Highest-paying side gigs - software developer
Software developer jobs are among the highest paying side gigs.

Highest-paying Side Gigs

Having a side gig or, an extra way to make money, has been a blessing to many enterprising individuals and to those who need to supplement their incomes.

Earn more than $40/hr with the right side gig, sills and experience.

Leveraging online technology for side gigs has now become an indispensable skill to make money no matter what stage you are in your career. If you want to earn more money to pay your bills or go on that dream vacation, then look for the highest paying side gigs that can raise your earnings. 

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Side Gig vs. Side Hustle

As the gig economy matures, people are starting to rely on side gigs and side hustles to supplement their incomes. For the purposes of this article, we are going to make a difference between a side gig and a side hustle as they do have core differences that may make you prefer one over the other.

A side hustle is a side job that usually involves something that you are passionate about. To make this work, you usually work for yourself as a freelancer or in your own company or brand, establishing your professional brand in the industry you are trying to break through.

Examples of side hustles include creating a YouTube channel or a food blog. These require the commitment of an entrepreneur without the need to register a business at the earliest stages of your endeavor.

Side gigs, on the other hand, are additional jobs that you don’t necessarily have to be passionate about. It’s work you do for the sake of working. You do it for the cash and not the goal of growing and making a brand out of it.

Having a side gig means that you can get in and out of a project or a commission as soon as you’re done, so you can dedicate your time and effort for things you really want to grow, like your career, an existing business, or that dream to become an author.

Finally, side gigs may not pay as much as you expect them to. They also do not give legal and financial protections that come with traditional employment. Sure, side gigs do make you money, but when you’re overworked and get sick, they offer no benefits to help you pay the medical bills.

Now here’s the good news: your side hustle does not need be a painful experience. Choose the right highest paying side gigs and they would help you have fun making a six-figure income.

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Skills that Lead to Highest Paying Side Gigs

There are a variety of categories of side gigs that pay good money. However, for the most part we can separate side gigs that we can learn from experience and self study, and those that need actual experience, degrees and/or credentials.

Let’s start the list with the highest paying side gigs that most anyone can get into with the right experience and/or self-education, no certification required:

1. Web developer ($21/hour)

To be a web developer, you need to learn coding languages from HTML to C++. While a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science-related fields can help, some freelance web developers are self-taught and consult a community of fellow web developers for help in certain areas.

2. Project manager ($25/hour; can be more with additional certifications)

Experience is key for any project manager worth thier salt. With small, non-technical projects, good organizational and interpersonal skills are key to succeeding in this side gig. If you have a certification from the Project Management Institute or any of the agile techniques, or specialized knowledge in construction or digital technology, then your side gig pay can even go higher.

3. Technical writer ($25/hour)

If you have the knack for research and writing, especially for complex subjects like IT and engineering, technical writing can be a good place to start earning big money. This is among the highest-paying side gigs because you do have to go through tons of difficult information, learn and process them, and write them with a simplicity that the reader can understand, without learning the technical jargon. 

4. Professional organizer ($26/hour)

Have you been told by your friends and family that you have OCD? Do you miss cleaning up after your kids after they’ve left home? You can definitely put those skills to use by becoming a professional organizer. Whether it’s cleaning workspaces or homes, all you need to focus on are efficient and user-friendly organization systems to help make your clients’ lives easier when they are launching an event, a fund-raising luncheon, a brand celebration, the opening of a business, among others.

5. Software & application developer ($30/hour)

Like web developers, you need knowledge in programming languages to be able to develop an app. However, app development is more complicated and needs more time to complete, which is why software and app developers can demand higher prices than web developers. Six figure side gigs are not unusual for app developers.

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Music teacher side gigs are some of the highest paying side gigs.
Music teacher side gigs are some of the highest paying side gigs.

Experience and Expertise for The Highest Paying Side Gigs

With the right education, you can have even more highest paying side gigs open up for you and make your degree/certifications work for you. Often these jobs don’t just need you to have certification, but significant experience related to your expertise:

1. Mental health therapist ($24/hour)

The lockdowns have resulted in an increase of mental health problems as people were isolated from one another. And mental health issues are becoming better understood. All these things are leading to more and more people needing mental health services.

For those with degrees and training in mental health therapy, these highest side gig have become increasingly necessary for individuals as well as for companies who want to keep their employees mentally healthy. Some corporations want their human capital/resources staff to be familiar with, trained or aware of the mental health challenges people face today.

2. Music teacher ($26/hour)

If you know how to play an instrument well, you can moonlight as a music teacher apart from your day job. As long as you are able to prepare in advance and instruct your students well, and even arrange recitals for them, this could be a very lucrative gig. However, if you plan to teach in college, you need to have a master’s degree.

3. Recruiting and job hunting consultant ($40/hour)

Finding the right people for the job or helping people find the right job is never an easy task. Even dedicated HR departments are grateful for help, especially filling in key positions for their company immediately. If you have experience in recruitment, have lots of connections, and have insights into the hiring practices of different companies, then you can moonlight as an HR consultant.

4. Marketing consultant ($40/hour)

Marketing has become one of the most in-demand jobs in today’s industry. If you have the knowledge of or experience in creating and managing whole marketing campaigns, and managing marketing efforts to meet sales targets, then this flexible consulting gig is for you.

5. Medical writer ($41/hour)

The healthcare industry is always looking for people with medical backgrounds who can do the research-based work. Hospitals do not only think about their day-to-day operations, but also about conducting research and technical writing medical publications to help medical practitioners bolster their practices. Because this is among the highly specialized and highest-paying gigs, medical writers can charge up to $50/hour.

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The Right Side Gig

Making money through side gigs is a challenge in balancing your work and social life. But with the right skills, the right gig, and the right timing, you can get a good work life balance while working toward your six-figure earning goals.

And remember, the best thing about having the best paying side gigs is that you can go to them when you’re in a pinch and drop them when you’re feeling overwhelmed. More importantly, you can bank on your knowledge on how to make extra money---that can reach into six figures, annually.

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