Gig economy jobs have definitely found their way into modern living, thanks in part to the expanding work from home mentality and the expansion of technology. With this type of popularity, jobs that range in anything from freelance writing to pet sitting to being a mystery shopper are all viable options as ways to make extra money with short term gigs. People have even been able to replace their traditional jobs and work on their own terms by doing more work from home jobs.
This new trend doesn’t look like it’s going to be going away anytime soon. Many projections indicate that by the end of 2020, over 40% of the United States workforce will be engaging in some form of freelancing work. This drastic change of workers choosing to be self employed is astonishing, but it also brings more options to those who are looking into ways to make some extra money.
What is a Gig Economy Job?
Approximately 25% of Americans are currently working and taking advantage of what’s been called the “gig economy”. Gig economy jobs are generally part-time jobs with flexible hours that are normally staffed by independent contractors or freelancers in lieu of having a full-time staff. The pay is normally less, and since these people work as independent contracts the job comes with no additional benefits like health insurance or retirement savings. However, the trade-off is that the flexibility in hours and location is really up to the worker, and these contracted employees can also set their prices for how much they want to earn during a contract.
Most people can find some type of work when they look for a gig economy job, as there are typically not too many education or degree requirements. If you have access to reliable internet, a smartphone or laptop, and you meet all age requirements, then you can easily find work in the gig economy.
Gig Economy Jobs for Drivers
If you have a reliable car, then you can make money in the gig economy. Different things like ride-sharing and delivery jobs have begun to pop up more and more. Plus, many of these companies allow customers to leave tips, which increase the amount of money that you take home if you decide to take one of these jobs.
1. Deliver groceries
Busy families and business people love to outsource different errands that can be time consuming. Grocery shopping is one of these errands, and that can give you a way to take advantage of that by working for Instacart.
As a shopper for Instacart, you can either shop in-store for instacart users who can either pick up their orders at the store, or you can shop for them and deliver their groceries to their homes. The latter of the options make the shoppers more money, but it’s up to you which jobs you take through the Instacart app. So if you don’t want to deliver the groceries, you can choose to not take those jobs.
2. Deliver food with Postmates
Food delivery in the past has been typically through the company that you ordered your food from. However, with different food delivery services like Postmates, you can now deliver food for multiple fast food and sit down restaurants to make some extra money on your own time.
Plenty of people have started delivering food with Postmates because it’s a flexible and easy way to earn some money on your own time. You can deliver any time day or night, making it a super convenient for the people who decide to deliver. If you get approved to deliver, you can just sign into the app and start getting your delivery requests that are in your area.
With Postmates, you also have the freedom to choose how you want to deliver. If you’re living in a bigger city, you might be able to deliver using your car, bike, or even a scooter. Once you’ve successfully delivered someone their food, you can immediately take another waiting request, or you can sign off and be done working. It’s entirely up to you how many deliveries you make. Just like other delivery gigs, you will also be able to increase your money by receiving tips from the people you deliver food to.
3. Rent your car out to other drivers
If you don’t have time for a gig economy job that you’re actively doing the work in, then you can let your car do the work for you. Companies like Turo let you rent your car out to others when you don’t need it. This is a way you can participate in the gig economy without having to put in that much extra work.
Most people who use the app have to go through a pretty intense driver screening process before they’re allowed to rent a car, so as the car renter you have extra peace of mind that your car is in good hands. Not only this, but you can get additional insurance through the company just in case you’re still wanting some additional protection for your car.
4. Fine dining delivery
Caviar is another meal delivery service that specializes in fine dining for their users. Since the total amounts for food are generally higher than they are with Postmates, you’re likely to make more money with bigger tips. Their website boasts that delivery persons can top $25 an hour, especially if you have experience in the food service industry and “have a customer service attitude”. Like Postmates, you can deliver customers their food via car, bike, or scooter.
5. Deliver packages with Amazon Flex
Delivering packages through the Amazon Flex service is another popular gig economy job if you like the flexibility of delivering but don’t want to deliver food. As it’s stated on the Amazon Flex website, drivers can make $18-$25 an hour delivering packages.
To get started delivering, you can use your existing Amazon account to register and download the app. As long as you meet the age and insurance requirements of Amazon Flex and you have a smartphone, you’ll be approved. This is different than being an actual driver for Amazon since you get to pick your hours, service area, and the types of packages that you would prefer to deliver.
Gig Economy Jobs for Designers
There are also plenty of gig economy jobs for those who have a knack for design and like to tap into their creative side. If you’re one of these people, you can find work as a designer in the gig economy space.
6. Do branding for small businesses
99designs is one of the most popular platforms that connects different small businesses to talented graphic artists to help them do designs for their business. As the designer, you can offer packages where clients will contact you directly based on your portfolio. If you don’t want to do it this way, you can also compete with other designers in sites-wider logo contests.
