We live in an age when making extra money on the side has never been more feasible. Between gig economy jobs, investment options, and online money-making ideas, there are plenty of opportunities if you’re looking to boost your monthly income.
However, it can be challenging to balance a busy schedule and the desire to make more money. After a hectic workday, it’s often difficult to find the motivation or energy to keep working.
Thankfully, many side gigs are less time- and energy-intensive than traditional jobs. With a suitable side gig, it’s possible to make extra money while working on your own terms and enjoying a flexible schedule.
Best Side Hustles for Busy People
When considering a second job, vetting your potential new employer using websites like Glassdoor is an excellent way to learn more about salary range and what other people have experienced.
Similarly, online forums like Reddit have many side hustle-themed groups where it’s easy to find information on a specific job. Reddit Side Hustle is one example. Just create a free Reddit account to ask for insight on a particular side job. You can also search for previous posts from Reddit members to see if someone else has already answered your question.
There are plenty of tried-and-true side hustle ideas out there. And these opportunities are ideal for full-time workers looking to increase their monthly income.
1. Grocery Delivery
Delivering food as a bike courier is a high-paying side gig if you don’t have access to a vehicle or want to avoid putting miles on your car. However, if you’re willing to drive, delivering groceries with companies like Instacart or Shipt is another lucrative, flexible job that’s growing in demand.
Both companies work similarly to food delivery apps, except you’re delivering grocery orders, not prepared food. If you’re 18 or older, have access to a reliable vehicle, and can lift 40 pounds and navigate a grocery store without assistance, you can work for Instacart and Shipt.
Instacart and Shipt let you schedule your own shifts, so you can hustle around your other job and responsibilities. According to Glassdoor, Instacart shoppers earn $11 per hour on average but can earn up to $25 per hour. Salary reviews on Glassdoor show that Shipt shoppers earn approximately $12 to $15 per hour.
One advantage of Instacart is that you can also apply to be an in-store shopper if you don’t have a vehicle or just want a part-time job. Unlike full-service shoppers who are responsible for assembling grocery orders and driving to customers, in-store shoppers work in specific Instacart partner grocery stores as W-2 employees. When grocery orders come in, in-store shoppers complete the order and checkout before handing off the groceries to a full-service shopper for delivery.
In-store shoppers are guaranteed minimum wage. However, you can’t work more than 30 hours per week as an in-store shopper and you don’t receive any tips, unlike full-service shoppers.
Grocery Delivery Pros
Grocery delivery services are growing in popularity, and both Instacart and Shipt regularly hire new workers. Job demand aside, there are also several advantages to this side hustle:
- Decent Pay. When you consider base pay and tips, Instacart and Shipt generally pay more than minimum wage.
- Great Exercise. Although grocery delivery isn’t as physically demanding as being a bike courier, shopping for groceries still keeps you moving and helps you get your daily steps in.
- Job Flexibility. Instacart’s flexibility between contractor and a W-2 role lets you choose a side gig that suits your schedule and preferences.
Grocery Delivery Cons
Exercise and solid pay are undeniable benefits to delivering groceries. However, this side hustle has some significant downsides:
- Depreciation. Unless you work as an in-store Instacart shopper, you’re putting additional mileage on your vehicle with every delivery.
- Fuel Costs. Like depreciation, you’re also on the hook for fuel costs as an independent contractor with any grocery delivery service.
If Instacart or Shipt are hiring in your area, both companies are a reliable way to make extra cash on the side and exercise at the same time. However, factor in vehicle depreciation and fuel expenses to your hourly earnings after a few weeks on the job to decide whether Instacart or Shipt are worth it.
2. Start a Blog
When it comes to hobbies that can make you money, blogging is perhaps the one with the highest income potential. If you have a knack for writing and a particular passion, you can create your own website for free or at very low cost through Bluehost and begin monetizing your online presence.
Blogging has a learning curve. Realistically, you won’t earn significant income from your blog for the first few months.
