Around the world, millions of people are participating in the gig economy, a labour market that is full of freelance work, short-term contracts and one-time jobs. The most important thing is that it has given many people a taste of entrepreneurship and the freedom of self-employment.
In today’s economy, where the foundation of permanent employment has become shaky, a lot of professionals are either using this industry for supplemental side hustles or as a full-time earnings-generator.
Are you interested in making some extra income in your spare time? We have compiled a job list of the top 20 gig economy jobs for you to consider.
1. Rideshare driver
If you already own a car, then why not use it to make a little bit of money on the side? That is what many motorists do when they sign up for Uber or Lyft, turning their automobile into a service to add dollars to their bank accounts. According to Glassdoor, Uber and Lyft drivers, on average, make $16 per hour in the US.
2. Food delivery driver
Many food-service establishments, from McDonald’s to your local sushi joint, are taking advantage of mobile applications such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, or Grubhub to get their food delivered to customers. Indeed figures suggest you can make an average of $15 per hour by delivering for these top platforms.
3. Pet sitter
In the US alone, nearly 85 million households have a pet. Everyone’s undying love for their pets has sparked entrepreneurial opportunities in the gig economy. From Wag to Rover, there are plenty of dog walking and other pet care apps that you can utilise to earn extra cash taking care of these lovable creatures. It is estimated that weekly pay at these websites can yield around $1,000 per month.
Are you a talented scribe? Do you have a knack for proofreading? Is coding your thing? If so, freelancing may be something to try out in the digital economy. And a large number of websites, such as Fiverr, Freelancer and Upwork, can connect you with those who need your expertise.
Because of the vast competition in your field, which can often bring down rates, so it is always a good idea to build a portfolio, be reliable and step up your game to beat your rivals.
5. Personal shopper
Wait a minute. Getting paid to shop? That sounds like a dream come true. If you’re already shopping, you might as well be compensated for it. How much? PayScale forecasts an average of $11.77 per hour.
Of course, different apps have different needs. Instacart, for instance, requires shopping and delivering groceries to customers. Fetch Rewards, pays users in gift cards for shopping, scanning their receipts, and uploading it to the system.
6. Courier delivery person
For many online businesses, the highest cost for operating their e-commerce operations is shipping and delivery.
Companies like Postmates Courier, pay you to deliver goods in your area. This can involve vehicle delivery or even on-foot delivery in major urban centres. Dolly and Shipt are other services that give workers the chance to deliver large and small packages from stores to households.
Pay does vary at these establishments, either on a per hour or per block basis. On average, you can make about $18 an hour.
Who likes moving? It is the bane of our existence and not something we look back on with great nostalgia. Well, unless you relocated from a bachelor apartment to a Beverly Hills mansion, but we digress.
By joining an online home moving company, you can get paid to pack boxes and move customers into their new living quarters. Plus, movers can earn an hourly average of $14.
Are you good with your hands? Do you mow the lawn like it’s nobody’s business? Tasking is one of the biggest components of the gig economy, with skilled folks performing a wide range of tasks that other people don’t want to do. Here is a brief list of websites to help you find work in manual labour:
- TaskEasy: Gardening, lawn mowing and other landscaping services for freelancers to offer.
- YourMechanic: Repair and maintain customers’ vehicles at their home.
- TaskRabbit: From assembling IKEA furniture to picking up the dry cleaning.
Compensation can be a tad difficult to determine for this type of gig work as it varies by job. Plus, you can set your own rates.
9. Massage therapist
It can be difficult for massage therapists to off their services on the web, but there are some viable options in the gig economy. Sites like Soothe allow massage therapists to find legitimate work, whether it is sports or deep tissue massages. You simply sign up for the app, travel to the client’s residence and provide the massage.
It is important to note that you need to be qualified and licensed and your own massage table, sheets and oils. The rates are highly competitive, clocking in at about $60 an hour.
For years, you toiled in your basement, creating hilarious refrigerator magnets. They sat there collecting dust, but the internet has given you the chance to share your creativity with the world. Indeed, websites like Etsy has cut out the retail middleman and connected the consumer with the creatives.
The earnings potential will depend on your own prices; there are many instances of users making six figures, while others are receiving a few bucks for their work. It is all based on how much you are willing to invest in your online business.
