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The Highest Paying Part-Time Jobs

Published September 27, 2019

7 minute read

By Jim Greene

Getting a part-time job is a great way to supplement your full-time income or earn some extra cash for bills or personal spending. Maximizing the fruits of your labor means finding a gig that pays a relatively high wage. The problem is that many of the most readily available part-time jobs tend to offer less than stellar pay. This is because many part-time jobs have high turnover rates and require skills that are in plentiful supply on the labor market.

The good news for job seekers is that there are also plenty of part-time positions out there that offer excellent pay. Some of them require intensive training and advanced skills, but others have more attainable entry qualifications. If you’re in the market for part-time work, consider these 15 options to give your finances a big boost. We’re curated our selections to prioritize opportunities that don’t ask for professional licenses or extended stints of specialized schooling.

Bartender

If you know your cocktails well and don’t mind working until the wee hours of the morning, landing a part-time bartending gig on evenings or weekends can be one of the most fun ways to earn some extra cash. While bartenders don’t command high base hourly wages, the tips you’ll receive can translate into surprisingly high earnings.

Bartenders who work in popular establishments can make wages that rival education-intensive technical fields. You may need some networking savvy to land a bartending gig, but if you’re willing to put in the work to find one, the rewards can be worth it.

Server

Waiters and waitresses can take advantage of casual part-time employment through an abundance of opportunities. Casual eateries, higher-end restaurants, quick-service diners, and cafes are constantly on the lookout for servers to join their staff. While available positions may be advertised, others circulate through word of mouth. Don’t be shy to pound the pavement in your local area and drop off resumes directly to potential employers.

Best of all, being a server doesn’t require any previous training and the job carries few if any educational requirements. If you’ve enrolled in a smart service course or have previous experience, you’ll have an easier time landing a job, but entry-level positions are available to those with little in the way of experience. Quick learners and pleasant personalities earn the most tips, which can add up to plenty of extra income.

Tutor

Tutors offer extra subject-specific help to students outside of regular class hours. They work in many different contexts. Some help students close gaps with their peers in particular academic areas, while others deliver curriculum enrichment opportunities to gifted students. Others provide test prep services for college and grad school entrance examinations, which is one of the most common sources of employment in today’s increasingly competitive university admissions landscape.

To get started with this gig, you’ll need a college degree, high grades in the subject you want to teach, or a track record of strong standardized test achievement. Tutors can work independently, or with test prep and academic support companies.

Customer Service Representative

According to a 2019 labor market analysis, about 20% of all customer service representatives work part-time. The rise of e-commerce has created a surge in demand for customer service reps, who deal with incoming customer queries by email, online chat, and by phone.

Industries that commonly hire representatives include financial services, utilities, telecommunications, retail, insurance, and business-to-business support. In the wake of the pandemic, more and more of these opportunities can be done while working from home too.

Sales Representative

Sales representatives work for businesses that sell products and services to major buyers, like government agencies, public institutions, and other companies. These professionals typically enjoy the opportunity to earn commissions on top of their regular wags, making it a potentially lucrative option.

If the products you’ll be selling are generalized, you may not need more than a high school diploma or some community college coursework in marketing or business. Reps selling specialized goods or technical equipment may need a degree in a related field, or company-provided training.

Rideshare or Taxi Driver

The rapid rise of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have invigorated the so-called “gig economy,” creating millions of part-time jobs that carry appealing earning potential. Your actual earnings will vary depending on where you live, how often you work, when you work, and the level of service you provide. Customer tips and milestone bonuses can pad your earnings, so the more you work and the better you do, the more you’ll make. You also get to set your own schedule and work as much or as little as you like.

As an alternative, call your local taxi company to see if they need part-time drivers. Chances are good that they do, and you won’t even have to provide your own vehicle the way you would if you started with a peer-to-peer rideshare company. Taxi drivers also earn more predictable wages, increasing its appeal to some job seekers.

Rideshare driver with passanger

Shutterstock

Mail Carrier

Digital communications have made letters a lost art, but senders still ship packages and retail products through the postal service. Many mail carriers now work part-time, following set routes on a daily basis. These unionized jobs deliver above-average hourly wages along with hours of built-in exercise and the opportunity to get to know your neighbors better.

Applicants only require a high school diploma to sit the entrance examination. Pass the exam and you’ll qualify to start working as a mail carrier right away.

