At The Rideshare Guy, we’ve been covering gig economy jobs since 2015. We’ve tried and tested dozens of different gig jobs ourselves, and in this article, we tell you what the best gig jobs are.
The last few years have been rough for families. Covid not only changed the way we live, but it also put a lot of employees out of work. In turn, it forced many workers to look beyond traditional jobs to support themselves.
Gig jobs aren’t new, but it has created what analysts call a “gig economy,” and once people discovered they could make a full-time income with flexible hours and competitive pay – many never looked back.
What is The Gig Economy?
In its simplest terms, we consider a gig economy a labor market that relies strongly on the use of independent contractors and freelancers over permanent employees, and a gig job is a short-term work relationship between an individual or the company that pays them. This work is often a one-time thing or performed on an “as-needed” basis.
The biggest difference between employees and independent contractors (gig workers) is that employees are considered long-term workers who receive hourly or salaried pay, and are provided certain benefits, such as health insurance and vacation pay.
Independent contractors are short-term workers who receive pay only for the work they complete, and rarely receive any type of benefits.
Gig jobs aren’t for everyone, but if you like the idea of flexible schedules, working as your own boss, and having the ability to work as much or as little as you want, check out our list of the best gig jobs for independent contractors below.
19 Best Gig Economy Jobs
- Food Delivery
- Rideshare Driver
- Personal Grocery Shopper
- Vehicle Supplier
- Pet Sitter
- House Sitter
- Virtual Assistant
- Freelance Writer
- Mystery Shopper
- Online Seller
- Survey Taker
- Host Your House
- Host Your Storage Space
1. Food Delivery Driver
- Pay: Varies. Drivers can make from as little as $9 an hour to as high as $20 or more with tips and bonuses.
Food delivery drivers pick up prepared food from a restaurant and take it to a customer’s house, place of business, or agreed-on delivery spot.
As far as gig jobs go, this is usually considered one of the easiest, since your only responsibility is to pick the food up from the restaurant and drop it off at the customer’s location in a timely manner.
To make even more money with your car, you can also sign up for a delivery service like Amazon Flex to deliver packages.
Food Delivery Gigs:
Earning Potential: $20-$25 / hour
DoorDash is one of the best delivery apps because it pays a minimum rate per delivery (DoorDash will make up the difference if your pay per delivery is below their threshold!), and encourages generous tips that you keep fully.
2. Rideshare Driver
- Pay: Typically starts around $15 an hour.
Working as a rideshare driver is probably one of the easiest ways to make money in a gig economy.
As a rideshare driver, you’ll pick up passengers from one location and drive them where they want to go.
Becoming a rideshare driver is a fast and easy process. As long as you can pass a background check and have a vehicle, smartphone, and a driver’s license, you can usually start carrying passengers in as little as 24 hours.
3. Personal Grocery Shopper
- Pay: Shoppers are paid by the batch, which typically pays around $15 to $20, and most shoppers can do one batch in about an hour.
Personal grocery shoppers visit the grocery store for the customer, select the items the customer has ordered online, pay for them, then deliver the items right to the customer’s front door.
This gig doesn’t involve as much driving, but you will need to interact more with the customer to make sure you’re getting the right items, so good communication is key.
Grocery Shopping Gigs:
Since you shop and deliver orders, each order will take longer – but this also means you’ll earn more per order! Plus, you may be able to take advantage of Instacart's guaranteed earnings promotions that rotates through regions.
- Pay: $15-$75 per hour, varies based on your location and how much you’re moving
If you have a truck or a trailer and you’re willing to do some heavy lifting, you could offer up your services as a local mover.
Several gig economy apps are designed to help match customers with movers. They can help you easily book jobs, get paid reliably, and be tipped within the app.
Just note that some of these platforms will require you to submit an application and consent to a background check before listing your services.
Or you can go the old-fashioned route and look for potential moving jobs on Craigslist. You could also get some friends together and start your own moving team, marketing your services on social media to get clients.