For new and upcoming graphic artists, this is a good way to develop a portfolio quickly and earn some money all while building a referral network for the future.
7. Create designs for clothing
Printed Village is an online fabric design company who is constantly bringing on new designers. As a designer, you can earn commission on products that choose your designs. While it isn’t that clear how competitive it is to earn a sport as a designer with the company, the website states that they run contests throughout the year to solicit designs and recruit new designers who are wanting to work for the company.
8. Create Printables and other designs for Etsy
Etsy is an online platform that makes it easy to sell your designs online. Etsy is a platform for anyone who has a creative gene, as the site allows you to sell knit hats, scarves, glassware, and custom printable pictures. If you can create it, you can probably sell it on Etsy.
One of the best parts about selling on Etsy is that you control your inventory, so if you’re creating digital products, you’ll always have products in stock. Customers can even buy from you while you sleep, so if you have digital products, this can be a great way to make some passive income.
If you’ve got some skills as a seamstress, then you can make some pretty good extra money doing things like alterations and customer jobs. You can find local jobs for friends and neighbors, or if you would prefer you can use freelancing apps and websites to reach a larger audience that might be looking for your skillset.
Pet Care and Home Sharing Gigs
If you love animals, or you feel a passion when it comes to helping out people, then find ways to take care of animals or people could be a viable job for you to have when it comes to entering the gig economy.
10. Dog walking and pet sitting
Rover is an online service that connects pet owners with people who can walk their dogs, feed their pets while they are away, and make sure that the well-being of their furry friends is taken care of when they’re not home.
The typical range for a night of private boarding for someone’s pet is anywhere from $25-$100, and 30 minute walks fall in the range anywhere from $10-$30. If you’re able to find repeat clients, this can add up to being quite the nice little side job, all while hanging out with some cute pets and get in some exercise.
11. Become an Airbnb host
Renting out some spare or unused space in your home is an easy way to get into the gig economy, and an easy way to do this is to register as a host with Airbnb. If you don’t have space to rent, you can still join the app and work as an Airbnb host, working to create unique and local experiences for travelers coming into your area. You can do anything from nature walks, to brewery tours, to wine tasting, even cooking classes. Pretty much anything that is fun to do in your area.
Part (or Full-Time) Contractor Gigs
12. Mystery shopping
It might seem like mystery shopping is a scam, but it can really be a legitimate job in today’s new way of working. While there are some more scammy companies, there are more than a few reliable mystery shopping firms that will pay people to go to be a shopper for them.
These types of firms hire people to help all types of businesses identify, evaluate, and fix customer service problems that come along with the shopping experience. To do this, mystery shopping companies hire mystery shoppers as independent contracts to go in and investigate the store’s shopping experience.
Assignments are typically paid per project, and the hours and pay are going to vary from company to company. You could also get paid for the mileage traveled to various stores.
13. Handyman services
Working as a handyman, performing tasks like moving furniture, hanging TVs and pictures, and making general repairs around someone’s home is a tried and true gig economy job.
There are a few different ways to find this kind of work. Word of mount, hanging flyers, or using apps like TaskRabbit can make it easier than ever to find work as a handyman in 2020. You’ll need access to a vehicle and some tools to perform this work. You’ll also want to have some general knowledge of how to actually fix things before you try to do it for someone else. Overall, being a handyman is a reliable and consistent way to bring in some extra money, and it can eventually turn into a full business if you want it to do so.
Another old school way to join the gig economy is to find some babysitting jobs. Babysitting is something that you can start or do at any age, so whether you’re a teenager looking to make money during school or a full-time working adult who is looking for another way to generate income, you can babysit.
Sites like Care.com are great to get started babysitting, as it can help you get your name out there to parents actively looking for a babysitter. It’s free to join, and all you need to do is complete a profile that allows parents in your area to find you. The site also allows you to set your rates, hours, and even allows you state if you’re willing to provide extra services like some light housekeeping or dog walking.
Find a Freelance Gig
Some of the best gigs for the gig economy can be found on freelancing job boards. There are tons of sites that are dedicated to connecting you with companies who are looking to hire for project-specific work. These types of gigs are especially great for anyone who has precious experience in any of the following areas.
15. Freelance writing
Different magazines, newspapers, blogs, and websites are always looking for people to create content for their company. If you have good writing skills, can meet deadlines, and are an expert in a single or multiple subject areas, then you should consider being a freelance writer. You can pick what and how much content you want to create, and what you’re willing to charge for it. You can do it anywhere, just so long as you have a laptop and reliable internet connection. If you don’t want to write for someone else, having a blog is another way to make money from writing.
16. Facebook ad management
Facebook Ads are a specialization of digital marketing that requires no specific background or degree. It’s a skill that you can learn overtime, Once you learn the Facebook ads system and can craft some appealing ads, you can offer your services to businesses who are interested in using Facebook’s audience to find new customers or clients.
