High-paying side hustles

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February 7, 2019
oneinchpunch // Shutterstock

High-paying side hustles

It might seem like just about everyone these days has a side hustle, and research can back it up. Approximately 44 million Americans hang onto side gigs—and those gigs often come in the form of a creative or business pursuit managed outside of their regular job.

As side hustles become more mainstream (half of all millennials have one), the types of work that fit the mold seem to be expanding. There's a growing desire for work opportunities to be more flexible, too, which can also make a side gig more appealing.

That said, with so many options available now, how is someone supposed to narrow down the best opportunities for a side hustle? To tackle this question, Stacker wanted to take a look at some of the more profitable options out there. To qualify for this list of 30, an opportunity had to be both part-time and high-paying, with an average hourly wage of more than $15. There's a little something for everyone, so read on for some inspiration and to find out which side hustles—from Etsy to Uber—made the list.

ALSO: 65 gig economy jobs you haven't considered

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Free-Photos // Pixabay

Personal shopper

Depending on one's location, a personal shopping side hustle has the potential to be a lucrative endeavor. Established shoppers have shared rates in the $150 per hour range for individual clients and even more for businesses which seek out services for their employees.

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Tero Vesalainen // Shutterstock

Rideshare driver

Perhaps one of the first things that comes to mind when side hustles are mentioned is driving for a rideshare service like Lyft or Uber. Along with a number of other apps, driving for Lyft or Uber epitomizes the flexibility of this style of work. With tips, busy drivers can earn $30 an hour.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

Delivery truck driver

Delivery truck drivers work locally, carrying packages and shipments to designated recipients. For those who like being on the road but also returning to the comfort of their own home every night, this job may be a great part-time fit. It has a median pay rate of $15.12 an hour and requirements typically include a high school degree, a valid driver's license, and on-the-job training.

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oneinchpunch // Shutterstock

Fitness instructor

Those with a passion for health and fitness may be pleased to know there's a market for private fitness instructors and personal trainers. They work with clients to develop and implement fitness goals and can often offer rates in the $20 per hour range.

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Activités culturelles UdeM // flickr

Graphic designer

Creatives who want to turn client ideas into clear and attractive visuals might enjoy graphic design. Small businesses and entrepreneurs often have graphic design needs but not enough to employ a full-time employee. Median hourly pay was reported to be $23.41 in 2017.

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Peter Titmuss // Shutterstock

Mail carrier

Depending on one's location, a part-time mail carrier position or may be a surprisingly good fit for those looking for something to do on the side. A high school diploma is required, as well as one's own vehicle. The average hourly pay rate is $17.81.

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Photographee.eu // Shutterstock

Speech pathologist

Though the requirements to enter speech pathology can be demanding (including certification that requires a graduate degree, or even a doctorate degree), the field can be rewarding. Many speech-language pathologists work in clinics or schools, but some are independent, with the ability to set their own hours, schedules, and rates (which can range from $30 to $60 per hour).

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FirmBee // Pixabay


Accounting, or keeping financial records, is often associated with long hours and busy schedules—but with a median hourly wage of $33.34, plenty of professionals make it a part-time gig. Training and education requirements can vary depending on the role and often include a bachelor's degree and certified public accountant license.

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Tumisu // Pixabay

Real estate agent

Real estate agents often work when clients are available, outside of traditional office schedules. Most earn commission on homes that sell or are rented, and it tends to average $20.85 per hour.

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mezzotint // Shutterstock

Dog trainer

Dog trainers can help dogs—and their owners—master commands, tricks, and various obedience training methods. With hourly rates averaging $16.71, the role might be especially appealing for dog lovers with the desire to control their own schedule and hours.

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nrjfalcon1 // Pixabay


If you're an expert in a specific academic area and are comfortable distilling your knowledge to students of various levels, tutoring may be a great fit. Pay rates can vary, especially with some tutoring opportunities moving online, but in-person tutors can charge upwards of $30 an hour.

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secondfromthesun0 // Pixabay

Massage therapist

Massage therapists earn an average of $18.29 per hour. Each state has its own licensing requirements, though once completed, a massage therapist should find lots of flexibility when it comes to schedule and location.

