The gig economy is growing, with 1.6 million gig workers in the U.S in 2017. Gig work includes freelance or contract work for a finite amount of time. Out of the 1.6 million U.S. gig workers, nearly 72% work at least full-time.
Workers aged 25 to 54 account for roughly 64% of the overall U.S. workforce, and account for 71% of workers in the gig economy.
Many individuals make a side hustle out of gig work options. The hours are typically flexible and the worker can select a gig that matches their financial needs with their abilities.
Some gigs may allow you to use your skillset to earn side-hustle income, while others might be simple tasks that need a set of hands a business or person is willing to pay for.
If you are looking to cushion your budget, start an emergency savings account, pay off debt to improve your credit score, or just save for a vacation, a side gig might be a great option for you. The following websites offer a few different options to help you get a gig and start earning money from your side hustle.
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You can sign up for Swagbucks for free. If you earn 2,500 Swagbucks in the first 60 days of your membership, you can earn a bonus of $5 that will be awarded to you within one day of your qualification.
How it works: Earning swagbucks is simple. You earn Swagbucks online by:
- Watching entertaining videos and playing games.
- Searching the web using their Yahoo! powered search engine.
- Answering surveys, daily polls, or trivia.
- Performing your regular online shopping.
- Looking for deals that can earn you points.
How you get paid: You earn Swagbucks (SB) points by completing tasks. These SB points are redeemable as gift cards through their affiliate retailers, or as cash back through PayPal.
How much you can make: Your Swagbucks account tallies your points and allows you to redeem points for gift cards or cash back with PayPal. Amazon gift cards and PayPal are the most common payout options.
One-hundred Swagbucks points are equal to $1. Your use of your membership will determine the amount you can make. Daily earnings range from a few cents to over $100. Typically, you can earn a few dollars a day by using your membership for 15 to 30 minutes daily, which can add up over a year of use.
TaskRabbit is a service that connects people with Taskers who perform odd jobs for a designated amount. To register as a Tasker, you must live in a TaskRabbit-supported city. If your city is not currently listed, you can sign up and TaskRabbit will notify you when registration is available in your area.
How it works: To become a tasker, you must download the Tasker App and pay a one-time non-refundable $25 fee. It is important to note that the Tasker App differs from the TaskRabbit App that clients use to book tasks.
As a Tasker, you are not an employee of TaskRabbit, but are an independent contractor who can set your own hourly rates, schedules, or available work areas. A Tasker must meet the following TaskRabbit requirements:
- You must live in an active TaskRabbit city.
- You must be 18 years of age and have a U.S. Social Security number.
- You must provide personal information and pass a background check.
- You must have a checking account with a financial institution so you can get paid, and a smartphone that can use the app and track your tasks.
Tasks you may perform as a Tasker include but are not limited to:
- Cleaning, laundry, and decoration services.
- Delivery and errand services.
- Moving, packing and unpacking, furniture assembly, or furniture removal services.
- Minor home repairs, painting, window cleaning, or yard work.
- Organization, project coordination, office administration or assistant services.
- Electrical, carpentry, plumbing, construction, and power-washing services.
How you get paid:You will need a verifiable account with a financial institution. Your pay will be directly deposited into your valid checking account.
How much you can make:The amount that you make as a Tasker will depend on a few things. You can set your own rates, but earnings are impacted by the category type of tasks you perform, your location, and the demand for your services. Some task work may include tips, which are yours to keep.
Both businesses and individuals can outsource project-based professional services from Fiverr. As a freelancer, you can use Fiverr as a platform to perform skilled or unskilled tasks. You can sign up for free and start pricing and selling your services.
How it works: Once you have joined Fiverr, you can begin pricing and selling your services. The Fiverr marketplace includes these industries, which expand into further opportunities:
- Graphics and design.
- Digital marketing.
- Writing and translation.
- Video and animation.
- Music and audio recording.
- Programming and tech service.
- Business, consulting, and administrative services.
- Personal lifestyle services.
How you get paid: Once you have completed your task and your buyer has approved your order, the money you make is transferred directly into your account.
How much you can make: You are responsible to price your services. Prices may range from $5 to $995. You can also offer different versions of your services at different price points to create a package.
4. Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) provides a platform for businesses to crowdsource jobs and tasks to virtual freelancers and gig workers. To apply for gigs with Amazon Mechanical Turk, you will need to create an MTurk worker account.
How it works: MTurk functions by allowing workers to browse through Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs), selecting tasks of interest or those that align with your skillset. Workers may accept a HIT, follow the given instructions, and submit their work to the Requester. Types of work available on Amazon Mechanical Turk include:
- Image and video processing including tagging objects in images, selecting images, or classifying and identifying objects in satellite imagery.
- Data verification and clean up, removing duplicate content, identifying incomplete data, or converting unstructured data about locations into well-informed addresses.
- Information gathering, answering questions and surveys, or writing content.
- Data processing, editing, and translation.
How you get paid: Each Human Intelligence Task will have its own rate. After you have accepted and completed the task, you submit it to the task Requester. Once the Requester has approved your work, your earnings become available to you.
How much you can make: How much you make will be determined by the amount and type of HITs you complete and have approved. Workers who qualify for premium or master qualifications by demonstrating a high degree of success in their performance may be qualified and selected for higher-paying HITs.
5. Field Agent
Field Agent is an app that provides business and product insight to business owners by utilizing gig workers to mystery shop, try products, or do concept testing.
How it works: Gig workers must download the Field Agent app. They can then select tasks such as:
- Gathering information and shopping insights.
- Taking photos of products or shelf placements.
- Sharing product opinions or insight.
- Trying new products for free and performing concept testing.
How you get paid: Once you reserve a job and complete it within the timeframe, and are approved, your money is paid directly into your bank account.
How much you can make: Jobs are first come first serve and generally range in payment from $3 to $20.
How to Find Odd Jobs
Finding odd jobs for a side hustle depends on your skills and ability to provide a service, or the demand for task completion or simple work that you can provide. If you are looking to explore and break into the gig economy, consider the following actionable steps to get prepared.
You should make a list of your professional and personal skills, experiences, and abilities. This may include your:
If you are looking for a side hustle that you don’t have professional experience in, you might also look into your hobbies. For example, if you enjoy taking pictures, you might become a freelance photographer and sell your images to stock image sites to earn passive income.
If not, you can always peruse the classifieds and “help wanted” ads in various publications — local newspapers, job boards, or industry-specific magazines.
Or, if need be, you can cold call local companies to market your skills or to inquire about seasonal or temporary work. The opportunities for jobs in the gig economy are growing, you just need to find your lane to start on the path of your odd-job side hustle.
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