How do you become top rated on Upwork: Badges, requirements and benefits

Badges are highly sought after due to the many benefits including decreased Upwork fees and priority access to top clients.

Most Upwork Badges will automatically appear on a freelancer’s profile within 48-hours of meeting the respective requirements of each. Although an invite may also be sent out via email.

The four badges are: Rising Talent, Top Rated, Top Rated Plus and Expert Vetted.

The badges also correlate to your overall standing on the site. 

  • Top Rated status means you are ranked among the top 10% of talent
  • Top Rated status means you are ranked among the top 3% of talent
  • Expert Vetted status means you are ranked among the top 1% of talent

A breakdown of benefits and requirements for each of these badges can be found below. For a complete breakdown of requirements and benefits visit Upwork’s support page.


Rising Talent

Rising Talent badge requirements

The Rising Talent badge is largely based on having a strong background and early success with proposals and interviews. 

Even freelancers who have not yet completed Upwork projects can become Rising Talent. The key is to remain active on the platform, and adhere to the other criteria below.

According to Upwork, to qualify for the Rising Talent badge, freelancers must:

Rising Talent badge benefits

Freelancers who carry the Rising Talent distinction will enjoy:

  • Reduced fees (starting at 10%) on Featured Jobs
  • A one-time bonus of 30 free Upwork Connects
  • Access to chat and ticket support from a specialized customer support team

Top Rated

Top Rated badge requirements

According to Upwork, to qualify for the Top Rated badge, freelancers must:

  • Have a current Job Success Score of 90% or higher
  • Have had their first hire on Upwork more than 90 days ago
  • Maintained Rising Talent status or a Job Success Score of at least 90% for at least 13 of the last 16 weeks
  • Have a 100% complete profile 
  • Have 12-month earnings of at least $1,000
  • Keep an up-to-date availability 
  • Have an account in good standing with no recent account holds
  • Have been active on the platform (proposal, accepted invitation, or earnings) in the past 90 days

Top Rated badge benefits

Freelancers who carry the Top Rated distinction will enjoy:

Top Rated Plus

Top Rated Plus badge requirements

Top Rated Plus is a relatively new status – originally introduced in 2020. According to Upwork, to qualify for the Top Rated Plus badge, freelancers must:

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

Top Rated Plus badge benefits

Freelancers who carry the Top Rated Plus distinction will enjoy:

Expert Vetted

Expert Vetted badge requirements

Expert Vetted is also a relatively new status – it was originally introduced in 2020 with the Top Rated Plus badge. 

Expert Vetted is by far the hardest badge to earn on Upwork. 

I personally obtained Expert Vetted Status by reaching out to my contacts at Upwork and asking to be vetted. Within 24 hours they set me up with a call with a Talent Manager where I talked about being an Upwork freelancer and how to manage large contracts. I was approved same-day and my badge appeared within 48 hours.

Read Also: Can you make good money on Upwork? How I made $500,000 in 4 years

It is important to note that the Expert Vetted badge only appears for the freelancer who holds the distinction and to Upwork Enterprise and Upwork Business clients. It is not a publicly displayed status. 

According to Upwork, to qualify for the Top Rated Plus badge, freelancers must:

  • Represent the top 1% of talent on Upwork
  • Be identified pre-screening process by Talent Managers 
  • Be experts in their field
  • Demonstrate strong soft skills including reliable execution and excellent communication

Expert Vetted badge benefits

Expert Vetted freelancers will enjoy:

  • An Expert-Vetted badge on their profile that displays to Upwork Enterprise and Business clients
  • Access to a dedicated Talent Manager who understands their strengths and helps match them to the right clients

What is considered to be a “large contract” on Upwork?

The term “large contract” is niche dependent on Upwork. As with everything at Upwork, definitions may change over time, it’s always best to check out Upwork’s support page on the topic for the latest information.

Freelancers can learn more about their current progress and current earnings by checking out the “My Stats” page located as a drop down menu option under the “Find Work” tab.

Currently, the breakdown is as follows:

Large contracts for Upwork freelancers

  • Accounting and Consulting: $10,000
  • Admin Support: $10,000
  • Customer Support: $20,000
  • Data Science and Analytics: $10,000
  • Design and Creative: $5,000
  • Engineering and Architecture: $5,000
  • IT and Networking: $10,000
  • Legal: $5,000
  • Sales and Marketing: $10,000
  • Translation: $5,000
  • Web, Mobile and Software Development: $15,000
  • Writing: $5,000

Large contracts for Upwork agencies

  • Accounting and Consulting: $20,000
  • Admin Support: $20,000
  • Customer Support: $20,000
  • Data Science and Analytics: $20,000
  • Design and Creative: $10,000
  • Engineering and Architecture: $10,000
  • IT and Networking: $20,000
  • Legal: $10,000
  • Sales and Marketing: $20,000
  • Translation: $10,000
  • Web, Mobile and Software Development: $30,000
  • Writing: $10,000

Have you achieved any of these Upwork badges? Let me know in the comments. Also, don’t forget to connect with me on social media using the links below.

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