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10 Best Night Jobs & Side Gigs to Make Extra Money

Working a 9-to-5 job is a lifestyle and career choice millions of people make. These standard working hours have become the norm since their establishment during the Industrial Revolution, and they define the modern office job.

But times are changing. Telecommuting is increasingly common as companies become comfortable with managing remote workers. Additionally, the Internet allows freelancers and business owners alike to make money online to provide for themselves and their families.

Most jobs, however, still take place during regular business hours. If you want to boost your income after your workday or prefer working into the early hours of the morning, a night job might be more suitable.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 12% of employed Americans are still on the job by 9pm, and 5% are still at work by midnight. If you’d like to join them, the following night jobs are worth considering.

The Best Night Jobs to Make Extra Money

BLS data shows that 51% of night shift work occurs because it’s the nature of the job. Other common reasons people work at night include seeking better pay or increased flexibility.

If you want to work at night, focus on finding a job that’s always at night to avoid shift changes from interfering with your calendar. Alternatively, choose a side gig that offers enough flexibility for you to set your own hours.

Here are 10 of the best jobs that can be reliably done at night.

1. Freelance Writer

Freelance Writer Typing Laptop Desk

  • Pros: High hourly wage; flexible contracts; side hustle or full-time potential
  • Cons: Pay instability; time to gain clients varies between writers
  • Verdict: This is a viable night job if you can afford to take time to gain clients and don’t need immediate income.

As of 2018, there were more than 123,000 writers and authors in the United States. The average hourly pay for writers is approximately $30 per hour.

This category doesn’t only include freelance writers, but also authors and journalists. Unlike staff writing positions or other full-time arrangements, freelance writing is one of the best night jobs for several reasons.

First, writing jobs are typically flexible because editors assign articles with varying deadlines. As long as you finish an article on time and meet the specific requirements your editor demands, the hours you work don’t matter.

This flexibility makes freelance writing a realistic option if you already have a job but want to increase your income. It’s also a viable online job for students because your writing won’t interfere with classes.

When you factor in the impressive average hourly wage, even a modest freelance writing contract can make a positive difference for your finances. It’s also a career path with full-time potential if you build up enough of a clientbase.

As long as you can manage your deadlines and don’t mind staying up to write, freelance writing is a viable night job with a high earning ceiling. Check out our list of the best freelance job websites to get started.


2. Online English Teacher

Young Woman Teacher Teaching Online Course

  • Pros: High hourly wage; bonus incentives; several major companies for work opportunities
  • Cons: Degree requirement; onboarding time
  • Verdict: If you have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and enjoy working with students, this night job could be a perfect fit.

If you’re a native English speaker and have a bachelor’s degree at minimum, you could teach English as a Second Language (ESL) online. You can become an online teacher even without a degree, but most companies require one.

Many online ESL companies are based in China. Therefore, class times for companies like VIPKid or EF Education First follow Beijing time. For example, VIPKid’s peak class times are Monday to Friday from 6pm to 9pm and weekends from 9am to 9pm.

For North Americans, this is a perfect job for night owls or early risers. Beijing is 12 hours ahead of EST and 15 hours ahead of PST. Depending on where you live, you might be able to teach weekend classes late at night or wake up early during the week to teach evening classes in China.

According to Glassdoor, online ESL tutors earn anywhere from $13 to $23 per hour. Most companies pay a base hourly rate and include bonuses for being on time for classes and teaching a certain number of classes per month. Regardless, base pay is generally higher than working a minimum wage job, and the time zone difference is perfect for night work.

The hiring process for most online ESL teaching jobs involves a background check, an interview, and a trial class. Onboarding takes several weeks as a result. It also takes time to gain regular students and improve your rating, which can make you more attractive to potential students.

This onboarding time means teaching English online is not an ideal night job if you need money quickly. However, the high hourly pay and plentiful opportunities make online ESL tutoring one of the best night jobs for anyone with at least a four-year degree.


3. Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistant On Phone Laptop

  • Pros: Flexibility; side hustle or full-time potential
  • Cons: Pay instability
  • Verdict: If you have a high level of attention to detail and are organized, being a virtual assistant is a night job with immense earning potential.

While you might think being a virtual assistant requires your daytime attention, that’s not always the case. Virtual assistants are responsible for more than just accepting calls. Common responsibilities include:

  • Booking flights and hotels
  • Scheduling meetings
  • Sending follow-up emails or thank-you notes to clients
  • Data entry tasks

If your client provides tasks in advance, being a virtual assistant can be a viable night job. According to Payscale, virtual assistants earn approximately $15 per hour. However, it’s possible to make a considerable income as a virtual assistant if you land the right clients.