However, blogging is completely flexible and has full-time potential if you learn to scale your website. Plus, you can learn a host of valuable skills along the way, such as how to set up a website, write engaging content, and promote your work.
While it’s difficult to make quick money with a blog, this side job still has some substantial benefits:
- High Earning Potential. Blogging has the potential to turn into a full-time business down the road. Additionally, even hobby bloggers can boost their monthly income by hosting ads on their blog or promoting affiliate products.
- Transferable Skills. Starting a blog teaches you how to communicate more effectively, network, and manage a project independently. These skills are valuable in any industry and an added bonus outside the monetary gain.
- Built-In Exit Strategy. According to Forbes, you can sell a profitable blog for between 24 and 36 times your total monthly revenue. If you ever want to walk away from this side job, cashing out on your website is a lucrative bonus.
Despite a high earning potential, starting a profitable blog won’t happen overnight, and blogging has significant drawbacks:
- It Takes Time to Earn. If you need fast cash, starting a blog isn’t the way to get it. Blogging is undoubtedly a long game.
- Consistency Is Key. If you want to earn income as a blogger, you must treat your blog like a mini-business and invest time and some of your earnings back into growth.
If you’re willing to put in the work and learn, blogging is an immensely rewarding hobby. And with diligence and know-how, you can turn a blog into a profitable side business that generates revenue for years to come.
Pro tip: If you’re a good writer, you can also consider writing for others. If you’re unsure where to start, take this online course from a freelance writer making over $200,000 per year.
3. Dog Walking & Sitting Through Rover
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, almost 39% of households own at least one dog. That means you can make considerable money tapping into the massive pet-care industry. And for dog lovers, dog walking or sitting barely feels like a job at all.
Companies like Rover connect dog owners with pet sitters who want to look after their furry companions. All you have to do is download the Rover app, sign up, and book walking or pet sitting gigs once you’re approved.
If you live in a major city, there’s ample opportunity to start a dog-walking or dog-sitting side hustle. According to almost 150 Rover salary reviews from Glassdoor, dog walkers earn an average of $16 per hour. Plus, if you factor in bonuses or the higher-paying dog-sitting side of the business, it is possible to make an extra few hundred dollars every month.
Rover has a 4.3-star rating on Indeed with nearly 800 reviews. The main benefits of working for Rover include:
- Decent Pay. With just a few dog-walking clients, you can earn more than minimum wage in many states.
- Global Availability. Rover is available in the United States, Canada, the U.K., and much of Europe.
- Mostly Flexible. You have full control over what time slots you work or when you pet sit.
Since your clients are canines, there are some dog-specific disadvantages to working for Rover:
- Must Love Dogs. This money-maker is a struggle if you aren’t a dog person or have allergies.
- Some Limitations on Flexibility. You’re free to set your schedule as a Rover walker. However, some pet owners want their dogs walked at consistent times, such as after work or in the mornings. For some clients, you have to adopt a looser schedule to keep steady work.
In terms of second job ideas, Rover checks all the boxes. You’re free to set your schedule, the hourly pay is decent, and onboarding is quick. Plus, there are multiple health benefits to walking daily. It’s truly a win-win hustle.
4. Rent a Spare Room Through Airbnb
If you have a spare room you rarely use, you’re sitting on an incredibly simple yet effective source of added income. Airbnb’s host calculator provides an estimate of how much monthly income your listing can earn based on your location and guest capacity. The calculator assumes 15 nights booked per month at forecasted daily prices, so take this number as an optimistic estimate when predicting your revenue.
Many Airbnb hosts use lockboxes so their guests can check into their spare room while they’re at work or away. And there’s no need to worry about damage to your property. Thanks to Airbnb’s insurance policies, all hosts are covered by up to $1 million in liability insurance.
Listing a spare room on Airbnb is a semi-passive side job that requires little effort from hosts. Some perks of renting out an extra room include:
- Comprehensive Insurance Coverage. You can feel secure knowing your rental is covered by $1 million in host guarantee and liability insurance.
