Contents:

    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, it 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.

    Best apps in each category:

    Food delivery: Uber EatsRideshare driver: Uber
    Grocery shopper: InstacartVehicle sharing: Turo
    Pet sitter: RoverHouse sitter: HouseSitter.com
    Babysitter: Care.comCaregiver: Visiting Angels
    Virtual assistant: VA USAWriter: Upwork
    Mystery shopper: Market ForceOnline reseller: eBay

    Best Gig Economy Jobs:

    1. Food Delivery Driver

    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.

    Pay: Varies. Drivers can make from as little as $9 an hour to as high as $20 or more with tips and bonuses. 

    Companies in this Category: Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub

    2. Rideshare Driver

    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 and a driver’s license, you can usually start carrying passengers in as little as 24 hours.  

    Pay: Typically starts around $15 an hour. 

    Companies in this category: Uber, Lyft, Via

    3. Personal Grocery Shopper

    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.

    Pay: Shoppers are paid by the batch. A batch typically pays around $15 to $20, and most shoppers can do one batch in about an hour (more or less). 

    Companies in this category: Instacart, Shipt, Walmart Spark Delivery

    4. Vehicle Supplier

    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.

    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.

    Companies in this category: Turo, HyreCar, Getaround

    5. Pet Sitter 

    Pet sitters saw a tremendous slow down during the pandemic, but this gig has come back stronger than ever in 2022. 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 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.

    Pay: Sitters can set their own pay, so the amount a sitter makes varies depending on location and the services they offer. 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.

    Companies in this category: Rover, Wag 

    6. House Sitter

    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. 

    Pay: Typically paid either by the hour or by the day. The amount can vary depending on the location of the property, the needs of the homeowner, and how long you stay. House sitters can make anywhere from $15 an hour to $240 a day.  

    Companies in this category: Housesitters America, HouseSit Match, Housesitter.com, Trusted Housesitters.

     7. Babysitter

    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 site. 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. 

    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.

    Companies in this category: Care.com, Urbansitter, Sitter City

    8. Caregiver (for senior citizens)

    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.

    Pay: Usually starts at around $11 an hour, but the amount of pay increases with experience and degree of medical training.

    Companies in this category: Visiting Angels, Right at Home

    9. Virtual Assistant

    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 a personal assistant but work for multiple people from the comfort of your home.

    Pay: Virtual assistants make anywhere 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.

    Companies in this category: Belay, Virtual Assistant USA, Priority VA

    10. Writer 

    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. 

    Pay: Writers typically charge by the word. Depending on the amount of research and complexity of the work, they may charge as little as $0.05 to a high of $1.00 or more per word per article. 

    Companies in this category: Upwork, Fiverr, Verblio

    11. Mystery Shopper

    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.

    Pay: Starts at around $10 per job, but the more experience you get–the better the pay. There are a lot of scams with these types of jobs, so do your due diligence before you sign up. 

    Companies in this category: Market Force, Secret Shopper

    12. Online Seller

    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. 

    Pay: Anywhere from $1 and up. Most selling platforms require you to pay a fee when an item sells and you will need some supplies for shipping, but you can start listing for free.

    Companies in this category: eBay, Etsy, Poshmark

    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 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 handyperson jobs. Simply create a profile and once the site verifies you, you’re ready to accept tasks.

    Tips & Tricks for Working a Gig Job

    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 working gig jobs 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 part-time or work it as a side hustle than relying on your gigs for a full-time income. We suggest trying a gig or two and see how you like it and then 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 and not work for anyone else. 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!