Some jobs hover around minimum wage, even if you have years of experience. Then there are jobs that pay an hourly wage of $20 or more with little to no experience.
While you may need to invest in a certification or course to land such a job, doing so can increase your salary for years to come.
Below you’ll find 17 different jobs that pay an hourly rate of $20 with minimal (or zero) experience, broken down into work-at-home and local opportunities.
Work-From-Home Jobs That Pay $20 An Hour
If you’re a natural introvert, work-from-home jobs that pay $20 an hour might seem too good to be true. But they exist, and they’re easier to land than you think.
Quick summary: As a proofreader, you’ll check written content for grammatical, typographical, syntax, spelling, punctuation and formatting mistakes.
If you can diagram a sentence in your sleep, have strong feelings about the Oxford comma, and are looking for a way to make money from home (or from anywhere in the world, for that matter), proofreading might be your dream gig.
Education requirements: Finding a work at home job for a large employer in the proofreading industry may require a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism or another related field. But if you’re willing to work as a freelance proofreader, a college degree may not be necessary.
Average median salary: The average median salary for proofreaders is $42,860 per year.
How to get started: If proofreading appeals to the introvert in you, Caitlin Pyle of Proofread Anywhere has created a free workshop designed to teach you the skills you need to start making money as a freelance proofreader.
Of all the jobs that pay $20 an hour on this list, proofreading may be the one with the most opportunities, because there are nearly 2 billion websites out there and many proofreading jobs are for web content.
#2. Become a Virtual Assistant
Quick summary: Virtual assistants do most of the same things real-world assistants do: write and answer emails, manage schedules, make travel arrangements, and generally serve as a Jack of all trades. If you have experience as an assistant, the transition to being a virtual assistant is almost seamless.
Education requirements: Being a virtual assistant doesn’t require a degree, but most employers will be looking for someone with experience who is a self-starter (since the boss isn’t on-site to provide training and direction).
Average median salary: The median salary for virtual assistants is $39,531 per year.
How to get started: There are hundreds of different services you can provide as a virtual assistant, so it’s important to consider your skills and strengths, as well as what the market demands. What you’re looking for is a job where you can get paid well that also has a need for skilled VAs like yourself.
For a complete guide on becoming a VA, including how to get your first virtual assistant job without any experience, check out the excellent free webinar from Esther Inman: How to Work From Anywhere as a Virtual Assistant.
To see what opportunities are available, check out our post on eight websites to find virtual assistant jobs from home. Scan the job listings on the mentioned websites to get a feel for the type of work available.
Not sure what skills you have to offer? Here’s a guide to gaining the skills needed to become a successful virtual assistant.
#3. Small Business Marketing
Quick summary: Lots of things fall under the umbrella of small business marketing, including search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and managing a company’s online advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google.
If you know what sells and how to sell it, and can deliver results, there are small business owners desperate for your services.
Education requirements: A corporate job in marketing typically requires a degree, but small business owners often have less stringent requirements; they just want someone who gets fast results. Knowing what works and what doesn’t isn’t rocket science, but it does take a little bit of research and learning.
There are a number of certifications (some of which are free), that you can earn to show potential clients that you’re a master with a particular platform, like Google AdWords.
Average median salary: The average median salary for those in small business marketing is $64,156 per year.
How to get started: If you’re brand new to small business marketing, Facebook advertising is a great place to start. There’s strong demand for marketers who understand how to run successful campaigns on the platform, and freelancers can get paid $1,000 to $2,000 per month per client to manage an account.
To learn more, check out our guide: The Best Social Media Jobs (And How to Apply).
Quick summary: Every business needs a bookkeeper to record expenses and income, to reconcile accounts, and to prepare financial statements. If you need money today and are good with numbers, bookkeeping is a solid career choice.
Education requirements: Contrary to what you might think, bookkeepers aren’t required to have a college degree, pass the GMAT, or be a CPA.
You will need to know how to use relevant computer software, however, and getting certification can allow you to earn more money for your work. There are a number of great training programs available online.
Average median salary: The median salary for bookkeepers is $41,806 per year.
How to get started: Bookkeeping is one of the best legit online jobs that provides a steady income because if you’re good at it, you’ll get a lot of word-of-mouth referrals. If you’re new to the field, the training at Bookkeeper Business Launch, which includes a free three-class series, will help get you up to speed fast and free.
#5. Website Development and Computer Programming
Quick summary: Web developers use coding and markup to create websites. Computer programmers use various computer languages to write software programs. These jobs are technical by nature, but learning to code is nowhere near as difficult as you might think.
And while jobs that pay $20 per hour are great, keep reading if you’d like to make several times that, as these are among the most lucrative fields out there.
Education requirements: Web developers and computer programmers often have a degree in graphic design or computer science, but a degree isn’t required and plenty of people have been hired after learning on their own or completing online coding classes.
How to get started: Codecademy offers a number of free coding courses. For those looking for a more structured and intense program, there are coding boot camps available (both online and in-person) and some offer job placement services.
