In the U.S., side gigs are popular. According to Side Hustle Nation, 45% of employed Americans report having a side hustle, including 50% of millennials and 40% of Gen Zers. But why are so many people trading their free time for the chance to earn some extra income?
The top three reasons people take on a side hustle, according to a recent reader poll by Side Hustle Nation, are more personal freedom (38.7%); extra income to save, spend or invest (27.4%); and extra money to make ends meet (11.7%). Other, less common reasons include paying off debt faster, as a creative outlet, or because it felt like a “calling.”
While side jobs can be found across the nation, side hustling in many East Coast cities is reportedly two to five times more common than the national average. To support those efforts, here are the eight best side gigs to consider if you live on the East Coast.
Pay: $25 to $50 per hour part-time, plus tips
If you have an engaging personality, have a natural storytelling ability and consider yourself an expert of sorts on the East Coast city you live in, consider a side gig as a tour guide. For example, U.S. Ghost Adventures offers tours in cities throughout the East Coast, including Atlantic City, Boston and Jacksonville, Florida.
Pay: Per-hour commission, plus tips
With fuel prices so high across the U.S. and on the East Coast, courier jobs that require heavy driving in a vehicle don’t make a lot of sense. As an alternative, if you’re in good shape and enjoy bicycling, you could pick a side gig as a bike courier.
With this side hustle, paying high fuel costs and scrambling for parking spaces are non-issues. Check out GoPuff, which is owned by Grubhub or DoorDash, for bike courier gigs.
Pay: $15-$19 per hour, plus tips
Just like many other places in the U.S., dog walkers are in demand on the East Coast. And while there are some dog walking companies that require you to work regular hours Monday-Friday, you can also find some that need dog walkers strictly during evening and weekend hours.
If you’re interested in earning more, you could cut out the middleman, start your own dog walking business and keep 100% of the profits minus taxes.
Real Estate Photographer
Pay: $30-$40 per hour
If you have a portfolio and your own photography equipment — such as a digital SLR camera, wide-angle lens, tripod, ball head, drone and laptop — you could make a nice chunk of change each time you side hustle as a real estate photographer.
Check with local real estate companies in your area if you can’t find any suitable listings online.
Notary Signing Agent
Pay: $75-$200 per appointment
A notary signing agent — also known as an NSA — is a notary who completes training related to mortgage loan document signings. Title companies and signing services hire notary signing agents to meet with borrowers, oversee the loan signing and return the signed documents. To become a notary signing agent you’ll first need to become a notary public in your state.
Pay: $50-$70 per hour
If you have experience as a wedding photographer or videographer, have an impressive wedding gallery portfolio and own your own camera and/or videography equipment, you can get a side gig as a wedding photographer or videographer through an established wedding photography business.
While you could make much more on your own, doing this as a side gig often means no editing on your part. Instead, all you’ll have to do is point, shoot and get paid. Keep in mind that most opportunities for this East Coast side gig will occur during wedding season, which is from late spring to early fall, according to BRIDES magazine.
Mobile Swim Instructor or Lifeguard
Pay: $30-$60 per hour
If spending time in or by the pool sounds like your perfect idea of a side gig, become a mobile swim instructor or lifeguard. Companies like AquaMobile and Happy Swimmers are hiring on the East Coast. You’ll need current First Aid and CPR certification, experience teaching swimming lessons or lifeguarding, as well as your own transportation to get to gigs.
Pay: $20-$30 per hour, plus bonus pay and tips
If you enjoy doing laundry, why not get paid for it? It’s a job that you can do mostly from the comfort of your home. Apply with companies such as SudsShare and Laundry Care, which can connect you with jobs. If you live in a large East Coast urban or suburban area, you could also put up some flyers in your neighborhood and offer this service yourself.
To qualify, you’ll need to have the ability to pick up and deliver laundry and a dependable washer and dryer, as well as folding space, an ironing board and an iron.
More From GOBankingRates