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Here’s my prediction: The 2020s will go down as the golden age of side hustles.
Looking at the numbers, one in three Americans already has a side hustle, and one-third of that group only started hustling recently. As for the rest of us? More than 60 percent of people plan to start a side hustle soon.
This is no accident. People are quickly catching on to the fact that side jobs are a secret to financial success.
And at the same time, it’s also getting a lot easier to find gig work.
If you’re looking to land some side hustles in 2022, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn more about some of the top gig apps for 2022. From rideshare services to caretaking to teaching English and everything in between, there’s a mobile app out there that can help you make money doing something you love in the gig economy.
- Uber Driver
- Lyft Driver
- Doordash Driver
- Grubhub for Drivers
- Instacart Shopper
- Amazon Flex
- Uber Eats
- Tasker by TaskRabbit
- Bellhop – Pros
- Dolly Helpers
- Upwork for Freelancers
- Indeed Job Search
- Care.com Caregiver
- Wag! Pet Caregiver
- VIPKid Teach
- Survey Junkie
What Is the Gig Economy?
The gig economy refers to a flexible work model where people work for several different companies or clients, often at their own leisure. It’s fundamentally different from the traditional approach to work, which involves full-time 40-hour weeks and binding agreements.
Gig economy workers typically work as independent contractors, taking jobs on a per-assignment or per-project basis.
Best Gig Economy Apps for 2022
Note: My list of top gig apps is organized into the following categories in case you’d like to skip ahead to a particular section:
- Best ridesharing apps
- Best car sharing apps
- Best delivery apps
- Best apps for selling stuff
- Best apps for handy work
- Best apps for freelancers
- Best apps for caregivers (pets and people)
Best Ridesharing Apps
1. Uber Driver
Average pay: $18/hr.
Uber is the world’s leading rideshare service with an estimated three to four million drivers around the globe. Uber drivers are considered independent contractors, so they don’t get the same benefits as traditional employees (e.g., a 401k program or paid time off).
The company does offer repair discounts, affordable phone plans, free music, and healthcare assistance through Uber’s partnership with Stride Health. Most importantly, you can use your own car and choose your own schedule.
Don’t have your own wheels but still want to pick up fares? You can also rent a car and drive for Uber.
If you’ve wanted to try your hand behind the wheel of a rideshare service, Uber is an obvious starting point.
2. Lyft Driver
Average pay: $23/hr.
Lyft is very similar to Uber but has a reputation for being more driver-friendly. The main downside is that it’s less popular than Uber, so you may get fewer ride requests depending on where you live.
Lyft provides drivers with free or discounted 24/7 Allstate roadside assistance and discounts on auto services through Openbay. The company also has a tiered rewards structure that pays bonuses for achieving certain driving goals.
Winner: Lyft Drivers
The verdict: I recommend Lyft for drivers because of the positive reviews I’m hearing from drivers. An extra $5/hr on average bodes well for your potential earnings.
Best Car Sharing Apps
Average pay: About $10,516 annually for one car.
Turo is the world’s largest car sharing marketplace that lets you rent your wheels out to other people. It’s kind of like Airbnb but for cars.
For example, someone may rent your car to make a quick Costco run or head out to the mountains to go skiing. Through this lens, Turo can be a great source of passive income. It’s flexible, scalable, and you can set your prices. It also comes with built-in insurance so you don’t have to worry if a renter gets into an accident.
As a Turo host, you’ll also receive discounts for things like auto maintenance, insurance, and more.
Average pay: $30 to $45 daily, $200 to $300 weekly, and $800 to $1,110 per month
HyreCar is a car sharing app that allows owners to rent their rides to Uber and Lyft drivers. As with Turo, the car owner retains full control over pricing and availability. HyreCar also comes with insurance.
A selling point of HyreCar is that you’ll be renting to professional drivers who need to drive your car safely to make money. However, personally speaking, I’d feel a little uneasy about letting unknown rideshare drivers and their passengers cruise around in my ride all day.
But that’s your call, and it also depends on how attached you are to your car.
Average pay: Take home 60 percent of the car rental rate.
Getaround is a popular car-sharing app that operates in the U.S. and countries in Europe. Similar to Turo, you can list your car in an open marketplace according to your schedule. Guests can then rent your car for an agreed-upon time.
By far the coolest feature is Getaround Connect, a device you can install that lets guests unlock your car using the Getaround app.