- Renters Are Allowed. Airbnb now allows people to act as co-hosts if they don’t own the property in question. If you strike an agreement with your landlord, you can rent out a section of the property and act as the property manager.
- Mostly Passive Income. Other than changing some sheets and arranging a check-in time with your guests, Airbnb is a low-effort side hustle.
While making money with Airbnb is semi-passive, there are still some drawbacks hosts should be aware of:
- Lack of Privacy. Renting a room on Airbnb requires you to be comfortable with letting strangers into your home.
- Booking Fees. Airbnb charges hosts a 3% fee per booking.
- Competitive Market. As more hosts join Airbnb, you must keep your pricing competitive. Additionally, anything you can do to improve your guest’s experience helps you develop a trustworthy profile.
Renting out a room on Airbnb is a solid second job option for full-time workers who are not currently making use of a spare room. An ideal Airbnb host is welcoming to strangers and willing to provide guests with basic amenities or even extra perks, such as coffee or extra towels, to offer a 5-star experience.
5. Deliver Food as a Bike Courier
While food delivery companies have gotten some flak in recent months due to issues over hourly wages and the wear and tear on drivers’ vehicles, delivering food as a bike courier is a different ballgame.
Bike couriers don’t have to dip into their earnings to pay for gas or expensive repairs on their cars. Bikes certainly experience wear and tear. However, the cost of maintaining a basic bike is cheaper than maintaining a gas-powered vehicle.
Companies like Uber also have a separate sign-up process for bike couriers that ensures their delivery radius is smaller than delivery drivers’. Living in a large city is therefore somewhat of a requirement for this side job, as you need the bigger metropolitan population to keep order volume high in a concentrated area.
By working dinner rushes, weekends, or late nights, you can take advantage of surges in delivery pricing. In a major city like Toronto, bike couriers earn between $15 and $20 per hour if demand is high and conditions are suitable for biking.
Bike Courier Pros
If you enjoy biking, this side job may be the perfect fit. Significant perks include:
- Less Depreciation. Bikes are cheaper to maintain than cars, and paying for fuel doesn’t eat into your earnings.
- Decent Pay. Busy cities have an endless demand for food delivery, so order shortages and high wait times between jobs are rare.
- Great Exercise. As with walking dogs, working as a bike courier is a fantastic way to get some exercise while hustling.
Bike Courier Cons
You must live in a populous city to make the hourly pay for this side job worthwhile. Additional cons include:
- Initial Investment. As with commuting by bike, you need a bike and safety equipment, including reflective safety vests if you plan to work nights. You also need a food delivery bag if the company you work for doesn’t supply one.
- Seasonality. This side job is highly seasonal if you live in a city that experiences significant snowfall.
Delivering food as a bike courier is the perfect side job for someone who lives in a larger city and doesn’t mind biking alongside traffic. Decent hourly pay and added exercise are the two main perks of this side job. Just remember to wear the right safety equipment and to work shifts that have surge pricing as much as possible.
6. Tutor English Online
Online tutoring is probably one of the most lucrative side gigs for full-time workers. But it can be demanding.
Online tutoring companies like EF Education First are almost always looking to hire skilled, energetic online tutors to help children learn English. Additionally, companies like VIPKid pay as much as $22 per hour, according to Indeed. Some may even pay more.
Online tutors must pick a few shifts per week to tutor. Since the vast majority of students live in Asia, you have to wake up brutally early to get the job done. But it won’t interfere with your 9-to-5 life.
Many companies require their tutors to hold a bachelor’s degree and to go through two online interviews. But other companies, like Cambly, don’t have these requirements.
It’s rare to find a side job that has this many perks that you can do from the comfort of your own home. The main benefits of teaching English online are:
- Exceptional Pay. If you factor in performance-based bonuses, you can earn over $20 per hour with leading tutoring companies.
- Fully Remote. All you need is a laptop equipped with a webcam and microphone and a well-lit area in your home.
