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30 Best Gig Economy Jobs That Pay Well in 2020

30 Best Gig Economy Jobs That Pay Well in 2020

The Modest Wallet is a free digital publication delivering its readers simple personal finance solutions. We regularly partner with brands that have products and services that will help our readers. Some of the links in this post are from our partners. How we make money.

With the stagnation of middle-class wages and the decline of the blue-collar economy, many have turned to what are called side jobs, side hustles, or gig economy jobs to take care of their income needs.

An entire economy has sprung up around these gigs, and the gig economy has its own lingo and culture. Continue reading below to find out more about the gig economy, where to find the best gig economy jobs, and how much each of them pays.

What is the Gig Economy?

The gig economy refers, in part, to the reality that many people are finding it more difficult to land full-time jobs, and they are turning to short-term, contract-based work to supplement or replace those jobs. Gig economy jobs (also known as freelance jobs) have both positive and negative characteristics, and their desirability depends heavily on the worker’s circumstances.

Despite the criticisms leveled at gig economy work, many people have come to find that freelance and contract work provides valuable income and flexible hours.

The Best Gig Economy Jobs

The best gig economy jobs in 2020 encompass a variety of fields, industries, and skills. Continue reading below to find out about our favorite gigs, including how much you can earn and what you’ll need to get started.

Best Delivery Jobs

Many of the most popular gig economy jobs entail getting an item from point A to point B. In other words, you’ll be a delivery driver (or cyclist, depending on how far you’re going and where you’re located).

As with many gig economy jobs, your income won’t be consistent. You may make an amazing amount of money one week, but only work a handful of hours the next. It can depend on the area you work in, your luck on a particular day, and whether you travel on a bicycle or in a car.

Postmates

  • Income Potential: Medium
  • Requirements:
    • 18 years or older
    • Access to an insured vehicle (car, truck, van, motorcycle, or scooter) or bicycle 
    • Pass a background check
    • Own a smartphone

Postmates is a wide-ranging delivery app that offers its customers everything from groceries to alcohol to home and office supplies. You can make money using the Postmates app by acting as a delivery person (either on a bike or in a vehicle).

Reviewers report that you can earn between $8 and $15 per hour, depending on your area and productivity. Note that this does not include the wear and tear on your mode of transportation, which can be a significant expense.

How Postmates Works

See Also: How to Start a Blog: A Step-by-Step Guide to a Profitable Blog

Instacart

  • Income Potential: Medium
  • Requirements:
    • 18 years or older
    • Access to an insured vehicle (car, truck, van, motorcycle, or scooter) if you’re going to be a full-service shopper
    • Pass a background check
    • Own a smartphone
    • Be able to lift 30-40 lbs at a time (to carry groceries)

Instacart is a grocery delivery service that offers two different ways to make money. First, you can be a “full-service shopper.” Instacart’s full-service shoppers (who qualify as independent contractors) receive orders on their smartphones, and complete grocery deliveries for grocery customers.  This entails driving to the store, gathering and collecting the groceries, and delivering them to customers. 

In-store shoppers, however, don’t require a vehicle. They stay at the store and gather grocery orders for customers, and someone else delivers them. In-store shoppers are considered part-time employees (for tax purposes).

Reviewers report that they can earn several hundred dollars per week, depending on how much time they spend shopping or doing deliveries. 

DoorDash

  • Income Potential: Medium
  • Requirements:
    • 18 years or older
    • Access to an insured vehicle (car, truck, van, motorcycle, or scooter), with the insurance policy in your own name
    • Pass a background check
    • Own an Android or Apple smartphone

If you’d like an arguably simpler delivery experience, you might want to consider DoorDash. DoorDash offers its clients restaurant deliveries (and only restaurant deliveries). You won’t need to stop off at a grocery store or Staples if you’re delivering for this app. You will, however, have to schedule your shifts on the app. 

Earnings are similar to those working with Postmates or Instacart, and they usually range from about $10 to $15 per hour. Wages depend heavily on the area in which you’re delivering.

