18 Flexible Side Gigs That Pay More than $20 Per Hour


By Kristen Pope for The Penny Hoarder

With a bustling full-time job, it can be hard to find side gigs that pay well.

Sure, you could fold T-shirts at a local shop to earn a few bucks. But how can you find a part-time job that will really take a bite out of your bills?

Here are 18 flexible side gigs that can pay $20 or more a hour.

Related: How 4 Full-Timers Dreamt Up Unusually Creative (and Lucrative) Side Gigs

1. Landscaping

If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and putting in some physical work, landscaping can pay quite well. If you can operate heavy machinery, you can earn even more.

Landscaping jobs can start at $20 or more per hour. But many of these opportunities are offered through word-of-mouth, so be sure to ask around.

Check Craigslist and local online bulletin boards for one-off gigs or contact a local landscaping company to see if they need an extra hand on weekends during their busy season.

Be sure you have all the licenses and insurance you need, and be cautious when connecting on your own with clients you don’t know.

2. Graphic Design

An eye for design can earn you over $25 per hour on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You’ll need good computer skills to succeed at this gig.

Having a portfolio of your work and recommendations from others are the best ways to get hired. You can brush up on your skills with this tutorial and learn about setting your rates here.

3. Massage Therapist

Earn your Certified Massage Therapist license, and earn money on the side doling out massages and working weary muscles.

You may be able to get part-time shifts at a local health club or work as an independent contractor through a local massage studio. You can earn nearly $60 per hour, according to Payscale.

4. Interpreter

If you’re bilingual or multilingual, consider offering your language skills as a translator. You can be an on-call translator for legal and medical services or set up steady gigs ahead of time.

Interpreters and translators earn an average hourly wage of $24.64, according to the BLS.

5. Sign Language Interpreter

Many events provide interpreters for their hard-of-hearing clientele. If you know sign language, look into opportunities translating on stage at events, in courtrooms and in classrooms.

If standing on stage isn’t your thing, you can translate at mediation hearings and other smaller meetings. You can earn up to $44.22 per hour, according to PayScale.

6. Tutor

I’ve tutored on and off over the years, and I was able to make well over $20 an hour. If you know your math, science and other subjects well, consider sharing your skills with students.

The more advanced and specialized the subjects, the more money you’re likely to earn. Advanced math and science courses (such as advanced-placement calculus, advanced-placement physics, etc.) typically earn the highest rates, which can be up to $85 per hour, according to Care.com.

7. Test Prep Instructor

Kaplan and other companies look for skilled test-takers to teach students how to succeed at important exams, including the SAT, ACT, MCAT, LSAT, GRE and GMAT, among others.

Generally, you’ll need to take a sample test to prove your testing prowess and perhaps even do a sample lecture to prove you can communicate well.

Instructors can earn $21.33 per hour for an SAT course and around $31 an hour for the GMAT exam, according to GlassDoor.

8. Personal Shopper/Stylist/Fashion Consultant

Busy people often need help shopping for gifts and other items. Working as a personal shopper and helping people select the best items is a great way to earn some extra cash. Plus, you can earn up to $25 per hour or more as a personal shopper, according to Payscale.

If you also want to work as a stylist or a fashion consultant (which can include gigs like assembling wardrobes for TV programs), having a fashion background is important. You can often get your foot in the door working in a department store or boutique before setting off on your own. Personal referrals are a great way to get each of these, which can pay $50 to $500 per hour according to one industry blog.

9. Etsy Seller

Cash in on your crafty creations on Etsy. One woman earns $70,000 per month with her creations (which she now outsources to a team).

While you might not make quite that much, more than 30 percent of Etsy’s sellers make a living from their creative work.

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10. App Designer

If you know your way around an app, consider designing one and cashing in. This can even be a form of passive income. This man earns over $6,000 per month from the Bible app he created.

Related: 6 Ways to Make (Legit) Money While You Sleep

11. Personal Chef

Set up a weekly gig at someone’s house a few nights a week, cook a series of freezer meals for a client or work special events, crafting creations for individual tastes and needs.

Personal referrals are a great way to get these gigs, which pay more than $20 per hour on average (up to $40 per hour or more), according to Payscale.

12. Caterer

When people have weddings and other large events, they’ll need a crew to help set up, serve and clean up after the meals. Be ready to work evenings and weekends for this gig, and be prepared to work overtime for extra cash.

These gigs often start at $20 per hour, but they’re generally word-of-mouth. Ask around, check out Craigslist and ask local restaurants if they may need a hand with events.

13. Bartender

Pick up a few shifts a week as a bartender for extra cash. Coveted weekend evening shifts are usually the most profitable and often go to employees with seniority, but you may be able to pick up a few.

You can also bartend at weddings and other events. You’ll need some experience and know-how to mix drinks, and many states require bartenders to have a certification.

One New York City hotel starts bartenders at $26 per hour, not including tips or overtime.

14. Personal Assistant

Drop off dry cleaning for clients, get their car’s oil changed, take their dog for a walk and pick up a birthday gift for their friend—these are just a few things you may do as a personal assistant. But running these errands can pay off, with personal assistants earning up to $24.71 per hour, according to Payscale.

The best way to get the highest-paying gigs is generally through word-of-mouth. Posting an ad or answering ads on Craigslist and other job forums can also help connect you with people in need of assistance.

15. Server

Snag a gig in a high-end restaurant and you can have an evening or weekend job that will pay off in serious cash tips. Serving generally pays the best, but hostessing or other jobs can also pay well.

16. Yoga Instructor

Teach yoga to aspiring yoginis and earn up to up to $50 per hour, according to Payscale.

To get started as a yoga instructor, you’ll need to take a teacher training class. The most basic is typically 200 hours and includes training, instruction and a final exam. You can then advance your skills with higher-level courses.

17. Dog Walker

Take pups out for their walks and earn $20 per hour as a dog walker, according to PayScale.

You should have plenty of experience handling all different types of dogs, and be physically fit and able to confidently control the dogs when you’re out walking.

You can work for a dog-walking company or work for yourself, which allows you to make more at this gig. If you can handle a few dogs at once, you can earn even more. Just be sure you get any necessary insurance or license.

Advertise your services at local pet-related businesses, such as groomers, boarding facilities, doggie daycares and pet supply stores.

18. Makeup Artist

Style bridal parties’ makeup, prepare theatrical stars for their big performances and get people ready for special events as a part-time makeup artist.

You can make up to $48 per hour helping people get ready for their big event.

This post originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.

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