Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on Sept. 11. Volunteer today

Make Money Using Your Natural Talents

Here are 5 skills you can leverage into part-time work

Sewing man, natural talents make money (Getty Images)

If you are good with a needle and thread, you can make some money doing alterations. — Getty images

En español | Some things can't be taught. They just come naturally to you. We're all born with a distinctive set of talents that are as singular as fingerprints. These are not skills that we learn along the way, or passions discovered over the years. These are inborn gifts. It's the way your voice sounds, for instance, or your athletic prowess, or your inner mechanical capability.

If you aren't certain of what you have a knack for, ask friends, relatives and colleagues. They may point out things you simply take for granted. Think about the things you've been good at since your were a kid. If you're uncertain, though, several organizations, including the Rockport Institute, provide career-testing programs that can help you assess your natural talents.

See also: 2013 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Here are five jobs where you can follow your talent to make money. These jobs may offer flexible hours and can be on a full- or part-time basis. Pay varies depending on the employer, your experience and where you live.

1. Voice-Over Actor/Artist

The nitty-gritty: Do you have a money voice? If you've been blessed with a deep, resonating timbre, or perhaps a smoky, husky purr, it might be time to put it to work. The need for voice talent is rising. That's thanks to the increase in online multimedia websites and audiobooks. The variety of possible gigs ranges from commercials to Web videos, audiobooks, documentaries, business and training videos, telephone messages and applications. Last year, the freelance website touted voice acting as one of the fastest-growing fields, with a threefold increase in job postings on the site.

This is generally a job for freelancers, and your services may be required for only a single recording session. That means you'll probably have to hustle to build a viable business. Once you're established, though, it can turn out to be a great part-time job.

Pay: The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't track wages of voice actors but includes them under the actor banner, which pays a median $17.50 an hour. An average salary of $66,000 is reported by Typical rates for a recording session generally are between $75 and $350 per hour.

Qualifications: You'll probably have to invest in equipment such as recording software, a microphone and headsets if you are working from your home office. You'll also need to shell out for a professional demo to send out to prospective clients. An acting background helps, although it's not mandatory. Some resources to tap into are forums such as, and websites and To get higher-paying voice-over jobs, you may need to join a union such as SAG-AFTRA, the combination of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Union fees will vary depending on your market.

Next page: Making money in equipment maintenance and calligraphy. »

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Jobs You Might Like

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Member Benefits AT&T Wireless Cell Phone

Members save 10% on monthly usage charges on qualified AT&T wireless plans.

membership adt

Small business owners save 20% on new installation of any new ADT security system.

UPS Store membership discount aarp benefits

Members save 15% on eligible products/services and 5% on UPS shipping at The UPS Store®.

Member Benefits

Renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points


Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.