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The number of gig workers has grown dramatically over the last several years and shows no signs of slowing down.

Over 51 million Americans participated in the gig economy in 2021, according to a survey by MBO Partners.

The diversity of gig worker jobs is enormous – ranging from side hustling a few hours a week to a full-time independent contracting career.

So how can you benefit from the gig economy, and what are the best jobs available to gig workers today?

In this post, we'll dive into the details to find the best-paying gig worker jobs and help you decide which one would be the best fit for you.

What Is a Gig Worker?

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “gig workers are independent contractors or freelancers who typically do short-term work for multiple clients. The work may be project-based, hourly or part-time, and can either be an ongoing contract or a temporary position.”

While many people think of the rise of the gig economy as centered around apps such as Uber or Lyft, gig work has existed for decades in many different forms. For example, most construction workers such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters participate in the gig economy. They are independent contractors who own their own business and work on multiple projects, often for different general contractors.

Even in the business world, you see gig workers in the form of independent accountants, consultants, and freelancers.

However, over the past few years, the gig economy has exploded due to apps that act as intermediaries between workers and clients that make it easy to take on a side hustle and work as much as you want, whether that's a few hours on the weekend or an extra $1000 a month.

Best Gig Worker Jobs

Here are the top 10 best gig economy jobs available right now. While everyone has varied skills and interests, there are enough different opportunities that I'm sure you can find a good fit for you.

1. Driving Gigs

Driving for Uber or Lyft is probably the most famous gig worker job out there, but for a good reason. That was one of the first platforms to launch an app to connect drivers and riders seamlessly.

If you're looking for a flexible gig that allows you to earn money on your own time with almost no barrier to entry (you need to have a vehicle), this is a great place to start.

As an Uber or Lyft driver, you download the app, set yourself as available, and essentially work as a taxi driver taking people where they need to go.

How Much Can You Make?

You can earn around $15-20 per hour as an Uber/Lyft driver. There is also the potential to earn more during peak hours or special events. If you want to get up and running and make $20 right now, it's hard to find a better way to do that than Uber. However, keep in mind you must pay for gas and other vehicle maintenance expenses.

2. Delivery Gigs

If driving people around isn't your thing, how about delivering food or packages? There is no shortage of apps that cater to delivery services. Some examples include DoorDash, Postmates, UberEats, Amazon Flex, Instacart, and Grubhub.

With DoorDash and other food delivery apps, you get paid to pick up food at restaurants and deliver it to the customer. With Instacart, you can work as a grocery shopper, delivery driver, or both. Finally, Amazon Flex is a gig job that allows you to pick up and deliver packages to Amazon customers.

These gigs require access to a suitable vehicle and a smartphone to access the apps.

How Much Can You Make?

Earnings for delivery gig workers are similar to other driving gigs. You can make around $13-20 per hour, depending on the city you're in and the efficiency of your deliveries.

3. Survey Apps

While you won't make a ton of money with survey apps, it is an incredibly easy gig to start, and you can spend as much or as little time on it as you want.

Here are a few of the highest paying apps:

  • Survey Junkie – Their slogan is “take surveys, get paid,” and it's pretty much that simple. You can make money sharing your opinion on your phone or even get involved in in-person focus groups that pay better.
  • Swagbucks – If you want to branch out a little, Swagbucks allows you to make money in multiple ways, such as watching videos, playing games, shopping online, and taking surveys.
  • InboxDollars – Like Swagbucks, make money for completing micro-tasks such as taking surveys, watching videos, or browsing the web.

How Much Can You Make?

With most “get-paid-to” apps, you'll be doing good to make $5 an hour or so. It's not necessarily life-changing money, but it is something you can do while sitting on the couch watching Netflix.

4. Fiverr

Fiverr is an online freelancing gig platform that allows you to advertise almost any service you can think of, ranging from web design to creating crazy cat videos (yes, people pay money for that).

To get an idea of the services you can offer, look at Fiverr's category page for inspiration.

How Much Can You Make?

When Fiverr first launched, everything was $5. But now you can set any price you want for your services. Your hourly wage depends heavily on the skills you have to offer. For basic virtual assistant tasks, you might make $10 an hour. For high-level website technical support, you could make $50 an hour or more.

