The 13 Best Side Jobs for Making Extra Money

February 15, 2021
Man following his GPS in a car

Are you looking for a way to earn some extra money to help reach your financial goals? You’re not alone. More than 44 million Americans have a side gig.[i]

If you want a flexible side job, consider this list of high-paying side job ideas that can help you generate some extra cash.

1. Ride-share driver

If you have a car and a smartphone, you can easily add new earnings to your bank account by becoming a ride-share driver with companies such as Uber or Lyft. Turn your vehicle into a private car service by driving people wherever they need to go.

Driving for a rideshare service is a gig that can adapt to your current schedule. All you need is a driver’s license, a clean driving record, a vehicle and the appropriate insurance coverage. Then download the app and sign up to start driving. By providing good service, you’ll get good reviews, which hopefully will translate to more business down the road.

Potential income: $10 to 18 per hour[ii]

Education or experience required: None.

Flexibility level: High. You drive only when you want.

2. Food delivery driver

The growth of food delivery apps has opened a wealth of income-earning opportunities. Drivers get to choose their hours. When you need some extra cash, you can deliver food. When you’re fiscally sound, you can take a break.

Potential income: $8 to 12 per hour[iii]

Education or experience required: None.

Flexibility level: High. Deliver food only when you want.

3. Online writer

If you’re a good writer, there are opportunities for you to use your craft and make some extra money. Whether you want to write freelance articles for a magazine, manage a blog, proofread reports, or write short stories, there are many online marketplaces with clients who are looking for great writers and editors.

Potential income range: $24 per hour[iv]

Education or experience required: Some writing experience and writing samples can help you land higher-paying gigs.

Flexibility level: High. You can write anytime from anywhere and apply only for projects that suit your interests.

4. Graphic designer

If you have design skills on your resume, you can probably use them to earn some extra income. Consider specializing in a certain kind of design to help narrow the field, such as logo design. Many sites with online writing jobs also post freelance projects for graphic designers.

Potential income: $25.96 per hour[v] (as of Sept. 2020).

Education or experience required: Some design experience is best to land better-paying gigs.

Flexibility level: High. You can design anytime from anywhere, as long as you have a laptop and the necessary software.

5. Virtual assistant

With more entrepreneurs launching businesses, many are looking for help with everyday tasks to keep their companies running. A virtual assistant helps with scheduling, bookwork, phone calls, and more.

Potential income: $15.84 per hour[vi]

Education or experience required: Little to none.

Flexibility level: Moderate. You can assist from anywhere but may have to work certain hours set by the company you assist.

6. Sell items online

Everyone is always looking for a deal on home goods, even if they come slightly used. That makes selling items on online marketplaces, such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or eBay, a lucrative opportunity.

Have a couch or record player you don’t need anymore? How about those designer shoes you never wear? Are they collecting dust in your closet, right alongside your old cellphone and the college textbooks you’ve been meaning to get rid of? Consider selling them online.

If you have more than just a few items to sell, you may want to host a garage or yard sale. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Potential income: Varies depending on item.

Education or experience required: None.

Flexibility level: High. You sell items as you have them to spare.

7. Deliver groceries

Delivering groceries is a fairly easy side job that offers a lot of the same benefits as being a food delivery driver. Through websites such as Instacart or Shipt, you can earn some additional income by shopping and delivering groceries for customers. Plus, you get to choose your own hours.

Potential income: $14.44 per hour[vii]

Education or experience required: Little. All you need is a driver’s license.

Flexibility level: High. Shop and deliver when you want.

8. Online tutoring

Nowadays, students who need extra help in their studies are going online for support. As an online tutor, you can help students in whatever subject you’re knowledgeable on — all from the convenience of your home.

Potential income: $19.65 per hour[viii]

Education or experience required: Tutor students in fields that you specialize in.

Flexibility level: Moderate. You may need to create a set schedule to meet with students.