$10K VA is an excellent course if you’re struggling to sign clients and earn consistent income from your VA work. $10K VA helps you refine your pitch, set the right rate, and potentially scale your VA business to a full-time income.


3. DoorDash Driver

Doordash App Logo Tablet Phone

  • Pros: Low barrier to entry; flexibility; bonus pay potential
  • Cons: Must consider vehicle depreciation; must be comfortable making deliveries at night
  • Verdict: If you live in a busy city with enough demand, working as a DoorDash driver is a highly flexible night job that offers decent base pay and the chance for bonuses.

In terms of flexibility, it’s hard to match gig economy jobs, especially ones that involve delivering food. If you live in a relatively populous area, chances are there’s an endless stream of hungry customers at any hour.

DoorDash is one of the largest food delivery companies, and working as a DoorDash driver is an excellent nighttime side hustle. As a food courier, you set your own hours, get paid weekly via direct deposit, and earn more than $18 per hour.

Plus, the requirements for becoming a DoorDash driver are fairly lenient:

  • Age. You must be at least 18 or older and have a valid Social Security number.
  • Vehicle. You need to have any car, scooter, or bike.
  • Insurance. You must have insurance and a valid license.

Outside of these requirements, your smartphone must be capable of running the DoorDash app. DoorDash also runs a background check.

DoorDash pay includes a base rate plus ongoing promotions, and you keep all tips. Base pay considers the estimated time and the distance of deliveries and ranges from $2 to $10 or more. Promotions include ongoing Dasher challenges and potential peak pay.

Dasher challenges pay bonuses for completing a certain number of deliveries in a set amount of time. Peak pay occurs during busy order times, incentivizing Dashers to log into the app and begin working.

You probably won’t earn peak pay at 2am, but if you work a dinner rush and continue working into the night, you can probably find peak pay opportunities. Plus, your nighttime deliveries still count toward challenges.

If you pick DoorDash as your night job, remember to take basic precautions. Wear reflective clothing if you’re a bike courier, and carry a flashlight even if you drive because many customers forget to leave exterior lights on. Finally, learn which restaurants stay open late and park nearby when waiting for your next DoorDash order.


4. Rideshare Driver

Ride Share Driver Using App For Pick Up Request

  • Pros: Low barrier to entry; flexibility; bonus pay potential
  • Cons: Must consider vehicle depreciation; must be comfortable with strangers in your vehicle
  • Verdict: If your vehicle qualifies and you want to boost your income quickly, becoming a rideshare driver is one of the best night jobs possible.

If you’ve ever left a concert, party, or other big late-night event and called for an Uber or Lyft ride, you’ve probably paid some pretty steep surge pricing. That’s because rideshare companies price rides based on supply and demand, and there isn’t always a surplus of drivers at night.

This pricing model makes driving for ridesharing apps like Uber or Lyft a lucrative night job if you work efficiently. Alongside base pay, nighttime drivers can significantly increase their hourly pay by picking the right times to drive.

Friday and Saturday nights are popular nights for parties, clubs, and events, making surge pricing more likely. Similarly, working during a holiday, long weekend, or major event in your city like a music festival also increases surge pricing likelihood.

Plus, the requirements to become a rideshare driver are simple:

  • Vehicle. Your vehicle must be in good condition. Lyft vehicle age requirements vary by state, whereas Uber’s requirement is 15 years or newer.
  • Age. Lyft’s requirements vary by state and typically range from 21 to 25. Uber drivers must meet the minimum age to drive in their city and have at least a year of driving experience. Uber drivers under 23 must have three years of driving experience.
  • Insurance. Lyft and Uber drivers must have personal auto insurance coverage.

Both companies run background checks. Major violations on your driving record, such as DUIs or excessive speeding, make you ineligible to work as a rideshare driver.

Uber drivers and Lyft drivers earn approximately $12 to $16 per hour. Factoring in vehicle depreciation, fuel costs, and tax implications is important when working as an independent contractor. However, even with these costs, working as a rideshare driver is a viable side hustle as long as you target periods that likely have surge pricing, especially if you enjoy driving and don’t mind having strangers in your vehicle.