5. TaskRabbit

If you're looking to make money in your local neighborhood, TaskRabbit is a great way to do it.

On TaskRabbit's platform, you can get paid for all kinds of hands-on tasks like mowing lawns, running errands, or assembling furniture.

IKEA owns TaskRabbit, so if you love following instructions and spending a few hours putting together a bookshelf, there are plenty of people willing to pay you to do it for them.

How Much Can You Make?

Depending on the task and skill level required, you can typically earn anywhere from $20 to $40 per hour.

6. Care.com

Care.com is a platform that pairs you with people looking for child care, pet care, housekeeping, or even tutoring. By offering your services on Care.com, you can easily find jobs that pay well without doing your advertising.

How Much Can You Make?

Depending on your experience, you can make $15-20 per hour.

7. AirBNB

Are you looking for a way to earn extra cash without trading your time for money? Airbnb is another gig economy “job” of sorts, but it allows you to rent out your space instead of your time and effort.

If you have a spare bedroom, you can rent it on Airbnb by the night. Or even rent your whole house to out-of-town guests through the platform.

How Much Can You Make?

Earnings through AirBNB are highly dependent on where you live and what kind of space you are renting out. If you are in a touristy area, you can generally make more money and achieve a higher occupancy rate than in an area with lower demand. However, you could easily make $500 a month or more if you have space to rent regularly.

8. Turo

Turo is the equivalent of Airbnb, but for cars. List your car on the site and rent it out on a daily or weekly basis.

There are a few requirements to keep in mind. Your car must be 12 years old or newer and have less than 130,000 miles.

How Much Can You Make?

Earnings will vary depending on your vehicle (is it a Tesla or a Kia?) and your local market. If you have an average car in a reasonably high-demand market, you could make $500 or more renting it out full time.

9. Thumbtack

Thumbtack is similar to TaskRabbit but caters to more professional businesses and specialists than one-off handyman jobs.

If you are involved in any kind of home improvement trade, Thumbtack is a great platform to be listed on. Customers can submit a request for a gig, such as installing a fence, and you would be able to bid on those that fall within your area of expertise.

How Much Can You Make?

Rates will vary depending on the type of job, but you can make anywhere from $20 per hour on the low end to $100+ if you have in-demand expertise.

10. HelloTech

Are you a gig worker with highly technical skills? HelloTech matches independent contractors with people and businesses that need outsourced tech support.

Since you are providing specialized services, there is an interview process, and you will need appropriate experience and qualifications to be listed on the platform.

How Much Can You Make?

With HelloTech, you can make $40-50 per hour or more.

BONUS: Start Your Own Freelancing Business

The explosion of gig economy apps makes it easy to get started as a gig worker and takes a lot of the administrative burden off of you to find customers, collect invoices, and do all the other things that go along with running a business.

However, companies like Uber and Airbnb are not offering that service for free. They take a decent chunk of the revenue in exchange for facilitating the back end of the business.

If you have the entrepreneurial drive and want to keep more profits, you should strongly consider starting your own freelancing business. While it's more work to set up shop and find your clients, it can result in a bigger and steadier income stream once you are up and running.

For example, if you could make $20 an hour on Fiverr as a graphic designer, you could potentially earn $50 an hour on your own. Or, if you are less artistic and more of a spreadsheet geek (like me), you could start a bookkeeping side hustle that could eventually become a full-time business with your employees.

The point is if you want to grow your income and freedom over the long haul working for yourself can be more rewarding than gig worker apps.

Gig Worker Jobs: Final Thoughts

Becoming a gig worker provides a lot of options and flexibility. Whether you're looking to earn a little extra spending money every month or start a full-time freelancing career, the gig economy has a place for you.

As a gig worker, you can make a very reasonable hourly wage. Your ultimate earnings depend on many factors, but aiming many of the best gigs pay at least $20 per hour, and sometimes much more if you have a specialized skill set.

The hardest part is often getting started, so I would encourage you to choose one idea from the list above and go for it! It may turn out to not be your cup of tea, but you will gain experience and the confidence to know you can do it, and it can help you figure out what to pursue next.

What's your no. 1 piece of advice for starting a side hustle? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss'ers!

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This article originally appeared in Your Money Geek.

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