Everyone wants to know how to make an extra $1,000 a month without having to quit your job and start pursuing a career in finance. Extra income can help support your savings goals, allow you to pay off debt faster, or even just fund more fun in your life. The good news is that the gig economy is booming, and picking up one (or multiple) of the best side hustles is easier than ever.
We ranked 15 of the most popular side hustles on earning potential, based on our research using sites like Indeed, Salary.com, and from conversations with side hustling friends. We already know you’re a hustler, and your time is valuable. So without further ado, here are the best side hustles you can get.
15 Best Side Hustles, Ranked From Least to Most Profitable
1. Pet Sitter
Average Hourly Rate: $12.64
Before you get scared away by the low hourly rate (Indeed reports it’s around $13), consider this: pet sitting is a pretty passive side hustle. Sure, you might have to take Fido out for a walk around the block a couple times a day, but other than that, you’re essentially just offering him a roof over his head. Making a couple bucks while chilling on the couch with a dog on your lap? Sounds like a win to us.
An added perk is that you get to spend time with a pet. If you’re considering adopting an animal but aren’t sure if you can handle the responsibility, pet sitting is a great way to test the waters. Or, if you don’t want to own a pet, but enjoy the company of animals, pet sitting is a good way to get your fix.
Try Rover to get your start as a pet sitter. You get to set your own rates and charge by the day. From a cursory glance at the platform, it looks like most folks are charging anywhere from $40-$70 per night. Keep in mind that the platform does take a cut, but it’s a great way to get started as a pet sitter and connect with clientele.
2. Content Creator (Blogger, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, etc.)
Average Hourly Rate: $13.39
Indeed reports an average hourly rate of $13.39 for bloggers, but this rate varies wildly. Some famous YouTubers make millions of dollars per year, while smaller creators earn a small fraction of that.
We wouldn’t recommend this side hustle if you’re looking for a get-rich-quick scheme. Content creation, blogging, making YouTube or TikTok videos, and becoming an Instagram influencer takes a lot of time and there is no guarantee of success. Consistency is key with this type of side hustle, and if you burn out or get frustrated quickly, it’s not likely to go anywhere.
Average Hourly Rate: $15.53
While Indeed reports an average hourly rate of $15.53 for artists, we all know that that number varies wildly, just like it does for bloggers and YouTubers. There’s always a chance that you’ll hit it big and become a millionaire or the next Frida Kahlo, but there’s a much higher chance that you won’t.
However, there is a huge market out there for art, and you can have a lot of fun with this side hustle. If you have an eye for photography, you can charge per shoot rather than hourly to increase your earnings. Maybe you’re particularly crafty and you can knit cool sweaters or hand design jewelry to sell on Etsy. Or perhaps you’re talented at hand lettering and can create beautiful commissioned works for weddings.
Check out Etsy for some inspiration, as the options are truly limitless. If time is of the essence, you might even create an original design and sell prints of it, so you aren’t so caught up in the creation of new pieces all the time.
4. Dog Walker
Average Hourly Rate: $16.50
Platforms like Wag have made it easier than ever to get your start as a dog walker. Dog owners can choose between a 20-minute, 30-minute, or 60-minute walk and follow along on your GPS-tracked route.
Ever see those people walking down the street with four different dogs of varying shapes and sizes? If you land a couple of repeat clients, that could be you. Think about how quickly that would add up!
Say you land three regulars, and you walk each of their dogs five days per week for one hour, at the same time. At the average hourly rate of $16.50 an hour, you’ll be racking up close to $250 per week for just an hour-long walk per day. This side hustle has some serious potential. And yes, you’re going to start looking at doggies as dollar signs from now on.
5. Event Planner
Average Hourly Rate: $17.08
Are you the person who plans an elaborate Galentine’s Day celebration every year, complete with monogrammed party favors and a three-course meal? Maybe you’re that friend who always somehow gets roped into planning other people’s birthday parties. Or maybe you weasel your way into that situation yourself.
Event planners can make great money as they gain experience and have events to show off in a portfolio. At first, expect to make about $17 an hour an average, according to Indeed. If you want to really rake it in, move to Washington, D.C. Indeed reports hourly earnings of nearly $35 there. First lady, who?
Another perk of this side hustle is that a lot of the work can be done remotely, so it’s location-flexible. But don’t be surprised if you get some panicked late night phone calls, and make sure you’re cool under pressure if you pursue this one.
6. Food Delivery Driver
Average Hourly Rate: $17.29
There are tons of different delivery apps out there, and we’ve probably used all of them. 2020 was the year of takeout. Coincidentally, it was also the year of clogged toilets. Not sure what that was all about.
Whether you decide to drive for Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, Seamless, Caviar, or any of the other ones, food delivery is an excellent side hustle for many of the same reasons that ride-share driving is. You get to choose your own hours, work as much or as little as you want, and sign off whenever you feel like it. Sure beats having to beg a manager to let you go home early to watch The Bachelor. We can’t believe she said no!