9. Provide digital marketing services online

When businesses are looking for freelancers to provide a specific skill or service, they often turn to online marketplaces to find what they need. You can sign up to do anything from designing a logo to writing a song and you get to charge a fee for the service you provide.

For the digital marketers out there, freelancing can be a good side job that allows you to use your skillset in new ways. Whether you have a background in web development, copywriting, or sales, websites such as Fiverr and Upwork make it easy to promote yourself to prospective clients and find work.

Potential income: Varies based on type of job and work needed.

Education or experience required: Little is required, but you may be able to charge a higher rate if you have more experience in your field.

Flexibility level: Moderate. While you can take on new projects and work on your schedule, you might occasionally have to meet tight deadlines.

10. Dog walking

Dog walking probably doesn’t even feel like a side job for dog lovers, making it one of the best side jobs around. Thanks to websites such as Rover and Wag, all you have to do is create a profile, fill out some basic information and wait to be contacted to take care of a four-legged friend near you.

Potential income: $14.82 per hour[ix]

Education or experience required: None, though it helps if you’re a dog person.

Flexibility level: High. Walk and take care of dogs when you have time.

11. Use your hobby to make extra money

Don’t overlook your hobby as a way to bring in some extra cash, especially if that hobby is something you love to do. If you’re a photographer who takes great photos, try selling them to others. Maybe you make craft items that could be sold on Etsy or at local craft fairs. And if you’re especially talented at playing a musical instrument, you may be able to charge a fee for music lessons. Get creative and start thinking of your hobby as a possible source of income.

Potential income: Varies depending on hobby.
Education or experience required: Little is required, but you may be able to charge a higher rate if you have more experience in your hobby.
Flexibility level: Moderate. You may need to create a set schedule to meet customer demand.

12. Take paid surveys

This is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme, but you can earn some extra cash by participating in online surveys. It’s really just a matter of sharing your opinions with companies who want to know what consumers think. A simple search will give you multiple options, but sites like Survey Junkie and Swagbucks are a good place to start.

Potential income: Varies depending on how many surveys you take.
Education or experience required: None.
Flexibility level: High. You can take surveys whenever you want.

13. Rent your home to vacationers

Think about the space where you live and whether it could be put to additional use. If you live in a popular vacation area, listing your home as a vacation rental is a good way to make some significant extra money. Or maybe you travel a lot and your apartment sits idle when you’re on the road. You could rent it to others during that time. Check out websites like Airbnb, Vrbo and HomeAway to learn more about renting your home to vacationers and business travelers.

Potential income: Varies depending property, location, and demand.
Education or experience required: You may need to know landlord and tenant laws.
Flexibility level: Moderate. You may need to clean and repair the property, and communicate with the renter from time-to-time.

When your work or lifestyle changes, your insurance should too. Nationwide has Work From Home Insurance that hustles as hard as you do.

Any of these side job ideas could help you increase your monthly earnings, save for a rainy day, or help you achieve a financial goal, such as buying a home or paying off credit card debt. Learn more about freelance jobs you can do from home.
[i] “More than 44 Million Americans Have a Side Hustle,” CNN Money (July 12, 2017),

[ii] “Rideshare Driver Salaries,” Glassdoor (Aug. 9, 2020),,16.htm

[iii] “Driving for UberEATS,” RideSharingDriver (March 29, 2016),

[iv] “Freelance Writer Salary,” (accessed Sept. 1, 2020).

[v] “Freelance Graphic Designer Salaries in the US,” Indeed (Sept. 16, 2020),

[vi] “Virtual Assistant Salary,” (accessed Sept. 1, 2020).

[vii] “Average Grocery Delivery Driver Hourly Pay,” (accessed Sept. 1, 2020).

[viii] “Average Online Tutor Hourly Pay,” (accessed Sept. 1, 2020).

[ix] “Average Dog Walker Hourly Pay,” (accessed Sept. 1, 2020).

NFM-18981AO (11/19)

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