The dramatic growth in the gig economy over the past decade has fundamentally changed many people’s relationship with work. Today, gig economy jobs — which range from super-flexible sources of side income to full-time careers with massive growth potential — are among the fastest-growing in the market.

So just what is the gig economy? And how can you get the most out of it? In this post, we’ll answer those questions and list the highest-paying gig economy jobs right now.

What Is the Gig Economy?

The definition of the gig economy varies, but one commonly-recognized characteristic is that gig economy jobs are organized through central marketplaces run by established brands. These marketplaces connect service providers working as independent contractors to employers — sometimes for the duration of just a single task or gig.

That task or gig can be almost anything: from a one-off data entry project to a $100,000 corporate website redesign. The important distinction between gig economy projects and temp jobs is that you’re always a freelancer and never an employee.

As such, working in the gig economy doesn’t provide the benefits or security of a “regular” job. But it does provide unmatched freedom when it comes to when and where you work, and for many people it also provides a steady (sometimes lucrative) source of extra income. It’s not impossible to make $200 or more per day with the right gig economy job.

That said, there are many gig economy options, and it can be hard to determine which ones are worth taking. Here are 30+ of the best choices, categorized by the type of work (plus the hourly wage as reported by GlassDoor). 

Manual Labor Gig Economy Jobs

These are the simplest gig economy jobs — straightforward work that most people can do regardless of qualifications. Many of them require a vehicle (either for deliveries or to travel to on-site jobs).

Postmates Courier

Summary: An on-demand delivery service operating in hundreds of U.S. cities, Postmates will pay you to deliver goods in your local area. If you’ve got a car or a bike, it’s a convenient way to earn some extra money.

Estimated hourly wage: $12 per hour, but this figure varies depending on location and demand. Most Postmates orders are food deliveries, so peak demand tends to be around lunch and dinner. Your per-hour rate will be better if you only work when there are plenty of orders coming in.

Requirements: You’ll generally need a vehicle to make deliveries, although Postmates does allow on-foot couriers in some dense urban areas. You’ll also need access to the Postmates app, so a smartphone is a must (preferably one that works quickly and reliably).

To sign up as a courier, you’ll need proof of identity (like a driver’s license) and a headshot. If you plan on driving, then you’ll need to upload your vehicle’s proof of insurance.

Uber Driver

Summary: The world’s most famous side gig, Uber lets you work as a driver, taking people where they need to go using your own car. Effectively an on-demand taxi service, Uber is treated as one in many jurisdictions.

Estimated hourly wage: As with Postmates, your actual earnings can vary widely depending on the location and demand.

Requirements: You’ll need a car that meets the company’s standards. You’ll also need a phone that can operate the Uber app. To sign up for the app, you’ll need to provide your driver’s license, proof of suitable insurance, and a headshot. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may also need to provide or apply for a local “private hire” license.

Lyft

Summary: The second-largest rideshare service, Lyft fills a similar niche to Uber.

Estimated hourly wage: $16 per hour.

Requirements: As with Uber, a decent car and smartphone are essential (because you need to run the Lyft mobile app), as are proof of insurance, a photo of yourself, and a drivers’ license (that’s at least one year old). You’ll also need to be at least 21-years-old and pass the company’s background check to work as a Lyft driver.

Taskrabbit

Summary: Taskrabbit is a way to get paid for all sorts of one-off tasks, from cleaning to lawn care to running errands. It’s owned by IKEA, so assembling boxed furniture is a common task. Have you ever seen IKEA’s “we’ll assemble it for you for a small fee” offer? That work is completed by Taskers.

Estimated hourly wage: Varies depending on the task, but typically in the range of $20 to $40 per hour.

Requirements: The tools and skills you need will vary, but the requirements to get started are minimal. You’ll need a computer or smartphone to register and find work on the site, and you’ll need to participate in an info session to verify your ID before you can get started.

DoorDash

Summary: One of many gig economy food delivery companies, DoorDash lets you earn money as a delivery driver by picking up takeout orders from local restaurants and bringing them to customers’ doorstep.