- Full-Time Potential. According to ZipRecruiter, full-time online tutors earn nearly $45,000 per year. If you currently work a part-time job or split your time between multiple jobs each week, online tutoring is a lucrative alternative.
The higher-paying nature of online tutoring results in increased responsibility and demanding workweeks. The primary drawbacks of online tutoring include:
- Fixed Schedule. Tutors must commit to weekly time slots to accommodate their students.
- Odd Hours. If you aren’t an early riser or night owl, this side job is not for you.
- Longer Onboarding Process. Depending on current demand, the interview process for many online tutoring companies can take a few weeks to complete.
If you want to make a serious dent in debt or maximize your hourly rate, online tutoring is an excellent option. But you have to get used to the early mornings and develop your skills as an educator.
7. Rent Your Car for Passive Income
Renting your car is a potentially lucrative passive income stream option. Turo and Getaround are the leading contenders in the “Airbnb of cars” marketplace. Car owners list their vehicles with these services, essentially acting as an independent car rental service. As with Airbnb, Turo and Getaround cover car owners with up to $1 million in liability insurance. Additionally, owners have the right to deny or accept renters or remove their vehicle listing at any time.
Earning potential varies based on vehicle type, local supply and demand, and any specific perks you offer, such as unlimited mileage. Use the Turo Carculator or Getaround earnings calculator to gain a general idea of how much your vehicle can earn. Just remember it’s unlikely you can rent out your car every day. It’s also important to factor in commission fees. Getaround takes 40% of booked rentals, and Turo charges between 15% and 35% depending on your insurance coverage.
HyreCar is a similar rental platform enabling owners to make money renting out their car. Unlike Turo or Getaround, HyreCar connects vehicle owners to rideshare drivers working for companies like Uber or Lyft. The unique business model allows people without access to a vehicle to rent a car to make money as a rideshare driver, while giving vehicle owners another opportunity to monetize their asset. Like Turo and Getaround, HyreCar also provides $1 million in liability insurance to protect drivers and vehicle owners.
Regardless of the service you choose, it’s a challenge to predict monthly earning potential for renting out your car, as many factors determine your rental rate. To get a reliable estimate, browse each website and check the price of other rental cars in your area. Price your own rental listing to remain competitive with similar vehicles. Ultimately, with just a handful of monthly rentals, you could boost your monthly income by $100 to $200 of mostly passive income.
Rental Car Pros
This semi-passive income idea doesn’t require much effort, making it an ideal choice for busy individuals looking to boost their income. Some of the main perks include:
- Insurance. Turo, Getaround, and HyreCar provide insurance coverage outside the owner’s individual insurance plan.
- Semi-Passive. Arranging a key drop-off time or exchange is the only physical task owners must complete. They handle everything else online. Optionally, vehicle owners can add extra perks to their listing, like picking up their rental customer, to increase their income.
- Mostly Flexible. You have full control over when you make your vehicle available for rent.
Rental Car Cons
Renting out your car for extra cash is a low-effort side hustle. But there are two primary drawbacks relating to the value of your vehicle:
- Depreciation. Putting additional mileage on your car contributes to overall depreciation and wear and tear. It’s critical to factor depreciation into your earning calculations.
- Interior Damage. These companies don’t usually cover interior damage or wear and tear for your vehicle. Read all terms and insurance documentation carefully before listing your vehicle.
If you own a vehicle but find it sits in your driveway more often than not, car rental platforms provide an effective way to monetize an underutilized asset. However, it’s essential you factor depreciation into your earning calculations and conduct some market research to help competitively price your car.
8. Offer Cleaning Services
Cleaning is one of the most straightforward side jobs available. And there’s decent money in cleaning if you have a strong work ethic and attention to detail.
Companies like Handy and Tidy allow housekeepers to make money cleaning other people’s homes. Housekeepers are free to set their own schedules, pick their clients, and manage their hours through a simple in-app interface. According to PayScale, housekeepers earn between $8 and $17 per hour.