11. Virtual assistant
The demand for virtual assistants has grown exponentially in recent years as many businesses and professionals take advantage of this service. With the rise of video conferencing and project management systems, it has become easier than ever to be a virtual assistant. Many of the leading freelance websites have a long list of job offers, but there are also outlets dedicated to the profession, like The Virtual Gurus and Toptal.
Pay can start anywhere from a few dollars an hour to as much as $25, based on location, hours, skills and expertise.
Why not get paid for doing nothing? No, seriously. If you have something somebody wants, you can rent it out to the public. Don’t believe it? Here are some of the most well-known businesses out there that pay you to rent out your stuff:
- Airbnb: If you have a spare room in your house or a condominium suite to rent out for business travellers, Airbnb connects you with globetrotters, party animals and business professionals.
- Turo: You list your car for rent, lay out a fee, provide an explanation and wait for the money to roll in. The website shows starting rates at about $29.
- RVshare: You can make good use of your RV by renting it out to somebody who will use it for $150 per day.
- Boatsetter: Rent your captain-less ship to interested customers. Your earnings start at around $300.
For years, people have been inundated with pop-up advertisements about being paid $50 to complete a five-minute survey. But plenty of legitimate survey and research firms have established proper work-from-home, survey-taking that does pay you, ranging from a couple of bucks to a few hundred dollars. Here are some of them:
- Vindale Research
If you’re good with a camera, you could earn extra cash by uploading your snapshots online. Although there are plenty of major players in this realm, like Shutterstock and iStock, there are other smaller platforms that pay users for uploading their pictures to their databases.
This is a unique service that helps you sell your photos online, including SmugMug, Alamy and Snapped4U. Depending on what is in demand, you could see top dollar for your images, from few cents to $100. Just, please, no more pictures of a bench in black and white!
15. Child caretaker
Babysitting has entered the digital economy. If you are an experienced child caretaker or have a background in babysitting for friends and family, you can find a job that will earn you some extra cash.
You can use apps like Helpr to connect with parents and offer them reliable childcare assistance. However, beware, in most case, not everyone can join as these sites maintain a stringent signing up process. You will need to have a few years of experience, professional childcare references, a CPR certification and a clean background.
16. Graphic designer
Graphic design is a popular side-hustle for many people. Because it can be hard to get clients, even with an amazing portfolio, you can utilise 99designs, Behance and Dribble to find work. These websites also help you search for gig work in their extensive marketplace.
The competition in this industry is huge, and you set your own rates or take on whatever clients are willing to pay you. Like a lot of other marketplace platforms, the pay can start from a couple of dollars per hour to $50 an hour!
Are you great at organising closets? Is your knack for keeping the top shelf of a refrigerator unmatched? In the gig economy, you can find jobs where you can earn money for household cleaning and repairing minor things in somebody’s home. The earning potential is quite immense and could climb as high as $40 per hour.
Are you a seasoned veteran in your field? While consultancy is the usual go-to business idea for retired professionals, freelance consultancy may be a better solution since it requires less time and fewer resources.
There is no specific website or application to use to find consultancy work, but you can establish a website and build connections through the online world. According to Consulting.com, consultants can earn between $50 to $150 per hour.
You can monetise your incredible meals through a whole host of websites that connect customers with masters of the culinary arts. For example, My Table is a gig economy site that helps clients find someone to prepare meals, cater an event or offer in-home cooking lessons. Meanwhile, Table at Home aims to extend an authentic, home-cooked meal with a menu and competitive rates.
20. Data collector
Personal shoppers are generally used by businesses to find out how well the staff is performing, and if the premises are clean and organised. But the personal shopping position has evolved to data collection. This involves gathering data about companies and their stores, such as if items are priced correctly, or the products are labelled clearly.
If you walk around town all the time, then why not work as a data collector make some extra dough? According to several probes you can earn as little as $3 but as much as $50 per job.
Gig work is set to become even more common in the years to come. It is a generational shift from the typical nine to five schedule we have become accustomed to for the last century. What’s more, millions can realise their entrepreneurial dreams by tapping into the vast number of platforms that can connect you with a money-making opportunity.
There are pros and cons like anything else; there is a level of uncertainty and risk regarding precarious employment, but the same can be said about starting a small business. At least you do not need to invest thousands for a startup – there are already apps out there to help you.
Can you think of any other great gig-economy jobs? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 5 October 2017.