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Whether you need cash quickly or you just prefer the feel of paper money in your hand, “under the table jobs” may be just what you’re looking for. While these jobs are getting harder and harder to find as more people make the shift to credit cards, debit cards, direct deposit, and digital payment options like PayPal, jobs that pay cold, hard cash are still out there.
Continue reading below to learn about the 20 best under the table jobs that pay cash!
IMPORTANT NOTE: You remain solely responsible for accurately reporting your income to your national tax authority even if your job pays you fully or partially in cash. For example, if you get a paycheck and also earn tips, you’re required to report your tips to the taxman. If you take an odd job on a freelance or part-time basis that pays in cash, you must report that income to the tax authority.
As a general rule, if you traded goods or services for money, your earnings must be reported as income. Failure to accurately report your income can result in having to pay fines, penalties, or interest. You could even receive a jail sentence!
20 Best Under The Table Jobs That Pay Cash
These are our 20 favorite under the table jobs that will let you get paid in cash.
Babysitting may be the quintessential cash-upfront job. Popular with everyone from young teenagers trying to make a few dollars to highly qualified caregivers with special credentials, babysitting jobs typically pay in cash, and usually quickly.
If you’re not interested in doing the self-promotion, networking, and marketing that might be necessary to find babysitting jobs on your own, there’s an app for that. Sittercity connects people with children (and pets) to qualified and willing babysitters (and pet sitters).
The site incorporates extensive background and credit checks, so if you want to become a sitter with the service, you’ll need to be able to pass them. Additionally, you’ll find that you find it much easier to land paying work once you have a few positive reviews under your belt.
Today, it’s not easy to find people who can repair and refurbish a variety of items (ahem — correctly). From small appliances to wood furniture, the household items we rely on every day are constantly breaking or wearing down. When that happens, and they need some TLC, we often have to call a professional repair person.
But if you find yourself willing and able to fix almost anything, put the word out that you can do so for a reasonable price. You’ll soon have your phone ringing off the hook with requests to fix everything from refrigerators to ceiling fans.
People who work this side gig often make the mistake of underpricing their work. Don’t be one of those folks! Remember that your prices should be based on what you can reasonably charge in your market and the value you bring to your clients.
As with any job, the more specialized knowledge you can bring to the table, the more money you’ll generally be able to earn. Proofreading is a rarified, in-demand skill required by countless people who work with the written word. It involves careful attention to detail, exceptional knowledge of the English language, and specialized editing and markup.
Proofreaders can command significant hourly rates, especially when they work independently and have the relevant qualifications or education.
But you won’t be able to dive into this career headfirst right away. You’ll need the business, technical, and proofreading-specific skills necessary to succeed. To get them, we strongly suggest the Proofread Anywhere online course. This practical and in-depth course shows you the ins and outs of what it takes to be a successful proofreader.
Perfect for those who want to get from proofreading newbie to successful proofreading freelancer as quickly as possible, Proofread Anywhere is a fantastic resource and makes that journey a smooth and enjoyable one.
While we might only need a handyman or handywoman from time to time, many of us constantly find ourselves in need of home and office cleaners. And while it can be a difficult job, both physically and mentally, being a housecleaner can be financially rewarding.
People who hire others for this work often pay in cash. They also often pay immediately after the work is done, which is a huge plus for a lot of folks in the gig economy.
It can be wise for people just starting out in cleaning to focus their marketing and networking efforts on small businesses and wealthy homeowners. These two demographics often have more money in their cleaning budgets than less well-off residential customers. Exceptions exist, however, so you’ll want to do what works for you in your particular market.
It can often seem like people care as much about their pets as they do about their human children. You can take advantage of this reality by becoming a pet sitter or dog walker. Both of these related jobs frequently pay cash, either upfront or immediately after the job is done.
So it’s often a favorite of young people just starting out in the labor market. But there’s no reason to let them have all the jobs because people will often pay a premium for someone with additional qualifications or more experience.
If you’d rather not do all the marketing and networking legwork to find customers yourself, check out the Rover app. This app will connect you to pet owners seeking your services.
Do you love teaching? Do you love kids? Then tutoring might be just the right job for you. Especially well-suited to people with academic and professional credentials relevant to the field in which they hope to teach, tutors can make high hourly rates and avoid difficult physical labor.
When working as a tutor, as in many other fields, remember to “niche down.” In other words, focus your efforts on a few subjects or age groups instead of trying to be everyone’s everything. You’ll land more clients if you target specific areas or grade levels.
Not convinced that you can find enough kids to tutor on your own? Check out VIPKid, an app that connects Asian students trying to learn to speak, read, and write English with qualified tutors from around the world. You’ll need to pass a background check and meet a few other qualifications, but the barriers to entry are surprisingly low.
