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Whether it’s civil, mechanical, or software, engineering is one of the hottest fields for those interested in subjects like math and science.
Although average annual salaries for professional engineers range from $74,000 to $119,000, people just getting into this profession don’t usually start at these rates. Plus, considering many engineering students take on $25,500 of debt for their BA, there’s a good chance you may be looking for ways to supplement your yearly income.
Finding lucrative side hustles can help you build a solid financial position as you establish your professional career — and they may help you transition to becoming self-employed in the future.
Since engineering is such a hot skill, you’ll find quite a few opportunities to earn extra cash online and in person. Whatever area of engineering you specialize in, you’re bound to find plenty of side gigs to help you with your finances.
Side Hustles To Keep You In Engineering
There are plenty of ways to make side money by sharing your engineering skills, experience, and knowledge with others. If you get the all-clear from your current employer, explore engineer-specific side hustles to make money from other clients.
1. Freelance Engineering Work
The most direct way to earn extra cash with your engineering skills is to search for freelancing opportunities. Thanks to online job boards or freelancer websites like Upwork, it’s easier to find individuals or companies willing to hire skilled engineers for short-duration contract positions.
You may also run into people who need engineering work as your network and reputation expand. While not all freelance engineers quit their day job, taking on more gigs will boost your resume and likely put you on the track to self-employment.
Just remember to carefully review any employment contract and bring up any potential conflicts with your current employer.
Pay: The pay for freelance engineering jobs varies depending on your state, the nature of the project, and your skills and accreditations. However, ZipRecruiter estimates that the average salary for freelance engineering work ranges from $15 to $70 per hour.
How to Get Started: Networking is important for landing any job, but it’s imperative when you want to promote yourself for freelance work. Before searching freelancer sites or sending out cold cover letters, refine your resume and put together a portfolio of your work to show prospective employers.
You should also consider building a professional website and LinkedIn profile. Also, use local engineer events and online forums to connect with the community and pursue promising leads.
Again, you could use LinkedIn to find connections conferences, and search for potential freelancing opportunities. Other sites like FlexJobs, Upwork, and Guru also typically have freelance engineer openings.
2. Engineering Consulting
If you’d prefer to take a more “hands-off” approach to engineering on the side, consider sharing your expertise with companies or individuals as a freelance consultant. While this isn’t a passive income opportunity, you won’t have to directly complete projects for your employer. Instead, you have to offer actionable plans and advice to help employers meet their engineering goals.
Similar to finding freelance engineering work, it’ll be easiest to find consulting opportunities as your professional network grows. Also, since you’re selling your knowledge in this role, it helps to have an area of specialty to distinguish yourself from competing engineers.
The more targeted your areas of expertise are — and the more projects and accreditations you have to back up your claims — the easier it is to inspire confidence as a potential contractor.
Pay: Again, the hourly rates for consultants fluctuate depending on multiple factors, particularly your experience and reputation. However, ZipRecruiter estimates the median price for engineering consultants is $55 per hour.
How to Get Started: To increase the odds of getting a consulting job, engineers must clearly demonstrate their expertise to prove and distinguish their services. Make it clear what you know — because, after all, it’s your knowledge you’re selling to potential employers.
After establishing your niche in the engineering space, build a profile on a professional website to gain greater visibility. Similar to starting out freelancing, it’s helpful to connect with the engineering community on forums, professional sites like LinkedIn, and at events.
To get started, you can usually find consulting opportunities on job boards like Indeed or freelancing websites like Upwork and Fiverr. You can also find opportunities on consulting marketplaces like Catalant, MeasureMatch, Zintro, and TopTal.
3. Quality Control Consulting
From scanning water sanitation or a factory’s procedures to inspecting a city’s infrastructure or software program’s code, there’s no shortage of quality control opportunities for engineers.
Quality control consultants ensure businesses and organizations meet high standards for compliance and tap into their maximum efficiency. Anyone with great attention to detail in their testing procedures is the best fit for focusing on quality assurance opportunities in their engineering field.
Since quality control freelancers and general consultants do similar work, finding these gigs is almost identical to looking for consulting opportunities. Just keep in mind the requirements of a quality control position usually place more demands on consultants for measurable results, tests, or accreditations.
Pay: According to research from Arkansas State University, professional quality control engineers make an average salary of roughly $65,000 a year. As far as side hustles go, the amount a quality control engineer makes isn’t as easy to calculate, but ZipRecruiter estimates it could be as high as $50 per hour.
How to Get Started: First, be sure you have plenty of accreditations and certifications in your engineering specialty before searching for quality control positions.
The more experience you demonstrate in your target area, the easier time you’ll have inspiring confidence in potential employers and breaking into this freelancing field.
Similar to finding a general consulting gig, it’s helpful to connect with fellow engineers in your area on sites like LinkedIn and at events to boost your professional network and spot opportunities for quality assurance testing.
You can also use freelancing sites like Upwork and Freelancer and search “quality control engineering.”
4. 3D Part Printing
3D printing has helped countless engineers improve their prototyping process to assess their projects and speed up their workflows. Beyond streamlining their professional engineering tasks, 3D printers offer engineers many potential side hustle opportunities.
