Gig Economy Jobs: What You Can Do and Apps You Can Use to Find Gig Work

Nicolas Cesare  | 

With wages stagnant for many Americans, more and more working people are turning to gigs and side hustles in order to boost their incomes. This “gig economy” — as it’s known by insiders and financial experts alike — is putting money in the pockets of many people, who feel like they aren’t making a living wage at their regular job, or otherwise feel like they have a better chance of making a living on the gig economy than the mainstream one.

However, gigs only pay off if you can find the work. Today’s gig economy is enabled in large part by the internet and apps specifically tailored to particular kinds of gig work. Knowing about each and every odd job’s app, gig economy company, and side hustle website can be the key to making or breaking your own gigging career.

Gig Economy Jobs List

Essentially, a gig is work that you take on a per-job basis. It can be your full-time career or it can be something that you do on the side for a little extra cash. However you do it, gig jobs should be jobs that tailor to your skills, that can be done or picked up at your convenience, and that become more efficient the more you take on. Here are some jobs that are especially suited to be a side hustle:

  • Cleaner: Unlike other gig economy jobs that often take place in the cloud, offering your services as a cleaner-for-hire is ideal for workers who feel better getting their hands dirty. The only skills required for work as a cleaner are dedication to the job in front of you, a good eye for messes, and a strong stomach for certain occasions. You’ll probably need to provide your own cleaning supplies as well. How much a cleaner gets paid depends on their ability to negotiate with their clients. It may be wise to charge by square foot of cleaning, while taking into account the type of cleaning that needs to be done, and seriousness of the mess. However, cleaners can expect to earn between $8 and $19 an hour for their work.
  • Delivery Driver: Delivery driving has been a gig job for a while now, whether it was driving pizzas from place-to-place or delivering newspapers in the early hours of the morning. With the recent boom in the gig economy and new apps, driving delivery for a wide variety of tasks has become a great option for those who are confident behind the wheel and licensed to drive. As with all side hustles, the amount that delivery drivers make varies depending on their clients, skill, and tips. However, drivers for Uber eats — one popular delivery service — can expect to make around $8 to $12 an hour.
  • Driver: It’s not just food and packages that need to be delivered from place to place. Driving people around town is one of the most well-known gig economy jobs. In order to be a good driver, you’ll need a strong understanding of roads in your area, safe driving skills, knowledge of local traffic patterns, a clean car, and good social skills. How much money you make as a driver will depend on how many passengers you carry during your gigging hours, but a recent study determined that Uber drivers earn about $9.21 an hour after accounting for all of their own expenses.
  • Dog Walker: Once the first job of many a suburban teenager, dog walking has become an enterprise of its own in the gig economy. In order to work as a dog walker, you should have good time management skills, be able to handle several dogs at once, and have good knowledge of local parks. Dog walkers can often make around $15 to $20 an hour, although your exact income will depend on the area that you’re working in and how much of your time you’re able to devote to dog walking.
  • Freelance Writer: Perhaps one of the oldest gig jobs around, freelance writing is perfect for people with good writing and research skills. A strong command of language, a reliable internet connection, and a commitment to deadlines are critical for freelance writers. Writers can expect to make between $10 and $52 an hour, depending on their experience and ability to write quickly.
  • Handyman: Sometimes people don’t just need a specific service. A handyman can take care of any tasks that a person might be physically unable, too busy, or too disinclined to do themselves. That can include anything from fixing minor leaks to painting fences to mowing lawns. Handymen don’t need to have in-depth knowledge of any particular task, but they should have a broad skill set for around-the-house tasks. The income that a handyman brings home depends on the kinds of jobs that they take on and the area that they’re working in. However, a good wage for a handyman runs between $16 and $50 an hour. When calculating your own handyman wage, keep in mind your own expenses associated with the work.
  • Music Teacher: If you are skilled with a musical instrument or singing, then you may be able to find gig work as a music teacher. Being proficient on your instrument is a key skill for music teachers, but you should also have some ideas about how to share your knowledge effectively with students. Important non-musical skills include time management, good communications, and a positive attitude. The rates for music lessons will vary greatly depending on the instrument(s) that you teach, your own level of skill, your experience with teaching in particular, and the city that you’re teaching in. However, as a private lessons teacher, you can expect to charge about $30 to $70 per hour. Special qualifications such as the Suzuki method for violin or advanced training in your instrument can help you justify boosting your rates beyond that.
  • Programmer: Like web developers, programmers often have the option of becoming freelancers rather than working for a single firm. As a programmer, you should have in-depth knowledge of several programming languages, an analytic mind, a background in mathematics, and good problem-solving skills. There are many different programming jobs available, making use of different platforms, output, and languages. Depending on the field of programming and past work experience in that field, programmers can expect to make anywhere between $40 and $160 an hour. $60 to $80 is a reasonable middle ground that many freelance programmers land in.
  • Transcriber: Transcription is a line of work that requires speedy and accurate typing skills. As part of your work, you’ll be asked to listen to audio or video recordings provided by your client and transcribe them accurately into a written document. A transcriber’s pay will vary depending on their speed and their clients, since many firms who hire freelance transcribers pay either by the word or by the hour of audio/video. On average, though, you can expect to earn between $10 and $38 an hour if you are a quick typist and you don’t need to make many corrections.
  • Translator: People who can speak a foreign language are often in demand by businesses, non-profit agencies that work with immigrants, and the government. Proficiency in a foreign language is a must-have skill. In order to maximize your earning potential, it’s desirable to be proficient in more than one language and to find languages that are common enough in the area that there is a great need for translators, but not so common that there is a great supply of speakers who are also fluent in English. Depending on who they are translating for and their ability to keep up with the flow of conversation, translators can make $8 to $46 an hour with their skills.
  • Web Developer: Many web developers secure ongoing employment for a single client or firm. However, developers who are looking for a little more freedom have the option to pick up their own clients. Knowledge of HTML, CSS, Javascript, and other programming languages are essential for web developers. It’s also important to have an eye for aesthetics so that you can create a pleasing and engaging user experience for your clients. Web developers make $30 to $150 an hour, depending on their experience and portfolio of successful websites.

