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28 Highest Paying Gig Economy Jobs & Where To Find Them

28 Highest Paying Gig Economy Jobs & Where To Find Them
Quinlan Vowles Mar 15, 2020
Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

Considering a gig economy job?

Whether you’re between jobs, not making enough at your current job, or you’re just sick of the nine-to-five life, you have options.

The gig economy is booming — there are tons of high-paying jobs out there that offer a great payout without a huge commitment.

Over 1/3 of the U.S. workforce currently has a gig economy job.

That’s a lot! And those numbers are rising — more people are seeking side-hustles and short-term work every year.

Interested?

Here’s everything you need to know about gig economy jobs, including how to find some of the highest paying gigs out there.

What is a “Gig Economy” Job, Exactly?

You might have heard the term “gig economy” before. But what does it really mean?

In a gig economy, most jobs are temporary. Big companies are more likely to hire independent contractors than full-time employees.

The benefits of a gig economy include cheaper, more efficient services, high availability of work, and a lot of freedom for most workers. It means less emphasis on a permanent career, and prioritizing making money in the short-term.

Is all of America a gig economy?

Well, not exactly. Most Americans still have full-time careers — but that is changing. Some estimates say that by 2023 over half the workforce will have a gig economy job, either as a side-hustle or as their primary source of income.

To put it simply, a gig economy job is any skilled work that you can do on your own, without a boss. It can be anything from babysitting to fixing roofs to freelance writing.

Gig economy workers create their own schedules, market themselves, and turn their skills into cash directly. There’s minimal commitment and tons of flexibility. Not all gig economy jobs offer high pay at the start, but some can be a substitute for a full-time career in the long run.

If you have the motivation and the right skills — or are willing to learn new skills — a gig economy job can be a great way to boost your income.

The Benefits of Gig Economy Jobs

Again, gig economy jobs come with tons of freedom and flexibility — and that’s not their only benefit.

Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re perfect for everyone. There’s a reason so many people still choose to pursue permanent careers. Gig economy jobs can be unpredictable, and don’t offer the stability of a full-time job.

Still, for a dedicated, hard-working person, the pros of gig economy work definitely outweigh the cons. These jobs are perfect for travelers, students, busy parents, interns… pretty much anyone who wants to make more money, on their own time!

Here are just a few of the benefits of taking on a high-paying gig:

Work when you want:

One of the coolest thing about independent work is that it allows you to set your own schedule. That means you can work around your day-to-day obligations — whether that’s working at your day job or spending time with your kids.

With a gig economy job, you can work on the weekends, late at night, part-time, or full-time. It’s up to you! Make money whenever you have the time for it.

Monetize your skills:

Have a talent or passion you’re proud of?

Maybe you’re a talented artist, writer, or photographer. You might be great with kids or animals. Or, maybe you’re in awesome shape, and have no problem with heavy lifting.

Whatever your individual skills are, a gig economy job lets you directly profit off them.

We’re lucky to live in a time when we can turn our creativity and passions into real, profitable jobs!

Check through the list of high-paying gig economy jobs below. You might find something that’s a perfect fit for your skills.

Work from anywhere:

A lot of gig economy jobs can be done remotely. You can make money from home, or from anywhere.

Digital nomads are freelancers and remote workers who have ditched the desk job to travel the world. They make their income online, with just a laptop and a wifi connection.

Pretty cool, right?

But it’s not just a solution to wanderlust. A remote job is also great for stay-at-home parents, college students, or anyone who can’t commit to on-location work.

One-time or temporary work:

Need cash now, but can’t commit to more than a day or two?

There are plenty of gig economy jobs that offer single-opportunity work — no training, investment, or commitment needed. By filling out a quick survey online or participating in a single study, you can make a handful of cash and be on your way.

Check out apps and job posting sites for temporary or one-time work opportunities — they can be a lifesaver when you need a financial boost.

Highest Paying Gig Economy Jobs: By Category

So you want to make money independently? Awesome! A gig economy job is a way to go.

But where to start? There are tons of gig economy jobs out there, for all different levels of skill and commitment.

To help you on your search, we’ve broken down some of the highest paying gig economy jobs by category. You should find something on this list that fits your skills and will pay you well.

Remember, a gig economy job is still a job. Some of these gigs might require special training or online courses — you should be prepared to invest some time and energy if you want to make a lot of money.

