The reasons why someone would pick up a side hustle vary from one person to the next, whether they want more disposable income, need more money to cover expenses, are trying to pay off debt, or are aiming to build up savings. And they aren’t alone: Almost half of U.S. workers have a side gig outside of their regular job.
Depending on your interests, there are plenty of ways to earn an extra dollar. With any job it’s important to research the platform or company you’re gigging with, and to know your rights as an independent worker.
Here are some side jobs could help get you achieve your money goals — and you can get started right now.
You can sign up to be a dog walker, sitter, or boarder through a host of services, like Rover, Wag!, Barkly, and PetBacker. You can also search for locally owned pet care services in your area.
The onboarding process is different for every service, but can be as simple as completing an application and passing an in-person harness and collar test — where you’re tested on putting different types of this equipment correctly on a plush dog. Set your rates, availability, and the kinds of dogs your comfortable with and begin booking jobs with your smartphone.
You could also rent your outdoor space as a dog play area to pet owners through Sniffspot.
Earnings: HomeGuide reports an average cost of $20 to $30 per 30-minute walk, and $30 to $60 per hour-long walk. Sniffspot estimates that some hosts earn more than $1,000 a month. As a dog walker, you can take home an average of $576 per week according to ZipRecruiter.
On-demand moving services like Dolly, Phlatbed, Buddytruk, Bellhops, and Lugg operate in cities across the country, and you can also search for local moving businesses. Bellhops and Lugg do not require you to have a truck or car for moving. To use these platforms, though, you will need a smartphone. You also must be able to lift heavier items ranging from 75 to 100 pounds.
Onboarding processes vary but typically include an application, background check, and an orientation process. With most of these platforms, you can set your rates and schedule.
Earnings: Lugg estimates movers can earn up to $2,500 a week. Movers with trucks can earn more per hour on some platforms. Dolly reports that their helpers who have transportation make $30 per hour, and hands, who assist the helpers, make $15 per hour.
Even if you’re not at a Marie Kondo level, if you’re hyperorganized and enjoy decluttering, you can turn it into a side job. There’s no specific training required to become a professional organizer, but you can take courses and webinars and get certified through The Board of Certification for Professional Organizers to demonstrate your credibility.
Look for jobs through local professional organizing companies, which may require you to have previous related work experience, or register to post your services on sites like TaskRabbit and Thumbtack.
Earnings: Pay depends on the size of a project and time spent on it, but you can set your own rates. CostHelper.com reports professional organizer rates are between $30 and $80 per hour. Those often depend on the needs of your area and the jobs you have under your belt. The national weekly average salary for professional organizers is $819 a week according to ZipRecruiter.
Get paid to help people out with home tasks like mounting photos and TVs, assembling furniture, repairs, organizing, and yard work. A few platforms like TaskRabbit, Handy, Thumbtack, and Porch offer a variety of services.
Most require an application, background check, and orientation. Once you’re set up, you’ll need to identify your preferred skill areas, set your rates, and availability. Depending on the tasks you take on, you may need to invest in tools or cleaning supplies.
Earnings: According to Indeed, an average salary for a handyman through Handy is $29.44 an hour, and the average salary for an assembler on TaskRabbit is $30 an hour. Keep in mind, though, that most of these platforms take a percentage of your earnings and the rates might vary based on your location.
If you have a flexible schedule, food service experience, and are excited by the prospect of working weddings and events, give catering a try. Catering positions can include waitstaff, barbacks, and food runners. You can find jobs online and through contacting event companies in your area.
Earnings: How much you can make depends on the employer, city, and the area in which you’re catering. More affluent areas or companies that do VIP events may be more lucrative. Glassdoor shows server rates range from $9 an hour on the lower end to $20 on the higher end. Tips can also come into play on top of hourly rates, but those are variable.
You can get paid by companies to pose as a customer, shop, and gather data for them to improve shopping experiences — on everything from the cleanliness of a store to employee interactions. With mystery shopping, you should do some vetting: Avoid mystery shopping companies that prompt you to pay to join. And you can check if the company is a member of the Mystery Shopping Professionals Association. Most companies require a basic application to get approved.
Earnings: The average mystery shopper salary is $20 an hour according to ZipRecruiter but could vary based on the type of shopping experience.
What is the best side hustle for you: A short Quiz
A new year brings a fresh opportunity to earn more money. Whether you love working with animals or sharing your knowledge about a favorite subject, you can find ways to profit from your passion — or at least from work you don’t mind doing and can do on your own schedule. If you already have a job, the great news is that you can do these side hustles as often or as little as you need.
As long as you have Wi-Fi and a computer, you can even do some of these gigs from home.
Choosing the right side hustle for you involves knowing your skills and your priorities. Some you can do from your couch while others have you dashing around town, but each offers a viable way to increase your income. Take our quiz, below, to find out which might be the right fit for you.
Select all that apply
- I am only looking for steady income.
- I consider myself a people person.
- I can drive for long stretches and keep my focus.
- I can lift heavy boxes, assemble things, or clean a house.
- I’m skilled in music, sports, math, or another topic, and would enjoy sharing my knowledge.
- When someone needs something fixed around the house, they call me.
- I like working with kids.
- I’m highly organized.
- I prefer to work from the comfort of my own home.
- I am comfortable handling multiple dogs at one time.
- I prefer regular clients I can develop relationships with rather than one-shot deals.
- I don’t mind doing menial tasks.
- I am good at, and enjoy using, social media.
- I can stay calm in a busy grocery store.
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