5 in-demand admin skills, according to Upwork: Some can pay more than $100 an hour

 Freelance marketplace Upwork has been tracking the most popular skills and specialties on its platform. This year, data analytics, social media marketing, and accounting have emerged as top skills, according to Upwork’s Most In-Demand Work Skills in 2024 report. These are tasks, or groups of tasks, that have seen an increase in demand year over year and are recognized as emerging fields, explains Margaret Lilani, vice president of talent delivery at Upwork. 

Upwork organizes these popular skills into fields such as coding and sales. This year, the company also highlighted its most in-demand customer service and administrative support tasks, some of which do not necessarily require extensive experience. Here are the top five in this category:

General Virtual Assistant

"Imagine the improvement in everyone’s life if they had a virtual assistant to manage their calendar, handle emails, and enhance presentations," Lilani says. General virtual assistants perform these admin tasks, making them highly sought after. They can work with multiple clients and can specialize in tools like Microsoft Copilot or tasks like social media, providing flexibility. While a bachelor’s degree isn’t essential, it can be beneficial. General virtual assistants can charge up to $65 per hour on Upwork.

Data Entry

This role focuses on inputting information into programs such as Microsoft Excel or updating records. Though it can be tedious, data entry is crucial for various business functions, from customer tracking systems to applicant tracking systems. "It’s a skill that’s here to stay," Lilani states, emphasizing the necessity of accurate information placement. Typically, only a high school diploma is required. Data entry specialists on Upwork can earn as much as $100 per hour.

Digital Project Management

Companies often hire digital project managers for tasks like launching new branding campaigns or redesigning websites. "These managers ensure projects stay on track, meeting deadlines and quality promises," Lilani explains. The role includes numerous administrative tasks, justifying its inclusion in the admin and customer service categories. These positions usually require a bachelor’s degree and some work experience. Digital project managers can charge up to $200 per hour.

General Research Services

Research is critical for solving numerous business problems. It aids in discovering customer issues and deciding subsequent steps. However, the process involves sifting through vast amounts of information and deriving meaningful insights. Researchers play a pivotal role in this, helping businesses make informed decisions. They can be either generalists or specialists in a particular field. Many roles require a bachelor’s degree and some experience, with advanced roles needing a master’s or doctorate. Researchers on Upwork can charge up to $175 per hour.

Dropshipping and Order Processing

Dropshipping involves selling items online without storing them; the supplier handles storage and shipping. Sellers maintain their store, marketing, accounting, and product descriptions. The pandemic has spurred growth in e-commerce, making dropshipping a booming area. Experts in this field assist sellers with various aspects of running an online store, including website design, SEO writing, and accounting. Dropshippers on Upwork can charge up to $250 per hour.

As you pursue these or other roles, Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster, advises, "Consistently review your skills. Assess where you stand, refine your existing skills, and identify areas for upskilling."  

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