What are the Most Popular
Side hustles have boomed in popularity in recent years with reports stating that one in five Brits have started a side hustle since March 20201 and 44 per cent of Americans already have one, up by 13 per cent from 20202.
The concept of a side hustle, or second job, has existed for many years but has become particularly prevalent since the start of the pandemic. For many who embark on a side hustle journey, it’s to supplement their main salary as a necessary way of coping with cost-of-living increases caused by rising inflation and interest rates. For many others though, a side hustle is born out of passion rather than necessity, a way to have more creative control, pursue a long-held dream or to experiment with a new business idea.
Starting a side hustle can be daunting though, with working out what to do often the biggest stumbling block. With this in mind, we wanted to find out which professions are most likely to start a side hustle, and which side hustles are currently proving most popular.
Which professions are turning to side hustles the most?
Using data sourced from YouGov we were able to find out which professions are most likely to have a side hustle. Whilst this doesn’t show us the reasons behind wanting or needing a second job, or what these side hustles are, it does provide a fascinating snapshot into the careers where second jobs are most common.
At the top of our list are accountants, no stranger of course to understanding finances and making money work harder. A qualified accountant has many options for branching out on their own and carving out a lucrative second job. Completing tax returns for individuals and companies, bookkeeping for businesses, creating an online course or YouTube channel to educate others on how to manage their money, or even publishing a book on a specific area of money-management are all viable routes into maintaining a steady second income.
Next in line are network managers who help design, install and run an organisation’s IT, data and telephone systems. With a plethora of both technical and management skills at their disposal, there are plenty of side hustles that a skilled network manager could turn their hand to. One of the most obvious (and lucrative) second jobs for this career type is to become a freelance IT consultant as there will be many organisations who won’t have the right in-house expertise or need help with a specific IT issue at any given time.
In third place on the list of professions most likely to have a side hustle is the crucial role of sales associate, the person who works closely with customers to determine what they need, field any questions and recommend the right products and solutions. Working in sales provides plenty of transferable skills for a multitude of second jobs, such as problem solving and decision making with customer issues as well as strong communication skills.
The remainder of our list is split into professions with financial skills at their core, like personal banker or financial analyst where second jobs such as finance blogging, angel investing or dropshipping could provide excellent sources of a second income or an alternative career path. Engineers and tradespeople make the top ten; as specifically skilled professions, it would be easy to assume that second job options might be somewhat limited, but there are still plentiful side hustle options such as becoming a Part-time tutor to educate the next generation of engineers and tradespeople, or gaining work as a freelance technical writer.
Where Do Most People Have Second Jobs in Britain?
Using the data sourced from YouGov we were also able to see the geographical split of where people with side hustles are working in Britain.
London is far and away the home of side hustle culture in Britain, with nearly a third (30%) of respondents in the region saying they have a second job. This figure can very likely be attributed to the high cost of living in this area, making an extra source of income imperative for many.
The West Midlands is third on the list, closely followed by the North-West, home to the second and third largest British cities in Birmingham and Manchester. Like London, these two cities also have a relatively high cost of living, meaning many may be working a second job out of necessity, while others will no doubt have started a side hustle to explore a passion of theirs at a greater level.
What are the most popular side hustles?
As well as finding out which professions are most likely to have a second job, we also wanted to discover which side hustles are proving most popular. To do this we analysed worldwide search volume for ‘how to be an [side hustle name]’ and ‘[side hustle name] jobs’ as these terms show clear intent for either discovering how to approach breaking into a certain profession or searching for opportunities directly in that field. We then combined the two search volume totals to gain our definitive ranking of the 20 most popular side hustle choices today.
Working as a driver for the wildly popular ride-hailing and delivery app Uber proved the most popular side hustle based on our search data analysis. Having announced revenues of $31.8 billion in 2022, an 82% increase year-on-year3, Uber clearly needs plenty of drivers to make its billions. There are also a host of benefits to working for Uber as a side hustle, not least the flexibility of using your own car and working when you want to which can, if planned correctly, fit seamlessly around a main job.
Becoming a freelancer was next on the list and it’s easy to understand why as using your existing skills to make additional money is potentially the easiest route into a solid second job income. Being a freelancer in your field has a vast array of benefits, the flexibility and autonomy offered in being your own boss is hard to beat, not to mention deciding your own income, particularly beneficial if you have a niche, in-demand skill that can be priced accordingly.
A second career as a transcriptionist makes up our top three of the most popular side hustles, another profession where you can almost always set your own hours and work at your own pace as you listen to recorded audio or video and type what you hear for various uses. Despite its popularity, being a transcriptionist requires patience and proper training, particularly if you’re offering your services to the medical or legal industries where jargon can be difficult to understand and transcribe quickly and accurately.
It’s clear from our list that side hustles are not just for people looking to make a quick buck, but also to pursue long-held creative passions with writer, graphic designer, artist, designer and photographer all ranking. There are also plenty of jobs that have long been associated with being a ‘side hustle’ that make the list such as babysitter, dog walker and bartender. All of these avenues into the world of second jobs, have some element of flexibility at their core, as managing time effectively is almost as important as the extra income on offer.
Which side hustles are growing in popularity?