5. Bartending

Bartender Making A Cocktail Bar Lounge Restaurant

  • Pros: Potential to work for considerable tips; generally requires experience, but you don’t need a degree
  • Cons: Volatile hourly pay; must secure night-only shifts if your goal is to bartend in addition to your day job
  • Verdict: If you have previous bartending experience or are in college, consider applying to bars in your area and working Friday and Saturday night shifts whenever possible.

Bartending is a job where the nature of the industry generally means late nights. Although restaurants and bars often serve alcohol during the day, there are plenty of clubs and other venues that only open their doors and begin serving at night.

Bartending is also a night job with a high earning potential, provided you have some experience and offer excellent customer service. According to the BLS, there are more than 640,000 bartenders in the United States. However, hourly pay is quite volatile.

The average bartender earns just over $11 per hour, including tips. But the top 10% of bartenders earn double that per hour. Working for tips and securing busy shifts significantly impacts earnings.

Overall competition in the bartending scene also matters. The same BLS data shows quite a discrepancy in earnings by state. For example, bartenders in Hawaii earn $10 more per hour than bartenders in New York, despite the fact that New York has a higher minimum wage by about $4.

In order for bartending to be a viable night job, you’ll probably need some experience to get your foot in the door. Additionally, if you work another job, it’s important to find stable shifts to ensure your bartending side hustle doesn’t interfere with your other working hours.

Bartending is truly an excellent night job for college students because it doesn’t interfere with classes. If you already work in the service industry, branching into bartending might not only boost your overall income but also open new employment opportunities.


6. Babysitting

Baby Toddler Babysitter Playing In Livingroom Pillow Fight Mom

  • Pros: Ideal for students because you can study while babysitting; high hourly pay
  • Cons: Work instability; certification costs
  • Verdict: Babysitting is one of the best night jobs for students or anyone just looking for extra grocery money each month. A lack of guaranteed shifts makes this a poor choice if you need steady extra cash.

Like bartending, babysitting isn’t solely a night job. However, parents often rely on babysitters when going out for a late-night event or away for the weekend. As long as you clearly state your availability and have a few families you work with, babysitting can be a lucrative side hustle that doesn’t interfere with your schedule.

According to data from Sittercity, one of the largest online U.S. caregiving marketplaces, babysitters earn $16.50 per hour on average. Number of children, travel time, duration, and additional responsibilities like cooking or taking children to appointments also influence hourly pay. The more children you babysit and the more services you provide, the more you typically get paid.

Having certification such as first-aid and CPR training is important. It’s worth getting certification from a recognized provider such as the American Red Cross or American Heart Association. You can also make your resume stand out by completing additional courses like the Advanced Child Care Training Online certification.

There are generally two approaches to finding babysitting gigs. The most obvious is to offer your services to families you already know. This is an easy college side hustle idea to avoid student loan debt while in college without having to extensively job hunt.

Alternatively, online marketplaces are another way to find babysitter jobs. Sittercity is an option, as is Care.com, another reputable online marketplace for caregivers. Posting your services on local classifieds or Facebook groups in your city is another way to find work.


7. Store Stocker

Woman Store Employee Stocking Groceries Produce

  • Pros: Stable hourly pay; wide job availability
  • Cons: Lower potential pay than freelancing or various gig jobs; labor-intensive
  • Verdict: If you want stable pay and don’t mind physical work, store stocking is a reliable night job to try.

If you’ve never worked in retail, you might not realize that most shelves don’t get stocked during the day. Daytime workers make rounds occasionally to restock completely barren shelves, but for the most part, restocking is a night job.

Practically every grocery chain and big-box retailer, such as Walmart or Target, hires store stockers. Smaller chains might combine the roles of store associate and stocker, but it’s definitely possible to find part- or full-time work as a store stocker.

Full-time grocery stockers earn approximately $33,800 per year. Merchandise stockers earn slightly less at $28,000 per year on average. There is plenty of part-time opportunity in this line of work as well.

Working as a nighttime store stock is ideal for part- and full-time workers alike. Plus, this job is introvert-friendly due to a lack of customer service requirements.


8. Hotel Front Desk Clerk

Luxury Hotel Reception Counter Desk Check In Bell

  • Pros: Stable hourly pay; wide job availability; potential travel perks and benefits
  • Cons: Lower potential pay than freelancing and various gig jobs
  • Verdict: If you want to work in hospitality and benefit from certain hotel chain perks, becoming a nighttime hotel front desk clerk is for you.

Hotels, motels, and resorts are businesses that require an employee to constantly work the front desk. If you enjoy customer service and want a night job with stable pay and hours, working as a front desk clerk is another option.

