15 of the most common side gigs, and how much they pay

Tutoring after school is a common side gig.

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Tutoring after school is a common side gig.
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college.library/flickr

People take on side gigs for all different reasons – in some cases, to earn extra cash or pursue a passion…in others, to make ends meet.

We teamed up with FlexJobs to take a look at the 15 most common side gigs. Many of these positions can be done from home, while others offer flexible office hours or weekend time slots to accommodate full-time jobs.

Read more: A bank account for your side hustle might seem like overkill, but it’s a smart move you’ll be glad you made

FlexJobs – a job site specializing in remote and part-time work – compiled a list of the top 15 most common side gigs. In addition, FlexJobs turned to Payscale for the average hourly wage of each position. This number indicates the mean earning, and variations of these general categories often prove to be extremely high-paying. Previous reporting from Business Insider’s Erin McDowell shows that medical writers, for instance, can earn up to $50 an hour; the average salary for a writer is listed as $20 per hour.

Some people even end up quitting their day job and make their side gig a full-time career. Previous reporting from Business Insider’s Taylor Nicole Rogers shows that many successful entrepreneurs – including Slack’s Stewart Butterfield – have made more money off their side hustles than the original careers that made them famous.

Keep reading for a look at some of the most common side gigs, listed in order from lowest to highest hourly pay.


Customer service representatives earn an average of $14 per hour.

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A customer service representative answers calls.
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DigitalVision/Getty Images

Customer service representatives usually take incoming phone calls from customers and help answer inquiries. According to PayScale, positions in a call center have shifts from 7 am to 3 pm, 3 pm to 11 pm, and 11 pm to 7 am, allowing for flexibility.

Average Hourly Rate: $13.73


Sales representatives earn around $15 per hour.

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A sales representative in a meeting.
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Getty Images/Georgijevic

Sales representative responsibilities vary depending on the company, but overall Payscale describes the position’s main purpose as catering to both potential and existing clients. Maintaining relationships with these clients includes making sales calls to those companies within designated sales areas.

Average Hourly Rate: $14.96


Transcribers also earn $15 per hour on average.

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Transcribers take notes during meetings.
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Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

According to Payscale, “A transcriber is a person who creates a written record of conversations, meetings, and audio and video recordings.”

Average Hourly Rate: $15.19


Photographers earn around $16 per hour.

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A wedding photographer.
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Stakhov Yuriy/Shutterstock

Whether working events – such as weddings or graduations – or freelancing for publications, photographers take pictures either in studio or on location, according to Payscale‘s description. Especially for event photographers, jobs are often booked for the weekends to earn extra money.

Average Hourly Rate: $16.14


Social media managers earn an average hourly wage of $16.

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A social media manager maintains a company’s online presence.
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Shutterstock/bbernard

Social media managers are tasked with maintaining a company or individual’s social media pages. According to Payscale, “They also implement marketing campaigns to increase brand recognition and customer loyalty.”

Average Hourly Rate: $15.53


Virtual assistants also earn around $16 per hour as a side gig.

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Virtual assistants can work from home to answer online inquiries.
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Getty Images

According to Payscale, virtual assistants can work from home and “make appointments, arrange for advertisement, and provide basic customer service activities online.”

Additionally, the site notes that – as long as work is completed – work hours are often flexible, as “pay is based on a per-item basis rather than hourly or salary-based.”

Average Hourly Rate: $15.79


Graphic designers earn just over $17 per hour on average.

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A graphic designer sketches a logo.
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Getty Images/Hero Images

Graphic designers often use programs such as Adobe Illustrator and InDesign to design logos and other projects that appear in print or online for companies. While many are employed in-house or work for a design agency, according to Payscale, others opt for self-employment to work on a “per-project basis.”

Average Hourly Rate: $17.02


Medical coders earn around $18 per hour.

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A medical coder keeps a record of treatment terms.
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Shutterstock/LStockStudio

“Those working as a medical coder are responsible for transferring diagnostic and treatment terms from doctors and other health professionals into coded form for record-keeping, use of other medical professionals, and often for billing and insurance purposes,” said Payscale‘s description.

Average Hourly Rate: $17.83


Proofreaders also earn an average hourly wage of $18.

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A proofreader marks a manuscript.
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Shutterstock/Lamai Prasitsuwan

According to Payscale, “Proofreaders check the quality and consistency of a written work. They monitor the accuracy in both the text and images, such as with grammar, spelling, page numbers, consistency in typeface, and the table of contents.”

Average Hourly Rate: $17.61


Tutors earn $18 per hour instructing students.

Tutoring after school is a common side gig.

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A tutor assists two students in a library.
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college.library/flickr

Tutors usually work after-school hours to instruct students in any number of subjects.

Average Hourly Rate: $17.51


Editors earn around $20 per hour on average.

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An editor at work.
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Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock

Editors can work in a variety of fields, from online publications to video production companies.

Average Hourly Rate: $20.28


ESL teachers also earn around $20 per hour.

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An ESL textbook.
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Photofusion / Contributor / Getty Images

According to Payscale‘s description, ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers instruct students whose first language is not English. Additionally, an ESL teacher’s role is to assist these students in other subjects – such as math and science – that are taught in English.

Average Hourly Rate: $20.36


Interpreters earn an average of $20 per hour.

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Businesspeople with an interpreter in St. Petersburg, Russia.
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Shutterstock

While Payscale defines an interpreter‘s traditional role (translating verbal statements into another language), it also notes how the role has increased responsibilities today.

“An interpreter is often employed to help individuals fill out government forms that are in a different language than the individual speaks or writes,” said Payscale. “Increasingly, interpreters also work as translators of technical material for companies to help bridge the gap between two or more development teams.”

Average Hourly Rate: $19.67


Writers earn around $20 per hour as well.

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A writer at work.
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Shutterstock/ZoFot

Writing as a side gig can range from drafting articles and blog posts to producing full manuscripts, according to Payscale.

Average Hourly Rate: $20.21


Management consultants earn a whopping $60 per hour.

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A management consultant works with company employees.
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Shutterstock/fizkes

According to Payscale, “A management consultant helps a company improve aspects of business, such as productivity, management, and company image.”

Average Hourly Rate: $59.80