You can also turn this into some pretty passive profit, as once you find a winning ad set for a business, you can set it and only really need to check on the results every couple of days to make sure it’s doing its job. This is a great skill to generate since you can multiple clients at once and not have to do that much work on it once the ads are up and running.
Before any kind of article or paper is published, it needs someone to look for things like punctuation errors, spelling errors, or even something as simple as stray spaces in between words. Freelance proofreaders can perform this service for authors, journalists, and blog owners. Proofreaders also have the flexibility to work from home or from anywhere, and they can do so on their own schedule.
18. Virtual assisting
Many businesses that operate online or as a brick and mortar business often hire remote workers to assist with administrative tasks. Things like answering emails, doing data entry, or even booking travel for business owners are all things that virtual assistance can take care of. These virtual assistants can even help with things like social media management, website management, or editing blog posts.
If you are organized and are able to perform different tasks such as the ones listed above, then becoming a virtual assistant is an option that you should look into. You can learn more about what it takes to be a virtual assistant from reading about it online or watching videos on how to become more effective at this type of work.
19. Graphic design
The responsibility of a graphic designer is to help different businesses design visually appealing images that make the businesses stand out. You can choose if you want to specialize in any one area you can, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. Working as a graphic designer means that you are going to need access to design programs, but there are plenty of free options if you can’t afford to buy one when you’re getting started.
20. Digital marketing
Digital marketing is the general term for how companies advertise online. This can be done in a number of ways. Anything from ads, email newsletters, or search engine optimization are all different ways to help businesses increase their online presence. You can find different gig jobs working for companies that need help with their digital marketing efforts, especially if you want background in this space already.
This is one of the gig economy jobs that does require some extra time and knowledge to actually develop the skill. But once you get into coding and understand different programming languages, you can find work coding or creating different apps. You can use this skill set to design plugins, build apps, or create custom websites for people who don’t have the time or skills to do it themselves. This is also one of the more lucrative gig economy jobs, so it’s definitely worth the time and effort.
With more and more businesses finding ways to outsource more skilled labor, certified accountants are going to have little or no trouble finding jobs in the gig economy. There is strong growth in the accounting sector since accountancy is an extremely desirable job that pretty much all businesses need. You can expect a salary similar to online marketers and video editors for this type of work.
Coaching is an extremely rewarding and diverse field of work, and coaches can specialize in a number of different things that range anywhere from sports to finance to life and anything else in between. Having the right qualifications can help you increase your credibility for current and potential customers. You can work as a coach remotely or in person, whichever you prefer. Either way works, just so long as you’re able to do your job either way and truly help those who come to you for your services.
24. Software Testing
Testing software and websites can be extremely lucrative, paying upwards of $100,000 per year. This is definitely one of the more lucrative gig economy jobs out there. The requirements for this type of work can change from one job to the next, but having a solid understanding of programming can definitely help you get ahead since it will allow you to provide more detailed feedback to the developers.
25. Affiliate Marketer
Being an affiliate marketer doesn’t mean you have to sell any products or services for a company. Rather, you build websites that attract a high volume of visitors, and you funnel to the affiliate marketing program company. For everyone who uses your affiliate link to, you get paid a commission from your traffic. If you’re successful, you can make some great money in a pretty passive manner. The biggest two skills that you need to be successful for this would be content creation and SEO.
Where to Find Gig Economy Jobs
Finding a gig economy job in today’s online world is easier than ever. There are plenty of freelance sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and Flexjobs. For some of the other jobs on this list, such as dog walking or delivering foods, you can use the sites mentioned above like Rover or Postmates to create a profile so you can get started doing jobs listed on these sites as well. This also applied to working with companies like Airbnb and Etsy as well.
If you’re looking to start your own freelancing business, you can find jobs by advertising in person, using flyers, or online via social media. These freelance job sites are also a good place to start looking for gig economy jobs as well if you need to get some work experience under your belt before really branching out on your own.
Is a Gig Economy Job Right for Me?
If you want to find work that offers things like flexible hours, location independence, and creative freedom, then a gig economy job might be what you’re looking for. Before you agree to any one job, you should make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of the job, as well as any additional requirements that it might entail.
Gig economy jobs offer an outlet for people to make extra money, no matter what their circumstances are. You might be looking to find a way to bridge the gap between jobs when you’re facing some tough financial times, save for moving expenses, or just need a way to help make ends meet at the end of every month. No matter what your reasoning is, working in the gig economy is a viable option. Just make sure that you find a job that works for you the best so that you don’t hate it or burn out quickly. You shouldn’t be afraid to try a few different jobs when you first get started. Try a few things to figure out what you want to do, you never know what might be the best fit for you and your life until you try it.