Do you speak more than one language? If so, you might make an excellent interpreter. Interpreters are required in countless circumstances and situations. While you likely won’t be hired by the United Nations to interpret for world leaders right off the bat, you can almost certainly land a gig interpreting for tourists at a local attraction, or work helping students navigate tricky subjects.
One of the great things about jobs like interpreting is that the informal nature of the work lends itself to immediate cash payouts. It also poses very few, if any, barriers to entry. So, just about anyone who’s interested and qualified can get started.
Keep in mind that in some environments (like working as a guide for tourists who are effectively strangers) you may prefer to be paid a deposit in cash and upfront.
Yes, anyone can snap a quick picture with a camera phone. But not all of us can capture a beautiful nature shot at sunset or a stunning wedding photo on the beach. The people who can, however, have the opportunity to make a lot of money taking photographs for other people. (And this type of work is often paid for in cash and immediately.)
While certain gigs are less attractive for photographers seeking cash payments (weddings, for example, because most of the transactions are conducted by plastic or electronically), other jobs are often cash-only. Those who offer photos to tourist couples at a popular location, for example, are often paid in cash.
People who attempt to enter this industry should be aware that it’s extremely competitive. A strong portfolio and great customer service and salesmanship can go a long way towards making a living in this field.
Landscaping is difficult work, and for that reason it is less competitive than other fields. That’s because many people are unable to keep up with the constant physical demands posed by the work. This is good news for people who can do the work, though, as it makes for a less crowded field (literally).
Landscapers are frequently paid in cash and just as frequently paid immediately after a job is done. And while many landscapers do a lot of their work for small residential addresses (with correspondingly small lawns), some have found that work for commercial addresses and larger residences pays better. Not only are the jobs priced higher, you’ll spend less time moving from address to address, and more time finishing the job. Greater efficiency means more cash for you.
There are few jobs as rewarding as writing gigs. You get to exercise your creative muscles, avoid heavy lifting, receive tons of kudos from clients, and get paid a ton. You really can’t ask for more.
If you’re looking for cash jobs, you’re likely not going to be writing a novel or a newspaper article. Under the table cash writing jobs are typically of the commercial variety, with your clients being companies and individuals engaged in some sort of business.
These jobs can be further segmented into content writing and copywriting. Content writers in the commercial sphere often write blogs, white papers, and other long-form content they provide to their clients. Copywriters, on the other hand, write more sales-oriented material, like the words that appear on a website, billboard, sales letter, or email.
While you can make a great deal of cash working as a freelance writer, it can be a difficult business to break into if you lack the skills necessary to succeed. That’s where the Earn More Writing course comes in. This comprehensive online class will show you everything you need to know about becoming a busy freelance writer.
Nobody likes moving. And almost all of us do it at least once or twice in our lives. So why not help other people with their relocations and make good money at the same time? Similar to landscaping (discussed above), this job is physically demanding. The effort required means that the industry is far less crowded than it might otherwise be.
That being said, there’s still a bunch of competition. You can help yourself stand out in the crowd by offering stellar customer service and laser-targeting your desired clientele by marketing specifically to them. For example, if you’re hoping to land wealthy clients with a lot of fragile and valuable items, market yourself as the most careful and reliable mover around.
Snow removal is obviously only an option in colder climates and for those who have access to the heavy equipment necessary for the job. However, for the people who fall into those categories, snow removal can be a fantastically lucrative small business. And one of the best things about it is that many of the clients pay in advance and with cash!
You’ll need to account for the seasonality of this work. In most places, snow doesn’t fall all year ‘round. So you’ll need to find out what to do with your equipment in the off-season. Many people deal with this problem by running a different small business in the summer months.
Bottom line, snow removal gigs are fantastic under the table jobs.
While at the time of this writing large gatherings are not in vogue, small get-togethers are otherwise still common events. And as everyone knows, if you’re invited to something, you’d better be getting food as part of the event.
Caterers make sure that guests don’t get continuously hungrier and angrier throughout the evening. They can make excellent money, although it definitely falls into the “hard-earned” category. Catering is a high-pressure, high-stress job. Everything has to go exactly right, and there’s no room for error.
On the bright side, a lot of clients pay cash. This tends to make all the downsides pale in comparison, as even the most stressful job can seem pretty great when you’ve got a roll of hundreds in your pocket.
In the realm of catering, being a cook can be a great way to bring in some extra cash. The job is just as stressful in its own right. While caterers are constantly juggling what can feel like a thousand different employees and potentially catastrophic problems, cooks are expected to keep up with servers and patrons who need food produced at an ungodly pace.
