15 Side Jobs to Make Extra Money

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Side jobs can help provide another source of income and even launch a full-scale business. Here are some side job ideas to get you started.

[Featured image] A smiling person in a black shirt and pink glasses stands in a co-working space with other business owners.

A side job is work that a person pursues alongside another, usually more structured or stable, job or degree program. Side jobs can vary greatly, from gig economy work that provides cash in a pinch to remote jobs with flexible hours. Taking on a side job is extra work, so it requires plenty of motivation and time-management skills. 

People who want a side job tend to be motivated by earning extra money. They may feel that they aren’t earning enough in their day job. Others may wish to pay off student loans or credit card debt more quickly, save up for a house or another big purchase, or have extra funds to travel frequently. More ambitious individuals may want to strengthen a skill in hopes of turning it into a side hustle or even starting a small business.

This article offers a list of 15 side jobs to help you make extra money. Whether you want to get started today or make a plan to monetize a hobby, you have plenty of options to consider. 

Choosing the right side job

When choosing the right job for you, think about why you want (or need) to work. Your reason and your availability, in terms of time, resources, and skill set, can help you decide what to pursue. Here are three types of side jobs to choose from:

  • Gig economy work is performing a series of tasks, usually through an app or website, in which you create your own hours. Just sign up for the app, log in, and request to be assigned a task.

  • Part-time work is completing shifts assigned weekly or with a fixed schedule, typically less than 40 hours per week. This may also involve transforming a hobby into a service or form of entertainment.

  • Remote freelance work provides a client service that tends to include industry-specific skills. This type of work tends to be on a freelance or contractual basis. These side jobs are often remote, so you can do them from home or anywhere with an internet connection.

These categories can help determine what kind of side job suits your current needs. You may decide that there are additional skills you’d like to develop to achieve your goals.

Side job vs. side hustle

Side jobs and side hustles are similar, and some people use the terms interchangeably.

A side job is pursued alongside a stable job or while attending school, out of financial need, creative desire, or to fill up time productively.

A side hustle is a small business that a person starts in addition to continuing a more secure job. Side hustlers might intend to quit their day jobs to run their small businesses in the future.


Gig economy side jobs

The gig economy includes transportation-based services, professional services (micro-versions of design, coding, and other administrative tasks), handmade goods or household services, and asset-sharing services like Airbnb. Due to the growing need for such services, gig economy work can be quite lucrative. Here are a few examples of popular gig economy jobs:

1. Rideshare driver

Median income for an Uber driver (CAD): $39,305 [1]

As a rideshare driver for apps like Uber and Lyft, you offer a tailored transportation service for customers. Some drivers offer hospitality in the form of mints, candy, tissues, and bottled water to earn more tips and maintain a high rating.  The only requirements are you must be 18 years of age with a valid driver’s licence and own a vehicle that adheres to the app’s regulations. If you don’t mind driving, this can be a lucrative side gig for you.

2. Food delivery

Similar to ridesharing, another option is to deliver food and groceries. Global food delivery has tripled to more than $150 billion since 2017, indicating the market is going strong [2]. Usually, you can sign up as a driver and begin fulfilling orders immediately. Options include Doordash, Instacart, Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Postmates.

3. Babysitter or petsitter

Average salary for babysitters (CAD): $32,137 [3]

Average salary for pet sitters (CAD): $47,268 [4]

If you enjoy taking care of children or pets, you might be keen to take on the role of babysitter or petsitter on the weekends and in the evenings. As parents start returning to work, their children and furry loved ones need care. The average rate depends on their age, location, and number of children or pets. Look at sites like Care.com, Rover, and Wag! if this sounds like your kind of side job.

4. Home maintenance

Average salary for handymen (CAD): $38,026 [5]

For those with a green thumb or affinity for neatness, consider a side job in lawn care or cleaning houses. These jobs might have you mowing lawns, pruning trees, gardening, wiping down surfaces, and doing laundry. As with babysitting, people tend to prefer hiring the same cleaner or lawnmower, so you’ll only need a few regular clients to build a steady schedule. Other sites include Green Pal and Lawn Love.

5. Online language tutor

Average salary for tutors (CAD): $44,451 [6]

If you prefer teaching kids rather than playing with them, you can tutor English online for children in China through VIPKID. Another option is iTalki, where you can choose from more languages to teach adult learners. Tutoring gives you the opportunity to teach from home and create your own hours.

Passive income as a side job

Other ways to make money on the side might look less like jobs and more like passive income. This means you’re providing a service with something you already own or creating a product or service to sell that requires some upfront work but produces ongoing or repeat returns based on that initial effort. Passive income ideas include:

Renting out your home or car through Airbnb or Turo

Reselling gems found at thrift and vintage stores on platforms like Depop, Etsy, and Instagram

Creating an ebook, app, or online class. 