AmazonFlex

  • Income Potential: Medium-High
  • Requirements:
    • 21 years old or older
    • Valid social security number
    • Pass a background check
    • Have access to a qualifying vehicle: 4-door sedan, a pickup truck with a covered bed, or van
    • Valid driver’s license
    • Proof of auto insurance
    • Must own a qualifying smartphone (Android or Apple, relatively new)

For drivers who own a van, a four-door sedan, or a pickup truck with a covered bed, AmazonFlex may be a better choice than any of the other delivery apps available.  AmazonFlex pays between $18-$25 per hour, which is approximately double what the other delivery apps pay.

The increase in pay is likely due to the more stringent requirements and the greater effort to deliver larger packages to clients.

Shipt

  • Income Potential: Medium-High
  • Requirements:
    • 18 years or older
    • Valid U.S. driver’s license with one year of license experience
    • Access to an insured vehicle made on or after 1997
    • Possess an insulated cooler bag
    • Be capable of lifting up to 40 lbs
    • Have an Apple or Android smartphone
    • Pass a background check

Shipt is another grocery delivery app, but its fee structure is slightly different. Because it offers commission and tips, many reviewers report that it pays significantly more than Instacart or Postmates. The pay may be similar to AmazonFlex, but it lacks the latter’s guaranteed income for approved shifts.

GrubHub

  • Income Potential: Medium
  • Requirements:
    • 19 years of age
    • Car (or a bike in certain areas)
    • Driver’s license and car insurance
    • Apple or Android smartphone
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GrubHub is another restaurant delivery service. It’s very similar to DoorDash, insofar as you’ll need to schedule yourself for shifts in your area. Like most delivery apps, you’ll need to keep track of your own income because you’ll qualify as an independent contractor. In the US, that means you’ll receive a 1099 form, and you’ll need to account for your own income taxes at the end of the year.

The earnings on GrubHub are very similar to earnings from DoorDash, and will likely be slightly lower than those with Shipt or Amazon Flex, but that can depend heavily on where you are located in the country.

Best Driving Jobs

The popularity of ride-sharing boomed in the 2010s, and shows no sign of slowing in the 2020s. Two companies, Uber and Lyft, dominate the market in the United States. Continue reading below to learn what you need in order to drive for them, and how much money you can make.

Uber

  • Income Potential: Medium-High
  • Requirements:
    • 21 years old or older
    • Possess a valid driver’s license for at least one year (three years if you’re under 23)
    • Access to a four-door vehicle that is less than 10 years old (some cities allow vehicles that are 15 years old or newer)
    • Car insurance in your own name
    • In-state driver’s license
    • In-state license plates and a current registration
    • Social security number
    • Pass a driving background check and a general background check
    • Additional state/city regulatory requirements (see below)

Uber is the most popular ride-sharing service, providing clients around the world with rides to their desired locations. Driving for Uber is a relatively straightforward process, although the list of requirements is (reasonably) lengthy.

You should pay particular attention to any additional regulatory requirements imposed by your city or municipality. For example, some cities require that drivers for Uber get their vehicles inspected within 30 days of their start date. Uber will typically alert you to these requirements, but be sure to check your local laws as well.

Rates for ride-sharing services like Uber are typically around $18-$25. As with all side jobs that involve your vehicle, it’s important to account for vehicle depreciation and maintenance costs. Maintenance is typically your biggest expense, and not considering it in your profit and loss statement is a mistake that will lead you to overestimate your profit.

Lyft

  • Income Potential: Medium-High
  • Requirements:
    • Driver’s license
    • 21 years or older
    • In-state car insurance, registration
    • Access to a vehicle, or ability to rent a vehicle through Lyft
    • Social security number
    • Pass a background check
    • Pass a driver background check

Driving for Lyft is extremely similar to driving for Uber, so we won’t spend too much time on the job description. There are, however, a couple of differences.

The vehicle requirements can vary slightly, with Lyft imposing more stringent vehicle quality requirements in some areas. Additionally, Lyft typically pays its drivers slightly more to work. Some surveys peg the difference at up to $2.00 per hour, depending on the area and vehicle.