There are a million different kinds of cooks: short-order, fast-food, upscale restaurant, and personal chef are just a few of the categories. If you’re just getting into the industry, you might find yourself gravitating towards less lucrative and easier-to-find jobs in the field. And there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, many of these jobs pay cash on a regular basis.
Driving is something that a lot of people take for granted, but also something that many people can’t do. Elderly folks, children, the visually impaired, and many others either cannot or choose not to drive.
You can help these people out by offering to drive for them. If you have a talent behind the wheel and, even better, you have access to your own vehicle, you’ll be in a great position to make some additional cash.
Craigslist can be a great place to find driving gigs for all sorts of people in your area. If you’re not up for looking online, ask your group of family and friends if they know anyone who needs a driver. You’d be amazed at how many people are in the market for one.
Setting up a booth at the local farmer’s market can be a ticket to printing money. While you’ll need to find the right image, brand, and product, if you find that magic combination, you’ll be off to the races.
Keep the atmosphere and vibe common to most farmer’s markets in mind: bohemian, organic, natural. In other words, farmers’ markets are not places to be selling the latest tech gadgets or apps. Focus on natural, healthy products with a lot of appeal for organic fans (and people who love fresh produce and tasty goods), and you’ll do well.
People have larger yards and homes than ever before, and with that, comes a desire to make their yards more beautiful. Of course, that desire isn’t necessarily accompanied by a desire or willingness to do the work that’s required to realize this goal. That’s where you come in.
If you’ve got a healthy work ethic (and a strong back), then gardening might be for you. You’ll need to combine small business skills with hard physical labor but, if you can pull it off, you’ll be in a position to bring in major profits quickly. Many of your clients will pay you in cash, so you’ll need to keep track of your income for tax reporting purposes. Gardening is one of the best under the table jobs out there.
Once a purely “new age” fad, more and more people are getting into yoga. Its significant and obvious health benefits have drawn in many new students, and all these people require someone to teach them the basic and advanced techniques that make up a yoga practice.
If you have a penchant and talent for yoga, you might consider monetizing your interest by teaching others yoga. If you can’t afford to open up a full-blown studio right off the bat, consider teaching clients in their homes or offices.
Many clients will pay cash for each appointment, which can help improve your new business’ cash flow.
This is one of those steady jobs that doesn’t expose you to too much volatility. While there is rarely a surge in demand for painters, there’s just as rarely a significant drop in the public’s need for them. It’s also one of those jobs that allow you to take a lot of payments in cash. You can sometimes convince clients to pay on the spot as well, which is always nice.
Painting carries with it a number of health risks that you’ll need to protect yourself against, particularly with respect to noxious fumes. The silver lining here is that the increased safety risks push away a lot of potential competitors, emptying the field of many people who might otherwise push prices down.
Do you live in an area popular with tourists? Do you know the area backward and forward? Then you might consider being a tour guide. It has the dual benefits of clients that pay in cash and clients that pay immediately.
While this job is only available to those in certain areas and those who are extremely familiar with their surroundings, tour guides can make a surprisingly large amount of money in a surprisingly small amount of time.
This job is all about customer service. You need to deliver engaging and entertaining tours to your cash-paying clients, to be personable and friendly, and meet or exceed expectations. As you gather positive reviews and your reputation grows, you’ll soon find yourself making more than you thought possible.
FAQs for Under The Table Jobs
These are the questions we’re most commonly asked about under the table jobs.
Where Do I Find Under The Table Jobs?
The following online resources and social networks are great places to find under the table jobs:
Also, don’t forget to ask your family and friends if they know of anyone who’s hiring immediately. Your best bet is often a personal connection.
Are There Apps for Jobs That Pay Cash?
Sittercity is one of the most popular apps that allows for cash payments to people who use this app to find work. Sittercity connects caregivers with people who need someone to care for a loved one.
Do I Have to Report Income on Cash Only Jobs?
Absolutely, 100% yes. The form of payment (direct deposit, check, cash) does not affect the legal character of the money coming in. (In other words, how you get paid doesn’t determine whether that payment must be reported to the tax authority.)
Check out this great resource on cash tax rules to learn more about this important topic. And remember, when in doubt, report. You’ll never be penalized for reporting money you didn’t need to report. You can, however, be penalized for not reporting income you should have reported.
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Ricardo is an entrepreneur, investor and personal finance nerd who enjoys spending time with his family and friends, travelling and helping others achieve their financial goals. Ricardo has been quoted as a personal finance expert in several online publications including Healthline, Bankrate, GOBankingRates, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and USA Today.