Personal Shopper

This is a unique and interesting opportunity for people who love to shop. Personal shoppers work one-on-one with clients, who are typically busy professionals with hectic schedules. In this role, you will recommend stores, brands, and products to clients, and take care of their day-to-day shopping duties.

Another take on this part-time job path sees personal shopping consultants help clients refine their style by providing an expert opinion on flattering clothes and accessories. It’s a bit of a niche market, but it’s great for those with a keen interest in finding deals for those who simply don’t have the time to do it themselves.

Childcare Provider

Nannies, au pairs, babysitters, and specialists with a background in early childhood education all qualify for part-time jobs caring for children. Applicants can seek placements in private households, daycare centers, community centers, and preschools.

First aid training and previous experience will be big bonuses in this female-dominated career path. However, if you don’t have similar work already on your resume, you might get a free pass if you’re a parent.

Personal Trainer

If you’re in good shape and you enjoy motivating others, taking up part-time work as a personal trainer offers financial benefits and personal fulfillment. You can work with clients one-on-one in your home, their home, or a local gym. Fitness centers also hire part-time workers to assist members and lead exercise classes.

Certification will give you an edge, especially if you want to work for a gym, but it isn’t strictly necessary. You’ll open the door to higher earnings as you gain experience and generate results for your clients.

Dog Walker

Dog walking is a great way to make money on a part-time basis while exercising and getting some fresh air. Experienced dog walkers can make a lot of money. People view their dog as being part of the family and will pay to have their dog walked each day. And if you were to walk several dogs in a group, you could make plenty of money.

Dog walkers in the U.S. can charge an average of $15 an hour per dog. Get three dogs to walk at the same time, and you could earn $45 an hour for taking a walk that you would likely take anyway. Keep in mind that picking up dog poop is part of the job and this is not a position for people who are allergic to animals.

Writer

The ability to write can earn a person a decent living. And it is a job that can be done from the comfort of home on a part-time basis. The more experienced a writer is, the more money they can earn. But even novice writers can earn a decent amount while working remotely and setting their own hours.

Expertise in a certain field such as sports, finance or technology can land you a job writing from the point-of-view of a specialist and lead to a lot of work from different sources. Newspapers and magazines also hire freelance writers these days as their full-time, permanent staff has scaled back.

Proofreader/Editor

Staying with the editorial theme, another great part-time gig is as a proofreader or editor. This is a job that requires attention to detail. Editors review written materials to ensure that the content is free of grammatical, spelling, punctuation and formatting errors. People who have experience editing can make as much as $20 an hour. And like writing, you can set your own hours.

Companies that hire part-time and freelance editors include advertising agencies, websites, public relations agencies and textbook publishers. This work is extremely flexible and can easily be done on a part-time basis. There are deadlines involved but they are not typically same day deadlines. For people who want good part-time pay, editing could be ideal.

Accountant/Bookkeeper

A lot of companies, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, rely on part-time or contract accountants and bookkeepers to manage their finances and balance their books at the end of each month. This is a job that can be done part-time from home with a reliable internet connection and calculator.

People who have experience invoicing clients, running payroll, and managing accounts, can find plenty of work as a virtual accountant. Small and medium-sized businesses are often looking for reliable and experienced bookkeepers. Some businesses might be looking for people who have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or just knowledge of QuickBooks. Whatever the criteria, accounting is worth exploring for people wanting part-time work.

Female bookkeeper working with laptop and calculator

Shutterstock

Survey Taker

People wanting less demanding work should consider taking surveys online. The number of companies that pay people to take surveys and give them their honest opinion about games, movies, consumer products and general interest topics is growing by leaps and bounds. This is a stress-free job that is flexible and would suit people wanting part-time hours.

People have to be willing to sit through a survey and answer all the questions as accurately as possible, no matter how tedious the topic might be. Surveys can pay as little $1 to as much as $20 per completed survey. There are several research companies that people can sign up with to take surveys on a regular basis. The more surveys taken, the more money earned.

The Bottom Line

If you’re open to investing in schooling or training, you’ll open up a whole new world of other job opportunities. Many speech pathologists, web designers, computer programmers, translators, occupational therapists, real estate agents, accountants, and massage therapists work part-time, earning anywhere from about $18 to $45 an hour (or more). Remember: education is an investment in yourself, and it can pay big dividends over the years if you choose your path wisely.

Jim Greene

Contributor

Jim Greene is a freelance writer based in the Toronto, Canada area. He has been writing professionally since 2001 and has an extensive professional background in consumer research, personal finance and economics.

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