And we’re not just talking about making crafty items to sell on sites like Etsy! While it’s possible to generate revenue using a 3D printer in the arts & crafts space, engineers could use this technology to print parts or prototypes for fellow engineers.
Since 3D printers are a steep initial investment, some engineers may prefer to pay for personalized parts or prototypes on-demand from someone who has this technology. Consider the cost of a 3D printer and the potential revenue you could generate by providing clients with parts, prototypes, or other unique printed items.
Pay: Glassdoor estimates that 3D printer technicians typically make $57,033 per year, and Salary.com estimates that 3D printer experts get between $18 to $24 per hour on average. Of course, the rate you receive depends on the types of parts you create, the materials you need, and the market demand for your items.
How to Get Started: Etsy is the first website that comes to mind when selling 3D-printed items. However, relying on Etsy may not be the optimal strategy if you’re more interested in using 3D printers exclusively for a professional engineering clique.
In the latter case, you should advertise your 3D printer services on engineering forums and in the local community. Also, freelancing sites like Upwork and Freelancer often post teaching opportunities for 3D printer technicians.
So, if you’d prefer to make side money teaching others how to operate 3D printers, that may be a viable side hustle option.
5. Offer CAD Drafting Services
While some engineers may prefer plotting designs with a pencil and paper, the drafting phase has shifted into cyberspace over the past few decades. Today, engineers use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create 3D renderings of their projects and prototypes.
Tech-savvy engineers with CAD competency are in a great position to offer this service as a freelancer. After learning the specifications of a client’s intended product, you can “draw” a CAD design to visualize and assess each client’s layout (and collect some sweet side money!).
Pay: ZipRecruiter estimates the average income for a freelance CAD drafter is roughly $25 per hour. There’s also data from Glassdoor suggesting freelance CAD designers could make up to $52,292 per year.
How to Get Started: As always, define your area of expertise and highlight your CAD experience with a professional portfolio online to showcase your competency and attract potential clients.
In addition to building your engineering network locally and on sites like LinkedIn, there are many freelancer websites with CAD job postings. Besides the usual picks like Upwork and Fiverr, check out CAD Crowd for more job opportunities tailored for CAD gigs.
6. App Design & Development
Mobile app developers often rank as one of the top-performing jobs in today’s hi-tech economy, with average annual salaries in the $90,000 to $100,000 range. So, if engineers have ninja-level “coding chops” and prior experience with app design, they’re in a prime position to take advantage of potentially high-paying side hustles.
Clients in countless industries are willing to pay for top-tier talent to design and test their applications before incorporating them into their work systems or offering them on mainstream stores like Google Play. Although app development requires a significant amount of time and energy, there are plenty of opportunities for engineers with these skills.
Pay: As mentioned above, average salaries for app developers and designers are typically in the $90,000 – $100,000 range, making it one of the most sought-after professions in the tech and engineering sectors.
Data from ZipRecruiter also suggests the median annual salary for freelance Android app developers is $122,000. However, that doesn’t mean freelance app developers will get these high figures right from the start. For instance, Upwork estimates freelance Android app developers charge $18 to $39 per hour.
How to Get Started: Start by organizing a portfolio of apps you’ve worked on and including them in your resume, official website, and LinkedIn. Be sure to clearly define your preferred coding languages (e.g., Python, Java, or C++) and whether you’re most comfortable designing for specific systems like iOS or Android.
After establishing your specialties and reputation, network online and at events like hackathons to build your circle of potential clients. You can also use freelance sites or job boards like LinkedIn, Remote OK, and YunoJuno to get started finding clients interested in app development.
7. IT Support
Information Technology (IT) experts are crucial for fixing problems and ensuring smooth communications between electronic devices, applications, and software systems. For engineers with experience spotting and fixing bugs, repairing PCs, or upgrading anti-virus programs, working as a freelance IT specialist is a great side hustle to consider.
As an IT support member, you can help both organizations and individuals with tech-related queries by troubleshooting problems, diagnosing issues, and installing solutions. Whether you’re responding to a major glitch or helping a client streamline their data flows, there are plenty of ways to make some side cash by offering IT services.
Pay: Since the IT field encompasses so many services, giving a blanket estimate for this gig is tricky. However, ZipRecruiter’s data shows the average hourly rate for a freelance computer technician is around $21.
Remember that Indeed estimates the average salary for entry-level technical support is $16 per hour, so rates vary depending on your specialization and experience.
How to Get Started: The top piece of advice on breaking into IT freelancer work is to clearly define your specialty (e.g., telecom engineering, software engineering, hardware engineering, etc.). Mention all of the prior projects you’ve worked on in IT to give clients a sense of what systems you’re most comfortable with and whether you’re a good fit for their needs.
Like many other side hustles on this list, you’ll find most opportunities through your professional network or freelancer websites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.
You could also research more professional-grade freelancing sites like TopTal. While Toptal has a more rigorous application process, the IT freelancers who get on this site have less competition for high-paying opportunities.