How Lyft Works

See Also: 30 Best Online Jobs That Are Legitimate and Actually Pay Well

Best Manual Labor Jobs

Newly available apps will let you apply your elbow grease to other people’s odd jobs. Manual labor can be a nice change of pace from the more sedentary work required by most of the other services/apps on this list.

TaskRabbit

  • Income Potential: Medium-High
  • Requirements:
    • 18 years or older
    • Located in a city in which TaskRabbit operates
    • Social security number
    • Pass a background check
    • Pass an ID check
    • A valid credit card
    • Checking account with a US financial institution
    • A smartphone (Android or Apple)

TaskRabbit connects people who need a wide variety of tasks completed with the people who have the skills to get them done. Ranging from skilled labor like electrical work and carpentry to tasks like running errands or cleaning, there’s work on TaskRabbit for virtually anyone.

It’s difficult to put a range on the income you can earn on this app, since skilled work can command a much higher price than more menial tasks. Suffice to say that people with specific skills in high-demand trades and stellar profiles can earn a significant amount of money.

Keep in mind that TaskRabbit does charge a one-time $25 registration fee, so be sure you’re serious about getting work done through TaskRabbit before you complete your sign-up.

Hello Alfred

  • Income Potential: High
  • Requirements:
    • A college degree, or two to three years of relevant work experience
    • A smartphone
    • Ability to stand on your feet for extended periods of time, and maneuver in small spaces, bend, and grip with your hands
    • Ability to lift up to 30 lbs
    • Ability to work in homes with pets, including dogs and cats
    • 21 years old
    • Valid driver’s license
    • A vehicle
    • Auto insurance

Hello Alfred is a home butlering service that offers its clients a way to help them complete and manage daily household chores and errands. The Hello Alfred website currently lists two types of jobs: Shopper and Home Manager. The requirements listed above are for the less accessible Home Manager positions.

Shoppers pick up items from stores (groceries, home supplies, etc.) while Home Managers assist clients around the house.

(Editor’s note — 4/24/20: COVID-19 has shifted the company’s focus to delivery services. Check their website for updates.)

Hello Alfred is famous for arranging its business in an employee-friendly way, classifying all of its people as W-2 employees, rather than 1099 contractors. This means you’ll earn a regular hourly wage, rather than unreliable commissions or tips.

Bellhops

  • Income Potential: Medium
  • Requirements:
    • 18 years old or older
    • Ability to lift 100 pounds
    • A smartphone
    • Transportation
    • Complete Bellhops interview
    • Pass a background check
    • Have a checking account

Bellhops is like the Uber of movers. If you’re able to lift at least 100 pounds at a time, then this app that connects movers to people who need heavy boxes and furniture transported may be for you.

You can expect to earn about $15-$21 per hour, including tips on an average day. It’s similar to what you would earn driving for Uber, but with fewer vehicle-related costs.

Dolly

  • Income Potential: Medium-High
  • Requirements:
    • 21+
    • Pass a background check 
    • Ability to lift 75 pounds or more
    • Auto insurance 
    • Truck or van

Dolly is similar to Bellhops, with the added option of being a “Helper.” Helpers are like “Assistants” with this service (who just carry stuff), but they also provide a vehicle (a covered truck or van) and drive. The requirements listed above are for Helpers. Assistants only need to be 18 years of age to work and aren’t required to meet vehicle-related criteria.

You can make anywhere from $15 to $30 per hour. Your income potential depends on whether you have a truck or not.

How Dolly Works Gig Economy Jobs

See Also: 20 Best Places to Sell Used Furniture for Cash ‘Online & Locally’

  • TaskEasy

Income Potential: Medium-Very High

Requirements:

  • Be at least 18+
  • Pass a background check
  • Pass the TaskEasy review process
  • Have General Liability and Occupational Accidental Insurance policies (either through TaskEasy or independently)

TaskEasy applies the services-on-demand model to lawn care and snow removal. Like Bellhops, Hello Alfred, and TaskRabbit, TaskEasy connects qualified businesses with paying clients. The amount of money you’ll make from TaskEasy depends heavily on the nature of your business. Fully equipped commercial landscapers will make more thanks to TaskEasy’s tiered system of contractor management.

