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Advice / Career Paths / Exploring Careers

25 Part-Time Jobs That Actually Pay Well

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A job that requires 40 hours per week doesn’t work for everyone. Today, more people are opting for part-time work for a variety of reasons. Some feel burned out with a traditional work schedule. Others are caring for children or other loved ones, or finishing up a degree or certification. Some simply can’t find the right full-time job to meet their needs. 

As of June 2023, 21.3 million Americans were employed part time for noneconomic (or voluntary) reasons, nearly 3% higher than a year ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor of Labor Statistics (BLS). Noneconomic reasons include people who can’t or don’t want to work 35 or more hours a week, possibly due to health problems, child care, or other factors. Another 4.2 million (15% more than last summer) were unemployed for economic factors, such as having their hours cut or struggling to find a full-time job. 

If you’re looking for part-time work, whatever your reasons, we’ve put together a list of 25 high-paying, part-time jobs that cover a mix of functions, industries, and levels of experience—along with the median hourly rates and links to help you find job openings. Each rate, compiled from BLS 2021 data (the most recent available), is at least $20 an hour with one exception. Keep in mind, though, that these roles could actually pay more than the median rate. In other words, entry-level positions may pay less, but there are also opportunities to make significantly more.

Why Work Part Time?

Almost every industry has part-time jobs. These opportunities, typically requiring less than 35 hours of work per week, can give you some consistency without the demands of a full-time job. You might be able to work remotely, have a flexible schedule, and, in some cases, you may get paid time off or holidays off, too.

You might pursue part-time work because you can’t find a full-time job, need or want to make extra income on top of your existing position, or enjoy the flexibility or variety these roles offer. “More and more people are pursuing their passions, and this means multiple roles,” says The Muse career coach Jennifer Sukola. Working part time in a competitive field also lets workers “get their foot in the door, gain experience, and find out if they will eventually want to do the role full time.”

Ahead, get to know 25 part-time jobs that pay well and are available now. 

1. Writer

Median hourly rate: $33.42

A writer creates communication materials: in print, online, or both. Short-form content might include social media or blog posts, pamphlets, and email copy—while long-form content could mean articles, web content, newsletters, reports, white papers, and even books. You might be assigned to a topic, or you might pitch your own ideas. Regardless, writer roles may include conducting interviews and research and working with an editor or someone who oversees the quality of your work. Some writers specialize in a particular topic or form—a science or finance journalist, technical or medical writer, or grant writer, for example—while others write more broadly. Entry-level writing gigs usually require at least one year of experience, which could be in the form of an internship.

Many media companies list part-time writing jobs that can be done remotely—though they might request that work be done during traditional business hours. Don’t limit yourself to media, though; lots of organizations—from nonprofits to financial institutions and everything in between—need writers. 

Find writer jobs on The Muse

2. Tutor

(Note: BLS groups tutors with other teachers and instructors and does not provide hourly wage information.)

Tutors help students—children or adults—learn a subject or skill. The material could range from fundamental subjects like basic math to high-level content like the SAT or college-level physics. Tutoring doesn’t always take place during normal business hours, with many clients preferring to meet after work/school hours or on the weekends. Unlike teachers, tutors don’t need formal accreditation, but they do need a deep knowledge of the subject they’re teaching—which usually translates to at least an undergraduate degree in the subject.

Rates can vary widely depending on the subject, your experience, and the location: Tutors in cities like Washington, D.C. and New York City can charge $50 an hour and up, for example. If you work on your own, you can charge more, but working with a tutoring agency means they find students and take care of some of the employment paperwork. 

Find tutor jobs on The Muse

3. Marketing Specialist

Median hourly rate: $32.80

A marketing specialist is responsible for promoting or selling products or services to new or existing customers—which might be individuals or organizations. Specialties include email marketing, market research, social media, e-commerce, and search engine marketing (SEM), but the work fundamentally centers around understanding a target audience and knowing how to reach and persuade them to take action. You may need an undergraduate degree in marketing, communications, or even journalism.

Companies sometimes hire part-time marketing specialists to help with particular campaigns or to provide expertise in a particular type of marketing. Smaller organizations might only need—or have the budget for—10 or 20 hours of marketing and communications work per week. 

Find marketing specialist jobs on The Muse

4. Graphic designer

Average hourly rate: $24.38

A graphic designer supports a business by creating illustrations, graphics, and other visual concepts and content. Projects can vary from a short-term deliverable like a flier that needs to be visually appealing to a large-scale project like a book or magazine. According to BLS, a college degree or equivalent coursework is usually essential for developing the necessary skill set, which may include web management. Graphic designers can be hired with a year or less of experience, which students can bridge with an internship, summer job, or pro bono work with a club or faculty member.

