Are you looking for a way to make some extra money? Do you have skills and experience as an engineer? If so, you should be able to find a great side hustle.
There are many opportunities for engineers (and engineering students) to earn money outside of their day job salary. This article will discuss some of the best side hustles for engineers.
I’ll also provide tips on how to get started. So, if you are interested in earning extra cash, keep reading!
Side Hustles for Engineers
Whether your background is in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering, or any engineering field, you can find some options here.
1. Freelance Engineering Work
If you’re a qualified engineer, you can use your skills to freelance and earn extra income outside of your full-time job. Projects may involve CAD design or other types of engineering work.
Of course, you can also contact companies directly and inquire about freelance opportunities and engineering projects. You may even be able to find some clients through your existing network of professional contacts.
Freelancing is an excellent option because it makes good use of your valuable engineering skills and experience, plus you can earn a high hourly rate for your work. It’s an ideal way to use your spare time for extra income.
Aside from the money, freelancing is also a fantastic way to get additional experience. At your full-time job, you won’t have control over the specific projects you work on and the experience you gain. But since you can choose the clients and projects you take as a freelancer, it’s possible to get specific experience and technical skills that may help advance your career.
Before you start freelancing, check with your current employer to verify that no conflict of interest would prevent you from being able to take on clients and some minor engineering jobs as a freelancer.
Consulting is one of the best side hustle ideas for engineers to explore. If you have a lot of experience in your field, you may be able to offer consulting services and your technical expertise to earn extra cash. This could involve providing advice and guidance to clients on a particular issue or project.
You can find consulting opportunities through online job boards or by contacting companies directly. Once again, your professional network may also be valuable for finding leads on potential consulting gigs.
Consulting is a great way to earn extra money because you can often command a high hourly rate for your services. And like freelancing, it’s also an excellent way to gain additional experience and build your portfolio.
You may want to specialize in a specific aspect rather than a generalized approach. This can help you attract clients who are seeking out someone with your particular area of expertise, and it also helps to position yourself as an expert in the field.
3. Repair Things
Many engineers enjoy working on small projects, so you can start a side hustle repairing things for people. This could involve anything from fixing TVs and appliances to working on small engines (lawnmowers, leaf blowers, snow blowers, etc.)
You can advertise your services online or through word-of-mouth, and Craigslist is a wonderful resource for allowing people in your local area to find you. Once you start, you may be surprised by how many people are willing to pay for your services!
Repairing things is a great side hustle (especially for a mechanical engineer) because it doesn’t require a lot of start-up capital, and you can often get paid very well for your skill. Plus, it’s a satisfying way to help people solve problems. It’s also extremely flexible, so it’s easy to fit around your existing schedule without creating interference.
4. Become a Handyman
If you’re good with your hands and have a working knowledge of basic home repairs, you can start a side hustle as a handyman. This could involve anything from fixing leaky faucets to hanging drywall.
You can find work as a handyman through online job boards or by placing ads on Craigslist and other sites. And don’t overlook the possibility of promoting your services using bulletin boards in your local area. You may also be able to find leads through your existing network of people you already know.
Handyman work is an excellent way to earn extra cash because it’s usually paid by the hour, and you can often command a decent rate for your services. You can take on as much or as little work as you’d like, and you also have a say over the specific jobs and the types of work you do.
For more details, please read our article How to Start Handyman Business.
Local or online tutoring is an excellent side hustle for engineers. You could tutor engineering students who would benefit from the help of an industry professional, or you could tutor for other subjects like math and science.
You can find tutoring opportunities through online job boards or by contacting local schools and colleges directly. You may also be able to find work through your existing network of contacts.
Tutoring won’t be the highest-paying side hustle on this list, but you can still make decent money while putting your engineering skills to good use. It’s also an excellent way to give back and help others achieve their goals. And like many other side hustles on this list, it’s relatively flexible and easy to fit around your existing schedule.
If you’re interested in teaching, a few different options are available. You could become an adjunct professor at a local college or university or teach engineering classes online.
You can find adjunct engineering professor positions through online job boards or by contacting colleges and universities directly. Community colleges and other colleges and universities in your local area may be looking for someone to teach engineering classes, and this could be a fitting side hustle for you.
Teaching is a great side hustle for engineers because it allows you to share your knowledge and technical expertise with others. It’s also an excellent way to earn extra money, especially if you can secure adjunct professor positions.
