Upwork’s Talent Badges highlight proven or expert talent on Upwork. Standout freelancers and agencies earn these badges for great reviews and top performance on Upwork, or by going through a rigorous screening process with experts in their field.

Rising Talent   

Rising Talent highlights some of the best new members in the Upwork marketplace.

Rising Talent freelancers have great potential based on strong backgrounds in their fields and early success with their Upwork clients. Rising Talent agencies are new agencies that either have strong backgrounds in their industries or were started by Top Rated freelancers.

Learn more about becoming Rising Talent here


  • 100% complete profile with signs of great experience prior to Upwork
  • Positive performance on Upwork, including submitting high-quality proposals and being selected for jobs
  • Comply with Upwork Terms of Service

Note: These freelancers often don’t have a full work history on Upwork or a Job Success Score yet. Whenever you hire talent, remember to evaluate their credentials and discuss your project with them in detail.

Benefits for talent
  • A Rising Talent badge that displays on your profile and Project Catalog projects
  • Reduced fees (starting at 10%) on Featured Jobs
  • A one-time bonus of 30 free Connects so you can submit more proposals to clients
  • Access to chat and ticket support from a specialized customer support team

Once you have enough work history on Upwork, your Rising Talent status will automatically be replaced by a Job Success Score (JSS).


Top Rated  

Top Rated highlights freelancers and agencies who have built a strong reputation on Upwork by getting positive feedback from their clients, time after time. They represent the top 10% of talent on Upwork.

We update eligibility every two weeks to be sure to recognize the most current outstanding members of our marketplace.

Learn more about becoming Top Rated here.


  • Demonstrate consistent high-quality work with multiple clients
  • Have an outstanding freelancer or agency Job Success Score (at least 90%)
  • Have an up-to-date and complete freelancer or agency profile
  • Accurately list current availability for new jobs
  • Have a strong earnings history
  • Comply with Upwork Terms of Service
Benefits for talent


Top Rated Plus  

Top Rated Plus highlights freelancers and agencies with proven success on large or long-term contracts. They have built a strong reputation on Upwork by getting positive feedback time after time, including work on high-value contracts. They represent the top 3% of performers on Upwork.

Learn more about becoming Top Rated Plus here.


  • Have earned and maintained Top Rated status
  • Freelancers have $10k+ in total earnings over the last 12 months
  • Agencies have $20k+ in total earnings over the last 12 months
  • Have worked or are working on one or more large contracts in the last 12 months without negative outcomes

    Note: In order to qualify for Top Rated Plus as an individual, a freelancer must be a Non-Exclusive Agency Contractor. Learn more about the difference between Exclusive and Non-Exclusive Agency Contractors here. 
Benefits for talent
  • A Top Rated Plus badge on your profile that displays to clients on a paid Upwork plan (Enterprise, Business, and some Plus clients)
  • Reduced fees (starting at 10%) on Featured Jobs
  • More control over your Job Success Score
  • Invitations to submit proposals to jobs assisted by Talent Specialists 
  • Our Job Digest email to make it easier for you to find jobs that are a great match
  • Faster payments on hourly contracts
  • Premium customer support, including phone and chat



Expert-Vetted highlights talent that has gone through a thorough pre-screening by experts in their field. These elite freelancers have been evaluated by our technical Talent Managers for their expertise and excellent soft skills. They represent the top 1% of talent on Upwork.

Freelancers in Web, Mobile, and Software Development; Design and Creative; and Sales and Marketing can become Expert-Vetted.

Learn more about becoming Expert-Vetted here.


  • The top 1% of talent on Upwork
  • Identified through a rigorous pre-screening process by Talent Managers and experts in their domain
  • Expertise in their domain
  • Strong soft skills including reliable execution and excellent communication
Benefits for talent
      • An Expert-Vetted badge on your profile that displays to Upwork Enterprise and Business clients
      • Dedicated Talent Manager who understands your strengths and helps match you to the right clients
      • More benefits coming soon! 


Eligibility Table

Upwork’s Talent Badges highlight proven or expert talent on Upwork. Learn more below about the criteria for freelancers and non-exclusive agency members.

Note: Agencies have different criteria to qualify for Upwork's Talent Badges. Find more details about each badge in the links at the top of the chart.


Criteria Rising Talent Top Rated Top Rated Plus Expert-Vetted Talent

Job Success Score (JSS)


or higher *

or higher *

Not required

Required Expert Pre-screening 





100% complete Freelancer Profile



Comply with Upwork Terms of Service



First contract on Upwork was more than 90 days ago



12-month earnings of at least $1,000




12-month earnings of at least $10,000





* To receive and keep Top Rated status, freelancers have a Job Success Score of at least 90% (or have been in Rising Talent status) for 13 of the last 16 weeks.

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