Getaround’s Connect feature makes this gig economy app a true passive income stream because you won’t have to deal with anyone in person. All you have to do is leave your car for the guest to access and pick it up when they’re done. While your car is in use, you’re earning money without doing any other work. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Best Delivery Apps
6. Doordash Driver
Average pay: $20/hr.
DoorDash is the clear market leader for delivery apps, with a 56 percent market share. DoorDash delivery drivers—known as Dashers—make money by picking up food from restaurants and delivering it to customers.
Drivers can also deliver for DoorDash’s higher-end Caviar service, which is available in select cities.
If you drive enough for DoorDash, you can become a Top Dasher and receive access to exclusive rewards and earning opportunities.
The DoorDash Driver app has a 4.7-star rating in the App Store and ranks #4 of all business-related apps. That’s no small feat.
7. Grubhub for Drivers
Average pay: $17.75/hr.
Grubhub is another hugely popular food delivery app that connects local drivers, restaurants, and hungry customers. The service is available in over 3,000 cities across the U.S. and in all 50 states.
As a Grubhub delivery driver, your experience will be similar to DoorDash in that you simply drive around and deliver food. You’ll earn a base pay for mileage and time spent on the road, plus tips and special offers.
The Grubhub for Drivers app has only a 2.9-star rating in the App Store and a 3.3-star rating in the Google Play Store.
8. Instacart Shopper
Average pay: $14/hr.
Instacart is the world’s largest grocery delivery service, and it recently exploded during the pandemic. As a full-service Instacart shopper, you’ll get paid to shop for orders and then deliver them to the customer’s doorstep.
The Instacart Shopper app is well-liked by shoppers, with top ratings on both Apple and Android devices.
Average pay: $13/hr.
Shipt offers a similar model to Instacart, but customers can order more than just groceries.
As a Shipt Shopper, you can get paid to pick up items from CVS or Bed, Bath & Beyond. Your payments will be sent weekly, and some shoppers are earning as much as $22 per hour.
10. Amazon Flex
Average pay: $19/hour.
Amazon Flex lets you pick up packages on behalf of Amazon and drop them off to people in your area.
Unlike regular Amazon deliveries, you don’t have to be a professional driver. You use your car and drive on your schedule.
Of course, this means more wear and tear on your vehicle and paying for gas. But the trade-off is that the service is very convenient. When you want to make deliveries, simply hop in your car and open the app. You can work as long or as little as you like, with no commitments.
Average pay: $13/hr.
Postmates is a delivery service that Uber recently acquired.
As a driver, you can get paid to deliver food, groceries, booze, and more to local customers in your area. To get started, you’ll have to apply to become an Uber driver. Start the process by downloading the Uber Driver app.
12. Uber Eats
Average pay: $20/hr.
Uber Eats, as you might have guessed, is Uber’s food delivery service. It controls 23 percent of the market, lagging only behind DoorDash.
If you’re already an Uber driver, visit the Work Hub section of the Driver app to register. New drivers can apply here.
Winner: DoorDash Driver
As you can see, there’s no shortage of delivery apps to try. Personally, DoorDash is my favorite because of its above-average earning potential and exceptional mobile app ratings.
With that said, nothing is stopping you from using multiple food delivery apps to boost your income. You might want to consider spreading out across several different apps to cater to as many customers as possible.
Best Apps for Selling Stuff
Average return: Varies.
Decluttr is a service that purchases second-hand electronics devices. If you have a closet full of old video games, phones, computers, and Star Wars toys, it might be time to cash out.
To sell your stuff, simply download the app and scan your items using your smartphone camera. Decluttr will then tell you how much they will pay for each item and send you a box that you can use to send them in for free.
There’s no limit to how much you can earn through Decluttr. That said, don’t expect to get rich using this service.
Average return: Unlimited.
With over 142 million buyers and 19 million sellers, eBay remains a leader when it comes to selling stuff online.
You can use the same eBay app whether you’re buying or selling. To get started, simply download the app, sign in to your eBay account, and create a listing.
Pro tip: Make sure to enable notifications so that you will be able to respond to customer inquiries quickly. The last thing you want is to miss out on a timely query and lose a sale because of it.
There’s no doubt that Decluttr is a cool app. But if you really want to start your own side business selling stuff online, there’s no comparison. eBay is in a league of its own.
Best Gig Apps for Handyman Gig Jobs
15. Tasker by TaskRabbit
Average pay: $23/hr.