That said, all these jobs offer potentially great pay, with a high level of flexibility! Just read on to learn more.

Ride-Sharing Gig Economy Jobs

Have a car, a phone, and a valid driver’s license? That’s all you need for a high-paying job in the ride-sharing industry!

Ride-sharing has totally revolutionized transportation in the past few years. Not only does it make it easier for us to get around, but it provides employment for thousands of people.

And you don’t necessarily need drive passengers to make an income in ride-sharing. There are plenty of ways to make money by helping people get where they need to go. Here are a few of the most popular:

1. Drive for a ride-sharing app

Becoming a Lyft or Uber driver is one of the most common gig economy jobs out there. It comes with great weekly pay and you can make your own schedule — but it does require some commitment.

First, you need to have the right qualifications to drive for a ride-sharing company. That includes: a clean driving record, a newer vehicle, personal insurance, and sometimes past experience driving passengers. You also need to be over 21.

To start driving, you have to first submit a records check and have your car inspected. Then you will submit bank account information to make sure you can get paid.

After all that, you can start picking up passengers on your own time. You’ll be rated by your passengers, which can affect how much work you get in the future — so keep your car sparkling clean and your passengers entertained.

Driving for a ridesharing company can be a great temporary job if you have free nights and weekends. It does take some effort, especially at the start, but the payoff is definitely worth it.

2. Rent out your car

Did you know you can make money with your car without actually driving it?

Apps like Getaround let you rent your car to pre-approved drivers in your area. It’s an awesome way to make passive income — you’ll get the payout without putting in much work!

You have to have a newer model car and keep it in good condition. Just register your car on the app, list its availability, and start earning. It’s super easy, and ideal for someone who is too busy to drive passengers themselves.

3. Charge electric scooters

Not exactly ride-sharing, but a great job in transportation is charging and maintaining electric scooters.

Bird is one company that hires drivers to collect, charge, and replace their scooters around a city. Signing up is really easy: you just need to prove that you have a car, and attach your bank account info to get paid.

Once you’re signed up, you just use the app to find scooters that need charging, pick them up, charge them overnight at home, and then distribute them around the city the next day.

Best of all, Bird pays scooter chargers every day!

Delivery Gig Economy Jobs

Once upon a time, the only delivery job out there was for the pizza companies. Today, that has changed.

Delivery isn’t just a job for teenagers anymore. It’s a high-paying, dependable job for anyone with a car and a driver’s license — or just a bike. You can easily get hired with a door-to-door delivery service and start working as much as you want, whenever you want.

Because of the high flexibility and easy entry requirements, delivery gigs are perfect for college students who need to make a few extra bucks. They’re also great for interns or someone just starting out in a new job.

While the pay per trip for delivery is a little lower than most ride-sharing jobs, you also have the opportunity to make tips — and have cash in hand after every delivery.

Here are a few of the best-paying delivery jobs available right now:

4. Meal delivery

There are tons of meal delivery apps that hire drivers to take food from a restaurant to a customer.

Grubhub is one of the original, and most popular, meal delivery service. They require their drivers to be at least nineteen years old, have a reliable car, and have been driving for at least two years. Because they’ve been around for a while, you can get a job with Grubhub in most cities and even small towns.

UberEats is a good option for someone who doesn’t have a car. As long as you are over nineteen, you can deliver with a bike or motorized scooter.

Both of these apps pay every week, and reimburse for mileage if you’re using a car.

5. Grocery delivery

Similar to meal delivery, there are plenty of apps that offer grocery delivery services.

Instacart is one company that hires grocery shoppers in cities and towns all over America. Here’s how it works: you set your availability on the app, receive an order, pick up the groceries and deliver them to the customer. You can also choose to just be a shopper, if you don’t have a car.

It does require a little more effort than meal delivery — but that means better tips when you do a good job. Most Instacart shoppers make around $20 per hour.

One of the main benefits of grocery delivery, as opposed to meal delivery, is a lower stress level. Customers are usually not in as much of a rush to get their groceries, as they are with a hot meal. You can also work during the daytime and in the mornings, instead of delivering meals mostly at night.

6. Alcohol and cannabis delivery

In the past couple of years, delivery services have really branched out. If you’re over twenty-one, you can work for a niche delivery service bringing people their grown-up goodies.