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504497 // Pixabay

Makeup artist

Creatives with an eye for beauty trends and techniques may be excited to know there's a market for freelance makeup artists. The average hourly pay is $17.47, though rates can vary greatly depending on location and the type of makeup and styling performed.  

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Andrey_Popov // Shutterstock

Interpreter or translator

Those who know more than one language (including sign language), may find working as an interpreter to be a desirable side hustle. Average pay is $24.90 an hour and can include the opportunity to work in various interesting settings.

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Jet Fabara // U.S. Air Force

Sales representative

Not to be confused with retail sales associates, sales representatives sell to business and other organizations, as opposed to consumers. They earn $26.79 an hour on average and have a high degree of flexibility when it comes to setting appointments and scheduling.

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Max Pixel


Both medical transcription and general transcription offer at-home earning opportunities. Interested individuals will want to plan on getting certified, having access to their own computer equipment, and honing their typing and listening skills.

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tammon // Pixabay

Interior designer

Part creative and part methodical, interior designers execute client visions in home and business spaces. Depending on location, specific degrees and certifications may be required, but once someone becomes an interior designer, they can set their rates—which often start at or near $20 per hour.

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AlfredMuller // Pixabay

Computer programmer

Highly technical and often requiring education and experience, part-time computer programmers bring their coding and software language skills to clients who may not need a full-time employee. In 2017, the median hourly wage came in at $39.54.

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Tulane Public Relations // Wikimedia Commons

Music teacher

Musicians with the ability to teach their instrument can earn money giving lessons on the side. Rates can vary based on skill level, instrument, and location (and can even be offered online). Piano teachers, for example, earn on average around $31 per hour.

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Max Pixel

Home care help

People who are handy with a hammer or skilled at sweeping can find a side hustle tackling home care needs for clients. Those who offer house cleaning and repairs can make a median hourly rate of $17 an hour.

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Dirk Olbertz // flickr

Dog walker

Dog walkers can earn anywhere from $15 to $75 per hour, with rates often set by number of dogs, number of walks, and length of walks. The ability to set one's own schedule, get exercise, and spend time outside with dogs might appeal to those who start a dog-walking business, making it an ideal side hustle for animal lovers.

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Andy Dean Photography // Shuttertsock

Property sales or rental

With a median hourly pay rate of $81 per hour, property sales and rentals can be appealing. Those who embark on this side hustle should be prepared for lots of responsibility and be ready to abide by specific laws in the area where they own property.

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OIST // flickr

Adjunct professor

Those with an academic area of expertise and competitive qualifications (that often include advanced degrees and relevant professional experience) may qualify for an adjunct professor role at a college or university. Positions are often part-time, and with classes at many schools offered throughout days and evenings, an instructor could easily add teaching alongside another job. Rates average $54.58 per hour.

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StartupStockPhotos // Pixabay

Virtual assistant

Virtual assisting, or remotely performing tasks typically handled by a personal or administrative assistant, pays an average of $15.64 an hour. Aspiring assistants have a few options to get started, including starting a business of their own, searching out postings for hiring opportunities, or getting certified.

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Bidvine // flickr

Jack or Jill of all trades

There's almost always a market to provide typical home skills to busy people. Individuals looking to get started may want to look at a service like TaskRabbit, which allows users to set their own rates.

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Daniel Krason // Shutterstock


Those with a creative eye and access to the proper equipment can offer their photography skills in side hustle form. The gig affords many of the same benefits that side hustling is known for, including variable locations and hours, and the ability to manage one's own schedule. The average wage is $31 an hour.

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TheoRivierenlaan // Pixabay

Etsy seller

Selling products on Etsy offers a lot of potential for creatives with a physical or digital offering to share. Individual results can vary, though, so interested sellers will want to do lots of research and number crunching to ensure it's the right fit.

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Jacob L. // Shutterstock

Focus grouping

A number of companies and research firms pay focus group participants. Groups take place online and in person and offer a variety of rates, often between $30 and $200 for a one- to two-hour commitment.

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Max Pixel


Requirements to become a notary vary by state, but typically include an exam, background check, certification, and the purchase of supplies, among other things. It is a viable side hustle option though; notaries can earn around $18 an hour.

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Max Pixel

Airbnb host

For those with space to spare, renting on AirBnB can be a viable option. There are a number of variables that factor into potential earnings, but average earnings were $924 per month in 2017.

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