Woman exercising boxing.

10 surprisingly high-paying part-time jobs

Elizabeth Bromstein|

Making ends meet can be difficult, even with full-time work, particularly if you live in a big, expensive city like Toronto.

Maybe your hours have been cut, or maybe your bills are already covered but you want more cash for vacations, shoes and gadgets. Whatever the case, lots of people have to take on part-time jobs to cover expenses. Teachers and small business owners often have to find more employment. Life’s hard.

But not all part-time jobs are created equal. Here are ten that pay really well.

Translator: Put your ability to write in another language to work. Translators are paid approximately $25 an hour. The highest hourly rate is in Montreal, QC, where you can pull in $34/hr, while translators in Fredericton, NB, make a piddling $14/hr, so there is a wide range. French speakers are going to be in big demand in Canada, but if you speak, say, Afrikaans or Finnish, the competition won’t be as fierce. Translation jobs on Workopolis.

Waiter: There’s a reason actors and musicians make their livings as waiters. It pays the bills. It’s pretty much impossible to average out what servers make, considering how widely it ranges but suffice to say that if you get a good gig, you can do really well on minimum wage plus tips, certainly topping $20 an hour. One bar waitress I know made $100,000 a year. But that was full time. Don’t be crazy. Hospitality and food service jobs on Workopolis.

Bartender: Similarly, slinging drinks can net you a pretty penny, particularly in busy places. Plenty of bartenders can make about $1000 working three nights a week. So, it’s great work if you can get it. Bartender jobs on Workopolis.

Editor/Writer: A good freelance editor, who may work on anything from books, to magazines, to websites, will earn about $40-$60 per hour, though, often you’ll find yourself working on a per project basis. The good news is you set the rate. Some editors may also ask for retainers or a daily rate. Some may also work for less – say $30/hr – which is worth it if the work from one client is regular. It saves on the hustle, which eats time. Freelance writers, meanwhile, can earn hundreds to thousands of dollars per month. Arts and media jobs on Workopolis.

Tutor: If you were a wiz with any particular subject at school – math? science? French? – you can put this to work helping out kids who are struggling. While the internet suggests the average hourly wage for a private tutor is about $25 an hour, I know people who have charged $40-$60 an hour. If you work for a tutoring company you will make quite a bit less.
lists the hourly rate for tutors at Sylvan Learning Centers at $15-$16/hr.

Fitness instructor: Trainers can work in gyms, their own studios or in client homes. According to Payscale, the average pay for a Personal Trainer is $19.87 per hour. But most I know actually average $30/hr and, for in-home personal training sessions, $75-$100/hr. This job does require specific training and certification, the level and intensity of which varies depending on the physical discipline – yoga, aerobics, weights etc. – which does cost time and money itself.

Music teacher: If you play an instrument, like piano or guitar, well enough to teach others, there’s good money to be made giving music lessons. The pay varies widely, beginning at around $12 for a half hour, while one drum teacher tells me the standard rate for private lessons is $50/hr and up. Very experienced and in-demand teachers can charge $100-$150 an hour. Probably more.

Social Media Strategist: The social media expert is, as we know, a dying job title. This is because as businesses become more accustomed to social media, it will be less of a specialized skill and more of a common one. In the interim, however, Social media strategists can make some good coin. The job involves updating Facebook, Twitter, and other sites for companies. It’s unclear what it works out to per hour but people tend to charge $500-$1500 a month, so if you can score a couple of clients, you can do quite well on a part-time basis. Social media jobs on Workopolis.

Computerized College Note Taker: Note takers attend classes and type notes for deaf students. I’m informed that at George Brown, note takers can earn $36 an hour after the first year. And you get to learn stuff at the same time.

Dog Walker: Being great with man’s best friend is something you can turn into great part time income. If a dog walker charges $16 for an hour-long group walk and walks 3-5 dogs at a time, once a day four days a week, that’s nothing to sniff at. For private half-hour walks you can charge $20-$25. You should check the laws for licensing and insurance in your city, as cops do hand out tickets for infractions. Know that caring for people’s furry loved ones is a serious commitment, though, not to be taken lightly. Dog walker jobs on Workopolis.

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  • http://about.me/davidalangay David Gay

    A great article, but the author neglected tone very important point that is at the heart of the unemployment issue in this Age of Austerity and the jobless recovery: all but one of the part-time jobs listed require previous experience in order for the applicant to be considered. Don’t believe me? A look-up on job search engines such as Workopolis will reveal the positions state either “x to y years previous experience in the [whatever] market” or “Previous experience an asset”.

