The 6 Most Popular Side Gigs in the US

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Earlier this year, CNBC reported that 44% of Americans have at least one side job. Another 28% said this past year’s inflation forced them to take on a second job to keep up with rising costs. The extra work is worth it, as a side gig brings in an extra $483 a month on average. Of those working a side gig, 15% said they bring in more than $1,500 a month, which means an extra $18,000 more added to your yearly salary.

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If you’re looking to get in on the action and make some extra cash, here’s a look at the most popular side hustles Americans are working.

Taking Online Surveys

Earning extra cash can be as easy as answering a few questions. Thanks to sites like Branded Surveys, Survey Junkie, Inbox Dollars, Lifepoints, Swagbucks and more, many Americans have started putting more cash in their pocket by providing their opinion.

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Most of these surveys fall into market research, which is basically polling the public to see how new concepts will be received. This can be anything from a company introducing a new logo, to asking how you feel about certain animals to see if that should be an organization’s new mascot. Payouts can range from $0.30-$5.00 per survey and can be received through direct deposit, PayPal or gift cards. Though you won’t necessarily get rich quickly, with enough surveys, you can definitely start to build a nice cushion of extra cash. 

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Selling Items Online

Whether it’s clothes or old vintage items from your parents’ garage, there’s a market for it online. Sites like Poshmark allow you to sell your old clothes you don’t wear anymore, or open up a shop for you to run a small business selling clothing. That’s the beauty of these sites: the choice of how much and how often you want to sell is up to you.

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The only catch is the fees associated with sales. For example, Etsy charges sellers $0.20 each to list items and a 6.5% transaction fee when the item sells. Depending on the volume of inventory you sell, you can still turn a profit despite the fees sites charge. 

Rideshare Drivers

Those driving for Lyft and Uber make entirely their own hours, and can drive as little or as much as they want. The average rideshare driver is said to make $37,702 a year, which is pretty impressive for a side gig.

Delivery Drivers

Delivery drivers include those who deliver food for DoorDash, Instacart, Postmates and the like. Like rideshare, these drivers can set their own hours, which makes it appealing for those with another job.

The amount a driver can make varies. According to Zippia, delivery drivers make an average of $18.65 an hour in the U.S. DoorDash states that drivers’ earnings depend on where they’re delivering, what time of day it is and how much the total delivery cost. The company always pays “base pay,” which they determine by measuring the estimated time, distance and desirability of the order. Those working for DoorDash also always keep 100% of their tips, and can increase their earnings by working during especially busy times.

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Freelancing

It’s reported that 13.4% of people with a second job are freelancing. That can include writing for social media accounts, blog posts, articles, newsletters and the like. It can also be doing graphic design for companies on a part-time basis. Another popular freelance gig is virtual assisting, where you do tasks for a client remotely and earn an hourly rate. All of these side hustles offer a good deal of flexibility, as they can usually be done in your schedule whenever you see fit, so long as you meet the deadline set by your client. 

While your pay as a freelancer will largely be determined by your skillset and experience, Upwork estimates the average freelancer rate between $30-$40 per hour.

Renting Out Your Car or Storage Area

Making extra money can be as easy as lending out stuff you already have. For example, you can rent out your car when you’re not using it through services like Turo and HyreCar. According to Turo’s Carculator, which estimates how much you can make by renting your car out on Turo, your earnings depend on where you’re located and how much your car is worth. The average profit is $500-$1,000 a month, per Ridester.

If you have some extra space in or around your home, you might want to look into Neighbor. Neighbor pairs people with extra garage space, yard space or even extra rooms in their home with people who need storage spaces. Your earnings depend on where you’re located and what you’re storing. However, be aware there is a processing fee associated when working with Neighbor.

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About the Author

Sam DiSalvo is an LA-based comedian, writer and actor who's performed all over the country. Her written work has appeared in numerous digital publications. As a copywriter, she's worked with a variety of major brands including GoldieBlox and Thrive Causemetics. Sam loves dogs and is currently perusing leisure suits to buy for her corgi mix, Barry
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