Saucey is a unique service that hires drivers to hand-deliver beer, wine, spirits, and even cigars to customers. They’re only available in select cities right now (check their website to see where), but they’re expected to grow as the service gets more popular.

In states where cannabis is legal, apps like Eaze hire drivers to deliver products from certified retailers to their customers. Again, you have to be over twenty-one, and have a valid driver’s license.

Why should you consider delivering alcohol or cannabis? Well, you can get paid the same rates as for meal and grocery delivery services, while helping people to safely enjoy themselves at home. And the tips definitely can’t hurt!

Gig Economy Jobs in Tech

If you’re a tech-savvy professional looking for more flexibility in your career, a gig economy job might be the way to go.

Believe it or not, there are tons of gig economy jobs in the tech field. Companies are always looking to hire skilled freelancers who can work remotely or on a short-term basis. It’s one of the main reasons people are choosing to learn coding and other digital skills, instead of more traditional trades.

If we’re talking high-paying gig economy jobs, the tech industry pretty much takes the cake. These jobs definitely take some significant know-how and training, but they can lead you into a full-time career — with a huge payoff and benefits.

So, who should consider a gig economy job in tech?

Anyone with a knack for computer science, or a willingness to learn, anyone who wants to work in an innovative, high-paying field without committing to a corporate desk job, or anyone who wants to get involved in the tech world and can see a future for themselves there.

In short, pretty much anyone!

Here are a few high-paying gig economy jobs in tech that you might want to consider pursuing:

7. Deep learning and artificial intelligence

Deep learning and artificial intelligence developers are among the highest-paid gig economy workers in the world. With the right skills and experience, you can make well over $100 an hour in this field as an independent contractor.

What is deep learning?

Deep learning software can teach and develop itself. A deep learning developer creates programs that can learn from voice or image recognition algorithms and make intelligent decisions. They design the technology we use every day, from bots like Siri and Alexa to apps and translators.

To qualify for a gig economy job in deep learning or artificial intelligence, you’ll need at least a Bachelor’s degree in computer science. You’ll also need plenty of experience and extensive knowledge of the design programs used.

This is definitely a career path, not a part-time job. With the right qualifications and enough hard work, deep learning developers can end up working for tech giants like Netflix or Google.

8. Ethical hacking

Another super high-paying gig in the tech industry is ethical hacking. If you’ve never heard that term before, it means hacking into a company’s systems in order to help protect them.

In other words, an ethical hacker is hired by a company to try to break through their firewalls, crack encryptions, etc. and retrieve sensitive information — then they advise the company on what they did and how it can be prevented.

Sounds pretty cool, right?

Ethical hacking is an awesome career path. There is never a shortage of jobs for a qualified expert, and rates generally run around $60 per hour or more. Plus, protecting people’s private data is a really important job!

To qualify, you have to become a Certified Ethical Hacker — that can be done through online courses. Then you can build up experience by taking on jobs through Upwork, Gigster, and other freelancing sites.

9. Blockchain architecture

With the rise of cryptocurrencies, jobs in blockchain are increasingly sought-after.

Blockchain developers design programs that connect users and publicly track transactions. It’s pretty complex, but someone with a background in computer science can learn blockchain programming with the help of online courses.

One of the coolest things about blockchain is that it’s a growing industry — now is the perfect time to get involved. In the coming years, more and more companies are going to be investing in blockchain, and will be looking to hire experts in blockchain architecture.

That’s not to say it’s not a high-paying job right now — the average blockchain developer can make around $80 per hour or more as a freelancer. If you’re interested in cryptocurrencies and have experience in software programming, a job in blockchain architecture is the perfect choice.

What’s more, this is another tech job that can be done remotely, from anywhere in the world.

10. Coding

New to the tech world? Coding is the best place to start.

Anyone can learn how to write code. It takes some time, and a little investment, but once you have a basic understanding of programming language, you can start to build up experience.

Coding jobs could be anything from designing a website to creating an app. There is plenty of work available, even for beginners — check sites like Linkedin, Indeed, and even Craigslist to get started.

Once you have some significant experience as a coder, you can start getting higher-paying jobs, and even turn it into a stable career. Best of all, most coding jobs are totally remote — you can develop your skills from home, or as a digital nomad.

Freelance Gig Economy Jobs

We can’t talk about the gig economy without talking about freelancing.

What is freelancing, exactly?

