Part-time jobs 2024: How to make extra income

Key takeaways

  • Part-time jobs are a viable option for anyone who wants a flexible schedule or reduced work hours, such as students, parents of young kids or retirees.

  • Nearly 40% of U.S. adults earn some part-time income in addition to their main job, in the form of a side-hustle.

  • In all, part-time jobs are often useful for supplementing your income, or simply to earn some money by doing work you enjoy.

Attending school, caring for family members or keeping busy in retirement are common reasons people have part-time jobs. Many also have part-time work in addition to their main source of income. Today, 39 percent of American adults have a side hustle, according to Bankrate’s latest side hustle survey.

More Americans are taking on part-time work on the side of a full-time job simply to cover everyday living expenses. According to the Bankrate survey, 33 percent of adults with a side job say they need it to cover everyday expenses.

Whether you’re interested in part-time work due to other life obligations or looking to earn some extra income, there are many different part-time job opportunities that can help you make ends meet and contribute more to a savings account.

Here’s a deeper dive into the role of part-time jobs for American workers.

Key statistics about part-time jobs

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Bankrate surveyed side hustlers about their lifestyle and finances. Results showed that:

  • Nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults said they earn additional income on the side.

  • Of all U.S. adults who have side hustles, 85 percent say they make $1,000 or less per month.

  • The average amount earned from a side job per month is $810.

  • About a third of side hustlers say they need it to pay for regular living expenses, while a quarter of them use it as discretionary spending income.

  • Just over half (52 percent) of side hustlers are between the ages of 18 and 34.

  • Many of those with a side hustle — 28 percent — say they think they’ll always need it to make ends meet.

Best part-time jobs

Whether you’re a college student, a parent of young children or a retiree, there are various ways to earn a part-time income in industries such as sales, food delivery, teaching, writing and bookkeeping. Below are various jobs that may appeal to people of different ages and walks of life.

Jobs for teens

In most states, the minimum working age is 16 years old, though there are a few exceptions. Still, minors in many states are limited in how many hours they can work per week — child labor laws ensure that those under 18 years old have sufficient time for schooling, recreation and social development.

Part-time jobs, then, are a great opportunity for teens to start making their own income during the summer, after school or on weekends. The BLS reports that there are more than 4 million part-time workers in the U.S. who are between the ages of 16 and 19.

The number of young people with jobs grows significantly in the summer months, according to the BLS, which reported the youth labor force (16- to 24-year-olds) grew by 10.4 percent from April to July 2023.

Here are the top part-time jobs for teens to take on in the summer or after school.

Job

Median hourly wage*

Restaurant host/hostess

$13.33

Food preparation

$14.83

Retail associate

$14.71

Lifeguard

$13.11

Babysitting

$13.71

Jobs for college students

Students in college may find themselves having a slew of new financial responsibilities, including paying for college tuition and supplies, buying their own food and severing much of their financial dependence on parents.

College years are also an important period of time for developing career skills. But, of course, the main focus should be on school, which is why part-time work is perfect for college students. They can remain in school while building up work experience and taking on more financial responsibilities.

In 2022, nearly half (46.5 percent) of college undergraduates were employed, according to a BLS report on college enrollment and work activity.

It’s important for college students to find a job that can help them develop crucial skills while also providing flexibility and not adding much more stress to their lives. Here are some recommendations.

Job

Median hourly wage*

Administrative assistant

$19.71

Barista

$13.33

Restaurant server

$14.00

Bookstore associate

$14.71

Research assistant

$24.26

Tutor

$17.63

Jobs for young adults

Young adults, many of whom are burdened with student debt, often face significant financial challenges. Almost a third (31 percent) of parents say they’ve had to make a serious financial sacrifice to help their adult children with money, according to a Bankrate survey, highlighting the financial strain faced by this demographic.

For young adults, a part-time job can serve multiple purposes. Firstly, it can provide an additional source of income that helps them pay off their student debt more quickly. With a substantial portion of their income often dedicated to loan repayments, having a part-time job allows them to expedite the process and reduce the overall interest accrued.

Another reason for young adults to take on part-time jobs is the need to cover everyday living expenses. According to the Bankrate side hustle survey, 36 percent of millennials rely on their side hustle income out of necessity to pay for daily costs. Meanwhile, 44 percent of Gen Z members (ages 18-26) and 53 percent of millennials (ages 27-42) said their income hasn’t kept up with increases in household expenses due to inflation, a November 2023 Bankrate survey found.

Young adults may choose part-time positions that align with their long-term career goals, allowing them to gain practical experience, expand their professional network and enhance their resumes. They might also look for work that allows them more flexibility to strike a balance between their professional and personal obligations.

Job

Median hourly wage*

Online tutor

$17.63

Delivery driver

$15.72

Freelance writer

$36.10

Bookkeeper

$22.05

Jobs for stay-at-home parents

Stay-at-home parents have many responsibilities that could make a full-time job impossible to take on: taking care of children, keeping up with housework, managing family finances and so on.

But that doesn’t stop these parents from working on the side of caring for children. In 2022, about 5.9 million part-time workers were parents with children under 18, according to the BLS. In many cases, these parents might work part time and stay at home with kids while another parent works full time.

A 2021 study by Magnify Money found that 2.4 percent of parents are stay-at-home parents — and this number has increased by 60 percent since 2019.

