What is the gig economy?
Google Dictionary’s description of the gig economy is a “labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.” Uber, Airbnb, Favor, Bellhop, and Rover are prominent examples of companies that use this model.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preferred term, “contingent worker,” aligns well with that definition of the gig economy, referring to temporary forms of employment that have existed long before the Ubers of the world.
Why is it gaining momentum?
The gig economy may be bigger than you think. According to Intuit, on-demand workers now account for 34% of the U.S. workforce — and that number is expected to grow to 43% by 2020. The gig economy is on the rise because of the flexibility it has to offer, and technology makes it easier to connect people to jobs. In fact, the concept is taking root so deeply this college professor tells her MBA students to skip getting a job and just join the gig economy.
Another reason gig economy jobs are gaining momentum is because the majority of the world relies on technology. These days, many companies operate through mobile apps, which makes it easier for someone to get started as a contract worker. And for those who are running their own freelance businesses, social media allows them to market themselves and sell their products and services at a much cheaper cost than traditional advertising. Additionally, permanent jobs are becoming more scarce. Many companies are reducing their staff to cut costs. Hiring permanent employees is a lot more expensive than hiring freelancers or contractors for individual projects.
Whether you want to make extra income, enhance your resume, or have no plans to enter the workforce then check out the following list for the best gig economy jobs.
Jump to different fields of work:
Do you love helping others? Then caregiving jobs are for you. There are a lot of options out there for caregiving, so pick one that is most comfortable for you. This field can range from taking care of the elderly, babysitting, and even pet sitting. The following are a few of the best gig economy jobs for caregivers.
Honor provides in-home senior care, helping older adults continue to live well and independently at home. Honor Care Pros have a variety of qualifications: nursing degrees, home health aide licenses, or years of hands-on experience. Many are already experienced with seniors who have special needs, especially dementia and Alzheimer’s. Become a care pro here.
Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5‑star pet sitters and dog walkers. Here’s how it works: By signing up as a dog sitter through Rover, you’ll be connected to a nationwide network of pet owners in need of caring providers who offer boarding, pet sitting, or dog walking. When you create your profile, you set your own rates, when you can work, and pictures of the space the animal can stay in. Become a pet sitter or a dog walker here.
UrbanSitter is a women-led childcare booking service. Sitters can browse the job board to find jobs or receive booking requests from parents. The website claims that top sitters can earn over $1,000 a week. Sitters and nannies set their own hourly rate and keep 100% of what they earn. Become a sitter here.
The world is quickly embracing the luxury and convenience of on-demand delivery services that utilize the shared economy business model. On-demand delivery services operate in a similar fashion to ridesharing businesses and they are rapidly growing in popularity – especially in major metropolitan areas. All it takes is a smartphone and an eager, flexible workforce and customers can have anything they want delivered. Here are just a few of the best delivery jobs.
For Amazon Prime Now deliveries, the giant online retailer hires independent contractors to make deliveries. It’s more cost-efficient for them than using major delivery companies like UPS, and allows them to guarantee delivery within just an hour or two. Drivers earn between $18 and $25 per hour. The service is already up and running in Seattle, where Amazon is headquartered, and will soon be live in Manhattan, Chicago, Baltimore, Miami, Dallas, Austin, Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Portland.
DoorDash is an on-demand food service delivery. The business model of DoorDash is designed to benefit users as well as the restaurants. As a Dasher, you download the app, choose blocks of time you are available to make deliveries in your area, and then get assignments making deliveries on behalf of local restaurants. The company website says you can make up to $25 an hour. Become a Dasher here.
Founded in 2011, Postmates is a delivery and logistics company that connects couriers with people who need things delivered. Postmates is available in over 100 U.S. metropolitan areas across 24 states. On average, Postmates fulfills over 7,000 deliveries daily. That’s 50,000 a week! As a ‘postmate’, you can earn up to $25/hour plus tips. But, your income depends on your particular city and what you’re delivering. Become a Postmate here.
Rinse is a San Francisco based on-demand laundry delivery service. Services include picking up dirty laundry and delivering it fresh and clean to customers. The company, co-founded in 2013 by college friends Ajay Prakash and James Joun, currently operates in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. With $14 million in new Series B funding, the company plans to expand to several new locations, including Chicago, Houston, Miami, Denver and New York.
Freelancing jobs, in many cases, do not require that you own anything, but do require a skill set, whether it be writing, photography, or something else. Some basic tips for freelancers include creating a website and using social media. Your website can act as an online portfolio; Facebook will allow you to build a community and eventually create specifically targeted ads; LinkedIn will help you build a professional network and get recommendations from former clients. Below are some of the best gig economy jobs for freelancers.
Crowdflower was launched in 2007 as a service for clients who wanted help managing large tasks on crowdwork platforms. Crowdflower offers a great opportunity for users from all over the world to join their system as a contributor and make money online by doing micro-tasking and completing simple data oriented tasks. You only need to have a computer and an internet connection and you can make a steady income with their system. Become a contributor here.
Fiverr provides freelance services for lean entrepreneurs. This gig economy app is renowned for its affordability and ease of use. Freelancers from copywriters to digital marketers easily fill their work schedules with clients from around the globe. Instead of having companies post their projects so freelancers can apply, this site has freelancers create “gigs” based on what they’re best at. Join the freelance community here.
