The 5 side hustles people most want to try, according to a new survey: Some can pay $19, $22, or even $40 an hour

Here are five of the most popular side hustles and how much each pays.


Side hustles have long been a popular way to earn more money. About a third of workers (34%) say they have a side hustle outside of their regular job, and another 19% say they'd like to start one, according to a new survey from savings and investing app Acorns of 2,000 U.S. adults.

That said, 23% of those interested in taking up a side hustle said they didn't know how or where to start a search to find one. If that's you, taking Grow's side hustle quiz could be a good place to start.

Here are the five side hustles survey respondents are most interested in pursuing, how to get started with each, and how much money you might be able to make:

Take surveys

More than half (56%) of those looking to take up a side hustle expressed interest in taking surveys, although the report notes that high level of interest may be because respondents "are already evidently interested in this task."

Market research companies solicit people's help giving them surveys to take online or asking questions by phone to gauge interest in their clients' products. And many pay. For example, market research company Shifrin~Hayworth says its studies take 30 minutes to three hours and pay $50 to $250 each.

Similarly, sites like UserTesting pay people to test their clients' websites and apps, and then asks questions about their user experience. Users sign up on the site, filling in details like age and location, and can then take either 20-to-30-minute tests online or 45-minute tests live with a representative. Tests pay anywhere from $10 to $120 each.

Sign up to get paid to take tests and surveys on sites like Shifrin~Hayworth, Focus Group, Find Focus Groups, or UserTesting.

Sell your stuff online

A quarter of people interested in picking up a side hustle were considering reselling items. Though much depends on which of your gently used items you want to get rid of, generally there is no shortage of platforms and online marketplaces.  

Try selling your used clothing on an online market such as Poshmark, and platforms like Decluttr might buy your secondhand electronics.

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Online marketplaces like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Mercari let users sell secondhand clothes, home appliances, toys, and more. Dig around your house for items that are in good enough shape to be listed, then check on the sites to see how much comparable items are selling for.

Daniella Flores, who's made $750 to $3,000 per month selling used guitars on eBay, recommends taking account of the average selling price of an item, then listing it for $10 more. "People always try to [negotiate prices] down," she says of the haggling culture on online marketplaces. "If you start higher, you'll get more towards the money that you want."

Deliver groceries

About 1 in 5 respondents said they were interested in food and grocery delivery as a side hustle.

Demand for food delivery has skyrocketed during the pandemic, with companies like Instacart hiring hundreds of thousands of shoppers to keep up. Sign up to deliver groceries for companies like Instacart, which pays an average of $13 per hour, according to Glassdoor, or Shipt, where experienced shoppers can make between $16 and $22 per hour, according to the site.

It's important to make sure that in supermarkets and grocery stores, you can still "adhere to the principles of social distancing," Dr. David Hirschwerk, an infectious diseases doctor at the North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York, told Grow earlier this year. Keep that six-foot distance from other people and wear a mask.

If you're interested in delivering takeout, sign up to make food deliveries through services like DoorDash, where drivers make an average of $14 per hour, according to Indeed, or Postmates, where drivers make an average of $15 per hour, according to Indeed.

Social distancing rules apply for making the deliveries, too. Ask your employer what kind of contactless delivery system is in place to mitigate your risks. And make sure your employer has a break system in place to allow you to wash your hands frequently and to rest.

Be a virtual assistant

Virtual assisting is a popular side hustle or part-time job, with businesses both small and large needing someone to take on administrative duties like coordinating management's calendars and entering data into spreadsheets.

Women are three times more likely to be interested in virtual administrative support than men, according to the survey. Anyone who's willing to give it a try can benefit, though: The payoffs can be considerable.

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On average, virtual assistants make $19 per hour, according to ZipRecruiter. Kayla Sloan was able to turn her side hustle as a virtual assistant into a $140,000 full-time business.

You can find virtual assistant jobs on sites like Upwork, ZipRecruiter, or FlexJobs, or on the virtual assistant jobs group on Facebook.

Drive for a ride-sharing company

There's also a gender divide on interest in ride-share driving. Men are more than three times more likely to want to try this side hustle than women.

Sign up to drive for companies like Uber or Lyft. Before the pandemic, one ride-share driver in New York City told CNBC he can pull in about $250 for a full day's work. Now, however, opportunities for ride-sharing may differ. With each city and state coping with its own outbreak of the virus, more businesses may be closed in some place than others, curbing people's ability to go out, and more people may simply be opting to stay at home.

To mitigate your risk of contracting the coronavirus while driving other people, Dr. Davis Liu, chief clinical officer of Lemonaid Health, suggests four protective measures:

  1. Wear a mask yourself and require your passengers to wear a mask
  2. Erect a physical barrier, like a plastic sheet, between yourself and your passengers
  3. Keep the windows in the front and back seats open, even if it means just a crack in winter
  4. Wipe down car surfaces with disinfectant wipes or soap and water after every shift

"The thing about Covid is, it's about contact time," says Liu, who is also an advisor to the resource site Covid Straight Talk. "How long are you exposed to someone who actually has Covid and what can you do to multiply the protections?" If you take all of the above precautions, he says, "I think it's about as safe as you could be."

Teach, do odd tasks, rent out your stuff

More than a quarter (27%) of those interested in taking on a side hustle were not sure what sort of gig they could do. If none of the above are of interest and you're still not sure what side hustle could be right for you, here are a few other popular options:

  • Teach: If you have know-how in a particular subject, from geometry to Dungeons & Dragons, consider teaching a class about it on sites like Udemy or Outschool. Instructors on sites like Udemy can charge between $20 and $200 per course, and Udemy takes cuts ranging from 3% to 75% depending on how students find you. Outschool teachers earn an average of $40 per hour.
  • Do odd jobs: People need all sorts of help around the house, including building furniture, raking leaves, and organizing pantries and closets. Consider offering your services to help those in your town or city on sites like Nextdoor, in your town's Facebook groups, or on TaskRabbit. Organizers on TaskRabbit charge as much as $90 per hour, and furniture assemblers charge as much as $105 per hour.
  • Rent out your stuff: Many people opt to rent out items instead of buying them and there are a number of platforms where you can make money renting out your possessions. Consider renting out your car on Turo, where renters make an average of $706 per month, according to the site.

Make sure to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's social distancing guidelines whenever you might come into contact with a client. Wear a mask and keep at least 6 feet apart.

Grow is produced in partnership with Acorns and CNBC.

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