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 18 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.
#1 — Proofreading
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: Working from home for a large employer in the proofreading industry may require a degree in English, journalism, or another related field. But if you’re willing to work (or at least to start) on a freelance basis, a 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 daily workshop designed to teach you the skills you need to start making money as a 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 — 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, 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 AdSesne.
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 new to small business marketing, there are some great resources available to help you develop your skills. If you’re looking to get into the SEO niche, Click Minded is a one-stop-shop for learning the skills small businesses are looking for. Growth Marketing Guide is another great comprehensive resource for those involved in all aspects of marketing.
#3 — Online Tutoring with VIPKid
Quick summary: I have a friend of a friend who stumbled upon VIPKid 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, but VIPKid is one of the best. You’ll teach ESL (English as a second language) to Chinese and Korean 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 VIPKid very appealing.
Education requirements: VIPKid requires 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. VIPKid also requires that you have some kind of teaching experience, but it doesn’t have to be formal classroom experience — it can be coaching, teaching Sunday school, etc.
Average median salary: The average median salary for online tutoring jobs is $36,857 per year, which comes out to about $19 per hour for a 40-hour work week. VIPKid’s online tutors can make up to $22 per hour.
How to get started: The hiring process at VIPKid is fairly rigorous, and includes a 25-minute mock lesson. There’s a great website with YouTube tutorials, My VIPKid Journey, that I recommend checking out before you start the application process. It even includes a hiring guide and e-course.
#4 — Bookkeeping
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’ll 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 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 — these are among the most lucrative fields out there.
Education requirements: Web developers and computer programmers often have a degree in computer science, but a degree isn’t required and plenty of people have been hired — even at major software companies — 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: There are many niches that need freelance writers. Gina Horkey’s free guide to Freelance Writing Niches will help you find the best niche for you. Once you’re ready to start pursuing clients, there are multiple sites that feature freelance writing jobs, such as Upwork, Guru and Fiverr.
#7 — 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 real-world 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: Because the duties of a virtual assistant will vary from job to job, it’s best to be well-rounded. The Horkey Handbook provides a free list of the 150 most sought after skills for virtual assistant jobs. Freelancing and job listing sites almost always have postings for VAs.
#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.
How to get started: Career Step offers a program that specializes in training people for a career in medical transcription.
Local and Gig Economy Jobs
#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 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 (and lots of other things, too) 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. If you don’t like the errand-running aspect of driving for a service like Postmates, you can also deliver people to wherever they need to go as an Uber driver.
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 (as well as a compatible smartphone, like an iPhone or most Android devices). With Postmates, that doesn’t need to be a car — in many locations, you can deliver on a bike, on a scooter, or even on foot.
Average median salary: The median salary for delivery drivers is $43,443 per year.
#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 — Bartender
Quick summary: Everyone loves a good bartender, and this field has long been a go-to for those looking for weekend or part-time work that doesn’t interfere with their day job. If you don’t mind being the only sober person at the party, tending bar can really help pay the bills.
Education requirements: You don’t need a degree to become a bartender, but many bars — especially the best ones (which are where you’ll earn the best tips) — require a certificate from a bartending school. Such programs usually only take around 20 or 30 hours to complete, cost a few hundred dollars, and will teach you how to make great drinks that keep the tips flowing.
Average median salary: The median salary for bartenders is $34,697 per year.
How to get started: One of the great things about America is that there are bars in almost every town, and it’s pretty easy to get a foot in the door if you’re looking for this type of work. The hours are usually late, and the customers can be difficult to deal with, so bars and restaurants have notoriously high turnover rates. As such, landing an entry-level bartending gig often involves nothing more than walking into a bar or restaurant and asking for a job… although as noted previously, prestigious establishments often require the completion of a bartending course.
#14 — 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.
#15 — 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.
#16 — Landscaping
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 Hank Hill-like 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.
#17 — TaskRabbit
Quick summary: Speaking of TaskRabbit…
This site has all kinds of opportunities, including moving, putting together 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 Taskers 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.
#18 — Photography
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.
The power of landing a higher-paying job 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.