7. Start a Blog or Niche Website
If you’re interested in writing, you could start a blog or niche website related to engineering. This is a great way to share your technical skills and knowledge with the world, and it can also be a lucrative side hustle if you have a long-term focus.
Of course, if you prefer, you could also start a content-based website on another topic besides engineering. The possibilities are endless.
You can monetize your blog or website in several ways: advertising, affiliate marketing, publishing sponsored content, and selling products and services. Optionally, you could also use your platform to promote your other side hustles, like tutoring or repair services.
This side hustle is an outstanding opportunity if you’re interested in starting an online business. The downside is that it’s likely to take a while before you start making any significant income. Most content-based websites make very little for the first six to twelve months, so you’ll need to be willing to do the work before seeing much payoff. But the good news is that the long-term income potential is unlimited.
To learn more, please see my Guide to Building a Profitable Niche Website.
8. Start a YouTube Channel
If you’re interested in creating videos, you could start a YouTube channel to showcase your engineering skills. This is another awesome way to share your industry know-how with the world, and it can also be a profitable side hustle if you have a long-term goal.
Like a content-based website, you can monetize your YouTube channel in several ways, including through advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and selling products and services.
With the incredible growth in demand for video content, starting a YouTube channel is an excellent option. Although YouTube is a competitive platform, there are far fewer YouTube channels than blogs, so many engineers can possibly stand out as a YouTuber.
9. Start a Podcast
If you’re interested in audio content, you could start a podcast related to engineering. This opportunity is similar to blogging or starting a YouTube channel, except that you’ll create audio content instead of written or video-based content.
Like a blog or YouTube channel, you can monetize your podcast in several ways, including through advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and selling products and services.
Podcasting is an excellent option if you’re looking for a side hustle that offers the potential to boost your profile within the industry. As the podcast host, you can become known as a leader in the field.
You can also use your platform to network with other industry experts. For example, you may invite industry leaders to appear on a podcast episode for a guest interview. With the right approach, your podcast could be an excellent resource for growing and expanding your engineering career.
Podcasting is another type of online business that takes some time to grow. So if you decide to start a podcast, be sure you’re willing to put in the time and effort before the revenue starts flowing.
10. Freelance Writing
If you’re a skilled writer, you could start freelancing and writing articles related to engineering. This is an excellent opportunity because most general freelance writers aren’t qualified to write the same types of articles that you can as a professional engineer. You may be able to demand high rates for specialized articles since a limited number of freelance writers can do the work.
There are many different ways to get started with freelance technical writing. You can sign up for a platform like Upwork or Fiverr or contact companies directly to pitch your services. Look for websites and blogs that regularly publish articles on topics that you’d be able to cover.
To be successful as a freelance writer, you’ll need to market yourself well and deliver high-quality work that meets your client’s needs. But if you can do that, this can be an excellent way to earn extra cash without committing to a full-time career. Becoming a freelance technical writer is also very flexible, so you can easily do the work around your day job. Take on as much or as little work as you want.
11. Publish on Medium
If you’re interested in writing, but you don’t want to pitch companies or work with clients, you could publish your articles on Medium. This is a popular platform for articles and stories and offers the potential to earn money through its Partner Program.
This opportunity is similar to building a blog, but publishing your writing on Medium helps you to reach a larger audience faster since Medium is already well established. Compared to starting your own blog, the downside is that your options and income potential are far more limited.
If you have something to say and you’re looking for a way to get your voice out there, publishing on Medium could be a great option. It’s also very easy to get started; you only need a free Medium account.
12. Invent Something
Perhaps you have a great idea, thanks to your engineering expertise. You could try to bring your idea to life by inventing a product. This is obviously a more difficult option than some of the other side hustle ideas on this list, but it also has the potential to be very rewarding.
The first step is to develop your idea into a product or service people want. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to create a business plan and figure out how to finance your venture. If you can get your business off the ground, it could quickly become a full-time job if that interests you.
Another option is to sell your idea or partner with a company that has experience in bringing ideas to life. See our list of companies that pay for invention ideas to find some places where you can start pitching your idea.
13. Create an Online Course
Another type of online business that offers excellent income potential is creating and selling an online course. You could create a course using your engineering background and skills to teach engineering students and other people interested in learning more.
Like many other side hustles, developing an online course takes time. But once it’s up and running, it has the potential to generate a healthy income stream. You can also continue to sell the course for months or years to come, so it could prove to be a source of passive income.