Handy.com

  • Income Potential: Medium-High
  • Requirements:
    • Paid experience as a cleaner or handyman
    • Authorized to work in the US
    • Excellent customer service skills
    • Attend an online orientation
    • If working as a plumber or electrician, supply credentials authorizing you to work in those fields

Handy is very similar to TaskRabbit (described above). It’s a little more focused than TaskRabbit, however, limiting its listed services to handymen and handywomen, cleaners, electricians, and plumbers.

Your pay will depend heavily on which field you’re in, although even for highly skilled professionals like electricians, the pay won’t usually go past $45 per hour. Some reviewers have complained about punitive job cancellation policies and customer rating systems.

Best On-Demand Rental Jobs

If you’d rather make your money more passively, on-demand rental gigs allow you to put your personal and real estate property to work. The money you earn with the on-demand rental apps listed below will depend heavily on the nature and quality of the property you rent out on the app you choose. Those with brand-new cars, boats, and apartments in high-demand areas will earn much more than those with older property in less populated areas.

Turo

  • Income Potential: Medium
  • Requirements:
    • Maximum vehicle age of 12 years
    • 130,000 or fewer miles on the odometer
    • Clean title (no salvage, branded, or rebuilt titles)
    • Vehicle value of less than $150,000
    • Auto insurance

Turo allows you to rent out your personal vehicle. It’s like the Airbnb of cars. Turo will set the price for you and give you 75% of what renters pay to use your car. The nicer your car, the more money you’ll make through the app.

The major drawback to this, as with Uber and Lyft, is the wear and tear on your vehicle. This cost can add up to become a significant part of your income, which is why we’ve listed the income potential as “Medium.”

Don’t forget that you can enter your vehicle depreciation and upkeep costs as deductible expenses on your taxes to defray some of your costs. 

GetAround

  • Income Potential: Medium
  • Requirements:
    • A model year of 2005 or later
    • Fewer than 125,000 miles on the odometer
    • The vehicle is no larger than 8 passengers
    • Car sharing is not prohibited by your lease agreement (if the vehicle is leased)

GetAround, like Turo, allows you to rent out your personal vehicle to strangers through their app. The main difference between GetAround and Turo is that while Turo allows the option of installing a remote locking and unlocking device, GetAround requires the installation of such a device. This means you won’t necessarily need to meet with the people renting your car when they pick it up or drop it off.

The income is similar to Turo, and the same caveat applies. Watch those vehicle maintenance costs and upkeep charges!

How GetAround Works Gig Economy Jobs

See Also: 40 Proven and Legitimate Ways to Make Money Fast

Airbnb

  • Income Potential: Medium-High
  • Requirements:
    • Be responsive
    • Accept reservation requests whenever you’re available
    • Avoid cancellations
    • Maintain a high overall rating
    • Provide toilet paper, hand and body soap, towels, linens, and pillows

Everyone knows about Airbnb. With this app, you can make a room, an apartment, or even a full house available for rent online. You’ll need to make sure that you live in an area that allows short-term rentals, and/or that your lease agreement (if you’re a renter) allows for the use of Airbnb.

The amount you’ll earn will vary tremendously based on the location and nature of your rental. (A brownstone in New York City will command a much higher rate than a room in Austin, Texas, for example.)

Boatsetter

  • Income Potential: Medium-High
  • Requirements:
    • 25 years of age
    • Possess a current, valid driver’s license for at least two years
    • No criminal convictions in the last 10 years
    • No driving violations in the last three years
    • No boat insurance claims in the last three years
    • Have a smartphone

Boatsetter allows you to rent out your captained or un-captained vessel to people on their app. You’ll need to meet the above-noted criteria, although the age limit is reduced to 18 for captained vessels. Approval by Boatsetter is also required in order to offer your boat for rental.

