Spotlight on Jobs

Lucrative and Exciting Side Hustles for 20-Year-Olds

So you’re in your early twenties and facing a fork in the road. Maybe you’ve graduated from college or got a master's, or perhaps you served in the military or headed right into the workforce. Everyone is on a unique path.

You could already have a day job but are looking for a side hustle to earn more. Or maybe you are thinking more extensively, with an eye toward entrepreneurship

But entering the labor pool can be intimidating. You might wonder, am I too young or inexperienced to start a business? The answer is no; skills that you already have can be turned into side hustles and, eventually, your own business.

Whatever trajectory you envision, there is no need to wait — experience comes with action, and Steady is here to help. Channel your energy now and start laying the groundwork for the future you deserve.

What Are the Best Side Hustles for 20-Year-Olds?

Believe it or not, almost everyone has a skill or hidden talent that they can turn into a lucrative side hustle. Steady can help connect you with gigs tailored to your skills as you navigate the world of work

Here are a few top strategies to earn cash as a young person and progress towards a full-on business in the future.

Personal Trainer

This is a highly marketable skill for the twenty-year-old who has grown up playing athletics. Personal trainers teach proper exercise form, technique, and routines to clients. High school and college athletes have this knowledge at their disposal — the certification required for top-paying positions.


In a personal trainer position, you can:

  • Have a positive impact on others' lives
  • Maintain physical fitness while earning
  • Be in a highly social gig, the opportunity to network with others
  • Enjoy a flexible schedule
  • Benefit from the high demand for virtual training post COVID


The median national hourly wage for personal trainers is $20 an hour. Gaining more clients or hosting classes is a great way to scale this hustle up.

Bottom Line

This can be a fulfilling side job for people with a passion for fitness. Establishing a social media presence and blog can transform this side hustle into a career. 


A broad category that is often untapped by people in their twenties. A few ways consultants can earn are by hosting workshops, training teams, or one-on-one conversations. 

For example, someone in their later twenties may be transitioning out of their role as a chef. They can use their expertise to help a new restaurant by writing menus or assisting with kitchen design.


Consulting positions can come with many benefits, including:

  • They are not always tied to location, potential to work remotely
  • They capitalize on existing knowledge and expertise

The best consultants are adaptable, disciplined, and confident, with strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills.


Less experienced consultants can charge $50-$75 an hour. With years of experience, this can grow to $150-200 an hour. 

Bottom Line

If you have expertise in a field, this is an appealing option. Unlike the day-to-day grind of some jobs, consulting work can be very exciting. There is an opportunity to work on a variety of projects. 

Pet Care

Are you a natural caretaker? Did you grow up in a household with animals? Consider a side hustle in pet care. Whether using Rover or creating your own business, these skills are in high demand. 


If you start a pet care job, you can:

  • Be your own boss, create a schedule that works for you
  • Enjoy a wide range of opportunities under the pet umbrella
  • Partake in social, physical, and uplifting work


Dog sitting pays the most in pet care, with many clients willing to pay $1000 a week. Dog walkers can earn $20 per dog for a 30-minute walk. Grooming services can make even more per hour or by task.

Bottom Line

If you love animals and are highly responsible and reliable, pet care might be the hustle that checks all the boxes for you.

Start a Blog

Do you have special knowledge or interests that you love to talk about and share with others? Many blogs begin as passion projects and scale up from there. 

Personal finance, food, lifestyle, and marketing are among the most profitable blog topics. Niche subjects also have their dedicated followings and opportunities for monetization. 


A blog can be a simple way to make some side hustle money without leaving home. Starting a blog entails: 

  • Low startup costs, but it takes a while to gain traction
  • Flexible schedule but requires a high level of effort
  • Networking potential, adjacent opportunities
  • Opportunity to engage with like-minded people


First-year bloggers can expect to earn $500-$2000 a month. Over time, there is unlimited earning potential through affiliate marketing and brand building.

Bottom Line

Blogging is not for the impatient; not everyone can stick with it long enough to see real results. Persistent bloggers who stay disciplined and commit to the process can turn this side hustle into a rewarding and lucrative career.

Drop Shipping

With the rapid growth of eCommerce, the drop shipping side hustle has seen an uptick in popularity. Drop shippers create online storefronts and sell products from third-party suppliers with a markup. They then transfer order details to the supplier, who ships it to the customer. 


