Limit of Upwork

30 USD/hour is your limit as the top freelancer

That is what the top of the top are making on Upwork

Over the past while I have spent my resources going through every Top Rated Plus Pakistani profile on Upwork

Here is what I found:

No. Top Rated Plus Freelancers = 2000-2500
Average Hourly Rate = 25-30 USD/hour
Average No. Jobs Done = 25-35 jobs over 2 years

After spending six months in freelancing communities, the key misunderstanding remains:

“There is too much competition in Freelancing”

People need to give up thinking there are millions of freelancers earning billions of PKR.

The average hourly rate for a dev house is 70 USD/hour – freelancers barely match half of it.

Having been all through this, here are the things I think we as a community need to change if we want to scale as a whole:

Value over Volume:

Don’t succumb to cheap gigs. Boost your value and raise your rates. More work at a lower rate isn’t the path to success; offering greater value is.

Quality Trumps Quantity:

Ditch the 2rs/word mentality. Writers, especially, take note. Expand your services. Don’t just write; offer marketing too. Elevate your overall worth. This can be said about every domain, there is always a way to add more quality.

Avoid Burnout:

Freelancer burnout is real. Once you hit 30-35 USD/hour, many jump ship to start a business or go solo. This isn’t healthy for the platform. Upwork has a role here to fix their offering. As freelancers we need to understand this barrier better and figure a more feasible way forward.

Lastly, in a silo, this data doesn’t prove much, hence I am working next on getting data for the Philippines (the lowest rate FL zone) and USA (the most expensive) – would be fascinating to see the differences between these regions and the approach to freelancing.

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P.S – This data is just for ‘Top Rated Plus’ freelancers, the best on the platform according to Upwork’s metrics. If we take all Freelancers into account, the numbers would be much worse, unfortunately.

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