Remote work might be the best option for many stay-at-home parents. Then, they can take on jobs that allow them to complete tasks at home while still looking after kids. Some less conventional ways for stay-at-home parents to boost their income include entrepreneurial opportunities, like selling homemade items on an online marketplace or running a blog.

Here are some part-time options for stay-at-home parents that typically allow for remote work and more flexible hours.

Job

Median hourly wage*

Freelance writer

$36.10

Online tutor

$17.63

Data entry specialist

$17.92

Proofreader

$21.83

Virtual assistant

$19.71

Jobs for retirees

Retirees might be past the peak of their careers, but that doesn’t mean they must totally give up working. Many continue to work part time in retirement, whether it’s to keep funding retirement dreams, contribute to savings for family or help maintain an active social and intellectual life.

In fact, those ages 55 and older make up about 28 percent of part-time workers. While retirees can certainly be younger than 55, it remains true that there are limitations (whether due to personal desires or physical and health constraints) on the number of hours many retirees are able to work.

Being retired should allow you to enjoy a flexible lifestyle, so work for retirees might ideally have flexible hours. The type of work is also important — a survey by CoGenerate found that 55 percent of Americans want to prioritize using their skills and expertise for a positive social impact following their primary careers.

Here are some part-time work options that might be ideal for retirees, offering flexibility, the opportunity to socialize and positive social impact.

Job

Average pay*

Grade school teacher

$67,930 per year**

College instructor

$96,130 per year**

Financial planner

$37.59 per hour

Conservationist

$19.96 per hour

Writer

$36.10 per hour

Jobs for veterans

In 2022, about 18.4 million, or 7 percent, of U.S. adults were veterans, according to the BLS.

Veterans may be able to leverage skills that were picked up while serving to find specialized part-time work. Some of the most common industries where veterans are employed include manufacturing, professional services and transportation.

They may also draw from their experience to contribute to work in the public sector — 22.8 percent of veterans work in the public sector, compared with only 13 percent of nonveterans, according to the BLS. Public sector employment is especially high among veterans with service-connected disabilities, at 27 percent.

These are some part-time job opportunities that might be most suitable for veterans looking to move into civilian work.

Job

Average pay*

Manufacturer

$30.40 per hour

Truck driver

$22.26 per hour

Electrical technician

$28.96 per hour

IT analyst

$50.11 per hour

Legislator

$71,100 per year**

Jobs for people with disabilities

Disabilities can affect the type of work and amount of work that someone can take on. About half of people with disabilities were 65 years and above; for those between 16 and 64 years old who have a disability, 36.8 percent were employed in 2022, according to the BLS.

Workers who had a disability were also more likely to be employed part time — 30 percent of workers with a disability were part-time workers. They were more likely than workers without a disability to work part time due to economic reasons, such as being unable to find a full-time job.

Although these are some part-time job ideas that might be suitable for people with disabilities, the way that a disability can affect someone’s work capability varies greatly by disability.

Some resources for people with disabilities looking for work include:

  • CareerOneStop.org, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, is a helpful site for searching for jobs, developing skills and understanding job accommodations.

  • USA Jobs Resource Center shares federal job listings that are actively recruiting those with disabilities.

  • Ticket to Work is a free site that provides training for Social Security disability recipients ages 18 to 64 who want to work.

The more popular industries for people with disabilities include service occupations, office occupations and transportation. Here are some part-time work ideas for people with disabilities where they can often find remote work opportunities and can even leverage their disability into the role’s expertise.

Job

Median hourly wage*

Accounting specialist

$22.05

Counselor

$24.61

Pharmaceutical technician

$18.17

Legal support

$28.28

How to find a part-time job

When searching for a part-time job or side hustle, websites you may find useful include Indeed, FlexJobs and Snagajob, all of which allow you to narrow down your search to job openings that are part time. Or, if there’s a particular company at which you’d like to work, check out the job postings page on its website; if there are only full-time job listings, consider reaching out to see if the company would consider hiring you on a part-time basis.

Depending on the type of work you’re looking to do, you could post on your social media networks that you’re seeking clients. This may be a viable option for anyone who is a tutor, hairdresser, pet sitter or childcare provider.

If you don’t yet have the skills for a line of work you’re interested in, see if any related courses are offered from your local college or an online course provider.

When looking for part-time work, consider the number of hours you wish to work each day or week, the amount of time you’d spend commuting and what the tax ramifications are for your taking on such a job.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is a part-time job?

    While it can vary by employer, the Bureau of Labor Statistics generally defines part-time work as less than 35 hours of work per week.

  • What are reasons for working part time?

    Many people who work part time prefer a flexible schedule and often the ability to work from home, whether it’s due to being retired after a long career or wanting to care for children or elderly parents. Others seek a part-time work arrangement due to being in school or having health limitations.

  • Can you work part time from home?

    Depending on your skills, you may be able to find part-time work-from-home opportunities. Since the pandemic, more jobs have become available that allow for a fully remote or hybrid arrangement. Various job posting sites enable you to search for both remote and part-time jobs. If you’re looking to be self-employed, you can network with former colleagues or post to your social media networks that you’re seeking clients.

– Bankrate’s Karen Bennett contributed to an update to this story.

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