High-Paying Part-Time Jobs: 26 Flexible Vocations
| Last Updated November 24, 2022
What high-paying part-time jobs can you think of? If fast food or retail jobs are the only options that come to mind, you're in for a nice surprise. Plenty of other occupations provide opportunities for working fewer than 35 hours per week. They include jobs you can do on the side or as part of a casual work arrangement. And they are often a lot more enjoyable and rewarding.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of October 2022, almost 21 million workers in America held part-time jobs for non-economic reasons. That is, they chose to work fewer hours for less than full-time pay. They might want the extra time to go to school, volunteer for worthy causes, care for children or older family members, or pursue other personal commitments or passions. Or they might be semi-retired or have health-related limitations.
And beyond the potential of being convenient, fun, or lucrative, part-time jobs are also frequently beneficial because they can enable you to:
- Feel more relaxed
- Attain more variety in your activities and routines
- Save more energy for the areas of your life that are most important to you
So how many hours do good part-time jobs typically require? The BLS says that Americans who work part-time for non-economic reasons average a little over 21 hours per week at their jobs. But in the U.S., any job in which you work under 35 hours a week is considered part-time.
In terms of well-paying part-time jobs, many of the most lucrative ones require at least a little post-secondary education or training. But that can often be achieved in two years or less. So check out the following 26 good-paying part-time jobs, which all pay, on average, more than $15 per hour.*
1. Software Developer
People skilled at designing or modifying software (including mobile apps) can often attain some of the highest-paid part-time jobs in the country. Many self-employed software developers choose to work fewer hours because they can command such high pay. There is a wide range of software engineering programs — some are solely focused on software engineering, and some are a specialization as part of a computer science program.
- Median hourly pay: $52.41
2. Web Developer or Digital Designer
In today's Internet-dominated world, the ability to create attractive and user-friendly websites is highly valuable. And those skills don't have to be used on a full-time basis to reap the rewards. You may not find higher-paying part-time jobs than those you can create yourself as a freelancer in this field.
- Median hourly pay: $37.65
3. Accounting or Bookkeeping Specialist
This field makes it possible to get a high-paying part-time job. Every organization needs to accurately keep track of its finances, prepare taxes, and follow sound advice from accounting-related professionals to maximize its success and comply with relevant laws and regulations. And individuals often require the same assistance. That demand means that many specialists in this field can benefit from some of America's top-paying part-time jobs.
- Median hourly pay for accountants: $37.14
- Median hourly pay for bookkeepers: $21.90
4. Registered Nurse
The field of nursing has offered great-paying part-time jobs for a very long time. And with a growing shortage of nurses in America, many hospitals, nursing homes, and other health facilities offer various alternative work arrangements to retain and attract the skilled nurses they need. To become an RN, you will need to complete a registered nursing program. Then you will need to pass the CLEX-RN licensing exam.
- Median hourly pay: $37.31
5. Dental Hygienist
This occupation can be a very lucrative part-time job. After all, cleaning people's teeth and helping them prevent oral disease is important. Dental hygienists earn good incomes, and many get the opportunity to choose part-time work. You will need a high school diploma or GED to enroll in a dental hygiene program, and there are sometimes additional entrance requirements.
- Median hourly pay: $37.41
Many people who write for a living get to choose work schedules that provide them with a good work-life balance. And it's possible to specialize in areas of the field that frequently offer high-pay part-time jobs, such as technical writing, corporate communications, or advertising copywriting.
- Median hourly pay: $33.42
7. Commercial Diver
With a scuba-diving license and additional specialized training, you can become a pro at fixing or installing underwater structures or equipment. And many commercial divers work on a contract-by-contract basis, so they don't have to be tied to one employer. Instead, they can choose flexible part-time jobs that pay well and accommodate their preferred work schedules.
- Median hourly pay: $29.02
8. Real Estate Agent
Many outgoing people who want the flexibility to determine how much work to take on at any given time choose this career option. By helping clients buy or sell properties, they earn commissions that can be in the tens of thousands of dollars (or even more), depending on the value of those properties. So it's possible to benefit from high-paid part-time jobs in real estate that offer plenty of free time between high-commission sales.
- Median hourly pay: $23.45
9. Interior Designer
Many interior design professionals are self-employed, which allows them to decide their own schedules and choose the number of clients to take on. So building a great reputation for designing attractive, comfortable, and functional indoor spaces can mean enjoying one of the best part-time jobs for creative people while commanding high fees and creating a more balanced life.
- Median hourly pay: $29.01
10. Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical therapy is increasingly being incorporated into the treatment of people who are recovering from injuries or surgical operations. As a result, many clinics around the country are hiring physical therapist assistants for some of the best-paying part-time jobs in health care to help meet the growing demand. To become a physical therapist assistant, you'll need an associate degree in the field from an appropriately accredited program and pass licensing requirements.
- Median hourly pay: $23.64
11. Interpreter or Translator
This option is good for people who prefer not to have a consistent work routine. In many cases, interpreters and translators are hired for good-pay part-time jobs on an as-needed basis for events where some of the audience or people attending will be using sign language or speaking in a non-English language.
- Median hourly pay: $23.61
12. Graphic Designer
By working on a casual or freelance basis, some graphic designers can decide their own hours and reap the financial rewards of having one of the best-paid part-time jobs in the creative sector. Plus, their work is often fun since they get to design things like logos, brochures, promotional displays, book covers, posters, magazine ads, product packaging, and web graphics. Graphic design training runs the gamut from relatively short certificate and diploma programs up to (less commonly) master's degrees.
- Median hourly pay: $24.38
13. Mail Carrier
Delivering mail for the postal service is often a compelling option for people who enjoy doing work that keeps them active. And mail carriers come from a wide variety of different backgrounds, which means that many of them have other commitments in their lives that make it essential to hold down part-time jobs that pay well.