TaskRabbit is a service that connects people that need help with local workers called Taskers. Here’s how it works.
People hire Taskers for things like changing light bulbs, painting the deck, assembling furniture, and doing yard work. If you want to get paid for a wide variety of manual labor gigs, TaskRabbit is an awesome resource.
To get started, build a Tasker profile, upload a photo, and select the type or types of jobs that you want to perform. You can also set your own pricing.
How much you earn depends on your location and the type of work that you’re doing.
For example, if you want to get paid to help people move, you can earn $31 per hour in Albany or Orlando. The same work pays $59 per hour in Chicago and $66 per hour in New York City.
16. Bellhop – Pros
Average pay: Up to $21/hr.
Bellhop is an app for booking movers and finding moving-related gigs. As a Bellhop Mover, you can get paid for a simple service: helping move other people’s stuff.
In typical gig economy fashion, you can set your own schedule using the Bellhop Pros app. However, you will need to pass a background check and be able to lift 100 pounds to qualify.
17. Dolly Helpers
Average pay: Up to $35/hr.
Dolly is a same-day moving and delivery service, and you can use the Dolly Helpers app to land gigs.
If you can lift over 75 pounds and own a truck, trailer, or van, you can earn up to $35 per hour as a Dolly Helper. If you don’t own a vehicle, not to worry. You can still earn up to $21 per hour by moving stuff with Dolly Helpers.
TaskRabbit’s Tasker app takes the cake here because of its versatility. In all fairness, Dolly and Bellhop are solid apps if you’re looking to pursue multiple options for moving gigs.
Best Apps for Freelancers
Average Pay: It varies. Fiverr takes a 20 percent commission of what you bring in.
Fiverr is a leading marketplace for finding freelance jobs. Millions of gig workers—including graphic designers, website developers, and personal assistants—use the Fiverr app every day to make money.
As a Fiverr Freelancer, you can list your specific services for sale at the price you want. Most of the gigs on Fiverr are short-term assignments, but you can also find steady work.
Considering the Fiverr app’s near-perfect rating of 4.9 stars in the App Store, it’s clear that the company is doing more than a few things right.
19. Upwork for Freelancers
Average Pay: It varies. Upwork takes a 20 percent commission on earnings up to $500, 10 percent on earnings between $500.01 and $10,000, and 5 percent on earnings beyond that.
Upwork is a similar freelance marketplace to Fiverr, but it’s been around for a bit longer. Overall, Upwork tends to gear more toward higher-quality, established freelancers.
As a service provider, you can use Upwork for Freelancers to submit bids for paid project requests. For example, an online business might post a request for someone to help with building a basic WordPress site. If that’s your specialty, you can submit a bid and try to land the gig.
20. Indeed Job Search
The Indeed Job Search app is a lesser-discussed option for freelancing gigs. Using the app, you can search for both full-time and part-time gigs. You’ll be surprised at how many legit companies are looking for remote employees these days.
Best of all, it’s completely free to use as a job seeker because the company listing the job covers the fees. Not only does this structure leave more money in your pocket, it also weeds out clients that cannot afford to pay competitive rates.
Winner: Indeed Job Search
Fiverr and Upwork are all the rage right now for gig economy jobs, but competition is heavy, and the going rates are often bottom dollar.
Indeed is also competitive, but you don’t have to fork over a commission if you land a gig. You’re also more likely to find long-term work there.
Best Apps for Caregivers
21. Care.com Caregiver
Average pay: $18.50/hr.
Care.com is the leading website for caregiving gigs, with over 32 million members scattered across 20 countries.
If helping others is your calling, download the Caregiver app to find childcare, senior care, housekeeping, and even pet care gigs.
Average pay: $15.52/hr as a dog walker.
Rover is the gig app for dog lovers. Using the Rover app, you connect with local pet owners in your area and get paid for dog walking, boarding, or making drop-in visits.
23. Wag! Pet Caregiver
Average pay: $15.26/hr as a dog walker.
Wag! is another popular choice for animal lovers. The app connects pet owners with over 350,000 pet caregivers across the country.
Using the Wag! Pet Caregiver app, you can find pet-training, pet-walking, and pet-sitting gigs throughout the United States.
The app has 3.6-stars on the App Store, but only 1.9 stars in the Google Play Store.
Winner: Care.com Caregiver
I like the Care.com app because it’s the most established app in this category and offers the most paying gigs.
