Thursday, May 30

9 Marketable Skills That Pay Well

The job market is constantly evolving. Some jobs that used to be lucrative a few years ago are no longer in demand, while new ones continue to emerge. The skills you hold today could be obsolete tomorrow.

 

If you are to sail through this uncertainty, you need to equip yourself with marketable skills that pay well. Besides giving you a higher salary, these skills allow you the freedom to change jobs and even industries. You also don’t need to be a genius to learn or return to college for a four-year degree. Here are nine most marketable skills that pay well.

 

Fluency in a Foreign Language

Fluency in a foreign language is among the most marketable skills that pay well. The foreign language classes you took in grade school could be your ticket to a high-paying job. As the world becomes more interconnected, businesses constantly expand their operations overseas. Even better, an endless pool of international students need online and offline tutors.

 

If you are fluent in a foreign language, let’s say French, you could work as an interpreter. It doesn’t have to be in a physical location where you work for a company. You could work as an online translator, changing documents written in French to English or vice versa. The best part is that big multimillion-dollar corporations and governments are willing to pay top dollar for such services.

 

Besides being a translator, you could work as a tutor. According to Pew Research Center, about 20% of American K-12 students study a foreign language. While 20 might not sound like much, it’s still a gold mine if you’re fluent in one foreign language. There are also about 387 universities in the US offering French language courses and degrees. You will probably earn above the median American salary if you provide tutoring services at a French language school.

 

Truck License

 

Obtaining a truck license is one of the best marketable skills that pay well. As the consumer market grows, so does the need for logistical and freight services. This license, officially known as a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), enables you to operate large vehicles like semi-trucks and trailers.

 

Essentially, you work as a truck driver, transporting goods from one coast to another or from one city to another. The US is vast, and while rail service is available, it’s inefficient for the most part. That means trucks and trailers are in high demand and act as blood streams for local economies.

 

This skill provides job security due to the constant need for goods transportation. However, it also offers lucrative pay and the potential for independence if you decide to operate as a freelance contractor. According to Indeed, truck drivers’ national average salary is $104,577 yearly.

 

The path to acquiring a CDL may vary slightly from state to state. But in general terms, it involves passing a CDL truck driving course and proving that you can safely handle large vehicles on the roads. You could also take a pre licensing course online and see how you fare before sitting for the actual test.

 

Legal Knowledge

The field of law remains one of the most marketable skills that pay well. It’s a highly sought-after skill that people are willing to pay top dollar for. Besides the traditional path of becoming a lawyer, other alternatives pay just as well.

 

For example, you could become a paralegal or legal assistant. Paralegals provide support services to lawyers by doing research and drafting legal documents. They can also assist with interviewing clients involved in petty offenses and develop a defense strategy. While they do not have the same responsibilities as lawyers, they are still integral to any legal team.

 

Legal assistants provide administrative and clerical support to professionals like lawyers, judges, and other legal experts. Here, you can handle tasks such as scheduling court dates, drafting legal documents, and managing case files. While the field still involves law, you don’t need a college degree in law.

 

However, you need at least a certificate in paralegal studies or an associate’s degree. Both of these are easy to get with dedication and commitment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), law assistants and paralegals earned a median annual wage of $59,200 as of May 2022. However, you could earn more if you specialize in a particular field, such as corporate law or intellectual property.

 

Good Housekeeping

 

Housekeeping may not sound like the fanciest job, but it is one of the most marketable skills that pay well. It’s also among the most low-pressure jobs you can find, especially if you know your craft. For the most part, you only need excellent organizational skills, cleanliness, and a good attitude.

 

As a good housekeeper, your responsibilities include ensuring a clean, safe, and hygienic environment. That means laundry, dusting, mopping floors, and cleaning bathrooms. While the name is mainly associated with working in residential homes, you can also work in commercial establishments. For instance, a house for sale in real estate needs a housekeeper to keep it neat to attract potential house and land buyers.

 

If you decide to equip yourself with this skill, you can also work for companies with large working floor space where you care for the house and land. That includes cleaning spaces like banking halls, malls, and other commercial buildings. You can also help apply pest control treatment to keep such spaces free of infestations.

 

Financial Literacy

Finance drives the modern world, whether personal or corporate finance. People want to make more money and would pay you handsomely if you know how and where to invest their money for better returns. The mere fact that financial literacy involves money makes it one of the most marketable skills that pays well.

 

Besides investing money on behalf of other people, financial literacy skills allow you to have different skills like budgeting, cost and price analysis, and debt management. You also possess cash flow management knowledge and how to turn personal credit lines into assets. You may also offer bookkeeping services as a freelancer to small businesses that can’t afford to have a full-time accountant.

 

With financial literacy skills, your income streams are endless. For instance, American household debt reached $16.9 trillion in 2022, according to Debt.org. About $11.92 trillion of that debt was owed to mortgage lenders, $1.55 trillion was on vehicle loans, and $1.60 trillion for student loans. These numbers represent millions of Americans struggling with loans, and you could help them with personal financial advice while earning a handsome fee.