- Median hourly pay: $25.21
14. Massage Therapist
The market for skilled massage services continues to be strong. Whether for relaxation, pain relief, or better mobility, all kinds of people seek to have their joints and muscles massaged by qualified professionals. And a large percentage of massage therapists enjoy great part-time jobs with flexible work schedules. Training to become a spa therapist is relatively short, but if you want to become a licensed massage therapist, you will need to take a more in-depth program.
- Median hourly pay: $22.55
15. Commercial Driver
By getting a commercial driver's license (CDL), you can pursue part-time, flexible jobs involving the transportation of passengers or essential goods. For example, maybe you want to spend a few days driving long distances in a semi-trailer truck followed by several days off. Or perhaps you'd prefer to spend only a part of each day driving a public transit bus. CDL training is available at vocational schools and can be completed relatively quickly.
- Median hourly pay for tractor-trailer truck drivers: $23.23
- Median hourly pay for public transit bus drivers: $23.37
16. Medical Coder
Assigning clinical codes to medical procedures that health care practitioners have carried out can often be turned into part-time, high-paying jobs in employers' offices or within the comfort of a home office. That's why this occupation continues to be a popular choice among people who want a reliable yet adaptive career. Medical billing and coding schools are widely available, and programs typically take seven months to two years to complete.
- Median hourly pay: $22.43
So much variety exists in the world of professional photography that it enables many creative people to build highly customized part-time careers that pay well. The opportunities extend far beyond top-of-mind assignments like fashion shoots or weddings. For instance, some photographers work on the side as part-time field inspectors, which means they're assigned to inspect and photograph the conditions of various homes and properties on behalf of banks or insurance providers. While a photographer's portfolio is more important than their educational background, choosing the right photography training program will depend on your specific goals and how long you want to spend in school. Programs can range from about one year for a diploma to six years for a master's degree.
- Median hourly pay: $18.73
18. Fitness Trainer or Instructor
Few high-paying, part-time careers offer as much opportunity for staying physically active and enjoying flexible work hours as fitness training. After all, it involves helping people get into shape (and stay in shape) through regular and strategic exercise. And it's possible to find paying clients for almost any time of day that works for you, from morning to late at night. Many schools offer programs that can help prepare you for fitness certification — online or in person.
- Median hourly pay: $19.57
Print and online publications produce a lot of written content that needs to be looked over for typos, grammatical errors, and other mistakes. But they often don't want to commit full-time staff to that task. As a result, many of them hire part-time proofreaders. Plus, proofreading is frequently among the best high-paying part-time jobs for college students since fellow students often need help with double-checking their essays and other writing assignments.
- Median hourly pay: $21.12
20. Administrative Assistant
Many secretaries and office assistants can get part-time jobs with flexible schedules. They help organizations with tasks like organizing files, entering and organizing data, drafting letters or email communications, putting together reports, and making appointments and other arrangements. And some people in this field even get to work from home as virtual assistants. Administrative assistant training is widely available online and on campus.
- Median hourly pay: $19.08
21. Skincare Specialist
Like other types of beauty professionals, skincare specialists (also called estheticians) frequently have opportunities to work part-time hours. And learning how to perform electrolysis or laser hair removal can help you build one of the most flexible and highest-paying part-time careers in the skincare industry. Licensed estheticians generally receive more advanced training than cosmetologists.
- Median hourly pay: $17.93
22. Small-Engine Mechanic
In contrast to some other part-time trade jobs, this one is often seasonal, which means that it can be a good option if you only want to work full-time during part of the year and then cut back your hours during the other months. But some small-engine mechanics can create high-paying weekend jobs and work year-round while fixing or overhauling equipment such as chainsaws, lawnmowers, snowblowers, and snowmobiles. It typically takes 12 to 24 months to complete a program in small engine repair.
- Median hourly pay: $18.78
Many hospitals, blood-donation clinics, and diagnostic medical labs employ part-time phlebotomists to help collect blood samples from patients or donors. And some people in this field work flexible schedules and enjoy some of the best-paying part-time careers in allied health as mobile or traveling phlebotomists on behalf of insurance companies. Phlebotomist training can be completed in months. Sometimes it is included in medical assisting programs that include phlebotomy as part of the curriculum.
- Median hourly pay: $17.97
24. Dog Trainer
More and more dog owners are turning to professional obedience trainers to ensure their pets exhibit safe and respectful behavior. Plus, being a dog trainer is great for animal lovers who aspire to be their own boss and want the chance to create one of the most profitable part-time jobs in the pet care industry. You could earn a dog obedience trainer certificate in as little as seven months.
- Median hourly pay for animal trainers: $15.04
25. Medical Administrative Assistant
The healthcare field produces no shortage of administrative tasks. And a lot of medical offices and health clinics are open less than five days a week. Plus, some doctors and other progressive employers take pride in being able to help their office staff achieve great-paying part-time careers. Diploma or certificate programs can take as little as 33 weeks to complete, or you could earn a medical administrative assisting associate degree program in just over one year.
- Median hourly pay: $18.01
26. Medical Transcriptionist
Medical transcriptionists often work part-time hours, and many self-employed medical transcriptionists have chosen this field for that reason. Plus, transcribing the dictated reports of medical practitioners is one of the good part-time careers that lend themselves well to working from home. Medical transcription training is widely available online and can be completed fairly quickly.
- Median hourly pay: $14.47
Discover Your Own Path
Good-paying part-time opportunities are available in almost every career area. And you can find a school near you or online that can assist you in learning skills for one of your region's highest-paying part-time jobs.
* Unless otherwise noted, salary information is based on May 2021 data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program.