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20 Side Jobs You Can Do for Extra Money Now

Part-time work and freelance gigs offer opportunities to pull in additional pay

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For some people, a side job is a second job they do for a few hours every week to help make ends meet. For others, it's a job they only do occasionally to be able to afford large purchases, perhaps a new appliance or a vacation.

But with millions of Americans struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people may increasingly turn to side jobs — sometimes referred to as side gigs or freelance jobs — as a primary way to make money. “If the past is any indicator, it is likely that a healthy amount of freelance jobs will continue to be available across industries and career levels, despite the economic downturn,” says Sara Sutton, CEO and founder of FlexJobs, a job-search website that specializes in positions that offer flexible hours and work-from-home opportunities.

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FlexJobs recently combed through its current job postings to identify which side jobs are offering the best opportunities now. The positions range from tutoring and teaching to administrative work and accounting. Clicking on the job titles in the list below, which is based on FlexJobs research, will take you to the page of currently available job postings for that position, either on FlexJobs or the AARP Job Board. Note that job openings on FlexJobs can be viewed for free, but a paid membership is required to apply. There is no fee to use the AARP Job Board. The average hourly wage for each position in this list was calculated by PayScale.

1. Bookkeeper

Average hourly wage: $17/hr

This field job, helping businesses keep track of their revenues and expenses, is a popular choice for older adults who are looking for flexible hours and opportunities to work remotely. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median age for all bookkeepers in 2019 was 50.9 years old, one the highest among all professions.

2. Customer Service Representative

Average hourly wage: $14/hr

These jobs require you to field phone call from customers who need assistance with products or services they have purchased. Most of the necessary training is provided by the employer and, in many cases, employees can work from home.

3. Proofreader

Average hourly wage: $18/hr

You may have an eye for detail and strong English grammar skills, but those may not be enough to help you land one of these jobs. Why not? Proofreading positions often specifically are for helping with translating text from one language to another. In July, FlexJobs posted openings for proofreaders who speak Thai, Swedish, Polish and Japanese, among other languages. If you're fluent in a foreign language, this could be the perfect side gig for you.

4. Social Media Manager

Average hourly wage: $16/hr

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are one of the primary ways that businesses speak directly with their customers and others. Social media managers play the role of go-betweens, distilling their employers’ message into a pithy post that attracts enough likes and shares to go viral.

5. Transcriber

Average hourly wage: $15/hr

You'll need good listening skills for these jobs, which require you to listen to recordings of legal proceedings or other conversations — such as students’ reading assignments — and then type them accurately into documents that can be read by others. Companies also sometimes hire transcriptionists part-time to help put captions on the videos they create for the internet.

6. Tutor

Average hourly wage: $18/hr

If you have experience teaching or mastery of a particular field — especially one that is science- or math-related — you can earn extra income tutoring students. Your skills might be particularly valuable this fall, as families and schools navigate the challenges of learning during a pandemic, when not all students may be able to be on campus five days a week.

7. Virtual Assistant

Average hourly wage: $16/hr

If you have ever been employed as an administrative assistant, these positions let you use those skills while working remotely with flexible hours. Job responsibilities will vary, but you should be comfortable using software such as Microsoft Office, PowerPoint and QuickBooks, for example. Most employers also will want candidates who have at least one or two years of experience.

8. Consultant

Average hourly wage: $59/hr

Here's your opportunity to share your expertise without necessarily needing to commute to the office every day. Perhaps the most in-demand field for freelance consultants is information technology specialists. But the July job postings on FlexJobs showed companies also seeking consultants in fields such as education and nursing.

9. Editor

Average hourly wage: $20/hr

Most of the positions available in this field involve producing articles for various websites. The editor typically is responsible for assigning story ideas and polishing up the writers’ articles for publication. Previous editing experience is required in most cases, but almost all of these positions can be done while working from home.

10. Executive Assistant

Average hourly wage: $21/hr

As workers start to return to their offices, they will need executive assistants to help get back to business. These assistants manage schedules, answer phone calls and emails, help with basic accounting tasks, and fill other duties to help executives manage their teams.

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11. Graphic Designer

Average hourly wage: $17/hr

Can you help a business communicate its ideas and goals visually? If so, freelance positions in this field could be a good fit for you. Most employers will want you to be able to produce graphics, illustrations and other content for print products, websites and videos.

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12. Health Coach

Average hourly wage: $20/hr

Health coaches are professionals who help people make lifestyle changes so they can lose weight and better manage other chronic illnesses. Where a physical trainer might focus primarily on what you do in your workout, a health coach also offers guidance on better nutrition and behavior changes. Many of these jobs require a bachelor's degree in a health-related field along with some experience.

13. Interpreter

Average hourly wage: $20/hr

Business is a global language, but it needs talented interpreters to make sure that everyone's message is heard correctly. If you're fluent in a second language — no matter how uncommon its use is in the United States — you could land a side job in this field. One particularly in-demand field for interpreters: American Sign Language.

14. Lead Generation Specialist

Average hourly wage: $14/hr

Helping businesses identify potential clients is the focus of jobs in lead generation. You should have strong sales skills and experience. These jobs also require workers to be comfortable cold-calling prospects as well as able to nurture business relationships.

15. Medical Coder

Average hourly wage: $19/hr

Medical coders play a vital role in the business side of medicine, accurately updating medical records and other documents so patients receive the correct treatments and health care workers get paid properly. You don't need a college degree to work in this field, but you will need some training and — in some cases — a certification. It is an in-demand field, with jobs projected to grow by 18.2 percent by 2028, according to the BLS.

16. Online ESL Teacher

Average hourly wage: $20/hr

Experienced educators will likely be in high demand this fall, as the coronavirus pandemic is poised to disrupt how schools operate. As education moves online, there will be increased need for instructors who can teach courses in English as a Second Language. Most of these jobs require candidates to have a bachelor's degree and some teaching experience.

17. Photographer

Average hourly wage: $17/hr

The internet and social media apps have created high demand for great pictures. If you have some experience working as a professional photographer, several companies are offering part-time contract positions that will let you make use of your talents.

18. Project Manager

Average hourly wage: $26/hr

These positions require more commitment than most other jobs that can be done freelance, including sometimes signing a contract for six to 12 months of work. Many of these roles also cannot be done remotely. If you have the right skills and experience, these positions offer the fulfillment of helping a team of professionals complete a large project, such as launching a new product or upgrading information technology systems.

19. Quantitative Market Researcher

Average hourly wage: $19/hr

These positions require you to go out and gather information about the prices of different products and services, usually entering that data into an app on a smartphone or tablet. Companies then use that information to determine which products to make, how much they should cost, and how they should be marketed.

20. Writer

Average hourly wage: $20/hr

If you have a passion for a particular subject and some experience in journalism or a similar field, you can find a freelance writing job that will let you earn money while exploring your interest. Almost all of these positions can be done remotely.

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