A drop shipping side hustle might entail:

  • Low costs and overhead since you don’t own the inventory
  • Shipping, supplier fees, and advertising as the major expenses
  • Dependency on suppliers for quality control and punctual shipments 
  • Extensive market research
  • Extreme organization with strong communication skills and customer service skills


Drop shippers make about 15-20% profit. With a strong understanding of the products you sell and pricing, there is potential to earn more.

Bottom Line

Although this business model isn’t perfect, drop shipping can be conducted anywhere with an internet connection. A strong strategy is needed to separate from the competition as the field becomes more saturated.

Freelance Web Development

Web developers create websites, and the demand in this sector cannot be overstated. Whether you have back-end skills in coding, front-end skills in user interfacing, or are a full-stack developer, freelancing in this field can be an exciting opportunity.


With a freelance web development side hustle, you can:

  • Work on a wide variety of projects
  • Work with no need for a degree, just a solid portfolio
  • Enjoy a flexible schedule, work from home
  • Develop networking and customer services
  • Exercise creativity


Web developers typically charge $75 an hour depending on the client and the project's scale. Highly experienced developers can charge even more. The median annual salary for a full-time developer is $77,200.

Bottom Line

This is a highly in-demand field that keeps growing. Sharpening these skills can earn you big money as a side hustle and lead to more significant opportunities.

Freelance Copywriting and Content Writing 

Do you have a passion for researching and writing? Freelance writers produce content from blog posts to marketing emails and press releases. They may be responsible for writing educational and engaging articles to promote products and services.


Freelance copywriting and content writing positions entail:

  • A flexible schedule, work from home.
  • A need for adaptable personalities who can write about a variety of subjects
  • The ability to work well under pressure or with deadlines
  • Great opportunities to hone your writing skills


Entry-level potential to earn $15-25 an hour. With more experience, writers can take on a more significant workload and increase their earnings capacity. Networking and team development can lead you to run a lean content creation agency.

Bottom Line

Like many freelance jobs, working as a writer for hire is an opportunity to get paid while exploring a passion. Masters of the craft can scale this hustle into their own business and hire a pool of writers.


If you have an eye for value and a finger on the pulse of trends, reselling is a way to earn good money. If you’ve seen the lines for high-profile sneaker drops, you are familiar with the potential of this side hustle. Brand-name handbags, clothes, and sneakers tend to fetch the most significant price tags. Other resellers opt for the volume game and sell more ordinary products.


If you have a strong understanding of demand, reselling may be a great side hustle for you. By reselling products or items, you can:

  • Clean out your closet and earn extra money 
  • Learn about selling options through apps or online (Poshmark, Amazon, Etsy) or sell at antique stores, flea markets, and yard sales


Part-time resellers typically earn between $500 and $1500 a month. With purchases and variable fees app-to-app, remaining organized and tracking expenses is essential to determine profitability.

Bottom Line

Focusing on something you are knowledgeable and passionate about is a good starting point. This side hustle appeals to the casual dabbler and the entrepreneurial type.


From teachers to college students, tutoring is a simple way to earn extra money. Typical duties of a tutor include helping students learn new concepts and complete assignments. Traditionally tutors work one-on-one in person, but with online tutoring, you can work remotely with students worldwide.


Tutoring can be a great way to help others help themselves. Tutoring:

  • Reinforces personal knowledge
  • Provides a positive service to the community
  • Increases self-esteem of students who may be struggling
  • Develops teaching skills


On apps such as Wyzant, you can earn between $15-$60 per hour, depending on the subjects. Other apps allow you to choose your rate. Potential to start your own business from scratch and employ others.

Bottom Line

Your knowledge is valuable whether you use an app or find clients on your own. That could mean working with summer students, after-school clients, or helping with SAT prep.

Rent a Spare Room

Lots of people in their twenties travel. Some own property, and some rent and have roommates. If you have the extra space and capacity to coordinate schedules and maintenance, consider renting your room when you leave town.


By renting a spare room, you can:

  • Earn money from underutilized space
  • Learn the skills for tenant and property management down the road
  • Practice marketing, photography, and communication skills


Depending on location and demand, you may be able to earn hundreds of dollars a night. Make sure to factor in cleaning costs and fees if using Airbnb.

Bottom Line

This is a no-brainer for the twentysomething with property or a spare room. If you’re out of town, you could be leaving money on the table. Communication and customer service will take this side hustle to new heights.


Being in your twenties is an exciting time of growth and skill development. The world feels vast and full of new paths, which can sometimes be overwhelming.

Using Steady to discover income opportunities and track your finances can help you stay the course with your goals and succeed by your metrics.


How Today’s Economy is Affecting Young Adults | Pew Research Center

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