If you need to pay off debt, build your savings or just want a little more spending money, picking up a side job can help.
A recent Bankrate survey found that nearly 4 in 10 Americans have a second paying gig, and they rake in nearly $700 a month on average.
You can get a piece of that, too. Here are five side jobs that offer good pay, flexible hours and plenty of perks. Wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor. The BLS reports the “mean” wage, which is the wage that falls in the middle, with half making more than the mean and half making less.
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Mean hourly wage: $17.50
Do you find yourself reading the Merck Manual just for kicks? Then you might like working as a medical transcriptionist.
Transcriptionists take medical reports dictated by doctors and other health care practitioners and transcribe them into readable reports.
Given the complexity of medical terminology and the critical need for accuracy, specialized training is helpful. But many employers will offer on-the-job training, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the work conditions can be cushy: Most transcriptionists are in comfortable office settings, and telecommuting is common.
Hospitals, doctors’ offices and medical laboratories offer the best wages for transcriptionists, in the range of $18 to $20 per hour. And you may be able to wedge in work on nights and weekends.
Maybe you made a few bucks mowing lawns as a kid. Grounds maintenance can be a lot more lucrative for a grown-up.
Common tasks include mowing, sod laying, fertilizing, planting, watering, raking and edging. If your livelihood keeps you cooped up in an office most of the time, getting outside while banking some money can be a godsend.
You won’t need special training to use a leaf blower or a shovel, and you’ll have the satisfaction of seeing the results of your labor over time.
Local governments tend to pay the best for this work, with an hourly mean wage of $16.13.
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Mean hourly wage: $20.81
Driving a bus or motor coach, whether it’s a charter bus or a city transit vehicle, can be a great side hustle.
Perks include part-time schedules, no boss looking over your shoulder and the satisfaction of helping people get to their destinations safely and efficiently.
Fatigue can be a serious problem for bus drivers, so you have to be careful not to overextend yourself.
Health insurance, sick leave, vacation time and free bus rides are among the benefits for bus drivers who work enough hours.
If you maintain a clean driving record, and can follow schedules and routes, you can excel at this job.
Driving a school bus does not pay as well. The mean hourly wage for shuttling kids to school and back in a government bus is $15.45, according to the BLS.
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Mean hourly wage: $15.72 per hour
If you enjoy helping people and consider yourself an excellent problem-solver, working as a concierge could be the perfect side hustle. Concierges work at hotels and residential or office buildings that offer personal services.
Concierges offer a range of services, such as taking messages, arranging transportation, making dinner reservations, or monitoring guest requests for housekeeping and maintenance.
This can be a rewarding gig, and it’s a great one for grabbing part-time hours. It’s also a good way to get your foot in the door at a company where you might find chances for advancement.
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Mean hourly wage: $19.43
If you’re an excellent speller, know English grammar and punctuation rules, and the sight of typographical errors makes you want to pull out the red pen, you could earn a tidy sum with a part-time job as a proofreader.
Legal and advertising firms, directory publishers, real estate brokerages and religious, political and professional organizations often need eagle-eyed proofreaders to review materials before they are printed and distributed. Proofreaders who know Braille have even broader opportunities.
This gig is conducive to telecommuting and flexible hours, too. You’ll have to be proficient with a computer.