Instagram is one of the most popular social platforms, so it’s no wonder Instagram marketing is one of the highest-paid gig jobs of 2018. Instagram marketing freelancers typically make $31.23 an hour! To be a Instagram marketer, you should understand the platform and its algorithms, be able to create engaging content, build a brand’s voice, analyze growth and performance metrics and run paid Instagram campaigns.
Upwork’s tagline is “where the world goes to work”. The app is a marketplace for freelancers in fields like writing, graphic design, and web development, can be a valuable tool to start your career. The site tries to make it easier for professionals to find projects, communicate with employers, and get paid. You can get paid in one of two ways: hourly or fixed price. Upwork’s fees are the same for both. See how it works here.
Gig workers can be especially helpful in the hospitality industry when it comes to staffing for high and low seasons. The hospitality industry is borrowing from Uber’s playbook by hiring on-demand workers to fill jobs as needed, according to Fisher Phillips. Like most industries these days, hospitality is having trouble filling openings and therefore is turning to gig workers to fill the void. Below are some of the best gig economy jobs for the hospitality industry.
Whether you have a fancy vacation home or a modest spare bedroom, you can rent out your space for extra cash on Airbnb. Some hosts live off their rental fees, using the money to travel to exotic places while property managers take care of the housekeeping details. But before you list your own digs, keep in mind that many cities have laws that would-be hosts need to follow—and take precautions to make sure your Airbnb story doesn’t become a squatter nightmare. Become an Airbnb Host here.
One Fine Stay improves on Airbnb by preparing your home just like a hotel with clean linens and more. Your home must be qualified and you have to make it available for a minimum of six weeks spread across the year. This service caters to high end customers and it ensures the service by greeting guest when they arrive, checking identities, key handling and insurance. Register your home here.
Does your city play host to major sporting events? Rent Like a Champion lets you rent out your home to visiting fans of everything from football games, to golf tournaments, to racing events. The service advertises an average host income of $1,100 per weekend. List your home here.
Labor service jobs
What needs to be done in your home or office? A new toilet installed? A thorough cleaning? A room painted? With labor service apps you can book trusted professionals to provide whatever labor services you need. It only takes a minute and you’ll have an experienced pro at your door who can complete the projects that you don’t have time to do. Keep reading to find the best gig economy jobs for labor services.
Bellhops provides friendly, low-stress local moving services. The idea for Bellhops came to life on the campus of Auburn University; originally, the focus was solely on moving college students. Now, Bellhops offers both local and long-distance moves in 22 cities nationwide. According to the website you can make up to $21 an hour, including tips and bonuses. Become a Bellhop here.
Do you love cleaning, or are you great fixing things around the house? Becoming a housecleaner or handyman using Handy could be a good side hustle for you. Handy is the leading provider for home services. According to their website, housecleaners can earn up to $22 per hour, and handymen/women can earn up to $45 per hour. Become a Handy Pro here.
Merry Maids is the largest home cleaning franchise network in the United States. In addition to a flexible work schedule, being a Merry Maids team member has many benefits including: weekly pay, paid training, no night, weekend, or holiday work, use of company car or paid mileage for personal vehicle, employee discounts, and even career development. Join a local team here.
Have a car? That’s a good start in the gig economy given how quickly opportunities are springing up! Driving for a ridesharing company is flexible and doesn’t require an initial investment, although the use of your car is a significant factor to consider. Also, your car insurance is something you should carefully consider when contemplating working as a rideshare driver. With some companies, drivers are only covered under company insurance when transporting a passenger, meaning an accident that occurs between fares could be a costly personal expense. If becoming an Uber driver or Lyft driver appeals to you then check out the following rideshare economy gig jobs.
Getaround is an online car sharing or peer-to-peer carsharing service that allows drivers to rent cars from private car owners, and owners to rent out their cars for payment. Once a car has been equipped with a Getaround Connect – owners simply need to manage their car’s availability through the app, noting anytime the car will not be available for sharing. List your car here.
With Uber, it’s “Your Car. Your Schedule. Your Move.” Uber allows you to use your personal vehicle to make money by giving rides around town. Get paid in fares weekly via their Uber Partners app; set your own schedule; choose who you pick up, where you drive, and when you want to work. In the more popular markets, Uber drivers can earn more than $19 per hour. Become a driver here.
Wingz is the go-to transportation service for travelers who need to schedule a personal, stress-free ride at an affordable price. Wingz started out as an airport-only transportation service. Now their services are expanding to events, business meetings, and much more. According to the Wingz website, drivers can make up to $40 per hour driving their own vehicle for airport transportation. Become a Wingz Driver here.
Is the gig economy for you?
From all corners of the economy, more and more workers are ditching their full-time jobs in favor of gigs. It allows for a more flexible work week, and are a great way to get active and make some money. If you are living somewhere temporarily and it is not possible for you to hold down a full-time job at a brick and mortar company, it is a great idea to work on-demand. There is also a lot of independence to be enjoyed without a boss to report to. Business can also benefit from temporary staffing.
Have you worked a gig job before? What did you like and dislike about it? Let us know in the comments!