Side Job Apps: Platforms to Find and Advertise Gig Work

Today’s gig economy is made possible by apps, which give gig workers a platform to advertise and help consumers gain access to the services that they provide. Here are some of the most popular apps if you’re interested in getting a boost for your own gigging business:

Apps for Drivers

  • Uber: Uber is probably the most well-known gig economy app. It connects passengers with drivers in their area and helps people get around town. In order to become a driver, you must pass a background check and have a clean driving record in the past. Drivers can make up to $19 an hour. However, after expenses that typically comes down to around $9.21 an hour. Uber is available on Google Play and in the App Store.
  • Lyft: Another popular app for drivers is Lyft. In order to be a Lyft driver, you must pass a background check, a clean driving history, and pass a vehicle inspection. Lyft drivers typically make around $17.50 an hour, but they need to factor their own expenses into that income. Lyft is available on Google Play and in the App Store.
  • Uber Eats: Uber Eats is a sister service to Uber that caters specifically to food delivery. Uber Eats drivers have taken the place of the conventional pizza delivery driver. However, Uber Eats has partnered with a wide variety of restaurants that offer a wide variety of dishes beyond just pizza. Uber Eats drivers make around $8 to $12 an hour. Uber Eats is available on Google Play and in the App Store.
  • DoorDash: DoorDash is another app for food delivery. Like Uber Eats, DoorDash drivers will bring food straight from the restaurant to the customer’s front door. DoorDash claims that their drivers make up to $25 an hour in some cases. However, the company guarantees that drivers make $10 an hour at the very least, and they will make up the difference if you end up making less than that. DoorDash is available on Google Play and in the App Store.
  • GrubHub: Another food delivery app, GrubHub has been around for a while. GrubHub promises drivers around $20 an hour, although you’re more likely to meet that goal if you drive at peak hours, such as evenings during the weekend. GrubHub is available on Google Play and in the App Store.
  • Instacart: Personal shoppers have been around for a while, but Instacart aims to open up personal shopping to the realm of gig workers. The app collects grocery orders from customers. Shoppers make the purchases per the customer’s specifications and deliver them right to the customer’s front door. Instacart shoppers can make up to $25 an hour, but that’s only if the orders are rolling in. More realistic shoppers can expect to make around $11 an hour, depending on how business is going on any given day. Instacart is available on Google Play and in the App Store.
  • Amazon Flex: Amazon is another company that’s trying to get into the gig economy. They’re looking for people to deliver Amazon packages through the Amazon Flex platform. According to Amazon, you can make between $18 and $25 an hour after passing a background check. Right now only a few regions are offering the service, but it is likely to expand in the future if the initial program is successful. The Amazon Flex app can be downloaded from Amazon.