 

Creativity

 

Creativity isn’t necessarily a skill you learn but more of an innate talent. However, it is still one of the most marketable skills that pay well. You only need to find a way to monetize it.

 

For instance, you could earn six figures as a creative writer by writing creative stories and articles. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, creative writers and authors earn $73,150 yearly on average. But this works if you have a distribution channel and aggressive marketing. If you don’t have those, you could still earn significantly more than most Americans as a ghostwriter for other famous writers.

 

Creativity has endless possibilities that can earn you money. Usually, graphic designers are creatives who have a thing for colors, patterns, and shapes. They design everything for brands’ website photos, logos, social media photos, ads, and packaging. They also offer creative print solutions on T-shirts, caps, and other clothing items.

 

And guess what? You don’t need a college degree to become creative. You can learn through online courses or self-teaching with free online tools. The best part is creativity skills are not limited to the two discussed here. You can be anything from creative video editor and UX/UI designer to creative arts and copywriter.

 

Data Analysis

Data analytical skills are a hot commodity on the job market today. The internet has nearly 5.6 billion users as of October 2023, according to Statista. That’s a lot of complex data for companies and governments to collect. It’s even more complicated when trying to make sense of it, making data analysis one of the most marketable skills that pay well.

 

Data analysis involves collecting, organizing, and interpreting large data sets to identify trends. As a skill, it entails extracting, visualizing, modeling, cleaning, and interpreting complex data to make it accessible to decision-makers. The skill is also essential in identifying new business opportunities, reducing costs, and improving organizational performance.

 

Various industries need data analytics for multiple reasons. For instance, consumer market goods providers want to understand their customer’s preferences and needs. With these skills, you can help companies like Walmart, Target, and others understand what buyers go for most.

 

You can also work for advertisers who use data analysis to track consumer behavior and target their ads. Governments also need data analytics to identify demographics and create policies and laws catering to citizens. While you must take a course and certifications, you don’t need to return to college for a degree. A three or six-month online course, combined with a few certifications, is enough to land you a high-paying job.

H3: Digital Marketing

According to The National Association of Women Business Owners, America has around 33.2 million small businesses. 71% of them have a website, according to Forbes. Imagine that only these 71% utilize digital marketing. Even if this is not your area of expertise, you can already see the immense possibilities it’s likely to offer.

 

Digital marketing is among the most marketable skills that pay well today. It involves promoting goods and services through websites, google ads, blogs, or social media platforms. It incorporates brand originality, creativity, social perceptiveness, and emotional intelligence.

 

With this skill, you can make ads, blog content, promotional videos, and other marketing content that attract customers to purchase. You can also utilize algorithms like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to improve website traffic and Google page ranking. Businesses have significant marketing budgets that include you, the digital marketer.

 

Since traditional marketing methods like print ads, TV, Radio, and billboards are expensive and have a short lifespan, small businesses opt for digital marketing. You can be the link between their products and the appropriate audience. It is a skill that requires self-study to keep up with digital trends. Some companies prefer having you work full-time, while others outsource the service to freelancers.

 

If you choose to work as a freelancer, you can work for multiple small businesses, depending on your schedule and availability. That gives you a better chance to earn more. The best part is that you don’t need a four-year degree. You can take online courses and work as you learn.

 

Cybersecurity

 

The tech world provides some of the most lucrative opportunities for job seekers. One of these high-demand and marketable skills that pay well is cybersecurity. As digitization increases, so does the need for safety. According to Forbes, cyber attacks increased by nearly 50% in 2023.

 

A fifty percent jump means more demand for cybersecurity experts, and that’s what you should be. Companies are willing to pay top dollar to keep their data secure, considering the potential losses when their systems and sites get hacked. Even governments pay higher than the average salary to keep their systems safe.

 

Cybersecurity involves detecting, responding to, and preventing cyber attacks. However, it’s a bit broad in the sense that you can work in different fields. For example, there is application development security. Here, you develop applications and embed security deep inside the codes. You must have expertise in various system platforms and programming languages such as Python, Shell, Java, and C++.

 

Cloud security is another field in cybersecurity that you can major in. As an expert, you will build the architecture that allows secure interactions between company applications and the cloud. The skills you need here are programming and database languages such as Hadoop, Ruby, MySQL, Python, Java, NET, and PHP. You must also have a deeper understanding of Linux and cloud services such as Microsoft Azure, OpenStack, GCP, and AWS.

 

Having marketable skills that pay well could be what you need to jump-start your career or increase your income. Apart from potentially higher salaries, these skills also make it easy to find a job. Chances are you won’t go jobless for too long, and even if that were the case, you could work as a freelancer and still rake in good money.

 

Whether you are starting your career, considering a new job path, or just want to increase your earning power, consider learning marketable skills. That’s the only way to stay relevant and ahead in your field. Try out online courses or certifications to get your foot in the door.

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