Independent and short-term contract work has seen steady growth year after year as more people want to have greater flexibility in their lives. Some people opt to do this as their only source of income, while others do it to earn extra money. Sometimes people refer to this type of work as moonlighting, side gigs, or side hustles. Regardless of what it is called, contractor work can sometimes give people much-needed additional income.
But it’s important to find the right work that fits your needs, your experience, and your situation. What are you interested in? What industries do you have experience in? What is available in your area? Do you need flexibility in your personal life? How much money do you expect to make? We’ve compiled this list of potential opportunities in different industries to provide a little something for everyone who is interested in learning more about the gig economy. Take a look and you might find your first or next gig.
Keep in mind, some of these opportunities may be posted on the Wonolo platform. Sign up with Wonolo to take a look at what’s available based on your interests, experience, and when and where you want to work. Then pick up a job, or multiple jobs, that fit these criteria.
Top contracting opportunities to consider:
With the rise of e-commerce, particularly during the pandemic, there are a lot of opportunities available in warehouses. Responsibilities include stocking, picking, packing, assembling, and shipping. Warehousing opportunities are often available as short-term gigs and at all hours of the day (especially during the Black Friday-through-New Year’s seasonal spike).
Tip for success: Check the job description before you arrive to see if certain clothing is recommended for the job.
Estimated average pay: $12.83/hour*
2. Delivery Driver
There are a wide variety of delivery opportunities to decide from in the current market. These include delivering restaurant food, groceries, letters, packages, and more, making the delivery industry a great place for part-timers to make some extra income.
Tip for success: Make sure you have a reliable means of transportation before signing up to perform deliveries.
Estimated average pay: $16.76/hour*
3. Taxi Driver or Rideshare Driver
Being a driver is a good opportunity for somebody who wants a flexible and transparent schedule, as most drivers determine their own working hours. So you don’t have to worry about coordinating your schedules or time off, because you decide when you drive. Plus, depending on the area, there is often 24/7 demand for drivers, especially on the weekends and holidays.
Tip for success: Evaluate how much demand there is for drivers in your area and the peak times of the day for ridership. If you live in a major metropolitan city or a popular vacation destination, this may be a better fit for you than if you live somewhere with lower demand.
Estimated average pay: $664/week for taxi drivers*; rates for rideshare drivers vary by region
4. Recreation and Fitness Instructor
There are a variety of opportunities that fall into the recreation bucket. This includes seasonal jobs like summer camp counselor, lifeguard, or ski school instructor. It also includes jobs like a personal trainer and fitness instructor.
Tip for success: Pick a job that involves an activity that you are genuinely interested in. This will make your work much more enjoyable.
Estimated average pay: Varies by role. For example, a fitness instructor can average about $21.57/hour.*
5. Food Production
Food production has been around as long as restaurants themselves. For those who are interested in the restaurant industry, food production and handling can be great opportunities. There can be a lot of short-term jobs available in food production, making it a good option for those looking to pick up some extra cash.
Tip for success: Some jobs may have special requirements or certifications, like a food handlers certificate. Make sure to check all job requirements before starting to work.
Estimated average pay: $10 – $16/hour*
6. Dog Walker
Did you know that doggie daycare can cost upwards of $550 a month? No wonder many pet-parents prefer the convenience of at-their-door dog walkers. If you like to stay active while you work, this can be a great opportunity. Plus, there are apps available to connect you with interested customers. Grab some dog treats, spread the word, and soon you could be walking your way to some extra income.
Tip for success: This is a good job if you feel comfortable with dogs and enjoy the outdoors. Think about investing in some sturdy walking shoes if you anticipate walking multiple dogs a day.
Estimated average pay: $15.66/hour*
7. Freelance Blogger & Writer
Do you often come with witty turns of phrase? Have no trouble finding the words for what you want to say? If so, you should consider becoming a freelance writer. With websites like Freelancer.com, Guru, and Upwork, your previous work experience can help move you forward. Look for companies that need writers in a field you know well – warehousing, merchandising, labor, etc. – and then, get writing. Remember, your writing skills can always improve, but few writers will ever have the exact expertise you do.
Tip for success: Make sure you have access to a reliable computer with internet access so you can get your submissions in on time.
Estimated average pay: $22.55/hour*
8. Local Tour Guide
As the travel industry begins to bounce back from pandemic lockdowns, there are more opportunities available for travel-related work. If you’re looking to work smarter, not harder, then consider signing up as a local tour guide with sites like Airbnb Experiences, Shiroube, ToursByLocals, and Vayable. You can spend a few hours a month showing tourists around your city or hometown.
Tip for success: Focus your tours on specific passions, like food & wine, local history, or ghost stories.
Estimated average pay: Varies by market.
9. Physical Therapy Aide
The medical field is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S. A physical therapist aide assists a physical therapist with any number of tasks, including cleaning or clerical work. This type of work could give you exposure to the medical industry, which could be a good stepping stone if you are considering future opportunities in this field.
Tip for success: If you enjoy medical work, this could be a good fit for you.
Estimated average pay: $22.55/hour*
10. Customer Service Representative
If you enjoy interacting with people, working in customer service could be a good fit. Many companies are now seeking remote workers to help with their customer service. This can be great if you want the flexibility and transparency that come with remote work. Plus, there are a wide variety of possible companies to work for, so you can find one that aligns with your personal and professional interests.
Tip for success: Make sure you have the computer equipment to do this role remotely if required.
Estimated average pay: $13.66/hour*
The truth is that there are many opportunities out there that allow you to earn money while doing what you truly enjoy doing. Take into account your interests and abilities, and the money will follow.
*Note, the estimated average pay listed above is based on the amounts set forth in the respective websites linked for the particular opportunity as of September 2021. Such amounts may vary depending on a number of different factors, including location. Wonolo makes no representations or guarantees regarding the accuracy of these amounts.