Many American workers lost their jobs in 2021, making it a difficult year. COVID-19’s economic effects will be felt long after it is gone.
It is becoming more apparent to people:
- It is possible to be great at your job, but still lose it
- A single source of income can pose a serious risk
- The government doesn’t offer quick aid
Although it is not the perfect solution, the gig economy was a lifesaver to millions during the pandemic. People are looking for flexible work that is available on demand and with competitive wages.
Independent contractors are usually considered gig economy workers. This means that benefits such as health insurance and 401(K) are not available to them. Gig workers also have to pay their taxes.
How is the Gig Economy Structured Here’s a Roadmap
There are not all gig economy jobs created equal. This is a good thing. This means that there is something for everyone.
The gig economy can be described as three parts at its most basic level:
The short-term and long-term goals of your life will determine which route you choose.
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Best Gig Economy Jobs
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1. Food delivery
Similar to online retail sales, online food delivery sales are expected to increase to 40% by 2023. This is a great gig opportunity for those who live in densely populated areas or cities.
Many apps let you keep 100% of your tips as drivers and allow you make deliveries by car, bike or scooter. Some apps offer a debit card that you can use to pick up orders. Others allow you to place orders directly through the app. You won’t be asked to pay with your own money.
Pay: $13 an hour (Source: PayScale).
Companies: Postmates. Grubhub. Uber Eats.
2. Personal grocery shopper
It’s a different job than other ones. You are not only responsible for delivering the goods, but you also have to go into the store and find all the items that your customers want.
This delivery method requires you to communicate with your customers more than any other. You will need to confirm with your customer if you are unable to find the item you need or need to substitute it. You may earn more tips for providing a higher level of service, but this could lead to a lower hourly wage and more frustration if you aren’t careful with your time. This gig job earned a reader over $4,500 within two months. He shares his best tips to make the most of Instacart .
Pay: $12 an hour (Source: PayScale).
3. Personal tutor
One common misconception about gig economy jobs is that personal tutors require a teaching degree. While this might be true in some cases, it is not the norm for most tutoring platforms.
Most tutoring gigs require that you are at least 18 years old. VIPKID and other companies require bachelor’s degrees. You don’t have to be an expert in the field you are studying. Sophomores can offer their services on Tutor.com. Companies like Outschool let you host virtual classes for multiple students at your own rate and allow you to set your own rates.
Pay: $18 an hour (Source: PayScale).
Companies: Outschool, VIPKID, Education First
4. Resident host
Although there were many gig companies before the rise of the gig economy, none have achieved the same fame as Airbnb. Property owners discovered a gold mine when discretionary spending recovered following the 2008 recession thanks to a seamless user experience and an insatiable desire for short-term rentals.
There have been many spin-offs and competitors since then. This ecosystem allows you to host your house, your room, or your couch and turns those spaces into huge profits. See how an Athens, Georgia man earns $34,000 per year renting his house. You should do your research before you offer your place.
Pay: $924 per month; average Airbnb host earnings (Source: Earnest)
Companies: VRBO. Airbnb. Couchsurfing. FlipKey
5. Storage host
Some people don’t like the idea of renting out their property or inviting strangers into their homes. Hosting people’s stuff may be a better option if you want to still make money with your space.
Storage hosts can rent out certain spaces on their property such as your backyard, driveway or attic. Some apps are designed for specific purposes, such as business meetings or weddings.
You have the freedom to choose who you rent from and what belongings or events you will accept. This gig can be a steady passive income stream if you have the right renters.
According to testimonials (Source : Neighbor), Pay: $10,000+/year
Neighbors, Peerspace, StoreAtMyHouse
6. Internet gig worker
You can find a variety of gig jobs online, which offer small tasks and small salaries. These tasks could include short surveys, data collection, cleaning up spreadsheets, and editing product listings.
These gig economy jobs are often the easiest, and they can be done in the nick of time when you have to wait at the school pickup or take the bus to work. These tasks aren’t very lucrative, so save them for times when you have other options.
9. Dog walker
This is a great way to make some extra money in the gig economy as a pet owner and dog lover. As a way of socializing my dog, I started dog sitting apps.
If you are already working from home, or have pets, this could be a great gig economy job. You may also be able to offer services that are compatible with your lifestyle and work schedule.
You can also include a request to have your pets visit you at home. Daycare services are offered from my home because I work remotely. It makes my life easier and my dog has fun in the yard. Both of us win.
Pay: $14 an hour (Source: ZIPRecruiter).
Companies: Rover and Wag
10. Maintenance of your scooter
On-demand scooters have become a popular mode of transportation in cities all over the country. To get to their destination, thrill-seekers rent strategically placed scooters (think $3 per 2-mile ride).
Scooter maintenance can be described as what you do with your iPhone at night — charge it.