Cleaning, Odd Jobs and Task-Based Apps

  • Handy: Just like it sounds, Handy is an app for handyman work and other on-demand services. Consumers use the app for a wide variety of tasks, including cleaning, getting moving help, finding a painter, and a lot more. The amount that you make will depend on the services that you’re able to perform and the area that you’re working in. Handy is available on Google Play and in the App Store.
  • TaskRabbit: TaskRabbit is another app that connects on-demand workers with a wide variety of tasks around the home. TaskRabbit customers are often looking for help assembling furniture, moving, making simple repairs around the home, or cleaning. TaskRabbit pays its workers by the project, so the amount that you bring home will depend on the kinds of projects that you take on. For example, according to the TaskRabbit website, the average moving project pays around $47 to $97. TaskRabbit is available on Google Play and in the App Store.
  • Dolly: Dolly is an on-demand work app that specifically provides moving services. Basically, Dolly is there for whenever a customer needs to move something big, whether that’s moving furniture into a new house or taking old garbage to the dump.  You don’t need a truck to work for Dolly, but you should be able to lift at least 75 pounds. Dolly promises workers $30 an hour if they have their own truck or $15 an hour if they’re just bringing their labor to a job. Dolly is available on Google Play and in the App Store.
  • Bellhops: Bellhops aren’t as common in hotels anymore, but this app is helping to bring the profession back and make it available to the public at large. Bellhops provides moving services to customers in select states. The cost of a move depends on how much stuff is being moved, how far is has to go, and the area that you’re moving in. Bellhops is available on Google Play and in the App Store.
  • Rover: Rover is an app the helps to connect dog owners with dog sitters. Rover says that its workers can get paid up to $1,000 just to play with dogs for some of their time. Rover is available on Google Play and in the App Store.
  • Wag: Wag is an app designed specifically for dog walking. Dog owners can use the app to find a walker and walkers are free to set their own schedules. Fees are determined by the area that you’re walking in and the length of the walk. However, on average a 30 minute walk is about $20 with an additional $5 per extra dog. Wag is available on Google play and in the App Store.
  • Lime: Lime is a ride sharing service based around electric scooters that is popping up in cities all over the United States. However, somebody needs to charge all of these scooters, so Lime pays “Juicers” to driver around and pick up scooters in the evening and then deploy them around town the next morning. Pay is per scooter and there are penalties for getting scooters out too late in the morning or not charging them enough. Lime is available on Google Play or in the App Store, although you should apply through the website if you want to become a Juicer.

Professional Services

  • Fiverr: Fiverr connects skilled individuals with small businesses and startups. There are many kinds of services available on Fiverr, all joined by a simple mantra: what work can a small business contract out to save money and get a high quality product? The result is that graphics designers, marketers, and others who offer professional services on demand. Fiverr pays by the project, including how much work is involved and what type of expertise is needed. Professionals on Fiverr can make anywhere from $5 to $6,000 per project. Fiverr is available on Google Play and in the App Store.
  • Freelancer: Freelancer connects businesses with freelance professionals like web developers, programmers, graphics designers, and writers. The cost is determined by project and will vary depending on the type and amount of work being done. For example, Freelancer says that web development projects start from around $100. Freelancer is available on Google Play and in the App Store.
  • SpareHire: SpareHire connects business with financial professionals and consultants. If you have skills in accounting, banking, or management, you can do contract work on SpareHire for $50 to $200 an hour. More information on SpareHire can be found on their website.
  • Moonlighting: Moonlighting is an app that hopes to capture every kind of on-demand service under the sun — or under the moon, as it were. On Moonlighting, you can advertise your services as a handyman, a web expert, a babysitter, a dog walker, a driver, an accountant, and many more. If you can dream it, then you can post it on Moonlighting. Moonlighting is available on Google Play and in the App Store.

Other Services

  • AirBnB: AirBnB is a well-known app that allows users to make property available for rent or find a place to stay while they’re traveling. AirBnB is ideal for anyone who has a spare room or property that they can make available to guests. A good AirBnB host keeps the space clean and is usually available if the guests have questions or are having issues with the space. Fees vary depending on the type of space you’re offering (whole house, single room, etc), where you’re located, and how long your guests are staying. AirBnB is available on Google Play and in the App Store.
  • Turo: On the gig economy, you’re not just limited to renting out your home. You can also rent your car to drivers in need using Turo. Renting fees are determined by the area you’re renting in as well as the car that you’re making available. Turo is available on Google Play and in the App Store.

The gig economy caters to self-motivated individuals who can go out and find their own work. If you’re a dedicated worker and you have skills that are in demand, then you can use any one of the apps listed above to start working on demand in the gig economy.


Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/

Nick Cesare is a writer from Boise, ID. In his free time he enjoys rock climbing and making avocado toast.

This post was updated February 28, 2019. It was originally published December 27, 2018.