Part-time graphic designers can work consistently with one organization or with many clients by the project as part of an agency or as freelancers, but they usually need to have more significant experience and a well-rounded portfolio before striking out on their own.

Find graphic designer jobs on The Muse

5. Exercise Trainer or Group Fitness Instructor

Median hourly rate: $19.57 

Fitness instructors work with individuals or groups to develop their strength, fitness, flexibility, and related skills. They can work with a variety of ages and experience levels and teach various types of classes, such as kickboxing, yoga, HIIT, pilates, or spin, depending on their experience and training.

A personal trainer certification can take several months to complete, but you only need to be 18 and have completed high school to be eligible. You don’t always need credentials to teach group classes, but some fitness companies require or encourage certifications in the specific fitness method (for example, a yoga studio might only hire instructors who’ve completed a yoga teacher training program). Instructors usually teach classes or train clients part-time at gyms, studios, camps, community centers, and other locations. You might also work as an independent trainer directly with clients, scheduling by the session.

Find exercise trainer and fitness instructor on The Muse

6. Massage Therapist

Median hourly rate: $23.55

A massage therapist works with clients to decrease pain and tightness, relieve pressure, improve health, or provide a relaxing experience. They can work with a variety of client types in a variety of settings, from spas to doctors’ offices to hospitals. Usually, massage therapists complete a program with 500 or more hours of study and hands-on training, and most states require a certification or license (but, the exact requirements vary by location). There are also opportunities to focus on a specialty like sports massage or deep tissue massage. Depending on the workplace, a massage therapist may work in shifts or as scheduled with clients, but there’s often flexibility based on the workload and clientele.

Find massage therapist jobs on The Muse

7. Insurance Sales Agent

Median hourly rate: $23.96

An insurance sales agent sells policies to prospective customers. The policies mitigate certain types of risk: Life insurance provides financial compensation to an insured person’s beneficiaries in the event of the policyholder's death, for example. 

Like most sales jobs, this type of role requires you to talk to people every day, identify their needs, and work with them as they complete a detailed application. The actual position could range from working at a call center to taking calls at home to meeting clients in person. You just need a high school degree, according to BLS, though employers often look for a bachelor’s degree. You’ll also be required to obtain a license. There might be flexibility around working from home, especially if you’re selling over the phone and working non-traditional hours.

Find insurance sales agent jobs on The Muse

8. Executive Assistant

Median hourly rate: $31.72 

An assistant might be expected to handle administrative tasks in and outside of the office, like managing calendars, scheduling meetings, getting expenses paid, greeting visitors, answering the phone, and taking care of other clerical tasks. But an executive assistant, who usually supports one or more leaders in an organization, might also do higher-level work, including pulling together research, sales materials, and other important information for one or more executives. Usually the more senior the executive you work for, the higher the salary. Employers usually look for an undergraduate degree in a business-related field like marketing or accounting, especially if the candidate has no prior experience. There are also many opportunities for virtual assistant roles. 

Find executive assistant jobs on The Muse

9. Accountant

Median hourly rate: $37.14

An accountant prepares, reviews, and files financial documents, and maintains and organizes detailed taxes and other records. In some cases, they might also weigh in on business decisions or suggest strategies to reduce costs or increase revenue. They can work for individuals who have complex financial needs or larger organizations, either in-house or at an accounting firm that works with multiple external clients.

An accountant needs an undergraduate degree, and becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or getting another relevant certification can make an accountant look more attractive to employers—and likely pay more. Many accountants work full time, but smaller businesses might only require assistance during tax season or at the end of every quarter. You could also pursue multiple clients as a part-time, independent accountant. 

Find accountant jobs on The Muse

10. Real Estate Agent

Median hourly rate: $23.45

A real estate agent helps clients sell, buy, or rent a property. This could include a house, an apartment, a residential building, or a commercial property (and maybe industrial or agricultural properties). Agents keep track of what’s on the market, show properties, facilitate interactions and negotiations between parties, and help clients complete relevant paperwork and obtain records to close deals. They also stay on top of trends in the market so they can advise on how much a property might be worth.

You do need a real estate license to become an agent, which requires some pre-licensing courses. Besides that, you just need a high school degree. Many real estate professionals do have bachelor’s degrees, so sometimes it helps, but employers usually look for your ability to close on a sale first and foremost. Real estate agents often work nontraditional hours (since many people can only go to open houses or viewings at night and on the weekends), but they also have a lot of flexibility to set their own schedules.

Find real estate jobs on The Muse

11. Physician Assistant

Median hourly rate: $58.43

A physician assistant (PA) works in a variety of medical settings, including hospitals and outpatient clinics, and can diagnose and treat patients as well as assist doctors and other medical professionals. They can work with a physician during surgery, help a patient manage a treatment plan, order tests, and handle a long list of other responsibilities. PAs could work in emergency medicine, trauma surgery, transplants, family medicine, pediatrics, and other specialties—meaning you can choose the area of healthcare that interests you.