Estimated hourly wage: $12 per hour.

Requirements: A smartphone and means of transport. A clean driving record is needed if you’re going to use a motor vehicle, as the company runs a background check for driving faults (as well as criminal activity). DoorDash drivers must be 18 or over. One perk of working as a Dasher is that unlike some of the other options, the company provides you with commercial vehicle insurance while making deliveries.

Amazon Flex

Summary: Created to meet the delivery needs of Amazon’s Prime Now program, Amazon Flex is a gig job delivering packages for the online retail giant.

Estimated hourly wage: $19 per hour.

Requirements: A smartphone capable of running the Flex app, with a camera, flash and GPS positioning. You’ll also need a vehicle that fits Amazon’s delivery standards in your area. And, of course, a valid driver’s license and suitable insurance are required.

Instacart

Summary: Shopping for and delivering groceries to Instacart customers. For each order, you’ll visit a specific grocery store, pick up everything on the customer’s list (making substitutions for out-of-stock items), and deliver the order within a set timeframe.

Estimated hourly wage: $14 per hour.

Requirements: Reliable access to a suitable vehicle and relatively up-to-date smartphone, plus the ability to lift 30 to 40 pounds of groceries.

Rover

Summary: A gig economy job for animal lovers. With Rover, you can get paid to provide dog walking and other general pet care services for owners who are at work or out of town. Pet sitters who are willing to look after pups in their own homes can earn even more by providing daycare and overnight stays.

Estimated hourly wage: $16 per hour.

Requirements: Must love dogs. Additionally, you’ll need to pass a background check that Rover conducts through a third-party service (Checkr). The background check will review your driving record and criminal history, but your credit history and score are not considered.

Bellhops

Summary: An online home moving company that started our serving students but has since expanded to a wider market. Get paid to pack boxes and move people into their new digs.

Estimated hourly wage: $14 per hour.

Requirements: You must be over 18-years-old, able to lift 100 pounds, own a smartphone, and be able to transport yourself to jobs. As with most gig economy jobs, there’s an interview process and background check before starting work.

Dolly

Summary: Dolly workers carry out deliveries big and small, from store pickups to house moves. Currently operating in 25 cities within the United States, the company is set to expand into a dozen more.

Estimated hourly wage: $16 per hour.

Requirements: A smartphone, a driver’s license, transportation to and from jobs, and a willingness to lift heavy furniture. Drivers on jobs earn extra, and for this you need a suitable truck, van or trailer.

Gigwalk

Summary: Work for Gigwalk usually involves gathering data for companies about their products and stores. For example, you might be checking what’s on the shelves in a particular shop, and whether it’s correctly priced and labeled.

Estimated hourly wage: Ironically for a company that gathers data, there’s not enough accessible data to work out what you’ll earn.

Requirements: A GPS-enabled smartphone.

Shipt

Summary: Delivering groceries, home products, and some electronics for a company owned by Target.

Estimated hourly wage: $11 per hour.

Requirements: You must be at least 18-years-old with a valid driver’s license and insurance, have the ability to lift 40 pounds, and have knowledge of the produce section (many Shipt orders are for fresh groceries). A reliable vehicle made after 1997 and a relatively modern smartphone are also needed.

TaskEasy

Summary: TaskEasy freelancers offer lawnmowing, gardening, and landscaping services.

Estimated hourly wage: $14 per hour.

Requirements: You’ll need the equipment to carry out the work and a smartphone that can run the TaskEasy app. If you don’t have your own liability and accident insurance — something you should consider essential for this type of work — you can purchase it through TaskEasy.

YourMechanic

Summary: Providing car repairs and maintenance carried out at customers’ homes, YourMechanic is a way for people with auto repair skills to leverage the gig economy.

Estimated hourly wage: $40 to $45 per hour.

Requirements: The skills, experience, and tools to carry out basic repair and maintenance work. You’ll also need a compatible smartphone to run the company’s app.

Grubhub

Summary: A food delivery service, similar to DoorDash and other options on this list.

