Side jobs are a great way to supplement your income, but one common problem people face is finding one that offers worthwhile pay. Your spare time is valuable, and if you decide to spend it earning extra money, you’ll want to make the most of it. Many part-time job seekers get stuck in a quagmire wading through the hundreds of options out there. Unfortunately, a lot of them end up sinking time and effort into side gigs that just don’t bring home enough bacon before realizing their mistake.
The online economy offers many options to enterprising individuals who want to transform their downtime into dollars. Yet, they’re not the only place to direct your search. In putting together this list, we’ve considered common online and offline opportunities that just about anyone can do without needing intensive training or formal educational credentials. Pay estimates were tabulated in 2019 and were curated from multiple authoritative sources, including labor force tracking sites like PayScale, Glassdoor, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
1. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants function much like executive assistants, only they’re situated remotely and deliver their work over the internet. They handle administrative tasks like organizing, scheduling, responding to communications, and other essential functions. Sites like Elance and Upwork routinely have dozens upon dozens of postings.
Pay varies depending on your experience, the nature of the work you’ll be doing, and who you work for. However, you can expect to earn in the neighborhood of $12 to $25 per hour. Pay varies since it’s often calculated based on the time the client anticipates you will need to spend completing tasks. If you’re super-efficient, your hourly earnings can rise well beyond these limits.
2. Customer Service Representative
Customer service reps, or CSRs, answer incoming queries, resolve complaints, and provide troubleshooting support and assistance. About 20% of all CSRs work part-time, and a growing number of companies hire them to work from home using their own phones and computer equipment.
According to BLS, the median hourly pay for CSRs was $16.23 in 2018. Your actual job offers might scale up or down, depending on who’s doing the hiring.
You don’t need an accounting degree or business background to work as a bookkeeper. In fact, reliable bookkeeping certification courses are widely available, and you can browse a trustworthy aggregator like edX to find opportunities.
Bookkeepers average about $20 per hour, and you can find both onsite and offsite work opportunities. Some people have reported incomes of $50 an hour or more working as part-time bookkeepers, but this is atypical (though certainly possible).
Most people are familiar with transcription through its association with the medical profession, in which professionals turn the voice recordings of doctors into written records. This path requires specific training and knowledge of technical medical terminology, but it also pays well. Medical transcriptionists start around $20 an hour and enjoy excellent flexibility including the opportunity to work remotely.
Nontechnical transcription jobs are also out there to be found, but they usually pay less. Expect to be offered something closer to $12 to $18 per hour to get started in these positions.
5. Rideshare Driving
Peer-to-peer rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have exploded in popularity, both with passengers and people seeking to make extra money on the side. Earning potential depends a lot on how much you work, whether you collect bonuses by working during super-busy times, and where you live. Tips also factor in, as drivers keep 100% of them but aren’t guaranteed to earn them.
In general, you can expect to earn about $15 an hour as a rideshare driver. If you learn how to optimize the opportunity or qualify to work for a premium service like UberBLACK, this rate can go up to $22 to $25 an hour.
6. Online Teacher
You don’t need teaching credentials to work as an online teacher. In most cases, you’ll provide casual tutorials through platforms like VIPKID, TutorMe, and TutorVista. Many online teachers offer instruction to clients learning English as a second language, but you can also help others learn about practically any useful skill you have. Pay rates usually end up around $16 to $22 per hour.
7. Data Entry Keyer
Machine learning has come a long way, but it still hasn’t figured out how to replace human data entry keyers. In this role, you’ll perform tasks like preparing documents for printing and verifying the information before entering it into a database. A growing number of data entry keyers work online, though traditional onsite positions remain the norm.
BLS notes that pay largely depends on who you work for. At the low end, you can make about $15 an hour in an entry-level position for a private company. Snag a job with a government agency and that rate can climb to north of $19.
Many people like to be home when movers arrive so they can supervise and make sure items are loaded and unloaded according to their preferences. That means an abundance of evening hours for general laborers, making the moving industry a great place to look for part-time work if you don’t mind the physical aspect of the job.
The upside of working as a mover is that it’s a job just about anyone can get if they meet the physical requirements. It pays an average of about $13 per hour, and you’ll also enjoy a healthy dose of exercise as you work.
It doesn’t get more “casual part-time” than working as a handyperson, performing simple repairs for homeowners and apartment building superintendents. To get started, all you’ll need is a complete set of tools and plenty of DIY know-how. A basic working knowledge of plumbing and electrical systems will also help, though you won’t usually be expected to perform tasks that require a professional.
As a handyperson, you can set your own rate or charge based on the complexity and difficulty of the job. Pay rates vary but usually come in somewhere around the $20 an hour range.
10. Property Maintenance Worker
As a property maintenance worker, you’ll enjoy year-round demand. During the winter, you’ll be needed to remove snow and ice from walkways and parking lots after storms to ensure accessibility. During the warm-weather months, you’ll trim shrubs, mow lawns, tend gardens, and keep things looking their clean and tidy best.
You don’t need any experience or formal training to start, as anything you’ll need to know will be offered on the job. Average pay rates come in around $14 an hour, and they’ll rise as you gain experience and specialized skills.
Before You Begin
Online scam artists regularly operate in the work-from-home sector, and there are a few things you should keep in mind as you seek opportunities. First: you should never pay someone just for the opportunity to access job listings. You should exercise similar caution if you’re asked to pay fees in exchange for training materials unless you can verify the company’s reputability and authenticity.
Similarly, you should be skeptical about opportunities that promise amazing earnings for a few hours or little effort. Unscrupulous scammers often use this as a front to dupe people into paying for useless guidance and other non-assets. Do some digging before working with any online-based company by checking message boards and review sites to see what others have to say about them.