“Freelance” is a broad term that applies to anyone who could be considered self-employed. In other words, if you take on jobs with multiple clients, instead of working directly for a company, you can call yourself a freelancer.

Aren’t all gig economy jobs freelance jobs?

Not exactly. Some of the jobs on this list can be considered freelancing (especially the tech jobs listed above) but they also fit into specific niche industries. These days, freelance jobs generally refer to remote work that takes a certain set of skills, and is done for one company or client at a time.

These freelance jobs are some of the most popular gig economy jobs. They do take some training and experience, but they’re pretty easy to get into, no matter what your educational background is.

Dedicated freelancers in any of these fields can absolutely make a full-time salary — without ever stepping into a corporate office.

11. Freelance writing

Writing is currently the most common freelance job on the market — and it’s not hard to see why.

With so much content online these days, there is a constant need for skilled writers. Freelancers write blog posts, articles, SEO (Search Engine Optimized) content, and more. And all they need is a laptop and an internet connection!

Anyone can get started as a freelance writer. It can be a great way to make a little extra income from home, or — if you’re super dedicated — it can become a full-time career.

You’ll want to start by researching and picking a niche you want to write in — that could be travel, copywriting, SEO content, or something you already specialize in, like education or health. Then you can start taking jobs on gig sites or content mills. The more you work, the more experience you’ll gain.

With a good portfolio and plenty of experience, a skilled freelance writer can make up to $40,000 a year, or more.

12. Digital marketing

Digital marketing is exactly what it sounds like: marketing, but online.

There are a lot of different jobs that could fall under the umbrella of “digital marketing.” It could mean SEO and copywriting, website design, creating social media ads, writing emails, and much, much more.

So, what sets a digital marketer apart from a freelance writer or graphic designer?

It’s all about the emphasis on marketing. A successful digital marketing professional will work directly with a company to improve their image and attract customers. Often, they hire writers and designers to help them complete a whole project.

Freelance digital marketing could be a great path for someone with a business degree or other marketing experience. Just like with writing, anyone can start out with easy digital marketing jobs, and develop their talents over time to get higher-paying jobs.

13. Virtual assistance

Have you ever heard of a virtual assistant?

It’s a niche job that has become pretty common over the past decade, as more and more day-to-day tasks are being done online. A virtual assistant is someone who works remotely for a company or individual, and handles a variety of jobs for them. They help with drafting emails, organizing events, booking trips, and even overseeing content creation.

To become a virtual assistant, you’ll need to be super organized, tech-savvy, and a great communicator. It definitely helps to have some past experience as an administrative assistant (online or in person).

Most importantly, you’ll need to be consistently available. Unlike some other freelancers, virtual assistants usually work on a set schedule. It’s essentially an office job in the comfort of your own home.

14. Proofreading and editing

Finally, one of the best paying freelance jobs on the market is proofreading and editing texts.

Sounds weird, right? You would think the people who write ebooks and blogs make the most money. Actually, proofreaders are often better paid for the amount of work they do.

That’s all thanks to supply and demand. Writers need skilled proofreaders and editors to improve their work — and there just aren’t that many out there. Therefore, freelance proofreaders get to determine their own rates, and enjoy great pay for pretty minimal work.

Of course, you can’t become a professional editor or proofreader overnight. The highest-paid editors have degrees in English literature (or a similar field), and usually have some experience in the publishing industry. You should be familiar with how to format an ebook, as well as having superb grammar and language skills.

If you fit into those categories, you could make great money as a freelance proofreader or editor.

Creative Gig Economy Jobs

Have a creative talent you want to market?

One of the coolest things about gig economy jobs is that they let artists and creative people profit off their talents. Photographers, bloggers, cartoonists, etc. can get their work out there and make money like never before.

Unfortunately, not everyone can make a full-time salary by marketing their creative talents. But some of these jobs can help artists to make some extra cash while they’re working toward another goal. Plus, working in a creative field allows you to develop your skills and improve, while you earn your paycheck.

In other words, that old stereotype of the “starving artist” isn’t really relevant anymore — there are gig economy jobs for creative people in every field!

Here are just a few of the most popular:

15. Blogging

If you have a great writing voice, a creative story to tell, and a knack for design, you should consider turning a profit with a blog.

Tons of people make money off their blogs. Some people can even turn blogging into a full-time career. It’s all about partnering with companies and getting as much traffic on your blog as possible.