Most cleaning jobs take between one and four hours, so if you work throughout the week, this is a perfect weekend side job idea. You must provide your own cleaning supplies, and professionalism is key to keeping clients. However, with a gig or two a week, you’re looking at an extra few hundred dollars each month.
Every home requires cleaning, and this side job has several perks to compensate the labor-intensive work:
- High Demand. Apps like Tidy and Handy service dozens of major cities throughout the U.S. If you can’t find work through these apps, you can also post your services in local listings like Craigslist or Nextdoor.
- Decent Pay. Even after subtracting your mileage and the cost of supplies, housekeeping pays well.
- High Potential for Repeat Clients. If homeowners like your work, you can build a regular client list and even get referrals.
Cleaning homes is tough work, and this side job certainly has negative aspects:
- Physically Demanding. Cleaning a home requires consistent physical effort. Scrubbing, kneeling, and being on your feet for long periods are part of the job.
- Finicky Clients. Some homeowners are particular about what methods and products you use. You need a way to keep track of client preferences and may have to stock a variety of cleaning products depending on your clients’ preferences.
Cleaning homes is physically demanding work, but the pay reflects that. If you have a high level of attention to detail and are looking for side work you can do in just a few hours each week, housekeeping is an excellent option.
9. Take Part in Research Studies
If you’re strapped for time and can’t commit to a significant second job, you can still subsidize your income by taking part in research studies or focus groups.
Companies like Respondent connect qualified researchers and institutions with everyday subjects to take part in everything from medical studies to product questionnaires. To get started with Respondent, create a free account and enter some basic demographic information. Once your profile is complete, Respondent can match you with research groups in your area if you qualify.
According to Respondent’s website, they‘ve paid more than $10 million to participants. Plus, the company reports it pays an average hourly rate of $140 per hour.
That doesn’t guarantee you’ll earn $140 for every study or survey since many take only between 10 and 20 minutes. However, from an hourly perspective, Respondent generally compensates well, as many Reddit users confirm.
Research Study Pros
In addition to the prospect of contributing to scientific progress, participating in studies has several other advantages:
- Sporadic but Lucrative. Even landing a single study each month can pay a few hundred dollars.
- Online Options Available. Many questionnaires take place through online Skype calls or interviews, so there’s no need to travel.
- Work Comes to You. With companies like Respondent, a complete profile gives you a higher chance of being selected for relevant studies than you’d have if you manually searched for focus groups.
Research Study Cons
While potentially lucrative, the accuracy required for scientific studies comes with some potential limitations:
- Privacy Concerns. Participating in research studies involves sharing demographic or other personal information with researchers. For example, many Respondent studies focus on business topics or specific companies, but some are health-related. It’s imperative you read study requirements carefully and only participate in studies you feel comfortable with.
- Specific Study Requirements. If you don’t live in a major city or meet various demographic requirements, it’s hard to find studies to participate in.
Ultimately, taking part in research studies can be a hit-or-miss side hustle for fully employed individuals. However, there’s no harm in signing up on websites like Respondent and setting up email alerts to notify you of new opportunities since many of them pay extremely well.
10. Do Odd Jobs for Others Through TaskRabbit
The idea behind TaskRabbit is simple: Busy people hire others to handle basic errands, chores, or tasks like furniture assembly. If you work a flexible schedule or are between jobs, being a “Tasker” allows you to pick up both skilled and unskilled work.
Hourly pay is variable depending on the category of task you complete. For example, according to TaskRabbit, furniture assembly gigs earn between $74 and $200 per project, whereas mounting a television or mirror earns between $80 and $173.
TaskRabbit charges a 15% service fee on all tasks. According to a TaskRabbit press release, U.S. taskers earn an average of $35 per hour, and Canadian taskers earn an average of $32 per hour.
The flexibility of TaskRabbit makes this an excellent side job for anyone who does variable shift work. Other considerable benefits include:
- Ability to Set Your Own Rates. You get to decide how much you charge. Current Taskers interviewed by Money Magazine said they charged anywhere from $25 to $150 per hour.