8. Become a Data Analyst
If you have an analytical mind and aren’t stressed by stats and spreadsheets, consider looking into data analysis side hustles. As the name suggests, this role requires you to collect relevant info related to your client’s products or services, model these data points to pinpoint trends and present your findings in a clean and ordered presentation.
In addition to sharing your results with clients, you’ll often need to update computer systems or algorithms to incorporate new data findings. Engineers already familiar with tools like Microsoft Excel, Tableau, and SQL are in a prime position to offer high-quality data analytics for clients in various sectors.
Pay: Salary.com estimates the annual salary for freelance data analysts is roughly $57,305, and ZipRecruiter agrees with an estimated yearly rate of $59,011. ZipRecruiter also calculates the average hourly pay for freelance data analysts is around $28.
How to Get Started: As mentioned before, it’s best to assemble a portfolio of your work in data analysis or data entry and explain your competencies on a professional website or LinkedIn profile.
You can call companies in fields you’re interested in to see if they need any assistance with data services, but there are also freelancing opportunities on sites like Upwork to get you started.
9. Web Design and Development
If engineers are more skilled at building in cyberspace than in the physical world, why not consider freelance Web design?
So, even if you’re just starting in the Web design space, you could begin by experimenting with platforms like Wix, Webflow, and Bubble. If you can master no-code Web design tools, plenty of opportunities exist to take on clients and build custom websites.
Pay: According to Glassdoor data, professional Web designers typically make annual salaries of $52,378 annually. As for freelance Web designers, ZipRecruiter estimates the average hourly rate is about $31 per hour.
How to Get Started: Since Web design is equal parts skill and artistic sense, it’s essential to give equal weight to your technical and creative accomplishments. Take time to build a portfolio of previous websites you’ve worked on, and detail any relevant coursework or technical skills.
You could also consider signing up for a “Web Developer Bootcamp” course on sites like Udemy to refine your skills and add more resume boosters.
Since this position is about building websites, the best way to demonstrate competency is to create a personal website that’ll “wow” visitors. Also, consider showcasing your work on creative-focused digital sharing platforms like Behance to attract leads.
In addition to the standard freelancing websites (e.g., Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr), consider visiting Wellfound (formerly AngelList Talent) to see if any startups are interested in Web design.
10. AI Development Services
Like it or not, nobody can escape artificial intelligence (AI) nowadays. Tech companies of all sizes are jumping onto the AI hype, and many analysts believe this industry will be worth multiple trillions of dollars before the decade is out.
So, it makes sense many engineers are leveling up their AI training skills to take advantage of opportunities in this sizzling sector. Since AI is both incredibly technical and in demand, opportunities for AI-related freelance work are becoming more abundant.
As a freelance AI developer, you’ll create the algorithms that power sophisticated systems and machine learning protocols. Any engineers interested in cutting-edge technology, data analysis, and coding are in a great position to take advantage of the AI boom and offer freelance services.
Pay: Upwork estimates freelance AI developers make between $25 and $50 per hour, but ZipRecruiter suggests the demand for these services may be even higher, with a median hourly wage of $64. Salary.com also estimates AI developers currently make a median annual salary of $102,000.
How to Get Started: Since AI is such a hot field with a ton of emerging tech, chances are engineers could use some brushing up on the basics of deep learning. Consider registering for a few courses at universities or sites like Coursera related to machine learning or programming languages to refine your skills before diving too deep into AI freelance work.
These courses will help you better understand the latest AI innovations and provide you with all-important educational accreditations.
When you feel fluent in your preferred coding languages and AI tools, put together your professional portfolio and search for AI-related networking opportunities on sites like LinkedIn. It’s also a good idea to set up a Kaggle account to join one of the best networking platforms for AI and machine learning.
Online Side Hustles For Engineers
For maximum convenience and flexibility, nothing beats working from home. Luckily for engineers, there are plenty of ways to develop new revenue streams on a PC. With a solid Internet connection, you can develop online resources and services to bring in some side money.
11. Create a Course and Sell It
With the Internet, engineers can capture revenue from a global pool of interested students. But you don’t have to set aside tons of extra time to tutor groups or set up one-on-one sessions to make this side hustle work.
Sure, you could make money with personalized live courses, but it’s often more efficient for engineers to publish video or audio classes on educational websites and charge students to access this pre-recorded info.
You could earn consistent money from course subscriptions through successful marketing and word of mouth. Be sure to clearly define your course’s focus and your target audience’s interest and skill levels to have the best success designing and advertising your presentation.
Pay: ZipRecruiter estimates a salary of $42 per hour for online course creators, however the earnings potential for this side hustle depends on how well you market your courses and attract more students with the quality of your offerings.
How to Get Started: While it’s possible to launch courses on a private website, a few platforms make it easy for engineers to reach a large audience. For instance, Teachable and Podia make it simple for engineers to upload their content, collect payments, and market it to website users.
To start, consider making the most of social media or video-sharing platforms like YouTube with a few free guides to gain a following and establish credibility. After building a good reputation for free videos, you may have an easier time attracting paying customers to more in-depth courses on Podia and other sites.