As with all on-demand rental apps, the amount of money you can make is dependent on  your offering.

RVShare

  • Income Potential: Medium-Very High
  • Requirements:
    • Not listed online, but likely very similar to other on-demand rental services/apps

RVShare is an online, peer-to-peer RV rental and sharing service. Like Boatsetter or Turo, but for recreational vehicles, what sets RVShare apart from similar services are the extremely high prices that people are willing to pay for RV rentals. Due to the high price of RVs themselves, people part with substantial amounts of money to use RVs for a short period of time.

Reviewers report making tens of thousands of dollars in the span of a few months. These amounts could go a long way towards defraying the cost of the RV itself. Of course, the amounts earned will depend on the drivability and quality of your RV.

Best Freelance Jobs

Freelance jobs are where we start to get serious about making money. Depending on how skilled you are in your particular field, you can sometimes make up to several hundred dollars an hour.

Freelance Writer

  • Income Potential: Very High
  • Requirements:
    • A desktop or laptop computer
    • An internet connection

Freelance writing, particularly freelance web content writing, has become a highly lucrative profession for many people who have skills with the written word. While it can be difficult to get started, freelance writers with talent and experience stand to earn over $100 per hour when they work for the right client.

In order to get themselves past the first few difficult months, many freelance writers have turned to Earn More Writing for help. This no-nonsense online course teaches freelance writers how to turn their hard work into a rewarding income. It’s light on theory and focuses on concrete strategies and practical advice on how to get your freelance writing business up and running — fast.

Facebook Ad Specialist

  • Income Potential: Very High
  • Requirements:
    • A desktop or laptop computer
    • An internet connection

Similar to freelance writing, those with a talent for social media advertising tend to learn very quickly just how sought-after their skills really are. Businesses everywhere are desperate to learn how to use social media (especially Facebook) to lure highly targeted audiences to their products and services.

Rather than trying to learn the necessary skills from scratch, we strongly suggest you take a look at the FB Side Hustle Course taught by Laptop Empires. This course with dedicated subscribers will take you from A-Z in the sometimes confusing world of Facebook advertising. It won’t waste your time with pointless fluff. It gets right to the point of how to net paying clients for local and web-based businesses. 

The FB Side Hustle Course - Laptop Empires

See Also: Free PayPal Money: 20 Legit Ways to Earn PayPal Cash Now

Proofreader

  • Income Potential: High
  • Requirements:
    • A desktop or laptop computer
    • An internet connection

Just as millions of people around the world are looking for writers, almost as many are looking for people who can proofread that writing to ensure it’s error-free.  Proofreading is a difficult skill, and the current supply of experienced proofreaders is profoundly small. It requires a tremendous degree of concentration and an intimate knowledge of its unique notation (not to mention the rules of the English language).

Because there are so few experienced proofreaders out there, potential new entrants to this field can command a surprisingly high price. You can improve your odds of succeeding at this profession by enrolling in Proofread Anywhere, a course that teaches not only the basics of proofreading but also how to run your own proofreading business.

Virtual Assistant

  • Income Potential: High
  • Requirements:
    • A desktop or laptop computer
    • An internet connection

Virtual assistants are in high demand. Professionals everywhere are looking for people to help them make sense of their chaotic schedules, appointment books, and inboxes. As long as you have an organization-focused mentality and a computer with an internet connection, you can step in to fill that niche.

We don’t recommend that you go it alone, though. There’s an excellent course called 30 Days to Virtual Assistant Success that will provide you with the organizational, technical, and business skills you’ll need to be successful in this booming field.

Graphic Designer

  • Income Potential: Very High
  • Requirements:
    • Desktop or laptop computer or tablet
    • An internet connection
    • Graphic design chops

We encourage people talented in graphic design to look into the 99Designs platform. This site connects graphic designers with clients seeking quality work by way of contests that allow clients to select their favorite designs.

Top-tier designers on 99Designs can make hundreds of dollars per hour. 