- Ability to Pick Your Work. There’s a variety of work available on TaskRabbit, from helping people put together Ikea furniture to working events. You can pick the areas you’re experienced and interested in.
- Global Availability. TaskRabbit operates in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
TaskRabbit isn’t ideal for anyone who likes predictable work since the gig opportunities are ever-changing. Additionally, this platform has two main drawbacks:
- Skills Requirements. Clients review Taskers on the app, and a negative review can affect your ability to get work in the future. You must ensure you’re fully qualified to complete a task, which can reduce the number of available tasks if you have a narrow skill set.
- High Service Fees. The app takes a pretty hefty chunk (15%) of your rate. That means if you charge $100 per hour, you only earn $85 per hour.
If you want a side gig that’s flexible, TaskRabbit provides extra income on your terms. If you have skills a lot of other people don’t or are willing to do things others don’t like to do, such as home repairs, there’s plenty of opportunity on TaskRabbit. Just don’t forget to include the 15% cut TaskRabbit takes when establishing your fee. Otherwise, you’ll make a lot less than you expected.
11. Use On-Demand Job Apps
If you’re looking for a flexible side hustle that also provides exposure to a variety of industries, working part time for short-staffed companies is a viable option. On-demand job apps connect companies in need of extra help with workers. While these apps have both part-time and full-time job offers, there are also plenty of one-time opportunities.
For example, Staffy is an on-demand gig app that specializes in hospitality. The Staffy app allows people with experience in bartending, restaurant work, or special events to apply to same-day job postings in their area.
Workers set their own rates and schedule with Staffy. According to Indeed, Staffy bartenders earn approximately $20 per hour. Line cooks and dishwashers earn slightly less at $19.50 and $18 per hour, respectively.
Jobble is another on-demand job app that brands itself as “the marketplace of the gig economy.” On Jobble, it’s easy to find local businesses in need of same-day staffing help and apply for jobs through the app. Enter your zip code on the Jobble job board to browse a list of local jobs and their pay ranges.
There’s also Wonolo, which is also free to sign up for. Once approved, you can apply for a same-day position at a short-staffed company in your area. There’s no need for a resume or interview – you complete all applications via a mobile app, where you describe your skills and work experience to help employers find the right match.
Wonolo provides staffing help for a variety of industries. With the Wonolo app, it’s easy to find shift work in health care, hospitality, and manufacturing. Plus, the pay is reflective of the urgent need for help. According to Indeed, Wonolo jobs pay between $15 and $20 per hour.
Job App Pros
The freedom to work spare shifts across a variety of industries is an appealing option for any side hustler who enjoys trying new jobs and doesn’t want to sit down all day. Some of the main perks of this side job include:
- Fast Earnings. On-demand job apps offer same-day shift opportunities, providing a quick way to earn extra income.
- Decent Pay. Jobs in hospitality or manufacturing and logistics compensate well.
- Flexibility. You have complete control over the days and places you choose to work.
Job App Cons
- Physically Demanding. As with housekeeping, many jobs listed on these apps involve standing for long periods or labor-intensive work, such as catering or working events.
- Lucrative but Sporadic. The availability of same-day gig work is inconsistent. Sometimes, companies in your area are in dire need of workers for weeks at a time. Other times, they don’t need any additional help.
Filling in for short-staffed companies provides a high level of flexibility and the opportunity to try numerous jobs. If you don’t mind physically demanding work and want to set your own schedule at a moment’s notice, this side job is worth considering.
12. Become a Virtual Assistant
If you have a high level of attention to detail and organization skills, becoming a virtual assistant is another flexible way to boost your side income.