Estimated hourly wage: $12 per hour.

Requirements: A relatively modern smartphone to run the company’s app, and either a car, bike or scooter to make deliveries. If you’re driving a motor vehicle, you’ll need to have a driver’s license and insurance. If you’re cycling, you’ll need to provide a state ID as part of your application.

Helpr

Summary: An app that connects parents with reliable childcare help (i.e., babysitting), Helpr is ideal for those with relevant experience looking for occasional part-time work.

Estimated hourly wage: Varies widely depending on freelancer experience and client needs.

Requirements: At least two years of childcare experience and three professional childcare references, as well as CPR certification (or a willingness to obtain it). You’ll also have to pass background and social media checks.

VIPKid Sign-Up Page

Skilled Gig Economy Jobs

While the most famous parts of the gig economy are low-skill work such as deliveries, some parts require more specific skill sets and deeper expertise. From writing to graphic design to caring for the elderly, these have more stringent requirements than many of the gigs in the list above. As such, they’re a chance for professionals to earn a little more, or to carry on in their existing jobs without being tied to a single company.

VIPKid

Summary: VIPKid is an online portal through which English language tutors around the world teach pupils (primarily in China).

Estimated hourly wage: $20 per hour.

Requirements: All tutors must have at least a bachelors’ degree. You also need some type of teaching experience — although it doesn’t have to be of the formal classroom variety (think coaching, Sunday School, etc.). And since lessons are conducted online via video, you’ll need a suitably up-to-date computer with a camera and microphone headset, as well as a reliable internet connection.

HelloTech

Summary: The tech support desk of the gig economy, HelloTech contractors provide outsourced tech support to people at their homes and businesses.

Estimated hourly wage: $50 per hour.

Requirements: Appropriate technical skills, experience and qualifications, which will be checked using online tests and an interview. A smartphone to run the app (which is required to manage your gigs).

99 Designs

Summary: A company that provides graphic design services, ranging from book covers to company logos.

Estimated hourly wage: Varies with the job.

Requirements: A computer, adequate graphic design skills, and the software to put those skills to use. These are no qualification requirements, so you’ll prove your worth through the samples and competition entries you put up on the site. Need to brush up on your skills before getting started? Check our Creative Live’s list of free streaming graphic design courses.

Upwork

Summary: Upwork is a marketplace for all kinds of freelance work that can be carried out over the internet. This includes writing, design, IT, marketing, translation, legal, admin… If you can do it at a computer with an internet connection, you can probably get paid for it through Upwork.

Estimated hourly wage: Varies widely depending on the job.

Requirements: A computer, an internet connection, and the skills and experience for the sorts of projects you want to bid on. Samples of your work aren’t a necessity, but will be a huge help in winning the bidding process for jobs.

Fiverr

Summary: Another broad-ranging freelance marketplace. The primary difference between Fiverr and UpWork is that on Fiverr, you advertise services and customers come to you; on UpWork, you have to browse job listings and bid on projects. Also, UpWork tends to host more corporate and enterprise clients, whereas Fiverr tends to have more individual clients. This can make for better earnings on UpWork, but those jobs tend to be more competitive.

Estimated hourly wage: $5 and up. When Fiverr started, everything was $5. Today, you can price your services at any rate you’d like (in $5 increments).

Requirements: No specific requirements, beyond having a device through which you can access the site. Specialized tools and knowledge needed will depend on the services you’re providing.

Handy.com

Summary: Handy provides both general and specialist contractors to do cleaning, decorating, home installation and handyman work.

Estimated hourly wage: $16 per hour.

Requirements: Paid experience as either a cleaner or a handyman, depending upon what sort of work you’re planning to do. Excellent customer service skills.

Care.com

Summary: Primarily a place to find work in child or pet care, Care.com also offers gigs for housekeepers, gardeners, tutors, and those caring for the elderly.

Estimated hourly wage: $16 per hour.

Requirements: Qualifications vary with the sort of work you’re looking to do.

