7 Great Second Jobs for Extra Income

7 Great Second Jobs for Extra Income

By Cherie L. Berkley

Strapped for cash? Many people are in these trying times. With high unemployment, salary cuts, and the rising cost of living, plenty of Americans are looking for ways to earn extra income. What's a good second job? Check out these seven types of second jobs that can be done around your 9-to-5 and with skills you may already have.

1. Dog Walker. Even in a recession people don't skimp on their furry loved ones. Therefore, being a dog walker can be an easy sell, especially for other people who need to work two jobs to make ends meet. The double bonus here is you can get great exercise while racking up extra bucks. You can also walk dogs before or after your full-time job. Dog walker median salary per hour: $15.26.

2. Handyman.  No matter where the economy stands, things still break that must be fixed. When you are good at fixing things, word travels fast. It's possible to make a small mint fixing cars, installing shelves, building fences or doing minor home electrical and plumbing jobs. Keep in mind that some of these gigs may require attaining certain licenses and certifications so don't take on more than you're qualified to do. But, just consider how much a full-time car mechanic or a plumber charges. Even if you discount your rate, the pay is still good, and customers feel like they got a deal. From painting to step-building, there are plenty of household jobs many people can't do or simply don't want to. Handyman median salary per hour: $17.33.

3. Medical Transcription. Are you a fast typist with excellent grammar and a medical background? If so, medical transcription may be for you. This job often calls for at least one year's experience in a hospital or clinical setting, as well as coursework; some ads require transcription experience. Tools you will need for this job likely include high-speed Internet and up-to-date software. You should also be prepared to take a skills test. Medical transcriptionist median salary per hour: $13.78.

4. Wills/Medical Power of Attorney. While planning for the inevitable can be upsetting, it provides a way for attorneys to make extra side income. Lawyers can get up to speed on formulating simple wills and living trusts without too much effort. Completing these documents is something most people agree is essential but have not checked off their 'to-do' list. Talk to friends, church members, and neighbors to generate clients. Potential clients are likely working or have other commitments just like you. Therefore, being available outside of business hours makes meeting up more convenient for everyone involved. Attorney median salary per hour: $55.66.

5. Income Tax Preparer. Tax season is here so why not cash in? Preparing income taxes is one of the most dreaded have-tos among Americans. There are plenty of people who would be glad to pass off their tax preparations to someone else if for no other reason than the fear of being audited. Donald Cheatham, owner of DC Tax Group, turned his side job into a small side business. He chose this off-hours gig because of the high demand and he enjoys accounting and the extra money. "I work 50 to 60 hours a week on my main job [as an accountant] and another 25 to 35 hours a week for my part-time job during tax season. So it gets a little hard at times and usually sleep is the one thing that I don't get during tax season, but it is well worth it," says Cheatham, who started up in 1995 in Chicago. While it helps your credibility if you are a certified public accountant, this certification is not required. The median salary for an accountant per hour: $18.19; CPA median salary per hour: $26.25.

6. Teach a Hobby. Whether it is dance, tennis, golf, computer skills, or music, teaching someone how to do something you are good at and love makes working a second job less like, well…work. You can find teacher job ads at recreational centers in your neighborhood or advertise your expertise online and in local publications. With spring in the air, more people will want to get out and try something new or improve their skills. Dance instructor median salary per hour: $18.58; Music teacher median salary per hour: $21.28.

7. Babysitter. This job is convenient, especially if you have kids. After all, you can make money with them right near by. Offer to watch your friends' and neighbors' kids so they can take a breather, and they will love you for it. Another option is to help people who work nights. Finding a 24-hour daycare service is difficult to say the least. Caring for several kids on the same night can compound your earnings and get you extra cash more quickly. Babysitter median salary per hour: $9.00.