Investing in dividends, stocks, or cryptocurrency (if you are tolerant of the risks that come with the stock market, of course)

Getting into affiliate marketing as an influencer, blogger, or vlogger.


Part-time side jobs

Before the rise of the gig economy, part-time work was a popular side job. This type of work tends to be assigned in shifts rather than by task, which can feel more stable and steady than gig work. Most of these require you to interact with people and be on your feet, so it can be a welcome break from working at a desk job or studying.

6. Server or bartender

Average salary for servers (CAD): $64,260 [7]

Average salary for bartenders (CAD): $58,629 [8]

Working as a waiter or bartender can be a well-paid job, especially if you factor in earning tips. You might enjoy mixing or serving drinks and chatting with customers. These jobs require standing or walking for long hours, which can be appealing if you stare at the computer or textbook during the week.

7. Soccer referee

Average annual salary (CAD): $48,631 [9]

If you are a sports fan, especially of soccer, you might be interested in becoming a part-time soccer referee for youth games.

8. Nursing assistant

Average annual salary (CAD): $42,320 [10]

For those who find health care environments more rewarding, you may consider a side job as a nursing assistant. Nursing assistants are needed in hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, clinics, and even in patients’ homes as home health aides. They monitor patients’ vital signs and help them eat, bathe, and perform other daily needs. For this, you will need to complete a state-approved education program, pass a competency exam, and get on-the-job training.

9. Yoga or fitness instructor

Average annual salary (CAD): $56,980 [12]

Teaching yoga or other fitness classes can be an enjoyable side gig, especially if you’ve been a practitioner for a long time. Becoming a yoga teacher may require a 200-hour training certification that teaches you the fundamentals of yoga poses, anatomy, and more [11]. 

10. DJ

Average annual salary (CAD): $50,077 [13]

If you are musically inclined and prefer to enhance the mood of a crowd, you may want to try your hand at becoming a disk jockey (DJ). Though rates will depend on the type of event, you can play at weddings and sponsored events or have a residency in clubs and festivals—and have more power to choose whether to mix hip-hop, electronic, or other genres. 

Remote freelance side jobs

Like gig economy jobs, taking on freelance work can mean creating your own hours around your work or school schedule. For freelance jobs, you may complete work on an ongoing (ad hoc) basis or on a contract with a final deadline. You can often do these types of jobs remotely, too.

11. App developer

Average annual salary (CAD): $76,318 [15]

Ever dreamed of developing an app that sold for millions? Then perhaps starting as a freelance app developer is in your future. Learning how to design an app may take a few months, but the salary could be worth it.

Some companies may negotiate a full project rate to be paid upon completion. Check out Coursera’s Full Stack Cloud Developer professional certificate from IBM to launch your freelance career in app development:

12. Writer

Average annual salary (CAD): $53,446 [14]

Writing is one of those age-old professions that continues to evolve. As a freelancer, writing as a side job can take different forms: copywriting, journalism, academia, technical writing, SEO and content writing, curriculum development, grant proposals, and more. Rates vary due to the wide range of possibilities, but this side job is ideal if you can write with clarity, empathy, and discipline.

13. Bookkeeper

Average annual salary (CAD): $48,038 [16]

As a contracted bookkeeper, you are responsible for behind-the-scenes accounting tasks, such as managing payroll, accounts, and account reconciliations. You would act as a company’s in-house accountant, delivering financial status reports. This side job can be a good fit if you are detail-oriented and organized and can be lucrative.

To get started, consider Intuit’s professional certificate in Bookkeeping and learn job-ready skills in four months:

14. Social media marketer

Average annual salary (CAD): $57,235 [17]

Social media is a high-performing marketing strategy for many companies today. As a social media marketer, you specialize in using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to promote your products and services to new and existing customers.

15. Photographer

Average annual salary (CAD): $41,877 [18]

Whether you become an artistic or professional photographer, turning a hobby into a side job can be a great way to earn extra income. You can take photos while travelling and sell them to stock photography sites. Photographers can capture special occasions, where rates vary from $300-$500 for birthday parties and up to $3,000 for a wedding. Many companies and non-profit organizations hire photographers for events or marketing purposes on a contract or ongoing freelance basis.

Invest in your future

Taking on a side job help you earn more to achieve your goals. Consider boosting your job skills in app development, bookkeeping, and social media marketing from top industry companies like IBM, Intuit, and Meta. Or turn your side gig into a career with a specialization in Building Your Freelancing Career from California Institute of the Arts. You can complete the course entirely online within six months; no degree or experience is required.

Article sources


Glassdoor. “Uber Driver Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.ca/Salary/Uber-Driver-Salaries-E575263_D_KO5,11.htm.“ Accessed May 9, 2024.

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