Soothe

Summary: Gig work for massage therapists, including deep tissue, sports, and couples massage work. You’ll go to the client’s residence and provide them with the massage they want in the comfort of their own home.

Estimated hourly wage: $60 to $65 per hour.

Requirements: A professional massage qualification and license to work in your specialty in your state or region. You’ll need your own massage table, sheets, oils, and suitable music to enhance the experience — as well as a way to transport it all.

Guru

Summary: Another site for freelancing professionals, covering everything from writing to marketing to legal advice. Like Upwork, it allows you to work for people all around the world without moving from your desk.

Estimated hourly wage: Varies widely depending on the job.

Requirements: A computer, an internet connection, and the skills and experience for the sorts of projects you want to bid on. Samples of your work will be a huge help in winning the bidding process for jobs.

Thumbtack

Summary: Thumbtack connects professionals to gig economy customers in their specific area. Examples of some of the services covered include home improvement, wellness, pet care, photography and transcription — in other words, almost everything under the sun.

Estimated hourly wage: Varies with the type of job.

Requirements: Access to the website and possession of the tools of your particular trade.

Freelancer.com

Summary: Like Upwork and Guru, Freelancer.com provides virtual workers in all professions with access to a global client base.

Estimated hourly wage: Varies widely depending on the job.

Requirements: A computer, an internet connection, and the skills and experience for the sorts of projects you want to bid on. Samples of your work can help you stand out.

Turo - Put your car to work for you

Rental Gig Economy Jobs

Rental jobs form a different category from the rest. Here, what matters isn’t your skills, but your possessions. If you have a car, a boat, or a spare room that you’re willing to rent out to strangers, then you can put your assets to work for you.

Airbnb

Summary: Airbnb lets you rent space in your home to guests — usually tourists visiting the area where you live. It matches you with guests, lets you interview them and set the rules for their stay, and provides insurance in case something goes wrong.

Estimated earnings: As with all rentals, hosting an Airbnb takes less time than many other jobs listed here, but it’s hard to estimate an hourly wage. That said, there have been studies on how much Airbnbs make, and nearly half of hosts earn $500 or more per month.

Requirements: You can rent almost any space on Airbnb — a couch in your living room, an air mattress in your basement, a spare room, or an entire home.

Turo

Summary: Turo provides the gig economy equivalent of rental cars. Put your car up on the site and lend it out for a fee.

Estimated earnings: This varies widely depending on your car and the local market. One estimate places the average at $540 per month.

Requirements: A legally-registered car not more than 12 years old with fewer than 130,000 miles on the odometer.

VRBO

Summary: Similar to Airbnb but with a narrower focus, VRBO is a place where you can rent out your property as a vacation home.

Estimated earnings: Because it’s not as widely used, earnings are harder to estimate than for Airbnb. However, VRBO targets a higher-priced market (full-home vacation rentals), so it’s likely that it will generate more with an appropriate property.

Requirements: A property that you own and are willing to rent out for vacationers.

RVShare

Summary: A site that lets you rent out your RV.

Estimated earnings: Depends upon the type of vehicle you have and how often you can rent it out. The site recommends daily fees ranging from $75 to $300+.

Requirements: Ownership of a suitable vehicle in good condition.

Boatsetter

Summary: If you own a boat, then Boatsetter lets you rent it out — either with or without a captain.

Estimated earnings: Varies widely depending upon the boat, where it’s located, and whether you also act as captain.

Requirements: Ownership of a boat.

Best Gig Economy Jobs — Summary

Whether you’re looking to make money on the side via part-time or short-term work, or are searching for a career shift or a full-time job that allows you to make your own schedule, these gig economy jobs provide an array of quality options.

The hourly rate earned by gig workers will vary widely based on a variety of factors, but it’s not unreasonable to aim for $20 per hour right out of the gate — and a lot more if you bring in-demand skills to the table.

If you’re interested in making your own schedule but are looking for something a bit more stable and scalable than gig work, you should also check out this list of the hottest small business ideas you can start from home. Many of them make use of similar skills to the jobs listed here, but provide ways to transition from a laborer to an owner/manager.