#6. Freelance Writing
Quick summary: Freelance writers write about anything and everything, for all kinds of publications including websites, blogs, magazines and newspapers. A freelance writer may also be contracted to write (or ghostwrite) books.
And you don’t need to be a creative genius to land these jobs, because clients aren’t looking for the next F. Scott Fitzgerald — they just want writing that’s clear, concise and well-researched.
Education requirements: Freelance writing jobs don’t require a degree, but most freelancers are well versed in one or a few specific topics and target clients who also specialize in those areas.
Average median salary: The median salary for freelance writers is $39,706 per year.
How to get started: I side hustled as a freelance writer for a few years. And like many people, I got off to a slow start. But with some experience I started to land high-paying contracts. It was a fantastic source of extra income, which I pursued on and off before launching The Ways To Wealth.
You can learn more about my journey, plus read my advice for beginning freelance writers, in the post: Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners – The Best Sites and Strategies.
If you’re in need of a quick buck, here are five freelance writing sites that pay daily.
#7. Online Tutoring
Quick summary: I have a friend of a friend who stumbled upon online tutoring when looking for side income ideas and found it so enjoyable and lucrative that she quit her day job to do it full time.
There are a lot of online tutoring jobs out there. One of the most popular options right now is teaching ESL (English as a second language) to students of all ages, although most will be children ages 4 through 12.
If you love teaching but don’t want to stand in front of a class or dedicate yourself to pursuing it as a traditional career, you’ll find this type of one-on-one tutoring quite enjoyable.
Education requirements: Many online tutoring sites require a bachelor’s degree in any field; it doesn’t have to be in education or language arts. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, consider applying for another online tutoring role where education requirements differ.
Average median salary: The average median salary for an online tutor is $36,857 per year, which comes out to about $19 per hour for a 40-hour workweek.
How to get started: Scan our list of online tutoring sites to see where your skills and education are most in demand.
#8. Test Websites
Quick summary: Website owners need feedback on the look and functionality of their sites so they understand what’s working as desired and what could be improved. This is valuable information, and they’re willing to pay for it.
Website testers get paid to provide honest feedback about their experience using a site. If you have a knack for providing constructive criticism, testing websites can be a great way to make extra money.
Education requirements: You don’t need a degree to test websites, but clients are often seeking testers from a certain demographic (which you may or may not fall into).
Average median salary: The median salary for full-time website testers is $68,727 per year. That’s based on per-job rates, however, and it might be difficult to find enough work to hit that mark.
How to get started: UserTesting.com connects website testers and clients. This is a good place to start to gain experience, and once you do, you can begin to pursue different paths within the field.
#9. Medical Transcription
Quick summary: Jokes about doctors’ poor handwriting have been around for decades — and for good reason: insurance companies, caseworkers, and others in the medical field need readable medical records.
That’s where medical transcribers come in. They turn spoken medical notes into typed documents. If you have some knowledge of medical terminology and type at lightning speeds, medical transcription is a great fit for you.
Education requirements: Medical transcription doesn’t require a degree, but some background in the medical field is helpful as many of the terms in a doctor’s voice notes aren’t common in everyday language.
Average median salary: The median salary for medical transcribers is $32,744 per year.
Learn more: 10 Online Transcription Jobs for Beginners.
Local and Gig Economy Jobs
If you prefer real-world interactions, there are plenty of options — whether you’re looking for part time jobs, weekend jobs or a full-time position that offers more flexibility than the standard 9 to 5.
#10. Independent Delivery Driver
Quick summary: Back in the dark ages of the early 2000s — before we all had internet-connected computers in our pockets and purses — if you wanted something other than pizza or Chinese takeout delivered right to your door, you had to live in a big city.
And you could only get it if the restaurant or store happened to offer delivery.
Services like Postmates have made that concept seem ancient.
Postmates delivers restaurant food in dozens of locations around the country. In fact, services like these have almost replaced restaurants’ need to hire in-house drivers.
The best part is that you can work 100% on your own schedule. Only have time to make one delivery? No problem — just go offline and go on with your day. There are no schedules and no minimum hours.
Education requirements: You don’t need a degree to drive for Postmates or Uber, but you do need a vehicle that meets the requirements for each company. With Postmates, that doesn’t need to be a car, as you can deliver on a bike or scooter in most locations.
Average median salary: The median salary for delivery drivers is $43,443 per year.
How to get started: If you have some spare time and are looking for a great side hustle, driving for Postmates or Uber is a great option. Sign up today and start earning.
#11. House Cleaner
Quick summary: As more and more families try to juggle two careers and family life, cleaning the house can fall by the wayside. That’s good news if you need a job that pays $20+ per hour (and don’t mind getting your hands a little bit dirty).
Education requirements: You don’t need a degree to become a house cleaner, and while the work isn’t glamorous it can be a way to scale up your earnings relatively quickly if you lack a high school diploma.
Average median salary: The median salary for house cleaners is $25,434 per year.
How to get started: When you’re just starting out, it can be difficult to find job leads and build a client base. Let Care.com do it for you. The site links people who need some help around the house with cleaners who are looking for clients.
