Learn in 2021

As you might know, I hit rock bottom of my life years ago. I was not happy, and the major causes of my depression were career and finances. I was not happy with all the jobs I got, and when I moved to Puerto Rico, I couldn’t find a meaningful job. For a little while, I was working a phone job that I hated every day.

I didn’t want to spend another 30 years of my life working that kind of job. Neither did I want a high-paying job that would only chain me to a desk for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and 300 days a year.

I knew I needed a solution. The corporate world was not for me.

I started this blog and successfully turned it into a money-making blog. But as I often mention here, blogging isn’t the only way out.  And I believe there is no one right way to succeed.

My point is, when I started opening my mind to possibilities and getting rid of my limiting beliefs, I saw hundreds of opportunities before me. So before the year 2019 ended, I launched my first product on Amazon and officially became an Amazon seller!

Nothing excites me more than finding opportunities and taking action. And I am writing to you right now because if you feel lost and stuck in life, I want to inspire you to get moving. Take action and lead your life to where you want to be.

I always believe that you don’t always need to be a lawyer, a surgeon,  or a CEO of a company to make big bucks. Let’s admit it, those professions take time to achieve and not all of us have that much time and resources to learn.

It’s why I write so much about money-making ideas on this blog to help you start making money without a humungous investment of time and money. There are so many high-income skills that don’t really need fancy degrees and 4-10 years of study.

Ready to learn? Read on!

Best High-Income Skills That Make Top Dollar

If you’d like to make more money than the average American and have the opportunity to create your dream life, then I would suggest exploring this high-income skills list. Don’t be surprised if you find out later that there are high-income skills without a degree required.

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Photo of laptop and coffee mug work remote workers with high income skills

1. Proofreading

If you have a keen eye for spotting errors in a written document and are able to correct them, then you could very well make an excellent proofreader. Proofreaders are in demand in many sectors. Authors, bloggers, business owners, students, people in the academe, even big companies need proofreaders to ensure that their material is cohesive and free from errors (spelling, grammar, syntax, punctuations, etc.).

General proofreaders typically work with different types of materials, such as books, ebooks, blogs, web content, and more. Legal proofreaders work especially with legal documents and other materials that are specific to the legal industry. 

The skills you need: high level of English skills, attention to detail, the ability to meet deadlines, remain focused and thorough in proofreading long documents.

Income potential: general proofreaders earn an average of $50,000 or more a year, while legal proofreaders tend to earn more. The beauty of proofreading is that you can make money from it from home or anywhere!

My friend Caitlin Pyle over at ProofreadAnywhere.com has been helping people become financially free through proofreading since 2014 — and was actually a proofreader herself before that. She has put together a free online workshop that answers all of the most common questions about becoming a proofreader, and she even shows you how to use the most popular tools used by proofreaders around the world.

Check out this Workshop here while it’s still FREE.

2. Blogging

Before, blogging was just considered a hobby. But right now, it has become a full-fledged business that can possibly bring in a lucrative income. It also easily qualifies as one of the best high-income skills without a degree. 

What’s beautiful about blogging is that you can pretty much get started with very little investment such as domain and hosting. As long as you have stories to tell, and these stories resonate with your audience, then your blog is off to a good start.

Blogs make money in various ways, such as ads, sponsored content, affiliate marketing, and more. As you become more serious with blogging, you’d want to acquire other skills, such as networking and marketing, image editing, and some technical skills like SEO. The more related skills you acquire, the likelier it is to maximize your blog’s earning potential.

The skills you need: content writing, image editing, social networking, marketing, SEO.

Income potential: six digits

If you want to learn how to start a blog and make money from your new blog, head over to How to Start a Blog and Make Money in 2021. I wrote that detailed guide to help you get started even if you don’t have experience with blogging! You could also sign up for my upcoming free blogging course here!

3. Writing

Online writing is another high-income skill that commands lucrative pay, and it’s constantly on the list of high-income skills in 2020. Online writers write for the internet. They inform, educate and entertain through words. Some of the common materials online writers make are blogs, web content, articles, ebooks, and more. Writers may be paid a flat fee per word, per project, or per hour.

Copywriting, a specialized field of writing that focuses on creating materials that sell, is also highly paid. In some instances, copywriters are not just paid a flat rate, but also a percentage of the sales from their copies.

The skills you need: top-notch writing skills, ability to research, meet deadlines, network and handle criticisms

Income potential: writing income vary depending on field and specialization, but many make five to six digits from it.  

You don’t need a degree to become a well-paid freelance writer but a good training might help you succeed faster. Holly Johnson, a 6-figures freelance writer, has a free introductory training that teaches the techniques she used to build her writing income to $200,000 per year!

Don’t miss it because lots of people who are making a good living from writing are raving about Holly’s strategies!

4. Photography

Photographers aren’t just people who take photos on weddings and first birthdays. People also hire photographers for their marketing campaigns, capture images for posters and social media content. Photographers could even make passive income by selling their work on stock websites.

For me, photography is one of the best high-income skills to learn because you could make a lucrative amount of money with just one gig. Professional photographers typically invest in top-notch cameras, lenses, and accessories, but you could very well start with a decent DSLR camera or even a smartphone with almost DSLR functions.

The skills you need: creativity, technical photography skills, networking, attention to detail, customer service, and marketing.

Income potential: depends on the field of photography, but according to Salary.com, the average income is $66,000.

