Getting By in the 'Gig Economy': Part-Time Jobs That Pay

by Jane Wells, CNBC / / Source: CNBC.com
CHINA-LIFESTYLE-PETS
A Chinese man who supplements his income by walking dogs around the Houhai Lake area of Beijing on December 11, 2012. Dog ownership is popular amongst China?s elderly and the growing middle class but Beijing owners cannot keep dogs taller than 36 centimeters. MARK RALSTON / AFP - Getty Images, file

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We are living in what some call "The Gig Economy," where people create a living through a patchwork of part-time jobs. Sometimes this is intentional, sometimes it's not. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the number of part-time workers keeps growing, but over the last year, the growth has been among those taking part-time jobs "for noneconomic reasons," meaning they didn't have to, they want to.

Part-time work is classified as up to 34 hours a week (hey, that's full-time work in Greece!), and some of these jobs pay pretty well. We scoured job sites like SimplyHired.com, CareerCast.com and Flexjobs.com for the best part-time jobs out there.

TRANSLATOR

If you can speak another language fluently, you might work as a part-time translator in places like a courtroom, a hospital, a law firm or manufacturing business. Flexjobs says the average translator makes $20 an hour, but some earn as much as $50. Si se puede! We're not just speaking about Spanish, though. Flexjobs has job postings seeking translators for Turkish, Somali, Punjabi, and Tigrinya (that's a language in Ethiopia, but you already knew that ...).

TUTOR

You know something about SOMETHING, right? Put that useless knowledge to work! "Whether it's English, math, history or a second language, tutors are in demand and make good money," says SimplyHired, which reports part-time tutors can earn $42,000 a year. In a 20-hour work week, that's about $40/hour. "It's a big bonus if you can tutor the SAT." Let's see..."part-time" is to "lifestyle" as "volleyball" is to "quinoa" (I never could master those old SAT analogies).

How to make six figures from home

FREELANCE WRITER

That English Lit degree actually has value. Demand for part-time writing assignments is especially high for those "who cover niche or technical subject matter," according to Flexjobs, though writers are also hired temporarily in a variety of fields. Flexjobs says pay averages $33 an hour, though CareerCast has the average at $27. SimplyHired says total pay can hit $53,000 a year.

DOG WALKER

Get exercise, enjoy pets, AND make money. SimplyHired reports part-time dog walkers can earn $39,000 a year. That's more than $3,000 a month. A search of Craigslist in Los Angeles uncovered dog-walking pay ranging from $18 per walk to $60 for all day. One runner in New York will run dogs for $50 an hour.

YOGA INSTRUCTOR

When you're not walking dogs you can do downward dogs and earn money. Part-time yoga instructors can make $35,000 a year. Ohhhhmm OMG. One woman named Dulcinea (for real) in San Francisco (naturally), charges $60 an hour for customized classes. "Namaste and much love!!!"

B.K.S. Iyengar
Yogacharya performs yoga at his yoga institute in Pune, India, in 2007.Bhaskar Paul / India Today Group / Getty Images file
MANAGEMENT ANALYST/CONSULTANT

This has the highest median hourly wage in the CareerCast part-time list at $37.79. The hiring outlook for management consultants is also very strong, though not as strong as the outlook for part-time market research analysts. Market analysts earn less ($28.99/hour) but find more work.

ADJUNCT PROFESSOR

Those who can, work full time. Those who can't …

Here's the best part of landing a part-time gig as an instructor in higher education: You don't have to leave home. "Many colleges and universities are creating online courses and degree programs," reports Flexjobs. Just look at the way Starbucks has offered full tuition for even part-time employees through Arizona State University's online degree program.Those programs need teachers.

The average hourly wage for adjunct faculty is $37, says Flexjobs, "and top earners can make more than $70 per hour." Payscale.com claims the median annual income is $31,316, but pay ranges from $15,112 to $105,713.

COMPUTER PROGRAMMER

Want to make a little money on the side as you work from your mom's garage on the next world-changing app? CareerCast says part-time tech professionals have a median hourly wage of $35.71. They are often hired for one-time projects, and the government calls "Software-as-a-service," a "growing field."

UBER OR LYFT

Jump into the sharing economy! SimplyHired.com suggests you use your car to make money by becoming a driver for a ride-sharing service. Lyft claims on its website that drivers can earn up to $35 an hour. It provides a calculator that lets you put in how many hours a week you'd like to work and in which city (I typed in "20 hours" for Los Angeles and was told I could make $400 a week—that's almost $21,000 a year). Uber earlier claimed a driver in New York could earn $90,000 a year, but that number came under fire for not deducting costs for gas, maintenance and insurance. Uber now says drivers can make $6 an hour more than your average taxi or limo driver.

AND WHILE YOU'RE OUT UBERING ...

Why not rent out part of your home on AirBNB? One blogger claims he grossed on average nearly $2,300 a month renting out his apartment. Even that ol' caboose in the backyard can rent for $200 a night!

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