    I’ve repeated this belief a few times on my blog and also on the comments section here, but it begs repeating: companies must play a greater role in combating unemployment by offering on-the-job training for those entry-level positions that require little experience and time to learn.


    • friendlyprogrammer

      Translator, Tutor, Music teachers, require knowledge but no experience. Waiters or Waitresses usually require nice looks and pleasant personality, and if they can get into a high end or buffet restaurant (more tables per) can make more than many.

      • albert

        In Hooters you need to be girl, in your 20´s and have nice look….that reduce the job opportunities to men.. :(

        • Katherine Lalonde

          Because Hooters is the only restaurant that is hiring? That makes 0 sense.

          • truthify

            It’s the only place he goes?

          • Brian_Bray

            No, he just really, really, REALLY wanted to work there.

          • LaszloZoltan

            he’s not the only guy who does……….

      • http://about.me/davidalangay David Gay

        Some waiter jobs (at least in my area) require a few months to several years of experience.

        Source: http://www.indeed.ca/jobs?q=waiter&l=Kitchener+ON

    • Brian_Bray

      Do you actually make any money blogging and commenting? None of my business really, just wondering out loud.

      • http://about.me/davidalangay David Gay

        No, the blog and comments are part of a large job search initiative. If you ask me if I’ve done a particular thing in order to find a job, chances are high I’ll say “Yes”. Unless it involves working at Hooters. Sorry, saw the comments above me and couldn’t resist.

  • France-Andrée Lafrenière

    Really, you think translating can be done with no studies, just like you can learn to become a waitress “on the spot” ? I don’t think so. Becoming a translator is a 3-year university program, and that’s the minimum requirement. Often, years of experience are required.

    • philip cartmel

      Excuse… Je ne comprends pas? Dondez ests los jobs por favor?

  • Ejay Muchima

    I agree with David Gay, this experience requirement by employers is like the ‘chicken and egg scenario, which comes first? ‘. You get experience by working and you can’t easily find a job in this 2014 economic climate. The government should give better incentives to employers to encourage them to hire more inexperienced folks. This move may also reduce job hopping which is a product of demand for experienced workers.

    • Sound_of_Mind

      Why does the government need to be involved at all? Tell your prospective employers that you’re willing to work at a very competitive salary for a while until they know your capabilities. Make them dependant on you and then negotiate your salary.

      That’s what I did when I just got out of school. Now I have enough work experience to work anywhere in North America.

      No government intervention needed.

      • Mike

        How long do you think it takes for a company to become dependant on you? And at that reduced salary? With that be said, I do see merit in your approach.

        • Sound_of_Mind

          Depends on how capable you are.

          The company I work for now is basically screwed if I just walk out and I’ve only been here for a bit over a year.

  • fred jones

    Whoever wrote this article either has no concept of how the arts world works or they’re trying to mislead people. Getting a job as an editor or writer is like most things in the arts. Nice work if you can get it. Doing voice over-work for cartoons and commercials can also be quite lucrative. If you can get it. The big problem with working in the arts is the supply of workers always exceeds the demand.

    • James

      You’re probably thinking of book publishing, but editing and writing is in demand in other fields. Brochures, flyers, website content… Many companies don’t want to spend agency fees on those items yet recognize they can’t do it themselves.
      You could also look for students who need help editing their essays etc. (many of them ESL, but not exclusively). I wouldn’t call that art, and jobs are definitely easier to come by than voice-over work. If I had the skills and the patience for it, editing would be my go-to option for part-time/freelance work.

  • Anthony Mallette

    If you’re someone in a situation where you are doing nothing and earning nothing, perhaps, while you wait for the right thing to come along, volunteer – pick something and do it.

    The worst that can happen is you’ll help people… the best that can happen is you’ll get valuable experience. Who knows, you might get noticed. It’s called momentum, and people who are not on the move will have none.

    What if you walked dogs, typed notes, tutored or translated for free… with the proviso that if anyone asks your client, they tell their friends that you are paid a good rate. You get experience and word of mouth advertising.

    It’s something that I read from Napoleon Hill, and I think it would work. I’m just putting it out there. Perhaps you invested a few thousand in schooling and you still have no job, so invest time in volunteering and see if that works.

  • johnusa0007

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  • gurpreet singh

    nice post on part time jobs you can get job by http://www.offlinework.com

  • anonymous

    Check your facts about the computerized note-taking.