Front desk clerks are responsible for greeting guests, answering questions, and signing guests in. Clerks also manage room reservations, incoming calls, and process payments when guests check out. Ultimately, front desk clerks are responsible for making guests feel as comfortable as possible. Customer service is certainly the main skill you need for this job.

Hotel clerks earn approximately $12.50 per hour. However, the top 10% of front desk clerks earn $17 per hour, so there is room for higher hourly pay.

This night job is a perfect fit for college students looking to gain experience in the hospitality industry. It’s also an excellent job if you want stable hours. Plus, if you work for a large hotel chain, there might be room for growth into a managerial position or other jobs within the company.

Additionally, work benefits might include employee and family discounts on rooms and possible health or dental coverage depending on your employer. Hotel front desk clerks are usually fed on the job as well.


9. Bookkeeper

Bookkeeping Binders Table Paperclip Desk

  • Pros: High hourly pay; wide job availability
  • Cons: Previous experience and postsecondary education is often a requirement
  • Verdict: This job is perfect if you have previous bookkeeping experience but want to transition to a night job for greater flexibility.

Bookkeepers are responsible for organizing a business’ financial records, producing financial statements, and keeping track of costs and revenue.

As of 2019, there were more than 1.7 million bookkeepers, accountants, and auditing clerks in the United States. BLS data shows their average hourly wage is nearly $20 per hour.

Bookkeepers require math and data-entry skills. Additionally, most bookkeeping jobs require some postsecondary education, and higher-paying jobs also look for experience with popular bookkeeping and accounting software like Quickbooks or Xero.

Plenty of bookkeepers work in-office and during regular hours. However, remote bookkeeping jobs are also popular, and job boards like Flexjobs have plenty of listings. Some jobs are part-time and offer flexible hours. As long as you complete your responsibilities, it doesn’t matter if you choose to work solely at night. Note that many of these jobs require previous bookkeeping experience.

Pro tip: Would you like to start your own bookkeeping business? Bookkeepers.com has a course available that will teach you everything you need to do to get started. Start by learning the skills you’ll need and then find out how to market yourself to attract clients. Sign up for a free Bookkeepers.com online course.


10. Nighttime Security Guard

Security Guard Checking Cameras At Night Technology

  • Pros: Low barrier to entry; wide job availability
  • Cons: Limited room for growth in hourly pay
  • Verdict: This job requires little to no previous work experience and is the perfect night job for anyone without a degree.

Night jobs like bartending or bookkeeping usually require previous experience. Similarly, freelance work like writing often requires time to find clients and stable work. If you want a job that requires little or no experience, working as a nighttime security guard is an excellent choice.

There are more than 1 million security guards in the United States, and they earn an average of approximately $14 per hour. According to ZipRecruiter, overnight security guards earn $13 per hour on average, so working at night doesn’t significantly impact pay.

Malls, businesses, sports centers, and manufacturing plants are a few examples of industries that typically hire security guards around the clock. Security guards typically monitor surveillance footage and patrol the perimeter, so you’ll have to get used to being on your feet during shifts.

Requirements for security guard certification and potentially carrying a firearm vary between states. States typically have their own websites that outline the steps to become a licensed security guard. For example, California has the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, whereas Washington has the Department of Licensing. Every state is different, and it’s important to do your research if you pursue this job.

Many security guard jobs don’t require a degree or extensive work experience. If you work as an unarmed security guard, you often only need to complete a certain number of training courses and submit a licensing application to the necessary licensing division in your state.


Final Word

There are a number of reasons why people want to work at night. If you have daytime responsibilities like another job or looking after children but want to increase your income, working at night is an obvious solution. Similarly, if you’re a student with a busy schedule, a night job might be the only way you can balance your studies and earning income.

Whatever the case, there are plenty of night jobs available that suit different people and skills. Freelance work and the gig economy provide a level of flexibility that makes working solely at night possible. By contrast, working in retail or hospitality provides more stable pay and hours. As long as you negotiate to only work night shifts, you won’t have any scheduling problems.

There are already millions of Americans working into the early hours of the morning. Hopefully, one of the night jobs in this list makes it easy for you to get to work and join them.

Have you ever worked a night job before? What is your favorite part of working at night?

Tom Blake
Tom is a freelance writer originally from Toronto, Canada. Tom's passion for finance and discovering methods to make money originally sparked in college when he was trying to make ends meet on a tight budget. Outside of freelance writing, Tom also manages the blog This Online World - a personal finance website dedicated to helping young adults make and save more money.

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