Part Time

5 Top part-time jobs for 2018

Written by Kate Lopaze

We spend a lot of time thinking about our full-time careers, and what we want those to be, but sometimes what you need is a part-time job. Part-time jobs can be a way to manage an employment gap while you figure out your next career move, or it can be a way to test the waters in a particular field, or it might be a side hustle to make more money. The flexibility of a part-time job is usually the best part.

So what are the top jobs for 2018 if you’re looking for a part-time gig? Let’s explore 5 that are worth exploring.

1. Fitness Instructor

We live in a fitness-crazed world right now, with debates raging about CrossFit vs. SoulCycle or whether you really need to build an American Ninja Warrior gym in your backyard. But for most of us, fitness comes from our local gyms and community classes. That’s where fitness trainers and instructors enter the picture. These teachers lead classes in various types of fitness techniques (like yoga Zumba, or aerobics), or act as personal trainers on a more limited or one-to-one basis to help clients build fitness or lose weight. Fitness trainers can typically make their own schedules, scheduling classes or client appointments as they prefer, making it a solid part-time opportunity.

What you’ll need: First and foremost, you should be pretty fit yourself, and also knowledgeable about anatomy, physiology, and safety. Trainers and instructors who specialize in a particular area (like yoga) often undergo advanced training, as well. There’s typically no minimum degree necessary to be a fitness instructor, but many employers are starting to prefer an associate’s degree in kinesiology (or a similar field), plus certification by an accredited training program.

What it pays: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), fitness trainers and instructors make a median annual salary of $38,160 (full-time), or $18.34 per hour. This can vary depending on your hours and your specialty.

For more on how to snag fitness jobs:

How to Become an Athletic Trainer

2. Registered Nurse

If you’re looking for a flexible job in the healthcare field, you might want to consider nursing. Registered nurses (RNs) coordinate and provide direct patient care, assess patient condition, record patients’ medical data, administer treatments and medication as prescribed by a physician, develop treatment plans, operate and monitor medical equipment, perform diagnostic tests, and educate patients and their families on follow-up care. Nurses can be found in any facility that offers healthcare, including hospitals, schools doctors’ offices, home services, nursing homes, clinics, or health-focused government agencies.

But is nursing really a part-time field, you ask? The short answer: it can be. Once you’ve got your nursing degree and your certification, there are nursing jobs that let you set your own hours, or work on short-term assignments. One major example is travel nursing, where you can accept temporary or part-time gigs away from home, setting your own work agenda.

What you’ll need: RNs typically hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or a certificate from an accredited nursing program. Every state requires nurses to be licensed, so be sure to check your own state’s requirements for licensing (including any standardized tests like the NCLEX).

What it pays: According to the BLS, registered nurses make a median annual salary of $68,450, or $32.91 per hour.

For more on how to snag registered nurse jobs:

3. Retail Associate

Whether you’re interested in building a longer career in retail or merely finding something in the meantime, working in retail can be the king of “right now” jobs. It’s a way to build experience, but if you’re not really interested in working in the industry for the rest of your working life, it’s a job that doesn’t require a ton of investment up front (education or certification). Retail is also one of the few industries that hires seasonal workers, which can be a great way to earn extra money over the holidays.

Retail associates are the front-line workers in stores, working out on the floor to make sure that shelves are stocked, customers are being helped, sales are being made, and things are running smoothly. It’s typically an hourly job, worked in shifts set by the store’s management. Working nights, weekends, and holidays is pretty common in most retail stores, so it’s a job you can work around other jobs or obligations.

What you’ll need: There’s no official education level needed to become a retail associate, but many companies prefer high school graduates (or equivalent). You should have great customer service skills and be punctual, patient, and great at organization. Strong math skills are often a bonus, for jobs that involve cashiering or inventory-taking. Most stores provide on-the-job training for new employees.

What it pays: According to the BLS, sales associates make a median annual salary of $22,900 per year, or $11.01 per hour. This can vary depending on experience and seniority.

For more on how to snag retail associate jobs:

4. Rideshare Driver

If you’ve got a great driving record, a car in good shape, and an independent streak, becoming a rideshare driver could be a great part-time option. Working for livery companies or app-driven companies like Uber or Lyft, you’re transporting people from point A to point B—but on your own schedule. Most rideshare companies allow you to decide when you work and when you’re off duty. And if you’re interested in night owl shifts, you can make good money (plus tips) getting people home safely from work, bars and clubs, or other nighttime activities.

What you’ll need: A valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. Most companies require that potential drivers pass a background screening, as well as a vehicle inspection to make sure your car is clean and in good working order.

What it pays: The median national hourly rate for rideshare drivers is $19.04, but drivers can make up to $30 an hour, plus tips, depending on how many fares they’re picking up. It can also vary according to where you live.

For more on how to snag rideshare driver jobs:

5. Warehouse Worker

At this moment in time, the world belongs to e-tail companies like Amazon—we just happen to live in it. Companies that warehouse and ship mass quantities of products are busier than ever these days, with large shipping centers and new hubs popping up all over the country to cut shipping times and costs as much as humanly possible. These centers typically have a number of part-time openings for shipping and warehouse associates who receive freight, process it, inventory it, process and pack orders, and ship it all back out.

This is a job that can be a good fit if you like to work with your hands or you have Tetris-like organizational skills. It’s very physical, though, so most of the opportunities in this field are open to people who can lift heavy weights, operate heavy equipment, and tolerate long shifts potentially on your feet. Because the work is typically shift-based, you will likely be able to find shifts that work well with other life or work obligations.

What you’ll need: Most companies require a high school diploma (or equivalent) to work in a warehouse. You should also be in good physical shape, with the stamina to work on your feet and lift heavy objects for hours at a time.

What it pays: According to, warehouse workers make a median hourly rate of $12.69.

For more on how to snag warehouse worker jobs:

Whatever your needs, a part-time job can be exactly what you need to boost your income while also getting you necessary experience and giving you a more flexible schedule than the 9-to-5 grind.

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.