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5 great second jobs for extra cash

Need extra cash? Get a side hustle
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Need extra cash? Get a side hustle

If you need to pay off debt, pile up savings or just have a little extra cash in your pocket, a side hustle can help you achieve your goal.

A Bankrate survey finds 1 in 5 Americans has a way to make money alongside their regular source of income, and more than a third of them say they're able to earn more than $500 a month.

You can get a piece of that, too. Here are five great side jobs where you'll find good pay, flexible hours and plenty of perks, both now and in the coming years.

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Medical transcriber | Caiaimage/AgnieszkaWozniak/Getty Images

Medical transcriber

Average wage: $17.86 per hour

Do you groove on the medical lingo tossed around on TV shows like "Chicago Med" and "Grey's Anatomy"? Then you might just like working as a medical transcriber.

Workers take audio recordings made by doctors and other health care professionals and transcribe them into readable reports.

Given the complexity of the language and the critical need for accuracy, specialized training is helpful. But many employers are glad to offer on-the-job training, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS. And, the job conditions can be cushy: Most are in comfortable office settings, and telecommuting is common.

The pay averages $17.86 per hour for transcribers at medical and diagnostic laboratories, and you may be able to wedge in the work during evenings and weekends. The BLS says it expects job opportunities to decline 3 percent by 2024.


Grounds maintenance | CKativ/Vetta/Getty Images

Grounds maintenance

Average wage: $15.70 per hour

You might have made a couple of bucks mowing lawns as a kid. For adults, taking care of greenery can be much more lucrative.

Common tasks for those in the field include mowing, planting, raking and edging. If you're cooped up in an office for most of your working life, spending some time outside while banking some money can be the perfect antidote.

You won't need any special training to pick up a leaf blower or a shovel, and you'll have the satisfaction of seeing the results of your work over time.

The pay averages $15.70 an hour, and you can make more or less depending on the location. There's a lot of potential for job seekers, with 6 percent job growth expected by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Bus driver | Syda Productions/Shutterstock.com

Bus driver

Average wage: $20.09 per hour

A 2017 survey of drivers for the popular ride-hailing services found Uber drivers earn an average of $15.68 an hour and Lyft drivers average about $17.50, and that's before expenses, including gasoline.

Driving a bus -- whether it's shuttling kindergartners to school in the morning or making occasional transit runs around your town -- can be more lucrative.

Perks include part-time schedules, no boss looking over your shoulder, and the ability to help young and old alike get to their destinations safely and efficiently.

You'll need to be careful not to pack in too many extra hours. Fatigue can be a serious issue for bus drivers.

The average wage is more than $20 per hour, and for those who work enough hours, health insurance, sick leave, vacation time and free bus rides are among the benefits, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

If you can follow sometimes-complicated schedules and maintain a clean driving record, you might excel at this job.


Customer service | Michael H/Getty Images

Customer service

Average wage: $16.91 per hour

Maybe you enjoy chatting with people on the phone or you consider yourself an excellent problem solver. Either way, a customer service job might be just the thing.

While the idea of customer-service work might conjure visions of being unloaded upon by angry consumers, the times when you're able to resolve a customer's problem quickly and easily can be very rewarding.

Typical wages are around $17 per hour, and the number of jobs in the field is expected to grow 10 percent by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Because peak times in customer service tend to be early mornings, evenings and weekends, the jobs are great for grabbing hours here and there alongside your regular gig. They also offer a good way to get your foot in the door at a company where you might find chances for advancement.


Virtual assistant | Maskot/Getty Images

Virtual assistant

Average wage: Varies

Organized, detail-oriented people with strong computer and communication skills are often great candidates for virtual assistant positions. Over the course of this work, you may be called upon to make hotel reservations, set up appointments and meetings, type letters and buy supplies.

While a typical administrative assistant may perform these same tasks from an office setting, a virtual assistant can work on projects from home. Outside of normal business hours, virtual assistants can do work that isn't time-sensitive, including internet research, data entry, accounting and invoicing.

Many employers don't require any special training beyond a high school diploma, but if you're working virtually, you'll have to be proficient with a computer.

Indeed, the best opportunities will be for those who are especially tech-savvy. You can set your own hours and rates and start stashing away the savings.

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