When you think part-time, you might think of some of the classics: retail, food service, babysitting. In reality, there are tons of part-time opportunities out there—many of which can be pretty lucrative, if you have the right skill set (or are willing to pick it up). Let’s look at some of the best-paying part-time gigs out there.
Tutors provide extra academic help for students, whether it’s in a specific subject area at school or prepping for standardized tests. As college entrance gets more and more competitive, more students and their parents are looking to hire academic helpers. Depending on the student’s needs and the tutor’s level of expertise, tutors can command anywhere from $15 to $200 an hour (particularly for specialized test prep, like SAT and grad school entrance exams).
What you’ll need: Knowledge and a track record of grades, high test scores, etc. If you’re still bursting with pride over your near-perfect SATs, you might be able to put that savvy to work by the hour.
If your ideal version of “the office” involves the clank of free weights and orderly rows of treadmills, becoming a personal trainer could be a good and flexible option for you. Personal trainers meet one on one with clients by the hour, developing and implementing fitness plans. Personal trainers can earn up to $50 an hour.
What you’ll need: Physical fitness, for starters—clients tend to want someone who can lead by example. Depending on where you live, you may also need to become certified.
If you’re creative and know your way around an eyeshadow palette, being a freelance makeup artist offers a flexible hourly job that can pay anywhere from $13 - $40+ per hour. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, makeup artists are the highest-paid workers in the cosmetology industry.
What you’ll need: Some states require that makeup artists be licensed, so you’ll need to pay close attention to your state’s requirements. You can also train to become a makeup artist at a licensed cosmetology school. You might also want to consider relocating, if you don’t already live in a big metro area—large cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago have the highest-paid makeup artists.
Parlez-vous francais? As we start to think more globally, people who can ease communication and cultural transitions will be in huge demand. Companies (especially those with international offices) may employ translators directly, or use a third-party agency that matches qualified translators with particular jobs. Translators can earn up to $50 an hour, depending on the complexity of the project.
What you’ll need: fluency in at least one language other than English, with very strong grammar and syntax skills.
Because therapy is often appointment-based, that gives the therapist flexibility to practice full- or part-time. Whether it’s counseling, life coaching, or social work, client appointments can fetch $45-$150 an hour.
What you’ll need: a degree in psychology, counseling, or social work (depending on your field), plus potential licensing, depending on your state’s requirements.
Websites, publications, agencies, publishers—they all need content, and talented writers to produce it. Think outside the magazine, too. Many companies need part-time writers to create in-house materials, instruction manuals, etc. Technical writers are especially in demand, and can command the high end of the $33-$75 per hour spectrum. Freelance writers are available on a project basis to write and edit various materials.
What you’ll need: Strong written communication skills, and a lot of self-starting initiative/self-marketing skills.
Like tutoring, this is another great part-time avenue if you have very specific subject expertise or experience. Being an adjunct faculty member at a local college or an online school lets you teach classes on a part-time basis. Adjunct teaching jobs often let you work your “day” job and teach about it at night, or leaving your days flexible for other life priorities.
What you’ll need: Either a degree in your field or extensive experience working in it. You should also have good communication and people skills, because working with students can require a lot of problem solving and translating complicated concepts for people who haven’t seen them before.
A massage therapist is another appointment-based service provider who can set up a very flexible part-time job with strong hourly rates. You can work for a spa or healthcare facility, or set up shop as a roving masseur (have folding massage table and essential oils, will travel). Demand for massage therapists is growing as it becomes an accepted part of many health and wellness plans. Experienced massage therapists can make up to $60 per hour.
What you’ll need: Completion of an accredited training program. A degree is not typically necessary, but classes in anatomy, physiology, and other sciences definitely helps. Many states require that massage therapists be licensed, so be sure you’re up on your state’s own requirements.
If you think you’re sitting on the next Candy Crush, you should be all set for life. But realistically, most app and software developers work on a part-time, project basis while they have other tech jobs. Developing on the side can be a very lucrative moonlighting opportunity, with rates that range from $30-$60 per hour.
What you’ll need: A degree in computer science or software engineering isn’t absolutely essential, but it’s an extremely helpful foundation. You’ll also need excellent coding skills, as well as knowledge about UI design, programming languages, basic computer backend knowledge, and general market knowledge.
Like personal trainers, fitness class instructors (yoga, pilates, Zumba, etc.) can often set their own schedule, aligning classes and teaching appointments with other life obligations. While many teachers start at around $20 an hour, more experienced and established teachers can command $40 an hour for their services.
What you’ll need: Certification definitely gives you an edge here, as does experience with whatever fitness specialty you want to teach. Expertise is what builds a student base and increases your hourly earning potential.
This might be the classic high-paying part-time job, one you can do on nights and weekends. While the hourly salary for bartenders is on par with other food service jobs (read: not astronomical), there’s a huge potential for tips that drives up the hourly income to anywhere from $10-$75, depending on the bar, the customer base, and how many times you’ve seen the movie Cocktail. (Kidding on the last one—I don’t recommend throwing around bottles of tequila unless you’re a) Tom Cruise; or b) really know what you’re doing.)
What you’ll need: Right now, the trend is “mixology” over traditional sud-slinging, so taking a bartending/mixology course to learn how to make cocktails can help you develop a range of signature drinks—and a loyal customer base. You’ll also need to be over 21.
12. Rideshare Driver
This is another one that prioritizes hustle over a set schedule. Drivers for ridesharing services (like Uber and Lyft) can earn up to $30 an hour, plus tips.
What you’ll need: A driver’s license and a car that’s clean, presentable, and in good working order.
13. Web Designer
This is a part-time job you can do from literally anywhere (assuming there’s wifi). Web designers create and maintain websites for clients. And those with advanced skills in graphic design and computer programming do best of all, along with a good dose of self-marketing ability and business savvy. Web designers can earn $15-$75 per hour, depending on the projects and experience.
What you’ll need: Graphic design know-how, coding skills (particularly HTML), and a go-getting nature to develop a customer base are all essentials for a career in web design.
14. Dog Walker
“Neither rain nor snow nor gloom of night” stop the mail from being delivered, and they also don’t stop dogs from needing to get out and exercise while doing their business. Dog walkers often earn $15-$20 per dog per walk, and if you have multiple clients set up for half-hour or hour-long walks, hourly rates end up in the $15-$75 range.
What you’ll need: Must love dogs (or at least tolerate them and be willing to clean up after them). A background in dog training or behavior is also helpful, since every dog has different needs and issues. Insurance and licensing are also a major plus for your dog walking resume, as clients are entrusting their furriest family members to your care.
If you have a business background but need a flexible schedule, consulting may be the way to go. Consultants with specific expertise can apply their skills to projects or an ongoing relationship with different companies without being on the full-time hook. Top consultants can make $150-$300 per hour, depending on qualifications and experience. Sites like HourlyNerd can help hook you up with projects that match your expertise.
What you’ll need: An advanced degree in business (typically an MBA or similar), and/or extensive expertise and experience in the field where you want to consult. You’re selling your knowledge and experience, so you’ll need to have a track record of both if you want to make big bucks as a consultant.
Just because you’re looking for a flexible or part-time job doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice full-time money. If you have an extra dash of hustle and are willing to go out and develop the skills and training you need, these jobs can be a very lucrative way to create a customized work schedule for yourself.
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