5. Vehicle Supplier
- Pay: You will have to compensate for wear and tear on your vehicle, but it’s a great way to earn about $1,000 in passive income per month.
If delivering food or driving passengers around for hours at a time isn’t your thing, but you don’t mind someone else driving your vehicle, letting someone pay you to borrow and drive it can provide a nice source of passive income.
Companies that help match vehicle owners with potential drivers have strict guidelines both you and the person renting your vehicle must follow, but the insurance and background checks they provide can take the worry out of someone else driving your vehicle, and all you have to do is drop it off and pick it back up when the person is through.
Vehicle Supplier Gigs:
6. Pet Sitter / Dog Walker
- Pay: Sitters can set their own pay, so the amount a sitter makes varies depending on location and the services they offer.
Pet sitters saw a tremendous slowdown during the pandemic, but this gig has come back stronger than ever. Many people who had put off going on trips went on long overdue vacations and weekend getaways.
For people who love animals and don’t mind working on and around Thanksgiving and Christmas, pet sitting/dog walking is not only a fun way to earn income, but a highly profitable one too.
Generous pet owners tend to tip higher during the holiday season and if you don’t mind working long hours, it’s not uncommon to earn as high as $1,000 to $1,500 a week.
Dog sitting apps typically get 20% of a new sitter’s fee, so pay tends to run around $14 to $16 per hour. Pet sitters who prefer to advertise on their own and rely on word-of-mouth for their referrals can generally make $20 to $25 per hour, and $100 or more for night sits when the sitter sleeps over at the client’s house.
Pet Sitting Gigs:
7. House Sitter
- Pay: Typically paid either by the hour or by the day. The amount can vary depending on location, the needs of the homeowner, and how long you stay. Pay ranges anywhere from $15 an hour to $240 a day.
House sitters watch over a person’s property for an extended period of time to ensure the place remains occupied while the homeowner is away.
In most cases, the house sitter is also looking after the homeowner’s pets and will have light household duties, such as keeping plants watered, bringing in the mail, and rolling the garbage can out for trash pickup.
House Sitting Gigs:
- Housesitters America
- HouseSit Match
- Trusted Housesitters
- Pay: As with most gig jobs, the amount of pay depends on where you’re located and ranges from around $13 to $20 an hour per child.
Notably one of the oldest economy gigs in the world. Parents once relied on teenagers to watch over their kids, but today’s mothers and fathers often prefer an adult.
They also prefer using apps to find their babysitters, since these companies run background checks and vet potential candidates before adding them to their sites
These apps not only help parents feel better about leaving their child with a stranger, babysitters can also tailor their ads to find families that meet their work preferences.
- Sitter City
9. Caregiver (for senior citizens)
- Pay: Usually starts at around $11 an hour, but varies with experience and degree of medical training.
Caregivers help senior citizens with day-to-day tasks, including light housekeeping, cooking meals, transportation to medical appointments, running errands, and companionship.
While you aren’t required to have a medical background, most companies expect caregivers to have CPR certification, and some companies provide additional training to assist you in providing care for the elderly.
- Visiting Angels
- Right at Home
10. Virtual Assistant
- Pay: Ranges from $7 to over $60 an hour. The services you offer, along with your skills and experience, play a big role in how much you can make.
Virtual assistants do a little of everything from data entry to payroll, sending out emails, and keeping up with their client’s appointments.
Basically, you’re an on-demand personal assistant but work for multiple people from the comfort of your home.
Virtual Assistant Gigs:
- Virtual Assistant USA
- Priority VA
11. Freelance Writer
- Pay: Writers typically charge by the word ranging from as little as $0.05 to a high of $1.00 or more per word per article.
Writing for a living is one of those things that a lot of people don’t think you can make money doing. Those people are wrong, but success won’t come overnight.
