How Much Can You Make On Upwork? 

Most freelancers are curious about their potential earnings when they hop onto one of the largest freelance marketplaces. Can they generate a sustainable income from Upwork? Or are they limited to jobs that pay meager fees?

It may take months or years to establish your reputation on Upwork. And asking such questions is reasonable not to let those efforts go down the drain. 

However, no definite answer exists about how much you could earn on Upwork as a newbie or a veteran freelancer.

I’ll explain why Upwork earnings vary and how you can learn how much others earn.

Factors Influencing Upwork Earnings

On Upwork, your earning potential depends on several factors.

  • Profession. Highly-trained experts are more likely to earn more than generic positions. For example, machine learning engineers might charge 4-5 times the hourly rate of virtual assistants.
  • Experience. If you’ve been in the trade for years or decades, you will likely be paid more than junior freelancers.
  • Country. Clients from developed countries like US, UK, and Australia often pay better than those from developing countries.
  • Competition. Some niches experience more competition than others, which limits the fees that clients offer.
  • Skills. You can charge higher if you offer specializations or combinations of skills that separate you from competitors. 
  • Rating & Reviews. Upworkers with a string of good reviews might get more pay than their counterparts just starting on the platform. 

How much do top Upwork freelancers earn? 

While I wouldn’t encourage you to align your expectations with others’ achievements, a dose of inspiration never hurts.

One of Upwork’s top earners, Morgan Overholt, a graphic designer, made $600,000+ in 5 years. 

Many freelancers made their total earnings visible on their public profiles. If you browse them, you might find others who crossed the 6-figure mark on Upwork.

But what about me?

I crossed that $70k mark in 2023. Read my guide to making money on Upwork.

So, how much can you possibly earn on Upwork? 

Ultimately, your earning potential depends on how good and experienced you are. And how you pitch your services to your clients.

It’s hard to determine how much you’ll bring home in a year or month, but Upwork provides statistics on how much other freelancers earn.

Upwork published such statistics on its web page. Follow these steps to learn what other freelancers in your niche are earning.

  1. Search ‘[profession] hourly rate Upwork’ on Google’.
  2. Open the webpage from Upwork

For example, here’s how much blog writers earn on average on the platform.

Upwork provides a summarized list of earnings for different niches.

  • Writers: $30-$40/hour
  • Editors: $25-35/hour
  • Programmers: $60-$70/hour
  • General developers: $50-60/hour
  • Mobile developers: $55-65/hour
  • Web developers: $50-60/hour
  • Graphic designers: $40-45/hour
  • Transcribers:  $20-25/hour
  • Bookkeepers: $30-35/hour
  • Online marketers: $15-$45/hour
  • Photographers: $35-$45 /hour
  • CRM managers: $50-$60/hour
  • Data analysts: $55-$65/hour

Note: These figures do not determine how much YOU can earn. Use them as a guide, not a limit to your earnings. 

What can you do to increase your Upwork earnings? 

Instead of speculating how much you can earn, it’s more realistic to put in the effort – guided by strategies to scale your Upwork earnings.

These tips, which I used for my Upwork career, might help.

  • Specialize. Don’t be a generalist. Focus on one skill you do best and position yourself as an expert. 
  • Increase your fee when your hands are full. That’s the best way to test if clients are willing to pay a higher value for your current offer.
  • Upskill. Upwork is at least 3 times more challenging compared to 5 years back. With more freelancers in almost every field, you’ll need to arm yourself with more skills to meet market demands.
  • Write good cover letters. Most freelancers are good at what they do but fail at the first hurdle. 

I hope this has been a good read for you. Join Upwork Elites for more freelancing tips. 


  • Kenny Lee

    I'm an engineer-turned-writer who helps tech businesses increase online visibility with SEO-optimized content.

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