English Tutor

  • Income Potential: Medium
  • Requirements:
    • An internet connection
    • A computer with a webcam
    • Teaching skills
    • Pass an online test and interview

Those with an interest in and talent for teaching children should look into a service called VIPKid. This website connects children in Asia who are trying to learn English with tutors in English-speaking countries like the US.

The pay can top $20 per hour for teachers who take on enough classes and don’t cancel or reschedule any appointments.

Best Skilled Worker Jobs

If you have skills in particular areas, certain websites will connect you with clients in need of your strengths. These sites solve particular problems for clients in a variety of fields.

Care.com

  • Income Potential: Medium
  • Requirements:
    • 18+ years of age
    • Pass a background check
    • Pass an identification check
    • Create an acceptable profile
    • Post a photograph of yourself

After creating a profile on the Care.com website, those who meet the above criteria will be accepted to what they call their “Careforce.” These folks can apply to jobs ranging from babysitting to senior care to tutoring and housekeeping. The jobs typically range in pay from $10 to $20 per hour, depending on your qualifications and experience.

How-Care.com-Works Gig Economy Jobs

See Also: 33 Best Money Making Apps: Cash at Your Fingertips

HelloTech

  • Income Potential: High
  • Requirements:
    • 18+ years of age
    • Pass a video interview
    • Complete a skills assessment
    • Have a sufficiently new smartphone
    • Pass a background check

HelloTech connects people struggling with technology to qualified tech-savvy personnel who can help them with their problems. HekkoTech advertises rates as high as $90 per hour, and those with the right skills will definitely want to check out this platform for their next side gig.

Rover

  • Income Potential: Medium
  • Requirements:
    • Be 18 years of age or older
    • Have a working smartphone
    • Create an approved profile
    • Pass a background check

Very similar to care.com but with a focus on pets, dog-walking, and pet-sitting, Rover connects pet owners with people who have the skills and inclination to take care of their pets.

Rates for part-time dog walkers and dog sitters typically range from a few hundred dollars per month to over $1,000 for the more active.

Soothe

  • Income Potential: High
  • Requirements:
    • Be a licensed massage therapist in your state
    • Have a smartphone

For licensed massage therapists, membership with Soothe can be a lucrative side hustle. With reported rates of around $50 per hour, depending on the experience, area, and clientele, the RMTs on Soothe can make a decent amount of money-making massage house calls.

Your Mechanic

  • Income Potential: High
  • Requirements:
    • Have sufficient experience in auto mechanics in order to pass a rigorous online and phone interview
    • Possess sufficient tools

If fixing cars is your thing, take a look at Your Mechanic. Matching people in need of simple auto repairs (no major transmission or engine overhauls here) with mechanics who pass their rigorous application process, Your Mechanic typically pays between $40 and $60 per hour to qualified gearheads.

Where to Find Gig Economy Jobs

Gig economy jobs are found almost exclusively online. You’ll immediately notice that their availability tends to cluster around major cities in the United States, particularly in and around California. For people in a rural area inside of the US, or for people located outside of the US, you may have to look a little harder for options. 

Not all gig economy jobs are found online, however. Some positions available to freelancers can be found locally or through personal connections, although it can be more difficult to find these jobs at the start of your new career.

Final Thoughts

Gig economy jobs aren’t perfect. Some of them don’t pay very well. You’ll likely need to accept lower pay while you build up credibility. When considering projects, choose work that fits with your goals so that you don’t get in the habit of accepting any job you’re offered (which will limit your experience and keep you stuck at a low pay rate).  

It’s also important to note that your work schedule can change at a moment’s notice, so make sure you can juggle projects with your other responsibilities. 

Freelance work also typically relies pretty heavily on customer reviews, which can occasionally be unpredictable, so be prepared. But if you’re a good communicator and you’re good at what you do, you shouldn’t have to worry about an occasional wild card.

If you’re self-motivated and skilled in your line of work,  gig economy jobs can be surprisingly lucrative and a real supplement to a regular 9-to-5 job. They can even be a good choice for full-time work if you can excel in a high-paying niche in the industry you have experience in — or if you can transition into a new area you’d like to start in. Good luck on your freelance journey!

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