Many writers make a nice living writing articles, online content, and blog posts for clients, or even writing and pitching individual articles to magazines and websites.
Freelance Writing Gigs:
12. Mystery Shopper
- Pay: Starts at around $10 per job, but the more experience you get–the better the pay.
Working as a mystery shopper is like getting paid to shop. One of the best things about this gig is that you can often do it while you’re running your daily errands.
Shoppers typically go into a store, purchase a specific item or an amount, then write up a report about it.
There are a lot of scams with these types of jobs, so do your due diligence before you sign up.
Mystery Shopper Gigs:
- Secret Shopper
- Market Force
13. Online Seller
- Pay: Anywhere from $1 and up.
Want to earn money while getting rid of the clutter in your home? Online selling lets you accomplish both.
Most sellers start by selling things around their homes they don’t need anymore, then haunt yard sales and thrift stores to find more items they can sell for a profit.
Online Selling Gigs:
14. Survey Taker
- Pay: $0.30-$5 per survey
While this won’t cut it as a full-time gig, taking online surveys is one of the easiest ways to make a little extra cash in your spare time.
Online survey sites pay you for sharing your opinion with surveys, watching videos, shopping online, and testing out products. Some even pay you for surfing the web with their extensions.
When you sign up for online survey sites, you may have to answer a few questions about yourself. Then you’ll be matched with surveys you qualify for. A lot of surveys pay out in points. Once you hit a certain amount, you can redeem them for gift cards, checks, Paypal transfers, or bank deposits.
- Branded Surveys
- Survey Junkie
- Pay: $24-$31 per hour
If you’re an entrepreneur with an eye for editing, you could turn proofreading into a profitable gig. As a proofreader, you can edit content for students, authors, bloggers, and business owners.
Your earning potential can vary a lot based on your level of experience, but average rates on salary.com fall between $24 and $31.
To start a proofreading business, all you need are a computer, wifi, and impeccable grammar. That means you can work fully remotely—anytime, anywhere.
- Pay: $11-$25 per hour
Bookkeeping is another lucrative freelance job. Bookkeepers are responsible for tasks like recording financial transactions, managing payrolls, and handling invoices for businesses.
To become a professional bookkeeper, you don’t have to have a degree or any particular certification. You do need an understanding of financial principles and a strong sense of organization.
There are tons of online tools and courses to help you get started as a bookkeeper. You can do this job remotely, too, by contracting jobs with small businesses online.
- People per hour
- Pay: $20-$80 per hour; can vary drastically based on the subject matter and your level of expertise
If you’re super knowledgeable about an academic subject and have a nack for explaining challenging concepts, you could launch a gig as a tutor.
There’s always a demand for tutors for subjects like writing or algebra, as well as for specific exams like the SAT and ACT. As an online tutor, you can find jobs through tutoring sites like the ones below, or market your services on Facebook and target people in your area for face-to-face sessions.
While teaching might have stricter requirements, you don’t necessarily have to have a particular degree to be a tutor. But keep in mind that you may be able to charge more for your services based on your education and experience.
- VIP Kid
18. Host Your House
- Pay: $924/month on average, based on a survey from Earnest
Hosting a rental property could be an extremely rewarding and flexible side gig. Whether you buy a home to list as a vacation rental or you have a spare room or guest house sitting empty, hosting your space is a great way to earn money. You can set your rates and build out your own rental schedule around your preferences.
Sites like Airbnb make up a massive percentage of the gig economy. The platform is user-friendly and secure. It lets you set the rules for your rental property, and you can get comprehensive liability coverage and damage protection.
When you provide customers with an excellent stay, they’re encouraged to leave a review. The more positive reviews you have, the more likely you are to get future bookings.
House Hosting Gigs:
19. Host Your Storage Space
- Pay: $50-$600 per month
Even if you don’t have a spare room to rent, you can make money using your storage space. The Neighbor app is a great tool for listing your driveway, a patch of grass, your garage, or a storage building to people in your area who need somewhere to stash their cars, RVs, boats, or equipment.
