Woman driving a car in the sunset

12 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 or Vancouver.

Time magazine has just published a list of part time jobs “that pay lots of money,” something we have also done in the past, so we thought we would revisit the topic by sharing a couple from Time’s list (to be honest, some of their jobs don’t actually pay all that well) along with our own previous list, to give you a veritable cornucopia of part-time job options.

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 of Time’s suggestions, as well as our own list of ten that can pay really well.

Rideshare driver: According to Time, Rideshare drivers earn between $15-$30 an hour. You’ll need a reliable vehicle, smartphone, and to pass a background check. “Over the past year, we’ve seen a huge influx of drivers and a few rate cuts so while it’s not as lucrative as it once was,” drivers can still make good money, Harry Campbell, publisher of TheRideShareGuy.com tells Time. “Generally, the bigger the city, the better the money.” He says drivers tend to make the most money on Friday and Saturday nights. Best of all, he says this work offers “immense flexibility.”

Web Designer: Time lists the pay for web designers at $20-$150, so at the upper end you can do quite well for yourself. Josh Lindenmuth, CIO with the payroll company Payce, Inc. tells Time her know one designer who earns over $15,000 a month on the side. “Designers with strong portfolios can make incredible money, particularly if they team up with small website marketing firms that build/maintain websites for small- and medium- (sized) businesses,” Lindenmuth says. Web design jobs on Workopolis

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 by an acquaintance who used to do this that at one college 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

        • Heather Scott

          I live in PEI and to be a waitress here you need experience,(minimum of 2 years) a responsble servers course.

    • 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.

        • http://www.healthandbeautygirl.com/ healthandbeautygirl

          huh.. lol

  • 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?

      • http://www.canuckywoman.com/ Canucky Woman

        Wat zegt je? Ik begrijp je niet.

  • 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.

      • Xaxxus

        that also shows desperation. Not an attractive trait when in an interview

  • 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

    Very helpful information. Appreciate it.
    Cashcrate is my favorite site and the one that I’ve received the most checks from. I’ve been doing it for about a year now and honestly have never had a problem with it.You earn money by doing free offers, surveys, watching ads, shopping online, participating in live contests and referring your friends and family members to the site.Cashcrate is one of the most popular GPT sites having 990,000+ members.I have made close to $3000 using this great Get Paid To Site. The amazing part is I’ve spent only about 6 hours a week on this site and I’ve earned $300 in 1 month! I can’t urge you enough to try it out for yourself.

  • 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.

  • Eleonora Ceriello

    Two things on translation: 1) You need a degree and some experience to work at a good level (for the government for example) and to be able to provide a good quality. There are translation techniques you need to learn before you can call yourself a translator and generally it requires a master’s degree at the very least. Often, to reach a highly professional level it is a 2-3 year specialization, after the master’s degree. 2) If you get a good training and offer fair prices (unfortunately people who are not skilled have a tendency to kill the market, to get whatever they can get!) you generally can make at the least 80-100$ an hour. This is the translation world seen from the inside! :-)

  • CassM

    One they didn’t mention for young ladies are the Princess Parties…my daughter makes $50 for an hour party and the hosts tend to give tips as well…works 4 one hour parties on the weekend and makes more than someone making minimum wage working 16 hours on the weekend…some companies have superhero parties for the guys too, but it’s mainly for the girls, sorry gents…

  • Sebastien Busque

    I am a translator, and I have a hard time getting started in the business. If anyone has tips for me, that’s be great…

  • Danièle Heinen

    Translators do NOT get paid by the hour unless your work on location at an agency or at a Company needing your services on a temporary basis. If you work as an independent translator, the standard payment practice is per source word from the source text and one translates into one’s native language. It also requires a fair amount of training and education like some of us have Maters degree and passed rather difficult certification exams (so please skip the usual nonsens of anyone bilingual can translate, which leads me to revise or rather retranslate numerous crappy works.) It helps also to be familiar with several fields of expertise, like even in your own language you might not be able to keep up with a conversation about geology, or clinicals trials, so why should a translator be knowledgeable in everything? But true, language combinations other then EN-FR/ FR-EN are in demand, especially Russian and Chinese.

  • Les Brown

    Joining the discussion late but perhaps the new economy isn’t about getting a job, or another job. It may be about deciding to embrace a new way of doing things. Like David Gay, I lost my last conventional job in 2010.

    I live in Alberta, but not one of the major cities, have an MBA, and have generally been considered overqualified for every job I have applied to over the last 5 years. I am structurally unemployed, which means that I am not located where the jobs are. The problem is that I live with my wife and I am where her job is, and relocating breaks her career. So my win it hard to win.

    I have reconstructed myself from the ground up. Services such as Uber, and other disruptive services are offering a lot of new opportunities but lets be correct, these are not jobs in the traditional sense.

    I contract to a communications company, have done pizza delivery (have never seen a pizza place that won’t hire drivers), done a couple of short term positions in my career, and learned a whole new IT skill set in web data analytics. I freelance on various sites, and write a monitored blog. Overall I am doing all right, I am able to work when, where, and how I want, but I had to build and cobble together a bunch of things that might not make sense to many people but I make a comfortable living e-lancing, freelancing, and odd jobs. Best of all, I am in charge of it all, and I will never work a conventional job again. I think that is a reality of the new economy, jobs will disappear due to disruptive technology, even jobs that require books smarts can be done from almost everywhere, read “The world is flat”, for less that you will pay a North American.