So, how can you get to that point?

Most bloggers start out by taking classes online. They learn how to use the right keywords, formatting, etc. to market their blog and attract readers. Then, they start putting out posts on a regular basis.

The more you post on your blog, the more attention it will get. Travel and food blogs are especially popular, and are a great platform for companies to market their products or services. If you have a creative, highly visible, and unique blog, you can partner with multiple companies to produce paid content and make an awesome paycheck.

Better yet, bloggers get paid for doing what they love. That is, writing, creating, traveling, cooking — whatever!

If you’re considering starting a blog, you should do your research and consider investing in an online course to get started.

16. Social media influencing

We’ve all heard the term “social media influencer.” But what does an influencer do?

Influencers make money the same way bloggers do: by partnering with companies to produce marketable content. They’re called “influencers” because they usually promote a certain lifestyle — whether it’s fitness, travel, healthy living, or parenting. They use their social media accounts to inspire and influence others.

Sound like a job for you? It takes some time to become a paid influencer — you have to really market your account, and put in the research to make sure your posts will get the right attention. But if you’re a social media junkie and think you can attract a lot of followers, it’s totally worth a shot.

Influencers use platforms like Youtube, Instagram, and TikTok to market their content. If you want to start an influencer account, you should first pick your platform, and your niche: what will make people want to follow you?

Get creative, and let your passion show in every post!

17. Photography

Photography is one of the oldest gig economy jobs around. As long as there have been cameras, there have been independent photographers.

But the field has changed a lot in recent years. Today, there are more photographers selling there work than ever — and there are also more platforms to sell it on than ever.

To get started as a freelance photographer, you’ll want to build up a portfolio of great shots. It helps to have knowledge of photoshop and other photo editing platforms.

You can sell your photos to sites like Shutterstock or Bigstock pretty easily. Foapp is another great option — you can sell photos you took on your phone. As your portfolio grows, you can begin marketing to individual companies and designers.

18. Cartoons and illustrations

Love drawing? Have a great sense of humor?

Believe it or not, there’s a huge market for freelance cartoonists and illustrators. Magazines, newspapers, and online publications hire artists all the time.

Just like with photography, the best way to start as an illustrator is by building up a portfolio. Create as much as you can, and post your work on a website or social media account where it can be seen.

The more visible your art is, the more marketable you will be as an artist. Eventually, you can sell your art to top brands and publications. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!

Service Gig Economy Jobs

The gig economy is not all about apps and online influence.

Actually, the majority of gig economy jobs are in the service industry — most independent contractors are providing a direct service to their customers, in person or online. That includes everyone from babysitters to handymen.

Over 107 million Americans work in the service industry. Restaurant and retail workers, health providers, and transportation workers are all included in that sector. And while many of them work for a company or corporation, plenty are gig economy workers, too.

You might not know it, but you’ve probably had a gig economy job in the service sector already. Ever watched your friend’s pets, or helped them move? Did you mow lawns in your neighborhood when you were a kid? That’s service!

A service job can be exactly what you need to make some quick cash. In fact, if you’re looking for a quick, one-time gig or super short-term work right in your neighborhood, this is the right place.

Check out some of these high-paying service gig economy jobs, for people of all ages and trades:

19. Homesharing and hosting

If you own your home, you already have a great source of income.

Homesharing is easier now than ever before — and more popular. Websites like Airbnb make it super easy for homeowners to temporarily rent out their properties. You can set your own price, and screen renters yourself.

Better yet, temporary homesharing lets you make income off your property without putting in the more serious work of being a landlord. And you can rent your space as often as you’d like.

You don’t need to rent out your entire home on a homesharing app. It can be a spare room or guest unite that you’re not using. Basically, with just a little work and upkeep, you can make tons of money off space you already own.

20. Catering

While most food service jobs are based in restaurants, there’s one that offers all the freedom of an independent gig: catering.

Actually, tons of professional chefs choose to quit the restaurant scene and set out on their own as caterers. It lets them work on their own time, set their own rates, and be their own boss.

Starting your own catering company can be a lot of work, and you’ll definitely need some professional restaurant experience. However, you can easily get your start working part-time on catering gigs. Just check local job sites for companies hiring in your area.

Working in catering is a great way to get restaurant experience, without committing to a restaurant job. Not to mention, great tips, the opportunity to travel, and delicious leftovers!

