Home Money 5 Fantastic (and Wildly Profitable) Sideline Jobs

5 Fantastic (and Wildly Profitable) Sideline Jobs

by Chris Poindexter

In the race to have it all, or at least have more of it all, many people turn to a sideline job to supplement their income. If you’re going to trade in your free time, part of your life that you can never get back, then you should at least be well compensated for that time. Another option I try to get people to consider is to running their own sideline business. Not only can you make extra money, but you have a source of cash you can fall back on if you lose your day job.

Whether you launch out on your own business or accept the limitations of working for someone else is up to you — but the one common goal is to maximize your income. Here are my five picks for part-time jobs that pay well and are in constant demand. The goal was to slant this list toward jobs that didn’t require extensive education though, in some states, some of these jobs may require a license or certification.

Personal Shopper

The commodity in shortest supply is time, and a personal shopper is someone who will free those with more money than time from the drudgery of chores like shopping for clothing, picking up dry cleaning, running to the bank, and buying groceries. According to SimplyHired, personal shoppers can build up to an income of around $33,000 — and it’s a business you can start on a shoestring. One word of caution, don’t get caught trying to stretch your personal car insurance to cover errands for hire. A better idea is to look into getting commercial auto insurance.

Fitness Instructor

For those who have been successful at keeping themselves in top shape, it may be possible to turn that knowledge and training into a sideline career that pays a living wage. According to Salary.com, fitness instructors can average $43,000 a year, with the top 25% earning in the mid-$60,000 range. To go much beyond that you’ll need a degree in exercise physiology or nutrition, but $30 an hour is not a bad deal for getting paid to stay in rock hard good shape.


Your mom always told you that paying attention in math class would pay off, and here’s the proof. PayScale.com says tutors make an average of $15 an hour, which is not bad for part-time work. If you specialize in helping students prepare for standardized tests like PSAT, SAT and ACT the pay scale can top $50 an hour.

Massage Therapist

This job may require a license and certification in some areas, but how many part-time jobs are out there where you can charge by the minute and still get tips? According to PayScale.com, the national average salary for massage therapists is around $20 an hour; but here in South Florida it’s closer to $60, with some as high as $75 for those working independently. If you’ve got the hand strength for the job of breaking up those hard knots of muscles, you can do pretty well and set your own schedule.

Dog Walker

People trying to have it all sometimes have pets — and many are willing to pay someone to visit their pet and take them for a walk while they’re at work, which is still cheaper than doggie daycare in most cities. Dog walkers can make anywhere from $10 to $30 an hour, according to DogWalker.com. A savvy walker can boost his or her income by grouping customers in particular neighborhoods, and walking more than one dog at a time.

If you’re going to invest your time and effort in something, at least get some value out of that time. It’s also your opportunity to find efficiencies and squeeze money out of the same amount of time. Once you get really good at one of these sideline businesses, you might find that it’s your day job that’s optional.

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