Virtual assistants, or VAs, are similar to administrative assistants. The main difference is that you work from home rather than an office. Typically, business owners hire virtual assistants to help with administrative tasks such as:
- Scheduling personal and business meetings
- Booking travel plans and accommodations
- Sending invoices and manage bookkeeping
- Ordering office supplies
- Basic data entry work
- Social media management
- Email correspondence with clients or sending out newsletters
There isn’t a single career path to becoming a VA. You can begin your freelancing journey by looking for VA work on freelance websites like Fiverr. Alternatively, Fancy Hands hires beginner VAs based in the U.S. and lets assistants define their own hours to suit their schedule.
According to PayScale, virtual assistants earn $15.78 per hour on average. Ideally, you should look for VA positions that let you set your own hours and don’t require you to answer emails or phone calls while you’re working another job to maintain flexibility.
Virtual Assistant Pros
VA work is dynamic, and you usually take on several responsibilities for business owners, which can make the job feel exciting. There are several other benefits as well:
- In Demand. As the world becomes more remote-friendly, reliance on VAs for organizational help should increase.
- Low Cost. VAs typically use a headset to make and take calls. You also need a reliable Internet connection to do your work. However, there aren’t many other upfront expenses, assuming you already have a laptop or desktop computer.
- Career Development. VAs typically work closely with management and business owners. This lets you expand your network with industry professionals and can open future career opportunities in the future.
Virtual Assistant Cons
Despite being in demand and having few barriers to entry, the VA industry still faces certain challenges:
- Wage Pressure. People work as VAs across the world and certain markets are more affordable than others. If you’re a VA working in North America or Europe, you have to compete with more affordable VA pricing in other parts of the world, so getting your first clients might take time.
- Potential Client Difficulties. Because you work closely with clients as a VA, it’s important to find companies where you’re a good match. Ideally, your organizational habits should match your clients’ or you should be able to learn their preferences and adapt. If you find that a client isn’t receptive or cooperative, it might pose challenges for your working relationship.
High-performing VAs are meticulous organizers and know how to keep track of a schedule with many moving parts. If this sounds like you and you want to make money online, becoming a VA is a natural side gig to try.
Another flexible side gig that’s a perfect fit if you enjoy working with kids is babysitting. Oftentimes, this job is something high school students use to make money in their spare time. However, you can become a babysitter at any age, provided you have qualifications and know where to begin your job hunt.
For starters, babysitters should complete their babysitting and child care certification from an organization like the American Red Cross. You should also complete a basic first aid course and CPR course, which are also available through the American Red Cross. Although parents might hire you as a babysitter without these certifications, it’s best to take this job seriously and to ensure you have proper training.
Once you complete your certification, you can look for babysitting work in your area with websites like Care.com and SitterCity. Both platforms let you apply to babysitting and caregiver jobs for free. You sign up with your email address or Facebook account, create a caregiver profile, and search for available work in your area.
According to ZipRecruiter, babysitters earn $17 per hour on average. If you struggle to find work online, you can also try finding babysitting gigs by asking people you know.
Although it might take time to find your first clients, babysitting has several perks worth noting:
- Great for Students. Babysitting is ideal for students because you can likely study and complete homework once you put kids to bed.
- Decent Pay. $17 per hour is higher than the average minimum wage.
- Bonus Potential. Some parents might pay extra for tasks like cooking, cleaning, or extended child care, allowing you to earn even more with this side gig.
Despite being an excellent part-time job for students, babysitting usually has upfront costs and some downsides:
- Certification Requirements. In order to make parents feel comfortable and to do your job safely, child care and first aid certification is crucial. Classes can cost $50 to $100 depending on the organization you work with, so keep this upfront cost in mind.
- Expect Weekend Work. Parents hire babysitters when they’re out for the evening or on vacation. Typically, this means babysitters have to work Friday night or weekends, which might mean a less exciting social life.
If you enjoy working with kids, becoming a babysitter is a lucrative side gig that’s also ideal for students. It takes time to find enough parents for a stable schedule. But babysitting usually lets you complete your studies while you work and can also look good on a resume if you have future teaching or caregiving aspirations.