21. Moving, construction, and housework

Owning a home is hard work. It takes constant upkeep and a lot of physical labor, not to mention the effort of moving furniture and getting settled.

That’s where you can help!

If you don’t mind getting a little dirty, and have the right skills and tools, you can make a killing helping out homeowners in your neighborhood. There’s always a market for handymen (or women) in every city and small town.

How can you get started marketing moving or home services?

Well, you can always go the old-fashioned way and post flyers around your block. Or, consider building a personal website to attract customers. On top of that, websites like Craigslist and apps like Taskrabbit allow independent contractors to post adds and get reviews.

22. Interior decorating

Have a great eye for interior design? That’s a marketable skill.

Tons of homeowners need help decorating their homes, but don’t have the funds to hire a professional interior design firm. Those are the people you can help as an amateur interior decorator.

Just like with handyman services, interior decorators can offer their services on apps and websites. They help homeowners to plan their space, shop for new furniture and decor on a budget, and put in the finishing touches. Best of all, they can charge an hourly rate, and get paid right away.

23. Pet services

Love animals? Why not make a little money working with them?

Busy pet owners can always use help. In fact, dog walking services like Rover are becoming more and more popular in urban areas. They let people connect to reliable dog walkers in their area, who can take care of their fur babies while they’re at work or traveling.

On top of that, you can also make money as a pet groomer, pet sitter, or by hosting pets in your home. Modern apps make it super easy to market those services and find clients.

Pet services can be an awesome first job for a teenager, or a great side job for a student or professional. Plus, who doesn’t love spending time with furry friends?

24. Online tutoring

A lot of people forget this, but education is a part of the service industry, too. (A really important part.)

Online tutoring is an awesome gig for someone with a college education. You can work remotely, tutoring children and teenagers in a specific subject, and get paid by the hour.

Some of the most popular subjects for online tutors are foreign languages, English, math, and advanced sciences. Online tutoring websites make the hiring process easy, and pay on a regular basis.

Luckily, you don’t need a teaching certification to tutor students online. That’s why it’s one of the best options for college students and travelers — tutors can work remotely, without much experience or training.

Research and Review Gig Economy Jobs

Finally, there are some unique gig economy jobs that don’t quite fit into any of the categories listed above. They involve testing something out and providing honest feedback — and getting paid.

Some of these jobs can make you tons of money in a pinch. They may seem random, but that’s not a bad thing. It just goes to show how eclectic the modern gig economy is. No matter what, there’s always a way for a hardworking person to make money.

Most of these jobs are one-time gigs, not career paths. Again, that’s totally not a bad thing. Gig economy jobs are all about making money when you need it most.

That said, there’s no reason you can’t do these gigs on a regular basis. They’re great opportunities for anyone who wants a financial boost.

Check out some of these random high-paying gig economy jobs, and make that extra cash whenever you need it.

25. Taking surveys

Believe it or not, you can make money just by filling out surveys online.

That’s right — no commitment, no special skills required, no catch. Just fill out a survey, and get paid! Some sites will also pay you to watch videos, play games, or test products.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

Well, there’s a reason companies offer this — it’s a type of market research. By paying people to take surveys and test their products or content online, brands can get reliable feedback for the future.

So, can you actually make money this way?

Yes! It’s definitely not a full-time job, but you can make as much as $1000 a year just by filling out surveys. Which is really cool, considering the amount of effort it takes (pretty much none).

However, you do need to be careful. There are a lot of legit survey sites out there, but there are some scams, too. Never participate in a survey that asks for your credit card information or personal information beyond a phone number or email. Make sure you read the reviews of a site before you sign up to participate.

26. Mystery shopping

If you’ve never heard of mystery shopping before, you’re missing out.

Similar to survey sites, there are companies that will pay people to shop at a certain location and provide feedback on their experience. Again, this is a form of market research, and a super easy way to get paid! Some mystery shoppers can make thousands every month.

Once you sign up to work with a mystery shopping company, they’ll provide you with specific instructions (where to go, what to order, etc.). Then you report back on every aspect of your experience, including the cleanliness of the shop and customer service. Most companies will reimburse you for what you buy, as well as paying you for your time.

27. Paid clinical trials

Want to make some money, while doing a good deed?

