U.S. businesses will spend half a billion dollars hiring remote freelance workers in 2014.

"The growth is a clear indicator of a transition of work online," says Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance-oDesk. 

The company's platform — which serves as a broker between companies that need skills and freelancers eager to supply them — sees 2.7 million freelance jobs posted a year. According to Elance-oDesk, the total earnings of freelancers have grown 50% compounded annually over the past five years.

From Rosati's perspective, so many businesses are hiring these workers because they need work done on demand, typically for a short stint. In those cases, a marketplace like Elance-oDesk becomes like the Amazon Prime for jobs. It's a win for both the employer, who can hire on an as-needed basis, and for the worker, who has flexibility of schedule and location.

What's more, freelancers with the right skills can earn a great living from the comfort of their homes, if the highest-paying freelance jobs are any indicator.

The wage numbers below come from the combined databases of Elance.com and oDesk.com, pulling from Jan. 1 to May 31 of this year. 

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