Make Money

32 Highest Paying Gig Economy Jobs for 2020

Highest-Paying-Gig-Economy-Jobs
Some links included here are from our sponsors. Please read our affiliate disclaimer for more information.

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 jobs 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. We cover this in more detail in the FAQ section at the end of the article. 

But it does provide unmatched freedom when it comes to when and where you work.

And for many people, it also provides a steady and 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.

*Hourly wages are reported by Glassdoor and current as of 10/20/20. App reviews were included only when a brand has a standalone gig app for workers. Reviews are also current as of 10/20/20.

16 Manual Labor Gig Economy Jobs

These are the simplest gig economy jobs. They offer 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.

#1. Postmates Courier

Summary: An on-demand delivery service operating in hundreds of U.S. cities, Postmates will pay you to deliver food from restaurants, groceries and convenience store items 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.

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
4.7104,6573.243,547

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 gig app, so a smartphone is a must.

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.

Working as a Postmates courier can also be a great option if you’re looking for overnight jobs, as there’s surprisingly strong demand for delivery in the late night and early morning hours.

#2. 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 the customer’s doorstep.

Estimated hourly wage: $11 per hour, although the amount of money you’ll earn depends on the same factors as noted in the Postmates section above.  

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
4.7593,3463.350,929

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 older. 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.

#3. Grubhub

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

Estimated hourly wage: $12 per hour.

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
3.12,3843.310,095

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.

#4. 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: Average pay of $16 per hour, keeping in mind you’re paying for gas and other related vehicle expenses. As with the other opportunities listed in this article, this isn’t a flat rate; your actual earnings can vary widely depending on the location and demand. 

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
4.6568,3633.92,059,179

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, 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.

#5. Lyft

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

Estimated hourly wage: $16 per hour.

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
4.585,3484.079,474

Requirements: As with Uber, a decent car and a 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.

#6. Instacart

Summary: Shopping for and/or delivering groceries to Instacart customers (you can work as a shopper, a delivery driver, or both).

Estimated hourly wage: $14 per hour.

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
4.8224,3723.947,547

Requirements: If working as a driver, you’ll need reliable access to a suitable vehicle. Both drivers and shoppers need a relatively up-to-date smartphone, as well as the ability to lift 30 to 40 pounds of groceries.

#7. 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.

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
4.51,7832.91,177

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.

#8. 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.

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
2.46,5861.8755

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.

Related Reading: Amazon work from home jobs – what’s available and how to get them.

#9. 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.

Related Reading: The 10 best apps that pay you to walk.

#10. 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: $13 to 16 per hour.

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
4.0713.7242

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.

#11. 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.

#12. 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: $8 to $9 per hour.

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
4.63,6153.65,847

Requirements: A GPS-enabled smartphone.

#13. Shipt

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

Estimated hourly wage: $11 per hour.

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
4.867,5573.811,130

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.

#14. TaskEasy

Summary: TaskEasy freelancers offer lawn mowing, 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.

#15. 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.

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
3.3144.0300

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.

#16. 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.

Gig Economy Jobs for Skilled Workers

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 gig jobs have more stringent requirements than many of the options 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.

#17. 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.

Other options: The best online tutoring jobs.

#18. 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).

#19. 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, the necessary software, and talent as a graphic designer. These are no qualification requirements, so you’ll prove your worth through the samples and competition entries you put up on the site.

#20. Upwork

Summary: Upwork is a marketplace for all kinds of independent work that can be carried out over the internet. This includes writing, design, IT, marketing, translation, legal, admin and more. 

If you can do it on a computer with an internet connection, you can probably get paid for it through Upwork.

Estimated hourly wage: Varies widely depending on the job.

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
4.8‎9,5774.338,078

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 technically required, but they’ll be a huge help in winning the bidding process for jobs.

You can learn more about how to get started in our Upwork beginner’s guide.

#21. Fiverr

Summary: Another broad-ranging gig platform. 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. The specialized tools and knowledge needed will depend on the services you’re providing.

#22. 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.

#23. 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.

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
4.6‎‎31,3193.96,157

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

#24. 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.

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
4.3‎‎1693.5321

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.

#25. Guru

Summary: Another gig economy platform aimed at freelance processionals, Guru covers 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.

We listed it below Upwork and Fiverr because there are usually fewer jobs available on the site.

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.

#26. 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.

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
4.414,2733.71,251

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

#27. Freelancer.com

Summary: Like Upwork and Fiverr, Freelancer.com provides virtual workers in all professions with access to a global client base. However, like Guru there aren’t always a huge number of jobs on the site.