Becoming a proofreader is another side gig that’s perfect if you have strong communication skills and attention to detail.
Proofreaders review written content to ensure it’s free from spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and uses proper formatting. This role is different from being an editor because editors focus on improving readability, style, and often make tweaks to an article before publishing.
To be a good proofreader, you need a strong command of language and to understand different style guides. For example, some publications cite sources using the Modern Language Association (MLA) style whereas others prefer American Psychological Association (APA) style — a key distinction you have to know as a proofreader.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, proofreaders earn approximately $40,000 per year, or $19.54 per hour. However, the top 10% of proofreaders earn closer to $64,000 per year or $30.73 per hour.
If you want to learn proofreading skills, you can start by reviewing different style manuals to learn how to properly cite information. The Associated Press Stylebook is worth buying if you plan on working with online publications. Similarly, the MLA Handbook is a must-have for academic proofreading.
Courses like Proofread Anywhere also teach you how to make money with regular proofreading or transcript proofreading, which is more technical. The basic course is an excellent starting point if you’re considering this side hustle but don’t have previous proofreading experience, and there are numerous student testimonials that share how Proofread Anywhere helped them increase their income.
Hourly pay is an advantage of proofreading. Additionally, there are several other job perks worth noting:
- Fully Remote. You can work as a proofreader from anywhere in the world as long as you have a computer and Internet connection.
- Great for Introverts. Proofreading is an ideal for introverts because you usually work with a single editor or small team.
- High Potential for Repeat Clients. If an editor enjoys working with you, there’s a strong chance they’ll rely on your proofreading services for the foreseeable future.
Proofreading is a fairly niche side gig compared to something like freelance writing, and this has some inherent disadvantages:
- It Takes Time to Earn. Finding your first proofreading clients can take time, limiting your starting income.
- Smaller Market. Proofreaders serve a specific function for publishing, meaning the overall market size is smaller. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states there are approximately 7,700 employed proofreaders in the U.S. By contrast, there are over 100,000 employed writers and authors.
Proofreading is a specific albeit high-paying role that’s an excellent fit if you have a strong command of language and a sharp eye for mistakes. You likely have to invest in style guides or a course to hone your skills, but your income from a single proofreading client can easily cover this starting cost.
Characteristics of a Suitable Side Gig
The right side hustle won’t interfere with your main income stream or significantly detract from your overall quality of life. Suitable side gigs have three critical elements in common.
It doesn’t matter if your workplace operates on a consistent schedule or involves variable shift work. Flexibility is crucial for picking a realistic second job.
An ideal second job allows you to work whenever you want. The power to pick your own schedule ensures your entrepreneurial endeavors don’t interfere with your primary job. Plus, the flexibility to pick up higher-paying shifts, such as during weekends or late nights, is an added benefit.
A second job doesn’t have to outearn your primary job. However, it’s essential to know your worth and ensure you’re compensated fairly. An effective part-time side job should empower you to boost your income, pay off debt, or contribute to your investment portfolio.
It is also important to consider the time required to start your new side hustle. Many gig jobs have a low barrier to entry. But some require certification or involve an extensive onboarding process.
Hiring requirements aren’t an immediate write-off for a side hustle. But if you need to make money quickly, keep this factor in mind when making your final decision.
Thanks to advancements in the gig economy and technology, it has never been easier to start a side hustle, even when working full time.
It’s important to consider flexibility, pay, and overall earning potential when seeking a second job. Vet any side jobs before taking them by reading online reviews to learn more about job pay, worker satisfaction, and possible pros or cons.
It’s also wise to play to your strengths. Consider the skills you use in your primary job and look for side hustle opportunities in which your current knowledge lets you hit the ground running. Alternatively, pick a second job with a requirement that appeals to you. For example, if you love biking, working as a bike courier is a natural choice for a side hustle. You can also make money by monetizing one of your skills, such as the ability to play an instrument.
Select a job that suits your experience and schedule, and you can make a positive impact on your financial well-being on your own terms.