According to Indeed, the average hourly rate for a delivery driver is about $17. With this side hustle, expect to dedicate about 58 hours per month, or 14.5 hours per week, to bring in an extra $1,000 monthly.
7. Freelance Social Media Manager
Average Hourly Rate: $18.38
One of the benefits of any type of freelancing is that you get to set your own rates. At first, you can charge less than the average going rate to get some experience. Eventually, once you’ve built up a portfolio of work and have testimonials from clients, you can start charging more competitive rates.
If you’re a social media fiend with a following of your own, or a portfolio from previous jobs/internships you’ve held, give freelancing a try. Here’s a tip: try to quantify any results you’ve been able to get as a social media manager. If you grew a brand’s following on Instagram from 1,000 to 2,000 followers, boast about your strategy that resulted in 100% growth. Hiring managers are results-driven, especially when it comes to social media metrics.
On average, Indeed touts that social media managers make about $18 hourly. Expect to put in 13-14 hours per week to bring in $1,000 a month with this side hustle.
8. Ride-share Driver
Average Hourly Rate: $19.20
Uber is the leader in ride-sharing, but it’s not the only platform on the market. Consider driving for Lyft or other more niche apps, too. Ride-share driving is one of the best side hustles because it’s totally flexible based on your own unique schedule. Just log in, go ‘live,’ and accept as many or as few rides as you feel like. You can stop at any time, work any hour of the day, any day of the week.
The potential downside of this side hustle is all the wear and tear you’ll put on your car. Most ride-sharing services don’t compensate you for gas or maintenance, so you’ll have to factor that into your profits as well.
According to an article by Tech Jury, there were 3.5 million drivers for Uber in 2020. Salary.com reports an average annual salary of $36,902 for Uber drivers in the United States. On a full-time basis, this would average out to $19.20 per hour for a 40 hour work week. For 52 hours a month, or about 13 hours per week, you can bring in an extra $1,000 per month as a ride-share driver.
9. Virtual Assistant
Average Hourly Rate: $19.64
What is a virtual assistant, you ask? Well, a virtual assistant is an assistant who assists… virtually. We know, that’s pretty vague. But in all honesty, a virtual assistant (VA) can do pretty much everything. There are VAs out there offering super niche services in just about every industry.
Here’s an example: For my reselling side hustle, I hired a virtual assistant who specialized in writing listings for Poshmark. I would upload the photos, and she would write out the descriptions, research comparable items, and list the item for market value. Yup, it was a very specific job I needed done, and I found someone perfectly suited for it.
Not sure which service you could offer as a VA? Here are some examples: bookkeeping, social media management, customer service, writing, website management, data entry, administrative work, project management, public relations, influencer campaign management, scheduling, email management, and pretty much anything else you have expertise in! Expect an average hourly rate of almost $20, according to Indeed.
Average Hourly Rate: $18.00 – $27.00
Reselling has been making headlines lately, and for good reason. If you’re unfamiliar, flippers will find under-priced goods at places like thrift stores, consignment shops, and yard sales, and sell them for a profit. For example, imagine finding a pair of Lululemon leggings at Goodwill for $8.00 and selling them for $50. Some examples of categories you can flip are clothing, shoes, accessories, hard goods, furniture, electronics, and really anything else you can get your hands on that has some value.
I’m a hobby reseller myself, and I made $22,000 in sales in 2021 working the business part time. When you take out all of my business expenses, I walked away with over $13,000 in pure profit from flipping clothes and shoes on Poshmark, eBay, Mercari, and Tradesy, adding over $1,000 to my income every month. I talk a lot about how I did that on my YouTube channel, so check it out if you’re interested in getting started with this side hustle.
It’s really hard to give an average salary for this type of business, as it is entirely dependent on how much you work, what kinds of items you’re able to find in your neighborhood, and more factors. Anecdotally, I worked an average of 10-15 hours per week, making my hourly rate somewhere in the range of $18-$27. For context, I do live in a major city and have access to some pretty awesome inventory.
11. Personal Trainer
Average Hourly Rate: $22.82
If you already live at the gym, why not make some money while you’re making gainz? Personal trainers earn an average of nearly $23/hour for their expertise, and once you build up a personal brand and clientele, you can make much more than that.
To get hired as a personal trainer, you will need a few certifications first. You don’t need a college degree, but you will likely need to become CPR/AED certified and pass one of the certification exams relating to sports medicine and exercise science. You should learn more about how to become a personal trainer before you embark on this side hustle.
12. Freelance Writer
Average Hourly Rate: $22.90
Hi, freelance writer here. Yup, I’m basically a side hustle queen. For a year and a half of my life, I didn’t even have a main hustle. Just side hustles that paid all my bills. And this one, I can tell you from personal experience, is extremely lucrative.