5. Podcasting

If you love to talk and are excellent at carrying conversations, then podcasting is one of the best high-income skills you can make money from. Podcasts are recorded audio conversations between you and your audience, or you and your guests, and are made available for download and streaming.

Podcasters can pick and niche and talk about it. For instance, if you are a savvy traveler, then you do a podcast show on anything travel-related. This means you can talk about anything within your niche and appeal to an audience of travel-enthusiasts. With that said, you don’t need to be a graduate of a specific degree or have a certification in podcasting. You can just talk and talk, and then make money.

Pocastcasters can make money in various ways, such as sponsored podcasts, direct support from fans and listeners, affiliate content, and selling complementary products.

The skills you need: speaking and interview skills, audio editing, empathy with the audience, story-telling, networking, and marketing.

Income potential: income from podcasting varies. According to The Best Media, ads in podcasts cost between $20-$100 per 1000 listeners and $500-$900 per 10,000 downloads in affiliate sales.

6. Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is one of the demand high-income skills as well. Businesses, whether big or small, need bookkeepers to maintain their financial records. Bookkeepers are in charge of recording and organizing financial transactions, preparing financial reports, recording payments, and more.

Bookkeepers play a crucial role in providing business owners with a general and detailed overview of their business’ financial health. Most business owners do not have the time to dwell with the nitty-gritty of these transactions, making bookkeeping a sought-after service.

Nowadays, you do not have to take up courses on accounting or bookkeeping to become a bookkeeper. Even those without prior experience can become bookkeepers by taking advantage of comprehensive bookkeeping courses available online.

The skills you need: number-savvy, communication skills, tech skills, problem-solving, attention to detail, and organization skills.

Income potential: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for bookkeepers is $19-$20 per hour. Virtual bookkeepers make more, commanding a rate of up to $60-$100 per hour.

If you have no bookkeeping experience though and you want to learn how to become a bookkeeper, I recommend checking out Ben Robinson’s free workshop on how to start your own digital bookkeeping business. Ben, the founder of Bookkeepers.com, has already helped hundreds of people build successful bookkeeping businesses from home through his coaching program.

7. Virtual Assisting

Virtual assisting is another high-income skill that allows you to make money from home, (or anywhere!). Busy entrepreneurs hire virtual assistants to relieve them of specific often recurring and time-consuming tasks, such as social media management, data entry, appointment-setting, and more. While some virtual assistants specialize in providing administrative assistance, most VAs are now well-rounded and can perform various tasks.

Since virtual assisting is a broad umbrella, you may want to focus on VA services that bring in more income, such as the following:

  • Facebook ads
  • Email management
  • Social media management
  • Ghostwriting
  • researching
  • Marketing
  • Product research for Amazon sellers
  • Presentation creation
  • Customer support
  • Graphic design

The skills you need: high level of communication skills (written and oral); tech-savviness; organization and management skills; ability to decide and instill self-discipline, and the eagerness to keep learning.

Income potential: income for VAs vary depending on skills and experience. According to Glassdoor, VAs can make around $10-$40 per hour. Well-paid VAs though make $50-100 per hour!

8. Online marketing

We’re living in a world that’s highly reliant on the internet, so it’s no surprise why online marketing is one of the top high-income skills to learn that makes money in 2021 (and beyond). Online marketing is a massive umbrella with several sub-categories under it, such as:

  • Content marketing – using various content such as text, graphics, and videos to stimulate an audience’s interest in a brand and its product and services.
  • Email marketing – using email as a medium to win new customers and connect with existing ones.
  • SEO – using search engine optimization strategies to increase a brand’s traffic and visibility by making content optimized for searches.
  • Social media marketing – using social media as a platform for customer engagement, increase leads, and drive more sales.

Digital marketing can be highly specialized, such as focusing on Pinterest management or Facebook ads. So if you want to be successful in this job, you want to learn the basics and foundations of digital marketing, and then specialize in a niche that you enjoy and are more skilled in.

The skills you need: tech-savviness, eagerness to study and learn digital trends, ability to acquire new skills, analyze data, and project management skills.

Income potential: Most digital marketers work on a freelance basis, allowing them to juggle one or clients simultaneously. Digital marketers can easily make five to six-digit incomes.

9. Coaching/consulting

If you’re an expert in something, you could take advantage of that and make money through coaching or consulting. Private individuals and business owners often hire coaches or consultants to access expert-level advice, and these people are willing to pay the price, even if it’s a premium.

What makes coaching or consulting one of the best high-income skills is that you already have something in you that you can market. You’re basically capitalizing on your expertise and experience to make money. Professional coaches aren’t just mentors. They provide valuable support to their clients and help them realize their goals.

You can offer coaching services entirely online, or you could do in-person sessions with your clients (or a combination of both).

The skills you need: strong communication skills, networking, marketing, empathy towards clients, listening skills, and the ability to provide inspiration.

Income potential: income for coaches and consultants vary depending on the field of specialization and demand. Many coaches make five to six digits of income per year. 

Final Thoughts

High-income skills could be your golden ticket to a life you’ve always wanted. This list of high-income skills is in demand, not just right now, but also in the foreseeable future.

Fortunately, you can learn most of these skills. The internet has a slew of resources you can take advantage of, from YouTube videos, to free and paid training and classes. You may also get a mentor to give you practical tips in honing your craft.

What high-income skills do you wish to learn? Let’s connect in the comments.

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9 High-Income Skills to Make Incredible Income without a Degree

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