17 Side Jobs That Don't Require a Desk or a Screen
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
If you work a 9-to-5 desk job, you probably don’t want to take on a side gig that requires more time sitting in front of a screen. Fortunately, there are lots of jobs you can do on nights and weekends that don’t require any computers or sitting at a desk for hours on end. These are some of the best side hustles you can start without quitting your job.
This side gig can be a good way to spend your free time interacting with other people -- cute babies and kids -- rather than sitting at a desk. You can search for babysitting jobs that fit your schedule on sites such as Care.com. Simply list your availability and desired hourly pay, and be matched with parents looking for sitters.
Working as a bartender is a popular side hustle that can make your income soar. The average bartender makes about $8 an hour, according to PayScale, but you can make much more than that -- thanks to tips. Plus, if you’re used to getting paid on a weekly or biweekly basis, it can be refreshing to get cash in hand at the end of each workday.
If you love clothes and don’t mind being on your feet, consider a side job in retail sales. These jobs are usually available on a part-time basis, so you can fit shifts around your full-time job. Expect to make about $10 an hour as a retail sales associate, according to PayScale data. Although that’s not much, many stores offer generous employee discounts. For example, Gap, Old Navy and the Banana Republic give their employees 50 percent off their purchases, according to Glassdoor.
Clinical Trial Volunteer
Help advance science and treatment technology -- and earn a paycheck -- as a clinical trial volunteer. With this gig, you can make thousands of dollars a year in your spare time by trying out the latest medications and other treatments. You can search for clinical trials near you at ClinicalTrials.gov.
Even the rich do it: The Surprising Side Hustles of These 15 Top Athletes
Coat Check Worker
Working as a coat check attendant might not be the most glamorous job, but it’s a low-effort activity that can earn you some extra cash. Plus, if you work at a performance venue where the coat check room has a view of the stage, you can catch the showings for free. Coat room attendants make about $11 an hour -- plus tips -- according to Indeed data.
Etsy Shop Owner
Technically you’ll need a screen to create your Etsy shop, but the bulk of this side gig will be creating the merchandise you sell, whether it’s paintings, ceramics, photography or other handmade goods. Owning an Etsy shop allows you to be creative and turn a hobby into a profitable business. If your shop is successful, you could make thousands of extra dollars a month.
Get paid to work out as a fitness instructor. The requirements to work as an instructor will vary from studio to studio and might require certifications or teacher training, but if you love being active, the investment can pay off. Plus, many studios offer early morning, night and weekend classes, so it’s a job you can easily work in around a 9-to-5. Fitness instructors typically make about $20 an hour, according to PayScale.
Focus Group Participant
You can earn $75 to $150 to share your opinion on new products, such as phones and food, as part of a focus group. Typically, you’ll have to take a short survey that determines whether you qualify for the group, and if you do, you could be asked to participate in an in-person or phone interview.
This is an ideal job if you have a few free hours a week, but there are side hustles you can take on if you have even less free time.
Handy House Cleaner
Do you get joy from cleaning and organizing? You can earn up to $22 an hour as a house cleaner when you become a “pro” on Handy.com. You choose your own schedule, so you can work as much or as little as you want. And you’ll receive your payment automatically into your bank account as soon as the job is complete, so it’s a great side gig option if you need cash quickly.
You can get paid to shop at the stores you normally shop at, or to dine at your favorite restaurants, as a mystery shopper. To do this side job, you pose as a regular customer and write a detailed review of the customer service experience you received. Typical pay is $8 to $25 per mystery shop, according to The Penny Hoarder, but you can also get reimbursed for the products and meals you purchase.
You can escape the everyday and transform into a princess or superhero when you work as a party character entertainer. Pay for these jobs can range from $15 an hour all the way up to $65 an hour, according to postings on Indeed. Because each gig typically only runs for one to two hours, you can take on multiple jobs in a single weekend to maximize your earnings.
Find out: How Do I Find a Good Side Hustle?
Pet Sitter or Dog Walker
Thanks to on-demand services like Wag! and Rover, dog lovers can find regular dog-walking and pet-sitting side gigs. Wag! walks can be as short as 30 minutes, so you might even be able to squeeze in a job during your lunch break. These 30-minute walks typically pay $12 plus a tip.
Postmates Delivery Person
Get in some exercise and make some extra cash as a Postmates delivery person. You can choose to deliver on foot, bike or car, so you can make this job as active (or not active) as you want. Postmates delivery people work as much or as little as they want, and they keep 100 percent of the tips they receive.
Uber or Lyft Driver
You set your own work hours when you drive for Uber or Lyft, so you can easily do a ride or two before or after work each day. If you work for Uber, you can opt to drive passengers or deliver food through Uber Eats. You get paid based on the length of the trips you take and when you make them, and you also get to keep 100 percent of the tips you earn.
Weekends tend to be a busier time for out-of-town visitors, so working as a tour guide can make for a good weekend gig. You can give bus tours, walking tours or work at a single attraction. This gig typically pays $13 an hour, according to PayScale.
If you’re fond of love and weddings, being a wedding officiant could be the ideal gig. This job is best suited for people who are creative writers and enjoy public speaking -- and it can pay handsomely. One professional officiant told The Penny Hoarder that she makes between $300 and $500 a wedding. Some states will require you to become ordained, but you can easily do so online for free through the Universal Life Church.
Yard Sale Reseller
Yard sale resellers buy low-priced items and resell them for a profit on sites like eBay and Craigslist. The reselling part of this job will require a computer or smartphone, but the fun of this job is getting to hunt for valuable items at yard sales, estate sales and garage sales during your off days. Some of the best items to look for to turn a profit are vintage video games, trading cards, musical instruments, bicycles and other sports equipment, U.S. News & World Report reported.
If you’re struggling to balance your side job with your full-time job, find out how to find your side hustle sweet spot.
(By Gabrielle Olya)