If you have some spare time each evening, circle the nearest metropolitan area and grab a scooter and toss it in your car. Bird pays anywhere from $3 to $20 per Scooter they charge. If you have a large vehicle that can carry a few, it could bring in thousands of dollars per month in gig income.
Scooter charges: $3-$20 (Source: bird.co).
Companies: Bird, Lime
A proofreader reviews any article, paper, book or blog post before it is published. They look for typos, spelling errors, punctuation mistakes and other errors. This service is provided by freelance proofreaders for journalists, authors, and website owners as well as other businesses.
One proofreader explains why she makes $1,000 a month proofreading for a niche. She proofreads transcripts in court for reporters. Other lucrative proofreading niches include academic papers, legal transcripts, and translated documents.
Pay: $18 an hour (Source: PayScale).
Companies: Aquent Cambridge Proofreading Worldwide
12. Virtual assistant
Another market that has seen rapid growth is the virtual assistant (VA). The market is estimated to be worth $6.27billion by 2025 [ 3]. This means that it’s not too late for virtual assistants to take advantage of the growing demand. Within a matter of months, a woman earned $3,000 per month after launching her VA company.
Virtual assistants can play many roles within companies. They can be used to do everything from book appointments, make travel arrangements and write blog posts. As an independent contractor, your services can be chosen. There are many virtual assistant companies who will hire remote VAs if you don’t want to manage clients or run a business.
Pay: $16 an hour (Source: PayScale).
Companies: Priority VA, Virtual Assistant USA, Belay
Transcription is the process of listening to audio recordings, and then converting them into written reports. Transcription jobs are usually paid by the hour. You earn a fixed dollar amount for each hour of audio transcription.
General transcription is paid at a higher rate than medical and legal transcription. You don’t need to have a certification and there is no minimum speed requirement. Some companies do require you to have a minimum word-per-minute (WPM) score. To improve your score, you can take an online typing test .
$15 an hour
Companies: Allegis Transcription. Scribie. TranscribeMe
Growing up, I believed that writers lived a “starving artist” life. It turns out, that is not true. A lot of writers make a good living from their craft, especially in technology and personal finance.
Writers have many options. For articles, freelance writers are hired by large companies that have big marketing budgets. You will find most jobs that pay per word. I have seen writers charging $0.50 per word for 1,200-word articles. This is $600 per article. These are just a few high-paying niches.
Pay: $24/hour (Source: PayScale)
Companies: Contena. ProBlogger. Freelance Writing. BloggingPro
Babysitting, an old-school gig economy job that isn’t only for college students and teenagers, isn’t just for them. Many parents prefer to have adults look after their children. This gig is great for those who are just starting out.
It’s not as difficult to find babysitting jobs as it once was. You don’t have to place an ad on Craigslist. Let’s hope the answer isn’t from a serial killer hiding in hide. You can make a profile on babysitting websites and find families who match your preferences.
These apps are fantastic, but word-of-mouth referrals are still a great option. Sometimes, the best opportunities are within your network.
Pay: $13 per hour (Source: Indeed) “>
Companies: SitterCity and UrbanSitter
16. An older companion
As an elderly companion, your role is to assist seniors with their daily tasks. You may be asked to help seniors with daily tasks such as grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, driving them to appointments or keeping them company.
Companions can be considered non-medical caregivers. You don’t have to hold a license as a nurse or have specialized training in medicine to do this gig. You may need to be certified in CPR. You may receive training depending on your company.
“>To design and build software products, developers need to be proficient in a range of programming languages. You’ll typically specialize in one or both of the following areas: back-end (what users see when they visit a website) and front-end.
My first gig economy job was web development. Online classes or bootcamps in coding are available. You can also learn the basics of many languages and begin bidding on projects through sites such as Upwork and Fiverr.
5) in the United States alone. By 2023, it will account for 22% of global retail sales). Companies are increasing their delivery staff to keep up with the growing popularity of online orders.
This gig economy job is a great one because of the growth and crowdsourcing of delivery drivers. You can sign up for same-day delivery services like Uber and Lyft to find gigs that suit your schedule. Many companies offer minimum payouts for every delivery and the possibility to get tips through their app.
Hourly Rate: $16 plus Tips (Source: Indeed).
Companies: Amazon Flex. Roadie. Shipt
Related: 13 Methods to Make Money Delivering Packages and Foods.
In recent years, house sitting has been a popular way of traveling the world on a tight budget. However, you can make easy money by sitting in your own home. Housesitting jobs are most lucrative during the summer and holidays. Someone who can take care of pets or plants while they are away on vacation or visiting family members is needed.
A subscription fee for house-sitting apps is typically $20 to $100 per year. For that fee, you will be matched up with verified homeowners and have access to long- and short-term house-sitting opportunities in the areas you choose.
