The minimum wage just went up in about half the states in the U.S., giving more than 8 million workers an instant raise.
You don’t want to be one of them, though. You shouldn’t have to settle for making minimum wage — not even in your side gig.
And increasingly, workers don’t have to. With today’s labor shortages, an increasing number of employers say they have to pay more than minimum wage to recruit and hold on to restaurant servers, hotel housekeepers, retail store clerks and other employees, according to reports like this one in The Wall Street Journal.
This affects side gigs, too. It’s important to choose a side gig that’ll pay you properly for your time. Sure, you could fold T-shirts at a local shop to earn a few bucks. But how can you find a part-time job that will really take a bite out of your bills?
Here are 11 flexible side gigs that pay more than $20 per hour.
11 Side Gigs That Can Pay Over $20 Per Hour
One of these side gigs could be your ticket to earning money outside your daily job.
If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and putting in some physical work, landscaping can pay quite well. If you can operate heavy machinery, you can earn even more.
In some areas, landscaping jobs often start at $20 or more per hour. But many of these opportunities are offered through word-of-mouth, so be sure to ask around.
Check Craigslist and local online bulletin boards for one-off gigs, or contact a local landscaping company to see if it needs an extra hand on weekends during its busy season.
Be sure you have all the licenses and insurance you need, and always be careful connecting with unknown clients.
2. Graphic Design
An eye for design can earn you nearly $29 per hour on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You’ll also need good computer skills to succeed at this gig.
Having a portfolio of your work or a website and having recommendations from others are the best ways to get hired. You can brush up on your skills with this tutorial.
If you’re bilingual or multilingual, consider offering your language skills as a translator. You can be an on-call translator for legal and medical services or set up steady gigs ahead of time.
Interpreters and translators earn a mean hourly wage of $28, according to the BLS.
4. Sign Language Interpreter
Many events provide interpreters for their hard-of-hearing clientele. If you know sign language, look into opportunities translating on stage at events, in courtrooms and in classrooms.
If standing on stage isn’t your thing, look into opportunities to translate at mediation hearings and other smaller meetings. The average hourly pay is $31, but you can earn up to $52 per hour with this job, according to Payscale.
Tutors can make well over $20 an hour. If you know your math, science and other subjects well, consider sharing your skills with students.
The more advanced and specialized the subjects, the more money you’re likely to earn. Advanced math and science courses (such as Advanced Placement calculus, Advanced Placement physics, etc.) typically earn the highest rates, which can be up to $100 per hour, according to Care.com.
6. Test Prep Instructor
Kaplan and other companies look for skilled test-takers to teach students how to succeed at important exams, including the SAT, ACT, MCAT, LSAT, GRE and GMAT.
Generally, you’ll need to take a sample test to prove your testing prowess and perhaps even do a sample lecture to prove you can communicate well.
Instructors can earn $29 per hour for an SAT course, according to Glassdoor.
7. Personal Chef
Cook up a storm and fill your pockets with cash by working as a personal chef. Set up a weekly gig at someone’s house, cook a series of freezer meals for a client or work special events, crafting creations for individual tastes and needs.
Personal referrals are a great way to get these gigs, which pay an average of over $23 per hour (up to $46 per hour or more), according to Payscale.
8. Personal Assistant
Drop off dry cleaning for your client, get their car’s oil changed, take their dog for a walk and pick up a birthday gift for their friend — these are just a few things you may do as a personal assistant.
Running these errands can pay off, with top-earning personal assistants making $26.75 per hour, according to Payscale.
The best way to get the highest-paying gigs is generally through word-of-mouth. Posting an ad or answering ads on Craigslist and other job forums can also help connect you with people in need of assistance.
9. Yoga Instructor
Teaching yoga can bring in an average of $25 an hour, which can go up to nearly $55 per hour, according to Payscale.
To get started as a yoga instructor, you’ll need to take a teacher training class. The most basic is typically 200 hours and includes training, instruction and a final exam. You can then advance your skills with higher-level courses.
10. Dog Walker
Take pups out for their walks and earn money.
Dog walkers earn between $10 and $30 per hour, according to Payscale.
You can work for yourself or for a dog-walking company. You should have plenty of experience handling all different types of dogs. You should also be physically fit and able to confidently control the dogs when you’re out walking.
If you work for yourself, you can make the most at this gig. If you can handle a few dogs at once, you’ll be able to earn even more. But be sure to have all the insurance you may need.
A good way to start is to advertise your services at local pet-related businesses, such as groomers, boarding facilities, doggy day cares and pet supply stores.
11. Makeup Artist
Style bridal parties’ makeup, prepare theatrical stars for their big performances and get people ready for special events as a part-time makeup artist.
You can make more than $20 an hour helping people get ready for their big event.
Kristen Pope is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder, where Mike Brassfield is a senior writer.