You’ll need a master’s degree to become a physician assistant. Though most PAs work full time, smaller practices can use part-time PAs, and sometimes larger clinics and hospitals only require part-time shift work (but bear in mind, those shifts could be overnight or on weekends).

Find physician assistant jobs on The Muse

12. Computer Programmer

Median hourly rate: $44.71

A computer programmer makes sure that an application or software runs correctly by writing code for new software and creating features in existing software. They also regularly test and fix code as bugs are discovered. A bachelor’s degree is helpful, but some programmers can obtain positions with an associate’s degree or no degree at all. Some companies hire part-time programmers, or you can pursue freelance or contract opportunities.

Find computer programmer jobs on The Muse

13. Software Developer

Median hourly rate: $52.41

A software developer designs applications and programs. Unlike programmers, who typically execute a plan or optimize a program, developers are more involved in creative ideation and problem-solving when an app is in its early stages. They might analyze user needs, brainstorm ways to address those needs via an application or program feature, design the various elements of that software, lay out different pieces of the project for programmers to execute, and handle documentation.

Developers are in high demand: BLS projects developer jobs will grow 25% through 2031, much faster than the 5% average growth for all occupations. Some companies require an undergraduate degree, although it isn’t essential. A developer can potentially work remotely and part time—it just depends on the context and workload. Developers can sometimes work more flexible hours, too.

Find software developer jobs on The Muse

14. Occupational Therapist

Median hourly rate: $41.14

When someone is struggling to complete everyday tasks due to injury, illness, pain, and/or disability, an occupational therapist (OT) helps them adapt their movement and behavior to manage those tasks more effectively. They might focus on helping people do professional work or to simply get out of bed and dress themselves. OTs might work in a person’s home or in a professional setting like a hospital or school.

This role requires a master’s degree as well as licensing. But part-time opportunities are available. For instance, if a school only needs assistance for a few children, an OT may only need to work part-time hours. Like some other medical professionals on this list, they can also manage their own business and set their own hours.

Find occupational therapist jobs on The Muse

15. Physical Therapist

Median hourly rate: $45.97

A physical therapist (PT) often helps people with pain management and mobility. They’re an integral part of someone’s recovery after a stroke, injury, or surgery, for example. A PT might work with a variety of patients—from senior citizens to professional athletes—wherever those patients are, from nursing homes to hospitals to outpatient settings like sports teams or physical therapy clinics.

PTs need to be licensed in the state where they work and complete a doctor of physical therapy degree, and some go on to do residencies or fellowships to specialize further. They can work part time during regular business hours, on evenings and weekends, or a combination.

Find physical therapist jobs on The Muse

16. Dental Hygienist

Median hourly rate: $37.41

A dental hygienist assists a dentist in cleaning teeth, assessing patients for tooth problems and gum disease, and communicating best practices for oral health. A dental hygienist often interacts with patients more frequently than the dentist, which means they need strong customer service and interpersonal skills as well.

This role requires completion of an associate’s degree (instead of a bachelor’s degree) as well as a licensing program. A lot of dental hygienists work part time, coming in a few days a week, according to BLS, and some may work for more than one dentist or office.

Find dental hygienist jobs on The Muse

17. Speech-Language Pathologist

Median hourly rate: $38.01

A speech-language pathologist (sometimes called a speech pathologist) helps both children and adults with communication issues. They work with patients who have speech, language, swallowing, or other communication disorders, which might result from a stroke, hearing loss, developmental delay, Parkinson’s disease, autism, or other causes.  

Some speech-language pathologists work in schools, before or after school as well as during free periods. Others work in hospitals, assisted living centers, private practices, corporations, and the military. It varies by state, but a master’s degree is essential, and licensing may be required, too. On the bright side, the number of speech-language pathologist roles is projected to grow 21% until 2031, so those who’ve completed their training and licensing are in high demand.

Find speech pathologist jobs on The Muse

18. Translator or Interpreter

Median hourly rate: $23.61

Translators and interpreters convert one language into another—translators via the written word and interpreters via spoken languages. They might assist non-English speaking patients in a hospital or work at a conference center or meeting place where individuals speaking different languages are gathering. They could also translate written work such as a manual or book from one language to another.

It’s essential to have deep knowledge and complete fluency of languages—whether you grew up bi- or multilingual, majored in a foreign language in college, or otherwise gained competency. An undergraduate degree can sometimes be enough, according to BLS, but sometimes organizations look for continuing education or certifications in the case of court or medical interpreters or translators. Many translators can work remotely. Those who are self-employed tend to have variable hours.