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.

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.

#28. Airbnb

Summary: Airbnb lets you rent space in your home to guests, which are usually tourists visiting the area where you live. It matches you with potential renters, 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, whether that’s a couch in your living room, an air mattress in your basement, a spare room or an entire home.

#29. 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.

#30. 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.

App Reviews:

iOS RatingiOS Review CountAndroid RatingAndroid Vote Count
4.6104,6923.99,222

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

#31. 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.

#32. 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.

3 Tips For Choosing The Right Gig Economy Job

Tip #1: Always Calculate Your Net Profit

Opportunities like AmazonFlex and it’s $19 per hour rate, which is one of the higher on this list, may sound enticing at first. 

However, it’s important to consider what your real expenses are and subtract them from the income you’d likely receive. 

For driving-related expenses, here’s what AAA lists as what it actually costs you to drive per mile, when all costs (such as fuel, maintenance, repair, tires, insurance, license, depreciation, finance and average finance charges) are included.

The figures below are for a car driven 15,000 miles per year.

Small SedanMedium SedanLarge SedanSmall SUVMedium SUV 
$0.4742$0.5762$0.5762$0.5762 $0.5762 

Each opportunity may have different expenses involved. It’s important to know what these expenses are, as well as whether they’re tax-deductible, and how that impacts your net profit.

Because there are many factors that will influence your expenses — such as how densely-packed your deliveries are — it’s hard to estimate what your costs will be before you start. So it’s important to have an expense-tracking plan in place from the beginning. 

That can be as simple as keeping a journal in your phone’s notes app, where you record your odometer at the start and end of each day.

Just multiply your number of miles driven times the appropriate figure above, and subtract it from that day’s earnings to get your net income. 

Tip #2: Working Peak Times Is Important for Maximizing Your Earning Ability

If you can only work the morning shift, an opportunity such as DoorDash or Grubhub, where the majority of orders are either for lunch or dinner, will lower what you can expect to earn each day. 

Some apps will even compensate you for a higher base rate for working during peak hours. Uber is well known for its surge pricing, where drivers can earn more money. Instacart has “Peak Times” which up the base rate for their shoppers and drivers. 

Tip #3: Connect With Other Gig Economy Workers

A screenshot from the Instacart subreddit.

There are some very strong gig worker communities on both Reddit and Facebook that you can and should get involved in. 

Once you start working, look for a particular community that’s devoted to the type of gig work you’re involved in. 

It’s here that you’ll learn best practices that will maximize your earnings for a particular job, as well as stay up-to-date on the latest news about your platform of choice.

Most importantly, you’ll connect with others who are doing similar work. 

Gig Jobs FAQ

Do any gig jobs offer benefits? 

As a general rule, the answer is “no” — gig jobs do not offer any of the benefits you’d receive via traditional employment, such as health insurance and paid sick leave. That’s primarily because gig economy workers are typically classified as an “independent contractor,” even if they work the same amount of hours as a full time employee.

Some gig economy companies provide access to similar benefits through partnerships with providers. For example, you may be able to get a discount on a health insurance plan through a gig platform. However, this discounted plan will almost certainly cost more than what you’d pay by getting insurance through a traditional employment relationship.

Can gig workers collect unemployment? 

While the rules about who can collect unemployment vary by state, gig workers are typically prohibited from collecting unemployment benefits.

The reason for this is because those benefits are funded through unemployment insurance, which is a tax paid by employers. However, as a gig worker, you’re an “independent contract” rather than a full time employee, so no unemployment insurance has been paid on your behalf.

In light of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed a law making it easier for states to temporarily offer unemployment benefits to gig workers

Are gig workers entitled to earn at least minimum wage?

Because gig workers are technically considered freelance workers, gig economy companies are not required to pay the federal minimum wage. However, many states have minimum wage laws that are more strict than the federal regulations, and companies are usually required to comply with those rules

What is a contingent worker?

The term “contingent worker” is a technical way to refer to freelance workers and independent contractors. In practice, it’s most often used when referring to highly-skilled independent workers who are experts in their field, such as consultants. However, your gig platform’s terms of service may refer to you as a contingent worker.

Best Gig Economy Jobs: Final Thoughts

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 freelancing and 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.

R.J. Weiss
R.J. Weiss is the founder and editor of The Ways To Wealth, a Certified Financial Planner™, husband and father of three. He's spent the last 10+ years writing about personal finance and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, MSN Money, and other publications.

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *