12 Best Part-Time Jobs to Pay the Bills

Geoff Williams, Rebecca Koenig

Part-time jobs that pay well

For some workers, a part-time career is preferable to a full-time gig. Maybe you're going to school or you have children to care for, or perhaps you're semi-retired and simply want to bring in some extra cash.

But working a part-time job doesn't always mean settling for subpar pay. Some part-time careers pay reasonably well. If you're thinking of taking on some part-time work and looking for inspiration, take a look at these jobs, which have a high rate of part-time workers and variable hours, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and placed high among the U.S. News Best Jobs rankings.

Waiter and Waitress

Average hourly wages: $10.47

These food industry workers interact with restaurant patrons, taking orders, making recommendations and serving meals. Working a busy night -- and taking home some generous tips -- can make this job more lucrative and help you bring in more than the average hourly wages.

It's a job that's good for a people person. That said, keep in mind that you might see it as an upside or a downside that you may be on your feet a lot if the restaurant is packed. It can also be a stressful job in those cases; you'll earn every dollar you make.

Waiters and waitresses don't need formal credentials and usually receive on-the-job training. About half of these workers perform their duties part time.


Average hourly wages: $10.84

These pros stir, shake and pour drinks in bars, lounges and pubs. Well-liked bartenders at popular haunts can take home some serious cash in tips, which can mean your income may be well above the average.

Depending on the clientele, you might find bartending a relaxing and enjoyable job -- mixing it up with the customers as you mix their drinks. Or it may be a stressful one if you don't enjoy working in a loud environment.

This role doesn't require formal education -- only on-the-job training -- but some bartenders learn their skills at vocational schools. The minimum legal age to work as a bartender ranges from 18 to 21, depending on the state, since this job involves serving alcohol.

Nail Technician

Average hourly wages: $11.70

These workers must complete a cosmetology program to file, shape, trim and polish fingernails and toenails. It isn't just training that you'll need to beautify nails; you'll likely learn about sanitation regulations and being able to spot and treat nail disorders. Every state requires you to get a license as well.

Nearly a third of nail technicians are self-employed, while others work in spas and salons. Manicurists and pedicurists must be at least 16 years old and have high school diplomas or the equivalent.

Typically, you'll work 40 hours a week, and it's a job that often requires you to work evenings and weekends.

Retail Salesperson

Average hourly wages: $11.63

These frontline salespeople work in stores and shops, sometimes rounding out their salaries with commissions after scoring a big sale. About a third of them work part time. Many retail salespeople clock in on evenings and weekends and over holidays, the most common times for many customers to go shopping.

Generally, you won't need a college degree to be a salesperson, but it may help you in the hiring process if you do. Many stores like to hire people with a high school degree or an equivalency diploma, especially if you're selling something specialized, such as electronics.

It's often a good job for anyone who enjoys interacting with the public and working in customer service.

Taxi Driver

Average hourly wages: $12.49

Taxi drivers transport customers, taking them to airports, train stations and hotels. Tips from pleased passengers can boost a taxi driver's wages to get it over the average hourly wage. More than a third of these workers are self-employed, while others work for car service companies and social assistance organizations. A quarter of taxi drivers work part time.

It will depend on your state, but you will likely need to obtain a chauffeur license or some sort of license to allow you to transport passengers. You may need to pass a drug test and pass a criminal background check. This is assuming, of course, that you work for a taxi company service, rather than participating in a ride share company like Uber or Lyft.

One big advantage of working for a taxi company part time, as opposed to a ride share, is that you'll be driving an actual taxi and not putting wear and tear on your own vehicle, which can eat into your profits.

Customer Service Representative

Average hourly wages: $16.23

These professionals serve as the link between customers and companies. They interact online, over the phone or in person, sometimes managing angry or frustrated callers. About 20% of customer service representatives work part time. Common industries of employment are retail, insurance and business support.

It can be a thankless job at times, if you get a lot of frustrated customers in a short period of time. But these are often part-time positions that can lead to advancement at a company, and you'll likely pick up a lot of customer service management techniques and skills that will serve you well in future jobs.

Recreation Worker

Average hourly wages: $12.05

These workers include camp counselors, fitness instructors and park directors who oversee physical activities and lead activities like games and arts and crafts. These roles are found in hospitals, nursing homes, parks, summer camps, religious organizations and local government agencies. Some recreation workers fulfill their duties outdoors.

Your education requirements will depend on the type of job you're applying for. For instance, you may need more than a high school diploma if you're working in a hospital. If you're a recreation worker at a summer camp, however, you may still be in high school. In that case, you may find that you're working a seasonal position, full time but for only a few weeks.

Whatever path you take as a recreation worker, it can be an excellent job for those who really care about helping people and enjoy interacting with both children and adults.

Massage Therapist

Average hourly wages: $19.92

Massage therapists reduce and relieve pain and unwind tense muscles using a variety of techniques. More than a third are self-employed, and half work part time. Most states regulate this profession, which means some massage therapists must complete postsecondary education programs that require at least 500 hours of study and training.

There are a lot of job opportunities with this position at places like spas, physicians' offices, hotels and fitness centers. According to the BLS, employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 22% from 2018 to 2028, much more so than the average of many occupations.

Real Estate Agent

Average hourly wages: $24.18

When people are looking to buy, sell or rent a home, these professionals are available to help with the process. Training requirements vary by state -- for instance, you may be required to complete real estate courses -- but all require licensure. More than half of real estate agents work for themselves.

This is a job that lends itself very well to being a part-time position. You can often set your own schedule, although the downside is that you're often beholden to your clients' schedules and may need to accompany them to homes deep into the evening or on weekends.

It's also a job that can have irregular cash flow, where you aren't making much or anything when you aren't selling, but you are doing very well when the market is doing well, and especially when you sell particularly expensive homes.

Interpreter and Translator

Average hourly wages: $24

Interpreters and translators bridge the communication gap between people who speak different languages. They may specialize in certain industry terminology or sign language. Interpreters and translators typically need bachelor's degrees. That said, the main skill is to be a gifted speaker in multiple languages.

Even if you are fluent, it can sometimes be a stressful job having to translate quickly in real time and depending on the personalities of the people you're interpreting for.

You may find work in a number of places, including hospitals, schools, courtrooms and some businesses.

Sales Representative

Average hourly wages: $29.64

These professionals sell goods and services to businesses, government agencies and other organizations. Sales representatives may earn commission in addition to their wages. Those who sell scientific products usually need bachelor's degrees, but those who sell other types of products just need high school diplomas.

Many of these jobs are full time, can require a lot of travel and be stressful, since your livelihood often depends on selling a lot and landing those commissions. Some sales representative jobs are also available part time, and if you aren't looking for the income to necessarily pay your key bills but to provide extra cash, you might find this job to be profitable and even fun.

Web Developer

Average hourly wages: $33.38

These tech whizzes create websites, weighing in on design, writing code and checking for bugs in the system. An associate degree is usually the minimum required credential for this kind of work, though depending on the job, a high school diploma may be all you need.

Web developers can find work in the vast majority of industries. If you're self-employed, it shouldn't be hard to make this a part-time job, and it's one you can often do from your own home, so it has the potential to be a pretty low-stress career path.

According to the BLS, the field is growing steadily, by 13% from 2018 to 2028. As e-commerce grows in popularity and mobile devices become ubiquitous, the demand will go up for this type of job.

High-paying part-time jobs include:

-- Web developer.

-- Sales representative.

-- Interpreter and translator.

-- Real estate agent.

-- Massage therapist.

-- Recreation and fitness worker.

-- Customer service representative.

-- Taxi driver.

-- Retail salesperson.

-- Nail technician.

-- Bartender.

-- Waiter and waitress.