Organizations are relying on temporary workers more than ever. According to the Department of Commerce, the number of jobs in the temporary help services industry, which includes everything from office support to chauffeuring, reached a peak of 2.9 million, or 2.4 percent of all private-sector jobs, in May 2015.
Taking on temporary workers can save a fast-growing small business from overstaffing while testing out future employees, says Gwenn Rosener, a founder of FlexProfessionals, a recruiting and staffing company in the Washington, D.C., area.
The work can be an attractive option if you're retired and need extra money. If you're employed and looking to switch careers or land a new position, contract work allows you to try out a job and keep your résumé alive at the same time.
If you're looking for a full-time job with benefits, that might be harder to find these days. But contract work could lead to full-time employment, so think of it as an opportunity to impress.
Firms like FlexProfessionals place college-educated workers who have 10-plus years of professional experience, are willing to work between 10 and 30 hours a week, and want flexible work schedules.
If that schedule appeals to you, here are five small-business jobs you might consider. Rosener says these jobs "require special knowledge or expertise that the [small-business] owners don't have, or have the time to learn."
Pay ranges will vary based on experience and where you live, and are primarily derived from U.S. Department of Labor data, which was most recently updated in May 2015. For more salary examples, check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook.
1. Bookkeeping and accounting
The nitty-gritty: Jump into this one with a sharp pencil. Owners have usually been doing this job themselves, but they discover they're snowed under and need to concentrate on building the business. You're likely to confront a backlog of bills to be paid and accounts to be reconciled. Chances are that there's not a proper ledger or accounting system in place, either. Typically, bookkeeping or accounting positions start off part time (as little as one or two days a month) and then gradually expand into more of a commitment if the business grows.
Median pay: The BLS reports that the median hourly wage for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks is $17.91.
Qualifications: For accounting work, an accounting degree is usually required. A certified public accountant (CPA) certification is best. Knowing how to use the software package QuickBooks is often a requirement for smaller businesses. The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers offers bookkeeper certification, as does the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers. Community colleges and universities in your area are good places to look for continuing education offerings.