Find translator and interpreter jobs on The Muse

19. Plumber

Median hourly rate: $28.79

Plumbers install, maintain, clean, and repair water, gas, septic, and other systems. They also install fixtures like toilets and appliances like dishwashers. They may work in a person’s home or in a commercial or municipal building, depending on the context and their specialty. As companies work to be more sustainable, plumbers may also help with water conservation.

To become a plumber, you need a high school degree, but there’s often vocational training, apprenticeship, and licensing required. Plumbers are very much dependent on client work, so depending on your boss (and especially if you’re self-employed) you can set a limit on how many clients you take on or the hours you’re available to work.

Find plumber jobs on The Muse

20. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers 

Median hourly wage: $36.24 

Diagnostic medical sonographers, also known simply as sonographers, operate imaging equipment and soundwaves to create ultrasounds, or images of parts of the body. Sonographers’ work plays a central role in helping doctors diagnose various medical conditions so patients can get the treatments they need. 

Sonographers typically work in healthcare settings, like hospitals and clinics. Many work full time, but there can be opportunities for part-time roles. To be a sonographer, you typically need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Some employers might require that you get a certification.

Find sonographer jobs on The Muse 

21. Property Managers

Median hourly wage: $28.47

As a property manager, you’ll oversee different aspects of commercial, residential, or industrial properties. This might include showing apartments, inspecting grounds, meeting with owners, finding and screening tenants, completing paperwork, and other tasks. Property managers may work for real estate companies, apartment complexes, property developers, or property management firms. 

Many property management roles are full time, but employers often seek part-timers, too. Either way, your working hours will likely be flexible. Employers typically require a high school diploma, along with a few years of experience in the field. However, some might prefer candidates with a college degree. In some states, you may need a license. 

Find property manager jobs at The Muse 

22. Electricians 

Median hourly wage: $28.87

An electrician installs, maintains, and repairs different lighting, electrical power, solar, and communications systems. They might install wiring, outlets, and light fixtures in a new home build, or work on staff at a commercial building making repairs. Electricians can work in a variety of different industries, such as manufacturing, construction, or renewable energy. 

To become an electrician, you usually need to attend a technical school and complete an apprenticeship. In some states, you have to be licensed, too. Even when they work full time, electricians often have flexible schedules and work nontraditional hours, such as nights and weekends. 

Find electrician jobs at The Muse 

23. Mental Health Counselors 

Median hourly wage: $23.33

Mental health counselors help treat people with substance abuse, behavioral disorders, or mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression. They can work in many different settings, including mental health centers, clinics, hospitals, schools, or private practice. 

There are many instances where counselors can work part time, or on an as-needed basis. It’s a growing field, too. Employment of mental health counselors is expected to grow 22% through 2031, according to BLS. Training and educational requirements might vary depending on the specific counselor role. Often, you need a bachelor’s degree, but some need a master’s and an internship. Some states require counselors to be licensed. 

Find counselor jobs at The Muse 

24. Food Service Managers

Median hourly wage: $28.58

In a nutshell, food service managers handle the day-to-day operations of restaurants or other organizations that prepare and serve food and beverages. But, their responsibilities can vary widely—from scheduling workers to complying with food safety regulations to dealing with customer complaints to maintaining an operations budget to ordering supplies. 

Roles for food service managers exist in restaurants, bars, hotels, school cafeterias, hospitals, and other kinds of companies. Hours can be full or part time, and are flexible, but that might include nights, weekends, and holidays. A high school diploma and work experience are typically all you need, but some employers might require culinary or technical school training. 

Find food service jobs at The Muse 

25. Registered Nurses 

Median hourly wage: $37.31

There’s an ongoing need for nurses. Nurses help coordinate patient care, which can include taking patients’ medical histories, educating them about their care, dispensing medication, keeping medical records, and communicating with doctors and other medical officials. They work closely with doctors to carry out treatment plans, conduct exams, and monitor patient recovery. 

Jobs are available in hospitals, doctors’ offices, outpatient clinics, home healthcare settings, schools, and nursing homes. A variety of schedules are typically available since nurses are often needed around the clock. According to the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Survey, 11% of nurses work part time. A registered nurse usually needs a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, or a diploma from a nursing program, and they must be licensed. Part-time jobs are also available for licensed practical nurses, as well, but the pay is a little lower at around $23 an hour. 

Find nursing jobs at The Muse 

Even though they’re increasing in popularity, part-time jobs can sometimes be hard to find. So how do workers go about finding and getting a high-paying, part-time job? 

“They can first identify the industries or type of work they want, and then make a list of companies within those industries,” Sukola says. Then, network actively and often, both with employees at the companies you’re interested in to see if part-time work is available and with other part-time workers who hold the kinds of roles they’d like to get into.

The key, says Sukola, is having an entrepreneurial spirit: Sometimes positions only materialize because you asked if part-time work was available and a role was adapted or created for you.

Erica Sweeney contributed additional reporting and writing to this article.