You create a profile with pictures and a description of your space, then renters can request to book. After you approve a request, you’ll be paid on a monthly basis.
That’s all you have to do, making this a solid source of extra income. If a renter fails to pay, you’ll be covered by the Host Guarantee, which offers up to $1 million in liability coverage for every booking.
Storage Hosting Gigs:
- Neighbor app
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make a living off of gig work?
Millions of people make a living as full-time gig workers. Gig work can include anything from being a delivery driver to writing and editing content for blogs. How much you can earn can vary depending on the type of work you do.
How do gig workers get paid?
Gig workers are independent contractors. In most cases, they get paid a set rate for completing tasks rather than working on a salary or hourly basis.
Some gig economy workers get paid directly through gig apps, while others have their own payment process and invoice their clients.
Do you pay taxes on gig work?
You are required to pay taxes on any income you earn from gig work. Whether you work part-time for extra money or you do gig work as a full-time job, you must report your gig earnings when you file your taxes.
How do I get started with gig work?
Here are few pointers to help you get started in the gig economy:
- Research the industry to find the right job
- Gather a portfolio of work or references
- List your services on a gig app
- Find a network of gig workers to learn from
Why do companies hire gig workers?
A lot of companies turn to gig workers to save time and resources. It can be more affordable and time-efficient to hire a freelancer with a proven track record than to put money and effort into hiring and training a full-time employee.
Best Platforms to Find Local Gigs
Most gigs rarely require much more than a background check and proof that you’re allowed to work in the United States to get started.
Depending on the company you sign up with, however, it may take a few days or a week or two for you to get approval to start. If you need some quick cash, you may find you can pick up a gig or two on one of these gig platforms.
- Craigslist: Remains one of the most popular places for people to find local gigs. The company does not vet ads, however, so use safety and caution when you respond to avoid getting scammed.
- TaskRabbit: TaskRabbit matches people needing help with specific tasks with local independent contractors who can handle the job. Tasks range from making deliveries to building furniture and handyman jobs. Simply create a profile and once the site verifies you, you’re ready to accept tasks.
Tips for Working Gig Economy Jobs
Don’t Forget About the Taxes
One of the biggest differences you’ll discover when you become your own boss is that no one is taking taxes out of your pay.
Depending on your financial situation and your tax bracket, you’ll need to come up with about 25% to 30% of what you make each year to cover your income taxes.
Many people find it best to take this amount off the top every time they get paid and put it into a savings account. On the plus side, you’ll also get to deduct your business expenses, so keep up with those.
Gig Jobs Are Not for the Faint of Heart
There are many people out there who make more doing freelance work than they ever did working for someone else.
Unfortunately, not everyone is disciplined enough to get out and hustle daily.
If you’re new to working in a gig economy, you may find it easier to start out with a side hustle rather than relying on your gigs for a full-time income.
We suggest trying a gig or two as a part-time source of income and seeing how you like it to decide if gig jobs are right for you.
Don’t Keep All Your Eggs in One Basket
It’s an old saying, but it still holds true today. Many people get comfortable working for only one company or doing one type of gig.
The problem with that is most gigs have periods of ebb and flow.
Savvy gig workers learn to stack their gigs, so they can switch to another gig if they notice things are getting slower.
As an example, if summer or winter means fewer people are eating out, switching to delivering groceries instead of restaurant food can keep you from losing income. It can also keep you from burning out.
Do Something You Enjoy
There are many gig jobs out there and more appear every day.
You may have gotten thrust into the gig economy because you lost your old job and couldn’t find anything else in your field, or maybe you just wanted to follow your dreams of being self-employed.
If your current gig isn’t something you enjoy, try something else. The good thing about gig jobs is you can easily shift from one gig to another, and if one doesn’t work out, you can always go back to the first gig or try something else.
You’re the boss, so it’s all up to you!