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50 Job Skills to Protect and Ramp Up Your Income in 2023

The best way to protect your job and maybe get a raise is with updated job skills. Which skills are those?

The 50 found below. All of them are in a recent report by freelancer site Upwork. Don’t worry, these skills apply to company jobs as well.

Brush up on these and you can improve your odds of being more valuable to your company in the face of uncertain economic times. Plus, these job skills can help you launch a freelance career or side hustle as well.

With enhanced skills, you will always have more and better work options.

Starting with Tech Skills

Upwork ranks full-stack development as the number one technical skill. has the breakdown of this job role.

“A programmer who works within software development and is knowledgeable in both the front end and back end of an application. They work to create a seamless user experience through their diverse skill set. They're also well-versed in databases, server configuration, and user interface.”

Number two and three job skills on this list are front-end development and back-end development respectively.

The rest of the most in-demand technical freelance skills needed for 2023:

4. Mobile App Development

5. Web Design

6. Ecommerce Website Development

7. UX/UI Design

8. CMS Development

9. Manual Testing

10. Scripting & Automation

Many of those freelance skills are available to almost anyone. Why? No-code development tools. So keep your eye on that trend even if you’re not the most techie person.

10 Most In-demand Marketing Skills

Marketing drives business. That hasn’t changed even in our technological age.

The job skills needed, though, have seen major changes.

SEO is the top skill in this category. No shock for any business owner who has ever tried to climb the Google search ladder.

The second most needed skill is social media marketing. Number three being ‘other’ digital marketer (think multiple skills and ability to wear many hats).

Four through ten go as follows:

4. Lead Generation

5. Sales & Business Development

6. Telemarketing

7. Search Engine Marketing

8. Email Marketing

9. Marketing Strategy

10. Marketing Automation

If you didn’t look at current reports like this from Upwork, you might think some skills were out of date. Like telemarketing. Not so. Many in the real estate business hire appointment setters who use real live phone calls!

Marketing automation is an interesting skill. Many consumers don’t realize many ads they see online are automated based on tracking pixels and your online actions. Also, email automation runs most major brands' email marketing.

Looking at lead generation, this is a great skill to have, even above sales on this list. No leads, leads to sales becoming quite a struggle.

Customer Service and Admin Support

The best skill to have in this arena is email, phone, & chat support. Soft skills, if you will. Companies need patient employees to handle customer issues and take the order in the first place in many cases.

The rest of this list is below.

2. General Virtual Assistance

3. Data Entry

4. Digital Project Management

5. General Research Services

6. Tech Support

7. Dropshipping / Order Processing

8. Community Management

9. Market Research

10. Transcription

Virtual assistance is a popular job skill in 2023 and has been for quite some time. Data entry is not the best-paying job but there is typically big demand for it.

Digital project management is the flip side of data entry. Depending on the types of projects, this skill can land you a high salary ($120k) in a full-time role. Often requiring only a high school diploma or equivalent. Alternatively, as a freelancer, project management pays well and could be done remotely in most scenarios.

Top 10 Accounting and Consulting Skills

Keep the books accurately and your job prospects go way up. Not to mention, accounting is perfect for freelancing. It is hard to imagine a time where businesses will not need solid accounting work. This job skill is great for part-time work, gig work, and a retirement job if wanted or needed.

The number two job skill was recruiting. You may be thinking of headhunter types. True, but there's a niche market now where freelancers source other freelancers to work on projects.

Example: Small Business X needs a team to develop a professional-level website. They hire a recruiter with a background in web development to find three people who can get the new site up and running. The former web developer will have relationships from past work to enable her to gather a team - a great team, since she has the experience to base hiring decisions on.

The third job skill? Bookkeeping. Close to accounting, with only slight differences. Many bookkeepers don’t do taxes, for instance.

Four through ten job skills in this analytical section:

4. Financial Analysis & Modeling

5. Management Consulting

6. Instructional Design

7. HR Administration

8. Business Analysis & Strategy

9. Tax Preparation

10. Financial Management / CFO

Upwork’s Top 10 Most Popular Design & Creative Skills

By the way. If you are a freelancer, I’d encourage you to set up automation for savings and investing. It’s easier to save money when you are at a company with an HR person to prompt you to sign up for a 401k. Freelancers have to prompt themselves.

Automatic deposits into savings and investment accounts are the safe and steady path to build wealth and save for your future.

Now, can you guess what job skill made the top spot in the creative and design category?

I would have thought video editing was number one. Yet it landed at number two, behind an old favorite. Graphic design.

Tech tools have made life and work easier for graphic artists, for sure. But the human element is what sets design apart, in my opinion. AI has a long way to go to improve upon what a human being can dream up then create through graphic design work.

Illustration is related to graphic design, of course, and it landed at the third most in-demand job skill. One tip, if you go check out Upwork now or in the future. Many job or gig listings have ‘tags’ for the skills the client needs for their project.

For example, if they need general graphic design, they might not mention more detailed requirements. But if they need illustration, they could label the gig with “Adobe Illustrator” to show that skill with a particular software is needed for the project.

The rest of the top ten shake out like this:

4. 3D Animation

5. Presentation Design

6. Image Editing

7. Cartoons & Comics

8. Product & Industrial Design

9. 2D Animation

10. Video Production

Wrapping Up Job Skills 2023

The job skills of tomorrow are here today in actuality. The data from freelance work that produced these top job skill lists can’t be ignored.

This is the type of work small businesses and entrepreneurs are needing in 2023 and beyond.

Out of the 50 freelance skills in demand listed above, there must be at least a few that interest you and are a fit for your natural talents.

I’d encourage you to invest time and money in upgrading those skills now. So you will be prepared for even the most uncertain economic times by having job skills employers are seeking in employees and freelancers.

Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, LLC, a registered investment advisor.

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