Pay: $34 an hour (Source: ZIPRecruiter)
Companies: HouseSit Match, HouseSitters America, TrustedHousesitters, Housesitter.com
Platforms for Local Gigs
Although there is a low barrier to entry, it can take up to 1-2 weeks before you receive a paycheck. These gig platforms can help you get cash fast by helping you with background checks, getting hired, finding clients, and building your portfolio.
Craigslist, a mainstay in the gig economy, still holds great promise for finding local gigs. There’s even a whole section on Craigslist dedicated to gig workers in search of clients.
Although opportunities may vary depending on where you live, you can expect to find a variety of needs like:
Assisting with event staffing
Assistance with packaging and delivery
Additional needs for modeling or film production
You will be responsible for verifying the safety and legitimacy of any gig that you find. To prevent being scammed, take proactive measures.
You can get up and running in a matter of days with verification that takes only 5 minutes. TaskRabbit handles all of the marketing and recruitment for you so that you can start earning money the same day.
Simply Create a profile and list your services. Submit your business verifications and identity to accept jobs. In some cities, there is a $25 application fee.
For a variety of tasks, you don’t necessarily need to have experience. This makes it a great platform for learning as you gain experience.
Field Agents are anonymous employees who enter shops across America to provide feedback about company operations, much like the popular TV series Undercover Boss. Company management often asks “mystery shoppers”, who are anonymously sent to enter stores and take notes of a variety of items.
You can be judged on things like cleanliness of the store, staff friendliness, organization of displays, and many other factors. You will often be asked to purchase items, for which you will be compensated, and then document the difficulty or ease with which you did so.
You will need to record the process and fill out a questionnaire with your feedback in order to close a mystery shop. This can be quite a tedious process. However, if you like the secretive aspect of mystery shopping or just want to make some extra cash while out shopping, this gig could be a great way to earn up to several thousand dollars annually.
Gig work can provide a reliable, fulfilling source of income that is rewarding and reliable. These five things are essential before you jump into the gig economy.
1. Set up a system to maximize your gig income.
The government treats the money you make as an employee differently than the money you make as a freelancer, contractor or gig worker. You are responsible for your taxes.
Consider your gig job as a small business. You will need to withhold taxes from your income, just like any business. As a general rule, you should set aside between 25-30% of all your assets. A separate savings account is what I use for freelance tax savings. When I make money driving with Uber or dog sitting Rover, I transfer 25% to a savings I call “Taxes.”
You can also subtract expenses related to your business from your earnings to pay lower taxes. You can keep track of your gig-related expenses by keeping a spreadsheet or a notebook and placing your receipts into a folder. It could save you hundreds of dollars when tax time comes.
2. Do not rely on your gig income alone.
A gig job is not like a full-time or part-time job. It doesn’t guarantee a certain rate of income or a specific number of hours per week. Because gig work income is variable, it’s important not to depend on it for basic necessities like rent, food and utilities.
You should be cautious about how much you earn if you depend on gig income to cover your expenses. If you make $400 per month, $250 in month 2 and $300 in the third month, then budget for $400 more income each month. Instead, budget for $250 per month from gig work. Anything above that amount is considered a bonus.
When I earn more in a month through freelance work than I anticipated, I like to split that difference between saving and spending. If I expected to make $250, but end up making $500 (after taxes), I will take $250 and send the other half to a savings goal (emergency funds, retirement fund, house, etc.). Spend the $125 remaining on anything I choose.
3. Stack your gigs.
Some gigs are seasonal while others are always unpredictable. This is why I prefer to have multiple streams from different gigs.
You’ll always be able to earn extra income by combining income from multiple gig jobs. If you don’t like doing the same work everyday, it keeps things interesting and fresh.
You lose out on additional income if you only have one gig. You can switch between gigs if you don’t feel like one.
This is a great way for you to make the most of your resources. Do you have extra space in your home? You can rent it. Do you have a car that you don’t use? You can loan it to another person. This allows you to make extra income by stacking gigs.
4. Find something that you love.
Although it may seem obvious, this one is crucial. You can choose to work in the gig economy for extra income, or because you don’t like your job.
It will make your time go faster and earn you more money, but it will also improve the relationship that others have with the job. Happy customers can lead to higher tips and more referrals for gig jobs.
5. Expand your network.
It would surprise you to see the number of people you meet working as a gig worker. While working part-time in customer service, I came across a lovely couple with their beautiful baby girl. After striking up a conversation with them, I learned that they were looking to hire a babysitter. I accepted their offer and began babysitting the next weekend.
After working with the family for a few months, I discovered that my mom was a director at a local college. This relationship was the catalyst for me to get my first internship, and then my first full-time job following college.
It’s crucial to deliver the highest value possible in all aspects of your work. It’s impossible to predict who might be watching you and where your next opportunity may come from.