My last few picks don’t quite fit into the above categories. Nonetheless, they’re worth mentioning because they can help you earn money from almost anywhere.
24. VIPKid Teach
Average pay: $18/hr.
VIPKid is an English language learning platform that connects Chinese students with North American teachers. Once you’re in, you should have no issues finding plenty of teaching opportunities because tons of students use VIPKid.
To qualify as a teacher, you’ll need some teaching experience, a bachelor’s degree, and a computer with a stable internet connection.
The VIPKid Teach app helps teachers with scheduling, reviewing parent feedback and tracking earnings. With a 3.8-star rating in the App Store and a 3.1-star rating in a Google Play Store, it’s far from the best-rated app in this article. However, I’m cutting it some slack due to the fact that it’s helping over 60,000 side hustlers teach English remotely.
Swagbucks is a popular paid survey site where you can earn rewards for watching videos, browsing the internet and sharing your opinion. You can complete these tasks directly in the Swagbucks app. And once your balance reaches 300 Swagbucks (SB), you can cash out with a PayPal account or gift cards.
26. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie is also a survey site and market research platform that pays members for taking surveys. According to the site, the Survey Junkie app is the most popular app for taking surveys and earning rewards.
Gigwalk is an app that connects you with paid gigs in your area. In most cases, the gigs are posted by major retailers and consumer brands that are seeking better visibility into the quality of their products and services.
For example, suppose a major soda retailer wants to see if its products are sufficiently stocked at your local Safeway. This brand might post a gig request for someone to visit the supermarket and snap some photos of the soda aisle. You would then have to submit these photos and document what you saw.
If you’re up for an adventure, Gigwalk could be worth exploring.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do Gig Workers Owe Taxes?
Most likely, yes. But it depends on how much money you bring in over the course of the year and whether you’re working part-time or as an independent contractor.
The vast majority of the above side hustles treat you like a 1099 contractor, which means companies don’t deduct taxes from your paycheck, and you’re responsible for paying your own taxes each quarter. However, if you make less than $12,400 over the course of the year, you generally do not have to submit a tax return.
The last thing you want is to run into tax issues on your road to financial freedom. So, consult a tax advisor to make sure you’re doing things the right way.
After all, you don’t want to get hit with a tax penalty because you forgot to claim your DoorDash earnings. At the same time, a tax advisor can also help you find valuable deductions (e.g., car maintenance, gas, and insurance expenses), making the investment in their services absolutely worthwhile.
Do Gig Economy Workers Receive Benefits?
Gig economy workers typically don’t receive direct benefits from employers. However, some jobs offer discounts for services like healthcare and auto care.
If you’re a full-time gig worker, you’ll most likely have to source your healthcare and set up your own tax-friendly retirement accounts.
But don’t let those things scare you away.
In my opinion, the greatest benefit that you get as a gig worker is freedom. You’ll be in full command of your schedule and life—and that’s something that no full-time employer can offer.
Which Gig Apps Pay the Same Day?
Here are the top gig apps that pay workers the day they perform services: Uber, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Instacart, Grubhub, and Postmates.
Each app has its own unique requirements for same-day payments, so be sure to review those if that’s important to you.
Which Gig App Pays the Most?
It depends on what type of gig you want to do and how much time you spend doing it.
I’m hearing that DoorDash offers the most earnings for dedicated delivery drivers. However, if you find steady work as a mover on TaskRabbit, for example, you’ll earn more than you can with DoorDash. You’ll also have to work a lot harder.
Going a step further, if you’re an expert at a specific service (e.g., graphic design, SEO, or coding), you can set your own prices on sites like Fiverr and Upwork. If your services are exceptional, you can charge much more money than any traditional gig app will pay you.
In my opinion, this should be your ultimate goal.
The Bottom Line
There’s a lot to like about the gig economy. But you have to hustle if you want to succeed—especially if you’re looking to replace your full-time job.
That said, embracing gig work can be one of the best personal finance decisions you make. Whether you work a side hustle or two or go all-in and work side hustles exclusively, gig apps can change your life.
How do I know?
Just a few years ago, I had only a few bucks to my name. I was so broke that I had to move in with my parents and started working odd jobs. I started working side hustles. At one point, I had 13 different income streams.
Fast-forward to today, and I’m a millionaire. If I can do it, you can too!
So get out there and start making money. Take my word for it: You’ll never look back once the extra cash starts rolling in. Here’s to landing the best gigs that lead you to long-term financial freedom!