12. Online Tutoring
Online tutoring is often a more time-intensive side hustle than course creation, but some engineers may enjoy the one-on-one interaction in this role.
Anyone passionate about influencing future engineers has an ideal temperament to tutor pupils in engineering concepts. Like creating an online course, clearly define what you will teach and your target skill level to ensure you attract the right students to your e-classroom.
Pay: The average range of an online tutor’s salary is wide at $15 to $100 per hour. How much you earn from this gig depends on your reputation, marketing skills, and how “in-demand” your area of specialty is. Just remember that ZipRecruiter claims mechanical engineer tutors often make $49 per hour.
How to Get Started: You can advertise your tutoring services on professional social media sites like LinkedIn or start on freelancing websites like Fiverr or Upwork to gain experience in this field.
There are, however, a few tutor-specific platforms like TutorOcean and Preply to find even more potential students. Be sure to spend plenty of time building your online professional profile to help prospective pupils see your credentials and specialties.
13. Start a YouTube Channel
As long as you have a camera, Internet access, and a Google account, you can start uploading videos on YouTube. So, if you’re open to filming yourself, post engineering-related content on a YouTube channel to share your expertise with the world.
Once you hit 1,000 subscribers plus 4,000 public watch hours in 12 months, you’ll be eligible to join the YouTube Partner Program and start earning a slice of ad revenue.
Besides earning money from YouTube ads, there are other ways a YouTube channel can boost your monthly income. For instance, your increased exposure on YouTube is a great way to advertise your services, and you could use it to lead subscribers to an online course or eBook.
Many YouTubers also make extra money through affiliate marketing, merchandising, and subscription-based services like Patreon, so consider adding these to boost your expected earnings.
Pay: As mentioned above, you must get 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 public watch hours within 12 months to join the YouTube Partner Program. YouTube also allows people with 10 million public Shorts views within 90 days and 1,000 subscribers to join this program.
While the amount you make from YouTube varies depending on your channel’s size, most estimates suggest YouTubers typically get $0.018 per view. So, to hit $180, you need to get at least 10,000 views on a video. However, these rates can vary as your channel scales and as you build more revenue streams.
How to Get Started: You don’t need an elaborate studio or a fancy camera to start uploading on YouTube. However, engineers starting on this video-sharing platform need a clear idea of what they want their channel to focus on and what topics to record.
It helps to have a basic understanding of writing YouTube scripts and editing to make your clips as concise, informative, and professional as possible.
If you need help producing YouTube videos, consider taking a professional YouTube course from someone like Erika Kullberg, with experience growing channels to thousands of subscribers.
14. Start a Podcast
Podcasts are the 21st century’s version of “radio programs,” and they offer engineers another way to earn side money by sharing their expertise. So, if you’d prefer to focus on producing audio content rather than videos, podcasting may be a great alternative route versus YouTube.
Consider starting a solo podcast or inviting guests in an interview format on your engineering-themed show.
Typically, podcasters make money through advertisements and syndicating their shows on platforms like Spotify and Apple, but you could also generate revenue by offering exclusive paid content on sites like Patreon, selling merch, or accepting public speaking opportunities as your podcast grows.
Even if you don’t earn a ton from podcasting directly, this is another great way to increase your visibility and attract more side gig opportunities and inquiries.
Pay: Podcasters often measure their revenue in a metric called “cost per mile” or “cost per thousand” (CPM), which refers to the cost they charge per ad for every 1,000 impressions or downloads.
This average rate fluctuates throughout the year, and how much you can charge advertisers depends on your channel’s size. However, HubSpot estimates the average CPM for 30-second ads hovers around $18. Data on ZipRecruiter also suggests the national average for podcast hosts is around $16 per hour.
How to Get Started: Like starting a YouTube channel, you must clearly define your podcast’s niche and target audience before recording your first show. It’s also vital to have outlines for each podcast to avoid dead air and deliver the most value to your listeners.
Once you’ve established the basics, purchase podcasting equipment like microphones, headsets, and recording devices to ensure you achieve a crisp, clear, and consistent sound quality.
New podcasters must create their own RSS feed so they can submit episodes to sites like Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Apple. For those new to podcasting, consider using platforms like Fusebox to add professional details to your show with minimal effort.
15. Start an Engineering Blog
Although video and audio formats are popular ways to communicate, blogging is still alive and well. If you’re an engineer who loves to write, consider creating a blog or adding one to an existing website. All you have to do is write content about anything in your engineering sector and start publishing them.
The more educational or informational posts you publish on your site, the greater the odds search engines will see you as an authoritative source for your engineering field.
You can monetize a blog with a number of different strategies, including affiliate links, ad networks like Google AdSense, or publish sponsored posts.
Pay: Like podcasting or posting YouTube videos, the amount you can make from blogging depends on your audience size and the quality of your content. An estimated yearly salary for bloggers is in the $50,000 range, but Glassdoor suggests this could be even higher at $80,000.
While it’s possible to hit these high figures with a successful blog, most new bloggers won’t earn more than a few hundred bucks per month. For instance, ZipRecruiter suggests the average hourly rate for most bloggers is between $9 – $30 per hour.
How to Get Started: Knowing the basics of using popular content management systems (e.g., WordPress), Web design, and coding languages like HTML are excellent skills to start your blogging journey. However, there are also plenty of no-code and low-code platforms like Webflow, which help users create the blog of their dreams without as much technical expertise.
It’s also helpful for new bloggers to familiarize themselves with SEO and tools like Clearscope, Semrush, or Ahrefs. Lastly, consider signing up for a professional blogging or freelance writing course to understand the basics of writing for the Web.
16. Sell Printables on Etsy
Any engineers passionate about graphic design should consider adding Etsy printables to their passive income repertoire. In fact, if you already use a few personalized spreadsheet templates for managing your engineering work, you could earn a lot of money selling these sheets on Etsy.
For instance, there are plenty of profitable printables on Etsy for budget tracking, meal prep, and homework planning. For those who aren’t super enthused about spreadsheets, you could also make printable cards for events, special occasions, or holidays (think Halloween, birthdays, and weddings).
While the competition to sell printables is fierce, this is one of the most passive side hustle opportunities with a low barrier to entry. Even if you use a professional design platform like Canva Pro, it doesn’t cost much money or time to design and upload printables, and you don’t have to worry about shipping fees. As long as you check in on your Etsy store and respond to customer demands, this strategy is almost like “printing” side money!
Pay: There are crazy stories of people making $100,000 annually in printable sales, but you probably won’t get that lucky from the start. But even if you don’t grow to become the highest-ranking store, most printables on Etsy range from $1 to around $20 per download.
Just keep in mind Etsy charges a 6.5% transaction fee on each sale, and you have to factor in taxes to your estimated earnings.
How to Get Started: People who get into making printables on Etsy often use sites like Canva or Adobe Illustrator to design and upload their creations. You could also use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to create downloadable spreadsheet printables.
Also, when you set up your Etsy account, it’s worth reviewing what printables are trending and relevant keywords on sites like Google Analytics. If you need professional help getting started in Etsy printables, check out educational eBooks dedicated to this topic to get a headstart.
17. Become a Proofreader
If you’re OK with adding extra reading time into your schedule, proofreading might be a good way to earn some extra money.
In this side hustle, you’ll review documents, eBooks, or blogs to scan for grammatical issues, typos, and other errors pre-publication. While you could proofread content in any field, look into technical topics that fit your engineering specialty for potentially higher returns.
Proofreading may not be the most passive opportunity on this list, but it offers decent benefits if you already enjoy reading and correcting content.
How to Get Started: The most straightforward way to start proofreading is to look for gigs on job listing sites like Indeed, Fiverr, or FlexJobs. Upwork and ZipRecruiter also have proofreading opportunities worth checking out.
If you’re still struggling to find proofreading work on freelancer sites, consider registering for a professional freelance proofreader course to learn the basics of this side hustle.
18. Become a Virtual Assistant
Lend a helpful (digital) hand as a freelance virtual assistant! In this role, you’ll help clients with everything they need to perform at their peak efficiency. From organizing emails and recording meetings to creating spreadsheets and making phone calls, virtual assistants are the ultimate go-between for their employers.
Remember to mention your engineering specialties when searching for job opportunities to see if any clients are in a similar line of work. While you don’t need to fit engineering into your virtual assistant position, you may get extra side money in roles better suited for your specialty.
Pay: The average pay for freelance virtual assistants varies depending on your demands and expertise. However, Indeed estimates the average hourly wage for virtual assistants is $27, and ZipRecruiter suggests most hourly rates are between $13 and $40.
How to Get Started: Most people who want a virtual assistant gig start their search on freelancing websites like Fiverr and Upwork, but you might also find opportunities on LinkedIn, Indeed, or ZipRecruiter.
You may also want to consider taking a professional virtual assistant course such as Fully Booked VA to understand what it takes to break into this field.
19. Become a Technical Writer
Engineers spend a lot of time studying, researching, and explaining complex topics — just like technical writers!
So, as a professional engineer, you already have a superior understanding of your field, which should make the transition to writing content like instruction manuals or how-to articles seamless.
Companies are often searching for technical writers with first-hand experience in their fields to transform complicated topics into clean, scannable copy. So, if you can translate your technical skills into accurate and informative prose, consider seeing if any technical writer positions are available on freelancing sites.
Pay: The freelancer website Upwork says the average rate for technical writers is between $20 and $45 per hour. Data from ZipRecruiter also suggests the typical hourly range for freelance technical writers is within this $20 and $40 range.
How to Get Started: If you don’t have a particular company in mind for technical writing opportunities, start your search on standard freelancer sites like Upwork, Guru, and Fiverr, or job boards like Indeed, FlexJobs, and ZipRecruiter.
You might also want to consider enrolling in a freelance writer course like Earn More Writing better to understand the ins and outs of technical writing.
20. Become a Product Tester
Anyone who loves demoing new apps, devices, or items will love the free samples that come as a product tester. Product testing is a perfect option for engineers who can provide detailed feedback to manufacturers on the quality, safety, and viability of their products.
Whether you’re most qualified to review new equipment, software systems, or building materials, companies often seek engineers’ opinions on their products and services. Plus, since this side gig only requires you to try a product and complete a survey, it’s one of the most passive ways to put money in your pocket.
Pay: If you solely rely on product review sites like UserTesting and uTest, chances are you won’t make more than a few hundred bucks each month for giving your opinions. However, if you offer specialized assistance to clients, you’ll probably earn more from this side hustle.
How to Get Started: The simplest way to get involved in product testing is to set up an account on sites like UserTesting or uTest. Both of these sites are well known for their high-profile connections and credibility in the product testing niche, but it can be competitive to get gigs, and the pay isn’t usually super high.
If you want to increase your earnings potential with your engineering credentials, consider offering your services on freelancing sites like Fiverr or Upwork for more options.
Offline Side Hustles For Engineers
While it’s convenient to earn side money from Internet side hustles, sometimes it’s nice to get away from the glare of blue light and make money in person. If you’re trying to cut down on screen time, don’t worry — there are many offline ways to earn side money as an engineer.
21. Become a Part-Time Tutor
Engineers who want to help students succeed in subjects like math, science, or technology could apply for a part-time tutor position either in person or via virtual classrooms.
As a part-time tutor, you’ll be responsible for developing lesson plans tailored to help pupils overcome stumbling blocks and achieve their peak academic performance. Unlike developing a standalone course or creating a live class, becoming a part-time tutor usually requires less of a time or energy commitment, but it allows engineers to make side-money in the education field.
Pay: The pay for part-time tutoring positions ranges depending on your reputation, the subject you’re teaching, and your state’s average pay rate. However, data on ZipRecruiter shows the average price for part-time tutors hovers in the $22 per hour range.
How to Get Started: Before applying for part-time tutor positions, you may need to obtain accreditations from groups like the National Tutoring Association. Be sure to figure out if there are any requirements you need to become a part-time tutor before applying for jobs.
If you don’t have a local school or tutoring agency in mind, start your search on websites like Indeed, LinkedIn, or ZipRecruiter to find opportunities.
22. Become a Substitute Teacher
Unlike tutoring or designing courses, substitute teachers don’t have to develop original lesson plans for their students. Instead, engineers who take on this role follow the templates left by the original teacher to ensure the class doesn’t fall behind.
Substitute teachers may also need to assign or collect homework and help students with questions about their coursework. While this isn’t a “passive” opportunity, it’s a good way for engineers curious about education to get their feet wet.
After working as a substitute teacher for a few months, engineers typically know whether they want to pursue other side hustles like creating online courses or applying to be a tutor.
Pay: The average salary for substitute teachers fluctuates by state, but ZipRecruiter estimates the average range is between $14 and $22 per hour.
How to Get Started: The simplest way to start looking for substitute teacher positions is to search local school districts online and look for openings on official websites.
If you can’t find any info through Google, consider looking on sites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, or LinkedIn to see if there are availabilities for subs in your target area. Like tutoring, please be sure if there are any additional requirements to become a sub in your state.
23. Become a Handyperson
Do you love DIY projects and home improvement? If so, consider offering general handyperson services for residential and commercial properties. You could also tailor your offerings for specific areas of expertise, including electrical work, plumbing, or even HVAC.
The more general skills you know about repairing, replacing, or renovating, the better equipped you are to offer high-quality handy services to clients in your area. Just double-check you have the educational experience and licenses to offer handyperson services in your state legally.
Pay: Indeed and ZipRecruiter estimate handyperson salaries average in the $20 per hour range, but this could fluctuate depending on the projects you’re involved with. As you gain more experience and build a portfolio, you’ll have an easier time attracting a wider variety of higher-paying side hustles.
How to Get Started: If you’re just starting as a handyperson, you might want to consider working with an accredited general contractor to get on-the-job experience and build up your resume. However, you could start offering handy services immediately on sites like Handy.com, Thumbtack, or Angi.
24. Provide Home Inspection Services
Home inspectors are responsible for scanning every nook and cranny of a property for potential concerns and presenting them to realtors, owners, and prospective homebuyers.
In this role, you’ll be responsible for spotting visible defects inside and outside of a house, including electrical panels, attics, and sink cabinets.
Since engineers already have an eye for structural details, it’s usually relatively easy to recognize and document a home’s flaws in an inspection report. However, keep in mind you’ll need training and accreditations to offer this service professionally.
Typically, you need to pass a course with a state-approved agency and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) before making money from this side hustle.
Pay: Information from ZipRecruiter suggests the average salary for home inspectors is around $40 per hour, but these rates vary depending on where you live. For instance, Bankrate reported the average cost per home inspection is usually between $199 and $500 in the United States.
How to Get Started: The best place to start looking into accreditations for this side gig is on the ASHI’s webpage and your state’s employment website. As you gain your inspector accreditations, be sure to build a network with teachers and home inspector services to make finding opportunities easier after your graduation.
You could also use employment sites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter to get started finding opportunities in your area.
25. Flip Furniture
Crafty carpenters reading this post may want to consider buying and beautifying furniture for the resale market. To make money from this side hustle, find cheap furniture online, on consignment, or in yard sales, and give your purchases some TLC before listing them again at a higher price.
While you could resell your furniture in person at flea markets, many people who get into this side hustle rely on sites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist to find interested buyers.
Pay: There’s no “standard” rate for how much to expect from flipping furniture, but you could make a few extra hundred bucks monthly with solid products.
How much you make in this side hustle depends on the cost (including time) you put into remodeling your furniture, how much you relist it for, and your success rate attracting buyers at your preferred price. Be sure to keep a tab on your expenses to determine the perfect price for each piece of furniture, depending on your profit goals.
How to Get Started: Aside from furniture, all you need to start this side hustle is equipment to spruce up your piece and a venue to showcase your offering. If you want to be conservative entering this side hustle, search around your area or on sites like the Facebook Marketplace for free furniture so you don’t have to put any money down to jump into this hobby.
After you’ve cleaned and fixed your cabinets, chairs, or tables, take a few high-quality photos and list them on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace at your preferred price.
If you need more expert guidance on furniture flipping, consider taking a flipper-focused course like Flipper University to learn the strategies pros use to succeed in this field. It also helps to become familiar with how Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist work.
>> Read Also: Best Places To Sell Used Furniture
26. Fix Stuff
If you fancy yourself a “fixer-upper,” why not offer repair services for some side money? Whether your forte is carpentry, electrical work, or plumbing, there are always plenty of problems you could earn quick cash to fix. And don’t forget to advertise any non-house-related services you’re familiar with, like car or motorcycle repair.
Similar to working as a handyperson, please figure out if there are any license requirements for your areas of specialty just to be on the safe side.
Pay: Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics found the average yearly salary for workers in the “General Maintenance and Repair” field is about $43,000 per year (or about $20 per hour). Of course, your hourly rate will vary depending on your experience and the specialized skills you offer.
How to Get Started: You don’t always need specific accreditations to start offering “fixer-upper” services but double-check if there are any state-required licenses for your specialty in your state.
27. Sell Your Crafts
Many engineering-related fields like woodworking and metalworking naturally lend themselves to crafty endeavors. So, if you’re an engineer with an aesthetic flair, you may want to use your skills to create crafty items and sell them at local fairs or online.
Sites like Etsy make it easier than ever to start a side hustle centered around artistic items, so there’s no need to take the “starving artist” route! Take a peek at what’s hot using Etsy’s analytics and Google Trends to tailor your arts and crafts to the latest fads.
Pay: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates craft artists make a median salary of $18 per hour, and ZipRecruiter also shows the average salary for arts & crafts vendors is in the $19 per hour range. However, depending on your online reputation and the market demand for your items, you could scale up this side business to make a few hundred bucks monthly.
How to Get Started: Sites like Etsy and the Facebook Marketplace are obvious choices to monetize your arts and crafts, but you don’t have to sell exclusively online. Consider researching studios or local arts & crafts fairs in your area and setting up a booth to display and sell your items.
At local events, you can ask your customers if they have any personalization requests, which may bump up your sales.
Gig Economy Side Hustles For Engineers
Although many engineers are passionate about their work, there are times when we all want to tune out our professional lives. So, if you want a way to make side money that doesn’t involve engineering, check out these hot gig work opportunities.
28. Become a Rideshare Driver
Rideshare drivers have become one of the most iconic side hustles in the gig economy. If you don’t mind driving others around in your car, you can earn some spare change in your free time in this “independent contractor” position.
Whether you add a few extra stops on your ride home or before running errands, there are many times to fit a rideshare session into your schedule. While rideshare driving may not be the most lucrative opportunity when you deduct expenses like gas, it’s a legitimate way to earn pocket change for everyday expenses.
Pay: Data from ZipRecruiter shows Uber drivers earn anywhere between $12 – $17 per hour, depending on their state. However, info on Indeed suggests the average rate for Uber drivers may be slightly higher at an average of $19 per hour.
Of course, as you gain higher reviews on your chosen rideshare platform, you’re more likely to find passengers willing to pay a little extra for a pleasant experience. Oh yeah, and tips help a lot!
How to Get Started: As long as you have a valid driver’s license and meet your app’s minimum age requirements (18 for Uber; 21 or 25 for Lyft, depending on the state), you can download a rideshare app and apply to work as an independent contractor.
Once your company approves your application, log into your mobile app and wait for customers to book a ride. For the best odds of getting 5-star ratings, have plenty of helpful tools like a GPS and cleaning equipment (including a few vomit bags) on hand for a fantastic guest experience.
29. Become A Delivery Driver
Delivery driving gigs are similar to rideshare positions, except you’ll have food in your car rather than a group of friends! As more people expect rapid at-home delivery services, some of the biggest eCommerce brands, grocery stores, and restaurants are looking for gig contractors to shuttle stuff around towns and cities.
So, if you’d prefer to transport items in your area, consider signing up for a delivery driver platform to earn some extra weekly cash.
Pay: Delivery drivers typically earn the same average hourly rate rideshare drivers get for their services. In fact, both Indeed and ZipRecruiter estimate the average income for a food delivery driver is in the $18 – $19 range.
How to Get Started: Similar to setting up a rideshare account, you can get started as a delivery driver if you meet a company’s minimum age requirement and have a car and a valid driver’s license.
Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub are a few of the most popular apps in the food delivery sector, while Instacart is a hot option for grocery delivery. Amazon Flex also has gigs for people who want to ship eCommerce boxes to homes.
30. Rent Out Unused Space
When people think about renting out a part of their home, they typically envision signing up for a short-term rental app like Airbnb. While it’s possible to earn passive income from renting rooms to travelers, you don’t need to go that far to make passive income.
For instance, if you have some spare space in your garage, you can find someone to pay you to park their car in your place. Sites like Neighbor.com let people rent out small and seemingly insignificant spaces to people who need a storage option.
Just keep in mind you need to give your client unabridged access to whatever space you rent out. Always carefully review your legal agreements and the Terms and conditions on your chosen platform before deciding whether this income opportunity suits your lifestyle and privacy preferences.
Pay: Since the “space rental” concept is relatively new, there aren’t many metrics on how much this side hustle pays. However, Neighbor.com estimates average prices for RV storage offerings are around $50 to $150 per month.
So, engineers testing this side hustle should expect a max of a few extra hundred bucks monthly. Of course, these rates vary depending on what and how much you’re renting out.
How to Get Started: Currently, Neighbor is the leader in the “rent space” category, so you should start by exploring this site to jump into this side hustle. However, other specialized brands in this “space” are constantly popping up.
For instance, Swimply offers a way to monetize your cool blue pool when it’s not in use. The site Store At My House also helps you make money by renting space to others who want to, well, “store stuff.”
31. Rent Out Your Car
On apps like Turo and Getaround, you can list your vehicle and become a mini car rental service. So, as long as you don’t mind others driving your car, you can earn money every time people book your car for vacations or business trips.
While this is a fantastic way to earn passive income on a car you’re not using, carefully review the insurance requirements on the platforms you’re thinking about joining. Sometimes, you might need to change your coverage to account for strangers hopping in your car’s driver’s seat.
Although the customers on apps like Turo go through background checks, there’ll always be potential legal hassles associated with handing over your keys.
Pay: The best way to estimate how much you can earn on a car rental site is to type in your specific info on a tool like the Turo Calculator. On this calculator, you’ll see average yearly estimates for renting through Turo depending on where you’re located and the make and model of your vehicle.
Understandably, you’re more likely to make thousands per month in a city like NYC versus low-density rural locations. Also, more premier cars naturally fetch higher prices from customers who want a more luxurious experience.
How to Get Started: First, you have to choose a car you’re willing to rent and figure out the dates you’re free to put it on the market. Next, choose an app offering “car-share” services and review their insurance policies.
Today, a few of the most popular car-share apps include Turo and Getaround. Once you’ve completed a successful application, post pictures of your car, note any blackout dates, and respond to requests. If someone books your car, bring it to a designated destination, hand off your keys, and pick it up again once your customer’s trip ends.
32. Rent Out Your Home
Home rentals have become a hot travel trend thanks to the popularity of apps like Airbnb. Although traditional hotels aren’t going away anytime soon, homestay platforms give engineers the opportunity to earn side money if they have a property they’re not currently using.
There are also techniques like “Airbnb arbitrage,” where people upcharge the rent on their apartments to people looking for short-term stays (be sure to check with a landlord if you’re using this method!). Just remember, if you’re getting into the Airbnb game, you’ll need to deal with cleaning your home in between stays and potential issues with tenants.
Pay: Some reports suggest Airbnb hosts can make an average of about $950 per month, but this depends on how attractive your area is and the size and quality of your property.
ZipRecruiter currently estimates Airbnb hosts make an average of $18 per hour from this side gig, but you should research current rates in your city and use tools like an online “Airbnb Calculator“ to get a more accurate picture of your profit potential.
How to Get Started: Once you’ve decided what house you’re going to list online, be sure it’s well-furnished and clean before taking pictures and putting it up for rent. Although Airbnb gets most of the attention in the homestay space, other sites like Vrbo and FlipKey provide ways to enter this market.
There are also specialty sites like RVshare if you have an RV you’re willing to loan to someone for their vacation.
Although many engineering professions have high earnings potential, working up to a professional status takes a long time. As engineers refine their skills and progress on their career path, it helps to have some extra cash from side hustles to keep financial stress at bay.
Whether you need money for groceries, gas, or student debt, adding a side gig can help you achieve your goals. Thankfully, with the rise of gig work and “work-from-home,” it’s getting easier to find various opportunities to earn extra cash from doing things you love — or at least doing something you don’t mind too much!
Consider trying a few gig work opportunities to find what works best for your preferences and work style.
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Eric Esposito is a freelance writer, editor, and cryptocurrency enthusiast. Although it took him a few years to grasp the Bitcoin revolution, Eric has become a crypto convert and long-term “hodler.” Besides crypto investing, Eric is interested in helping others understand how to safely stack sats with passive income opportunities.