4 Online Side Jobs That Pay More Than $15 an Hour

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If you’re thinking of taking on a side job, you’re not alone. Although the idea of a second job is nothing new, the “platform economy” of online business and commerce has made it a lot easier. So much so, in fact, that the PEW Research Center found in 2016 that a quarter of all American adults were using the platform economy to earn extra money.

But what about you? If you’re interested in earning extra money through side jobs online and want to know where to start — and how to tell legitimate opportunities from scams — here are a few ideas to help.

4 side jobs online that pay more than the typical ‘second job’

Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks of the traditional second job is that it usually involves working at night or on the weekends for minimum wage or tips. Even when you need the extra money, it might not always seem worth losing time with family or precious hours of sleep.

Luckily, there are plenty of online side jobs that enable you to work from home when you feel it’s convenient, and that pay more than the minimum wage.

1. Transcribe audio and video recordings

Love to type? Have a few extra hours on weekends, or even an extra hour a day? You can generate income during that time if you sign up to transcribe audio and video recordings.

Kollin Lephart, founder of travel and lifestyle company Every Girl, Everywhere, decided to try this to earn extra money to pay off her student loans while she was traveling abroad. She’s been using a service called Rev that pays $1 per minute for transcribing audio or video or 10 cents per word for translations.

To start, you must first sign up and take a transcription test. According to Lephart, making out the words can sometimes be a challenge due to different accents or muffled voices. If you pass, you can start transcribing anytime, but if not, you can try the test again in 45 days.

Once you’re in, you can log in whenever you want to see if there are jobs available. Recordings might be a few minutes or several hours long — so you can choose based on how much time you have at the moment. Lephart says she normally sees 10 to 20 jobs available whenever she logs in, and she does the work in her spare time:

“I like to wake up in the morning, and while I’m drinking coffee and eating breakfast, I’ll transcribe. And maybe at night right before I go to bed, I’ll transcribe.”

She also transcribes on the rare weekend when she has downtime. So how much has this helped her? Lephart says it can take awhile to get good at it, but now she’s earning an average of $250 per week. Not bad for extra work in your pajamas.

2. Use your skills to build a business online

Some jobs seem like they could only be done effectively in person. But with a little creativity, you might find that your skills are marketable online as well.

That’s what happened with personal trainer and nutrition coach Niccole Hendrickson, although she discovered this new opportunity by accident. Since she can only ever be in one place at a time, and sometimes her clients couldn’t make it to meet her, they started to ask if she could do more for them online. Then, when she moved from San Diego to Denver,  building out her business online further enabled her old clients to keep working with her.

So how do you manage to do a personal training class online? For Hendrickson, it started with documents outlining basic nutrition and fitness plans. Slowly she started to add video clips of exercises, and now she’s working on revamping her entire brand to work better online.

This doesn’t just give Hendrickson a way to scale herself and earn more, it also helps her save money. Since she has to pay for gym time train to her clients (and commute there and back), doing so much work online saves her massive amounts of overhead.

So far, her online business has brought in an additional $500 to $1,000 per month. In her words, this is only the beginning.

Think about your job or the skills you’ve developed. Just as Hendrickson started online personal training with a simple document, there might be a creative way to do online what you do in real life and thus scale your income-earning abilities.

3. Turn your time on social media into money

The average Facebook user spends nearly an hour of their time each day on the platform, including Instagram and Messenger. In a lifetime, we’re projected to spend five years on social media overall.

That’s a lot of time going down the drain. So why not turn it into income? If you learn how to use social media for business marketing, you can. What’s more, with sites like CloudPeeps, you can even start out a side job as a freelance social media marketer without having to chase down clients yourself. You simply create a profile and wait for new opportunities to pitch.

As for how much you can earn, CloudPeeps currently boasts social media managers at the rates of $30 to $80 per hour, or $300 to $1,000 per month. If you sign up for CloudPeeps’ free plan, they’ll get 15 percent of your rate. At the lowest end, you’d still make a decent wage, and if things start going well, you can pay a monthly membership rate instead and decrease CloudPeeps’ cut.

Other sites enable you to do this as well, such as Contently, although that’s geared toward professional freelance writing, not just social media.

4. Consider becoming a virtual assistant

If you’re incredibly detail-oriented and organized, virtual assistant work might be the perfect way for you to earn extra money online. The only challenge might be fitting this in with a day job if you need to, though the hours required will depend on the clients you take on. The current median wage for this work is $15.75 per hour.

Blogger Kayla Sloan decided to try virtual assistant work and earned $15 per hour out of the gate. She loved it because she could work from home, set her own schedule, and skip the commute (including the costs that come with it).

In fact, Sloan got started in this work before knowing what it was — someone simply offered her the position after seeing her blog. Her advice to others is to begin with their network, including any entrepreneurs or small-business owners they might know. And if that comes up blank, Sloan suggests trying online job boards, though she does also warn that jobs posted on such sites typically pay less.

Try to choose online side jobs that fit into your lifestyle

Taking on extra work, even when it’s a side job online, is a tough endeavor when you’re already overloaded with things to do and short on time. That said, if you can find a side job that works with what you already know, then it can be a lot easier.

Career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching Angela Copeland stresses that you should choose the most flexible work that doesn’t “interfere with your current full-time work.” She also suggests trying sites such as Upwork to find opportunities in line with your skills, as long as you’re aware that the fees you can earn on the site vary quite a bit.

In the end, if you can manage to find a side job online that’s fun or interesting, then what felt like a drag could end up being something you’re actually happy about — and not just for the extra money.

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1 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student Loan RefinanceFixed rates from 3.999% APR to 7.804% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.480% APR to 7.524% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.480% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-8.17% (2.72%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.50%-8.69% (3.50% – 8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Average savings based on 18,113 actual customers who refinanced their federal and private student loans through our Education Refinance Loan between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The calculation is derived by averaging the monthly savings of Education Refinance Loan customers whose payments decreased after refinancing, which is calculated by taking the monthly student loan payments prior to refinancing minus the monthly student loan payments after refinancing. The borrower’s savings might vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans they are seeking to refinance. The borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if their monthly payments are lower.
2.57% – 5.87%Undergrad
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2.80% – 6.38%1Undergrad
& Graduate
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2.48% – 7.52%2Undergrad
& Graduate
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2.47% – 7.99%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.57% – 6.65%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.72% – 8.17%4Undergrad
& Graduate
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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.