Once you start building up a clientele, don’t be afraid to ask happy customers to spread the word about you. Word of mouth referrals are huge in this field, and can lead to better-paying gigs because you’re a known and trusted entity.
#12. Fitness Instructor
Quick summary: Exercise is important, but some people need a little nudge. If you love to work out and are a great motivator, a career as a fitness instructor might be just what you’re looking for.
Education requirements: Freelance fitness instructors don’t need a degree or certification, but working for a facility like a gym or the YMCA will likely require some type of accreditation. You can earn certification online.
Average median salary: The median salary for fitness trainers is $37,241 per year.
How to get started: Social media is a great way for fitness instructors to find clients. Advertise yourself on sites like Facebook, Nextdoor, and especially Instagram (which is a perfect venue to show off the results you’ve delivered for yourself and others).
#13. Dog Walker
Quick summary: Anyone with a dog knows that owning one is a big responsibility. Most owners take care of it themselves, but working a full-time job can make it a challenge to ensure your dog is getting enough exercise throughout the day.
That’s what dog walkers are for: owners will pay you to swing by their home and take their pet for a stroll. If you love dogs, getting paid to walk them might be an ideal job.
Education requirements: Loving dogs is the only requirement.
Average median salary: The median salary for dog walkers is $31,160 per year.
How to get started: Dog walking is another career that can grow rapidly via word of mouth, but if you need to get your foot in the door, Rover can match you with dog owners who need your services.
#14. Real Estate Agent
Quick summary: Buying or selling a home is not straightforward. Parties on both sides of the transaction need guidance. If you watch HGTV non-stop, becoming a real estate agent could be just the path you’re looking for.
Education requirements: You don’t need a degree to become a real estate agent, but you do need to complete the required pre-license education and pass your state’s professional exam.
Average median salary: The median salary for real estate agents is $47,854 per year — although it should go without saying that your potential earnings are limited mostly by your ambition and motivation.
How to get started: Each state licenses real estate agents differently, and you must meet the requirements in the state you wish to work in.
Typically, you’ll need to sign up for an approved course. A great place to start is by getting in touch with the National Association of Realtors, the professional organization that represents and oversees Realtors. They’ll be able to point you to a good program in your state, and answer any questions you have about becoming a Realtor.
Quick summary: Landscaping can encompass lots of different things, from mowing grass to planting flowers, trees and shrubs. If you hate the thought of being stuck inside all day and have a love of lawn care, landscaping might be your calling.
Education requirements: There is no educational requirement to become a landscaper, but a knowledge of what flora do well in your local area can be a competitive advantage.
Some community colleges offer classes in botany and agriculture, and buffing up your knowledge in those areas can help you score better clients and earn more money for your work.
Average median salary: The median salary for landscapers is $32,030 per year.
How to get started: TaskRabbit is a great way to find landscaping clients.
Quick summary: Speaking of TaskRabbit…
This site has all kinds of opportunities, including moving, assembling furniture, hanging artwork and dozens more. There’s someone out there who will pay you for almost any skill.
Education requirements: There is no educational requirement to become a Tasker.
Average median salary: It’s difficult to nail down a median income for a worker on TaskRabbit because the tasks vary so widely, but some are estimated to make as much as $2,000 a week!
How to get started: It’s easy to sign up to become a Tasker, and you can start getting gigs within a few days.
Quick summary: It’s said that everyone is a photographer thanks to the smartphone in their pocket, but photography remains an art form that people will pay good money for. If you know how to take high-quality professional photos, there’s a market for your talent.
Education requirements: There is no degree required to make money from your photography, but you do need real skill.
Average median salary: The median salary for photographers is $45,047 per year.
How to get started: If photography lights your fire but you’re a novice, check out the various classes available at CreativeLive. They regularly offer free live online courses in a variety of disciplines, from photography to web design and everything in between.
You can also check out our guide on getting paid to take pictures with your phone.
Jobs That Pay 20 an Hour: FAQ
A standard 40-hour workweek comes out to 2,080 hours per year, which means your annual salary will be $41,600 before taxes.
Absolutely — and many that pay even more. Many of the jobs on this list, including proofreading, freelance writing and virtual assisting — are ideal for remote work. You can also refer to our list of the best online jobs, and search for remote jobs on FlexJobs, a site completely dedicated to remote work job listings.
Unfortunately, there are very few retail jobs that pay $20 per hour. According to research conducted by Investopedia, only Costo has a significant number of workers earning an hourly wage of $20 or higher.
Retail store managers are usually paid on a salary basis, and their average hourly rate may come out to $20 or more.
Earning $20 Per Hour: Summary
The power of landing a higher-paying job, far above federal minimum wage, is that it not only improves your income today but also fuels your job growth by serving as a baseline for future annual salary raises as you progress through your career.
So, this isn’t just about earning a few more dollars per hour — it’s about earning substantially more money over your lifetime.
Consider your options, check out one of the many resources we mentioned here (as well as our list of the highest-paying gig economy jobs), talk to others in the field you’re considering, and then choose wisely.