Not content with finding out which professions are most likely to have second jobs and which specific side hustles are proving most popular, we also looked at which side hustle choices are growing in popularity fastest, by comparing Google searches in late 2022, to searches in early 2023.
It’s easy to think that Esports or professional gaming is a fairly new profession when in fact, it can trace its origins back to 1972, the year home computer consoles first became common. The industry has developed significantly since then, with professional esports players now able to earn anything from $12,000 to $187,200 per year dependent on skill level4. If you spend a lot of your time playing computer games, then actually making significant money from your passion for all things pixelated on the side of a regular job is pretty compelling. However, to be good enough to make decent money from it is another matter entirely and requires time, dedication and patience.
Being a nail artist is another side hustle significantly growing in popularity. It’s another job with good amounts of flexibility but, more importantly, one where you can show off and indulge your creativity consistently. It’s also a highly social profession, not to mention highly rewarding as you make your clients feel happier and more confident.
Already one of the most popular side hustles in our list, transcriptionist is growing in popularity too and features at number three in our list, closely followed by the similar role of proof-reader. There is also a plethora of creative roles proving increasingly popular, perhaps inspired by the desire of many to get time away from screens, with florist, painter, baker and gardener all featuring in our top 20 list.
How to Set Up a Successful Side Hustle?
The potential to add to the salary from your ‘day job’ and also to one day turn a side hustle into a living, can be a tempting one. But where do you start? Dave Lynch, Head of Marketing Communications, has some tips on how to set up a successful side hustle.
- Start with an interest: Day-to-day work can be tiring, so you’re only going to put time and effort into a side hustle if it’s something you’re interested in doing, or if the financial return is worth it. Think about your passions, and if there’s any feasible opportunities within them. What could you and your skillset bring to the table?
- Think finances: We previously found that many start up a business or side hustle with little or no money, however your particular business idea might require greater investment, so it’s worth thinking about where this will come from, and weighing up the risk versus the opportunity. Will you invest your own money, or will you require a bank loan or funding?
- Seek advice: We’re blessed in 2023 that there are many ways we can gain advice. Through business-specific forums on the likes of Reddit, to Citizens Advice. Here, they can offer free advice and make you aware of any additional costs you may need to consider, such as relevant business insurance for your choice of side hustle.
- Weigh it up vs. your current role: While setting up a business on the side of your current employment should be exciting, you also don’t want it to negatively impact how you are currently making your money, so there’s some key things to consider. Firstly, it’s worth working out whether it will ever lead to a conflict of interest with your current role? If so, it might be worth a rethink, especially if there are any clauses in your contract with your existing employer. Beyond that, time is a huge factor. Before starting anything, you should review your schedule, and think about when you will actually be able to work on your side hustle? Consider things like burn out, and maintaining a happy work-life balance, as these are just as important as earning more money.
- Market, market, market: So, you’ve put in the time, and have a great idea – but now people need to know about it. Living in the digital age means it’s easier to get your business out there and develop a presence online, but this presence needs to be a good one. Put time into your branding, and always consider your reputation. Setting time aside for marketing, as well as to engage and respond to reviews and customer questions will go a long way. For more information on how to successfully manage your online reputation, once your side hustle is up and running, go here.
Whether you need the extra income or want to branch out, follow your true passion and make the most of your existing skills then thinking about a side hustle that could work for you is well worth considering. With careful planning and the right approach, many second jobs can become a full time small business and give you full control over your career.
If you’re thinking of setting up a side hustle of your own or have established a second job and need help with your marketing efforts, take a look at the advice in our Knowledge Centre or get in touch to see how we can help you.
Data relating to the professions most likely to have a second job, was sourced from YouGov Profiles on 26th March 2023, by ranking the percentage of each profession surveyed by YouGov, that currently have a job outside of their primary profession.
Google Keyword Planner was used to find both the ‘most popular’ side hustles, as well as those that are growing in popularity the most. To do this, we created a list of over 100 professions regularly cited online as being popular ‘side hustles’ and used Google Keyword Planner to find the worldwide search volume for each, using the terms ‘how to be a/an [side hustle name]’ and ‘[side hustle name] jobs’. The volumes for each were combined to create the final ranking.
To ascertain which are growing in popularity the most, the same terms were used, however search volumes Sept-Nov 2022 and Dec ‘22-Feb 2023 were compared, to create the +/- percentage ranking.
Data correct as of April 2023.
- Aviva, June 2022 - https://www.aviva.com/newsroom/news-releases/2022/06/one-in-five-brits-have-started-a-side-hustle-since-march-2020/
- PR newswire, December 2022 - https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/44-of-americans-have-a-side-hustle-amid-inflation-most-popular-with-gen-zers-301697437.html
- Business of Apps, February 2023 - https://www.businessofapps.com/data/uber-statistics/#:~:text=Uber%20generated%20%2431.8%20billion%20revenue%20in%202022%2C%20a%2082%25%20increase,due%20to%20the%20coronavirus%20pandemic.
- Headphones Addict, February 2023 - https://headphonesaddict.com/esports-gamer-statistics/#:~:text=Professional%20esports%20gamers%20can%20earn,than%20%247%20million%20in%20earnings.