We are getting into an area where you need some skills and potentially even some experience to find success. To be a freelance writer, you do need to know how to write. Obviously. I’d also venture to say you should learn about SEO, or search engine optimization, which is a skill many companies that hire freelance writers ask about and look for. Luckily, there is a ton of information available online about SEO, and most of it is totally free.
According to Indeed, freelance writers in the United States make an average of about $23/hour, so the learning curve could be a good investment of your time in the long run. Expect to work on this side hustle for about 11 hours a week to achieve $1,000/month in extra income.
13. Airbnb Host
Average Hourly Rate: $23.10-$30.80
Looking for a side hustle that’s a little more passive? If you have an extra room (or an extra house – go off, real estate mogul), consider renting it out through platforms like Airbnb.
Priceonomics reported that Airbnb hosts make an average of $924 per month renting their home or apartment on Airbnb. This number can be much lower or higher depending on what kind of place you have to rent out, which market you’re in, and how frequently you’re able to get people in there renting. Still, that’s a pretty promising average monthly sum for a side hustle!
It’s tough to define an hourly rate, but we tried anyway. LearnBNB reports that if you’re managing a unit yourself (cleaning in between stays, welcoming guests, coordinating with folks online, etc.), you can expect to spend between 30-40 hours per month on your unit. Again, this varies depending on how many people stay, how big your place is, and many other factors. But, with these numbers in mind, we estimated an average hourly rate of $23-$30. Not too shabby for that room you never use, huh?
Average Hourly Rate: $24.95
Tutoring is an extremely lucrative side hustle once you gain a little bit of experience and establish a client base. I have friends and family who are teachers full-time, and make upwards for $40 to $50 an hour tutoring as a side hustle.
You can become a tutor either in person or online, and there are several platforms you can sign up for that will connect you with students. In those cases, you might make closer to $15 to $25 an hour. Alternatively, if you are a teacher, your school or local library may be hiring in-person tutors who need extra help in certain subjects. Sometimes, you can even find ads from parents willing to pay top dollar for an experienced tutor in a specific subject matter.
Tutors don’t necessarily need to have experience tutoring, but they should have an understanding and mastery of whatever subject they are seeking to teach. If you’re someone who failed AP Calculus, you probably shouldn’t be teaching the subject (yep, we’re calling ourselves out here). Some popular subjects to tutor include:
- Test preparation (SATs, AP tests, ACTs, GMAT, LSAT, etc.)
- English tutoring to ESL students
- Foreign languages to English-speaking students
- Musical instruments
- Traditional subjects like math, science, history, or English
According to Indeed, the average hourly rate for tutors is about $25. For just 10 hours per week, you could bring in $1,000 a month as a tutor, making it one of the best side hustles on this list.
15. Freelance Graphic Designer
Average Hourly Rate: $30.18
Are you getting the picture yet? Freelancing is an awesome side hustle, no matter what your specific skill set is! Just like writing and social media, design is an in-demand job with a high pay-scale.
As a freelance graphic designer, you’ll need to master your craft in order to land jobs. However, no formal education is typically required for freelance work. A lot of freelancers turn to sites like Upwork and Fiverr, which are aggregate job boards. Small business owners, start-ups, and people who need a one-off design job for one reason or another turn to these sites when hiring. You will have to sacrifice a portion of your earnings to the job board itself as a fee, but it’s a good starting point for anyone with no or little experience to find work.
According to Indeed, the average hourly rate for freelance graphic designers is around $30. You would only need to work an average of eight hours per week to net $1,000 a month as a freelance graphic designer.
Why start a side hustle?
Is the phrase ‘more money’ not motivational enough for you? For most folks, the best side hustles are a way to generate more income each month. But that’s not the only reason to start a new side hustle.
Maybe you’re hoping to learn a new skill, explore an industry that’s different from your day job, or meet new people and build connections. Perhaps you want something entrepreneurial to focus your free time on, or you’re looking for something to add to your resume. It’s possible that you just want to feel productive on your weekends and spend less time making fake money on Animal Crossing. Tom Nook will simply never be satiated.
How much money can you make with side hustles?
That’s kind of like asking ‘how much money can you make at your first job?’ Obviously, the answer will vary greatly depending on which job you choose, how much training and experience that job requires, how often you work, etc.
We interviewed people who do the best side hustles on this list and asked them how much they make. Overwhelmingly, the response we heard was ‘it depends.’ Factors like: how much time you have to dedicate to your side hustle, what times and days you’re able to work, where you live, and more can determine how successful you are and how much money you bring in. In other words, any site out there telling you you’re definitely going to be making $1,000 per month is probably lying. Or misrepresenting information. (Don’t sue us.)
Take this information with a grain of salt, and remember that your efforts are much more likely to determine your payday than anything else. Ugh, you mean we have to work hard to make more money? Yes, young grasshopper. Welcome to the gig economy.
More Resources to Find the Best Side Hustles
- Listen to Adultescence podcast #20: Finding the Right Side Hustle for You.
- Check out our post on Instagram for more guidance and a side-hustle seeking checklist!