Paid clinical trials are how medical professionals improve their practices and treatments. They pay people to participate in a study over a period of time, and report back on their experience.

First of all, is it safe to participate in clinical trials?

Yes — every drug that reaches the clinical trial phase has already been approved by the FDA. And not every trial will involve taking a drug. It might mean making a small change to your diet or lifestyle, an overnight sleep study, or an exercise study.

Most clinical trials will require you to visit a doctor’s office, hospital, or medical university in person. You should always be 100% clear on the guidelines and details of the trial before you decide to participate. Pay can range from $50 to $1000 or more, depending on the extent of the trial.

This is one-time gig that can actually make a difference for important medical research — definitely worth considering if you have the time!

28. Mock Juries

You can’t sign up for paid jury duty, but you can sign up for mock jury duty.

When prosecutors or defense lawyers are working on their case, they often want to get feedback before they present in front of a live jury. That’s where mock jurors come in.

You can sign up for an online mock jury service to hear cases and provide feedback from home — you have to be over eighteen, a U.S. citizen, and not connected to the case in any way. Most services pay between $10 and $60 per case. That’s pretty good, for just sitting at home and listening!

Also, some online jury companies offer in-person mock jury services. Those will often pay more, and the jurors have to listen to the case in person at an official location.

This is a really cool way to make money, particularly for the true crime fans out there. It’s also a great public service, and helps a lawyer improve their case.

Becoming Financially Independent in the Gig Economy

As you can see from this list, gig economy jobs are incredibly diverse.

Some people start a gig because they need extra cash. Others are interested in improving a certain trade, and developing a full-time career. Some people just want to support themselves while they travel or study.

Whatever your reason, a gig economy job can be a huge step toward becoming financially independent. It allows you to make money on your own time, without the stress of a demanding boss or a stuffy workplace.

With that in mind, here’s how you can take your gig economy job to the next step, and eventually become a fully-independent freelancer or contract worker:

Start small:

No one becomes financially independent with a gig economy job overnight. It takes time, self-development, and a lot of patience.

Once you’ve settled on a job you want to do, start small. There are tons of resources out there to find your first job — check out sites like Upwork and Fiverr, local job postings, and apps specific to your trade, whether that’s petsitting or website development.

Over time, you’ll build your skills, gain connections in your industry, and start taking on higher-paying jobs.

Don’t be afraid to market yourself:

One of the tougher parts about a gig economy job is marketing — when you work for yourself, no one else is going to do it for you.

Self-marketing is a really important and undervalued skill these days. A lot of people don’t realize that to make it as a freelancer or independent contractor, you have to put yourself out there.

But how?

Social media can be a great tool. You should never be afraid to put your content, or advertisements for your services, on your Twitter or Facebook page. Better yet, make a new social media account entirely dedicated to your work.

On top of that, you might want to consider starting a blog or website to market yourself — especially if you’re a freelance writer, artist, or photographer. Showcase your skills on a dedicated platform, that will prove to your future clients that you’re a serious professional.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket:

This is a really important one!

The most successful gig economy workers are always doing more than one thing at a time. In fact, it’s important to have multiple sources of income, no matter what you’re doing.

A lot of the jobs on this list can be done in the evenings, on the weekends, or whenever you have the time. So, if you’re a freelance writer, why not also rent a space on Airbnb? Or, if you’re a caterer, why not also start a food blog?

The point is, you can use the gig economy to support yourself in all kinds of ways. No matter what goals you’re working toward in the long term, you should always be looking for sources of extra income, and be prepared for when plans don’t work out.

Is a Gig Economy Job Right For You?

So, now that you’ve read all about some of the highest-paying gigs on the market, should you consider a gig economy job?

The short answer is: why not? Again, it’s always helpful to have another source of income, even if you have a stable full-time job.

That said, everyone should consider their options before pursuing gig opportunity work as their career.

There are a lot of benefits to the traditional career path: it provides stability, security, and opportunity for growth. A full-time job means a reliable source of income, as well as benefits like health insurance and vacation time.

However, if you’re not interested in the traditional path, it is totally possible to make a full-time income with a gig economy job! Plenty of people support themselves while working from home or traveling. It’s just about putting in the hard work and dedication, making connections, and developing your skills.

Whatever you’re looking for, the right gig economy job is out there for you. As soon as you get started, you’re taking another step toward financial independence — so why wait?

Quinlan Vowles

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