Upwork is the go-to site for anyone who is into freelancing. Like every other marketplace in the world, Upwork is saturated.

There’s fierce competition among freelancers to stand out. Hence, Upwork has found a way to reward and encourage freelancers through badges.

After successfully joining Upwork, the first question you can’t get your mind off is, “how do I stand out from my peers?’’ I’ve been there, and I can tell you that the simple answer to this question is ‘’ratings.’’

So the next question becomes ‘’how do I get higher ratings?’’  This is another valid question because higher ratings attract more customers to Upwork.

You see, the more ratings you have on Upwork, the more likely you will get badges.

Unfortunately, Upwork has some badges for outstanding freelancers.

However, our focus for today will be on top-rated plus badges.

What is a Top Rated Plus Badge?

You might wonder why there’s so much fuss about getting a top-rated plus badge on Upwork.

That’s only because you do not know what this badge signifies. A top-rated plus badge is the most prestigious badge you can get on Upwork.

Only freelancers with the highest ratings can be honoured with this badge. Getting a top-rated plus badge on Upwork is like being inducted into an elite group on Upwork.

Only 3% of freelancers on Upwork have top-rated plus badges. My guess is you’d like to be one of them.

Criteria to Receive a Top Rated Plus Badge on Upwork

Wouldn’t life be easier if anyone could receive a top-rated plus badge on Upwork? Indeed, it would.

However, you’ll agree that this would defeat the purpose of creating a top-rated plus badge in the first place.

So what then must one do to receive a top-rated plus badge?
  • You should have earned a minimum of $10000 in a year
  • If you are one of those that have an agency, you should have earned a minimum of $20000 in a year.
  • It would be best if you worked on a minimum of one large contract in 12 months.
  • As a freelancer, you should be able to work outside of your agency rather than being confined to an agency.

What is a Large Contract?

Earlier, I stated that to become a top rated plus freelancer on Upwork, you should work on a large contract at least once a year.

This leads to another question, ‘’what is a large contract?’’ Typically, a large contract may vary from person to person.

However, Upwork has set guidelines for classifying a contract as significant or not.

In addition, what is deemed a large contract for freelancers differs from what has considered a large contract for agencies.

Large Contracts for Freelancers

As a freelancer, writing, translation, engineering, architecture, legal, design, and creative jobs that pay $5000 and above are considered large contracts. Simple to understand, right?

Furthermore, accounting, admin support, data science, data analytics, IT, sales, and marketing jobs that fetch you at least $10000 are considered large contracts.

For web, mobile, and software development gigs, you’d have to earn at least $15000 from them before they can be considered large contracts.

Lastly, a customer support job must earn you a whooping sum of $20000 to be classified as a large contract job.

Hopefully, next time you’re taking a contract on Upwork as a freelancer, you’d be able to decipher if it’s a large contract or not.

Large Contracts for Agencies

There are some tweaks on the properties that qualify a contract as large for agencies that distinguish them from the properties for freelancers.

For agencies, writing, translation, legal, engineering, architecture, design, and creative jobs should pay at least $10 000 before they can qualify as large contracts. In addition, accounting, admin support, customer service, data science, data analytics, IT, networking, sales, and marketing jobs should pay at least $20000 to be considered large contracts.

If you think that’s all, then you must brace yourself.  Web, mobile, and software development jobs should bring in $30000 to be called long contracts.

There, you have all the information you need to know if a job is a large contract or not.

Why Should I Want a Top Rated Plus Badge on Upwork?

If you are going to go out of your way to get a top rated plus badge on Upwork, it’s only fair that it has some perks, right? A top rated badge isn’t just a ceremonial badge.

It comes with some benefits that make it worth it. What are some of these benefits?

  • With a top rated plus badge, you get fewer fees on jobs.
  • A top rated plus badge gives you the liberty to remove a review you are not comfortable with from your profile.
  • Thanks to your top rated plus badge, you will receive special job proposals with the aid of a Talent Specialist.
  • Get access to premium customer support with a top rated plus badge.
  • You will receive emails containing job offers that coincide with your skills.
  • You will receive quicker payments for your hourly contracts.


Having a top rated plus badge on Upwork has several benefits.

However, it’s also important to point out that it’s no mean feat. It’s not likely to happen overnight.

In addition, it’s not something to get all worked up over.

With patience, consistency, and diligence, a top rated plus badge will not be so far out of reach.

Doing your job well and maintaining a good relationship with your clients is always helpful.

These hacks could get you closer to a top rated plus badge.

You can always check how much progress you have made on Upwork when you visit the ‘’My Stats’’ page.

It is located as a drop-down menu below the ‘’Find Work’’ tab.


Rufus S. is an author and blogger who writes about freelancing and career development for the Busy Earner blog. He is an expert on platforms like Upwork, LinkedIn, and Fiverr and shares practical tips for building a successful freelance career. Rufus is also passionate about helping busy earners manage their time and avoid burnout.


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