To be successful with this option, you’ll need to be able to develop high-quality content and market your course effectively. But if you can do that, this could be a great way to make extra income online. You can also increase your earnings by creating several online courses rather than a single course.
Platforms like Teachable and Podia make creating a website for your course easy. You’ll be able to take credit card payments and automatically provide access to the course materials to anyone who purchases.
14. Sell 3D Printed Items
If you have access to a 3D printer, you could start selling 3D-printed items. This is an excellent option if you’re looking for a creative way to make extra money.
There are all sorts of things that you could print and sell, from jewelry to home decor. You can sell your items online through websites like Etsy.
The key to success with this side hustle is to find a niche market and create unique items that people will be willing to pay for. If you can do that, you could quickly start earning a good income from your 3D printer.
Of course, most people don’t have a 3D printer yet. You could invest in a quality 3D printer and then use it to start your side hustle.
15. Self-Published Author
We’ve already looked at a few side hustles for engineers that involve writing (freelancing, publishing on Medium, starting a blog). Here’s another opportunity to make extra money with your writing skills while potentially boosting your industry profile.
Today, anyone can become a published author thanks to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and other print-on-demand options. All you need to do is upload your book, and you’ll be able to sell it in digital ebook format or as a paperback.
Amazon will handle everything related to printing and order fulfillment. And since you don’t need to purchase inventory and books are only printed as they are purchased, there’s no upfront investment needed.
The great thing about being a self-published author is that you can sell your books indefinitely. You’ll continue to earn money from each book you sell, even years after it’s been published (as long as it’s still relevant). Those with the most success with self-publishing typically write several different books to maximize their income potential.
Becoming a published author could also have a significant impact on your career. You’ll be able to position yourself as an expert, which could open up many doors in the future.
16. Woodworking or Carpentry
If you’re interested in working with your hands, you could start a side hustle in woodworking or carpentry. These are great options for those who enjoy making things and working with their hands.
The great thing about starting a business in woodworking or carpentry is that it doesn’t require a large investment. You can get started with just a few tools and some basic materials. And if you already have some experience with woodworking or carpentry, you may already have most of the tools you need.
Of course, developing your skills and creating products that people are willing to pay for will take some time. But once you’ve established yourself, you could earn a good income from your side hustle.
Depending on the types of products that you’re creating, you could take custom orders, which is a great way to ensure that you’re only working on projects that will generate income. For example, you might have a customer who pays you to create a specific piece of furniture for them.
17. Flipping Furniture
Another option for working with your hands is to restore or flip furniture. This involves finding used furniture and repairing it or giving it a new paint job. Once you’ve done that, you can sell the furniture for a profit.
There are a few different ways that you can find furniture to flip. You could look for pieces at garage sales, thrift stores, or online marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You may even be able to find items along the side of the road that have been put out for the trash.
The key to success with this side hustle is to find pieces that have the potential to become valuable when they are improved. Solid wood furniture is usually the best option because people will pay a decent amount for it after it’s been restored.
You might also want to focus on selling to a specific niche market. For example, you could focus on flipping mid-century modern or antique furniture.
This is an excellent side hustle if you’re looking for a way to make money whenever it fits your schedule. You can find pieces to restore and work on whenever you have the time.
See our article Flipping Furniture for Profit to learn all the details.
18. Flipping Appliances
If you’re handy with appliances, you could start a side hustle in appliance flipping. This involves repairing broken or damaged appliances and selling them for a profit.
Old appliances are generally easy to find. You may even be able to get them for free if you have a truck and you’re willing to pick them up. Many people aren’t sure how to get rid of old appliances, so they’ll give them away to anyone who will come take them.
Some appliances only need small repairs before they can be flipped, and others may require more significant work. But as long as you can make the necessary repairs, you should be able to sell the appliance for a profit.
This side hustle can be time-consuming since you’ll need to find and repair each appliance. But if you can find a few appliances to flip each month, you could generate a decent income from your side hustle.
To get started, please read How to Sell Used Appliances for Cash.
19. Start a Print-on-Demand Business
Here’s a creative side hustle that involves selling products like t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, and other products that can be printed on demand. With a print-on-demand business, you create designs printed on products when customers order them, so you never need to purchase inventory.
While you can sell all different types of products, one idea is to create an online shop selling t-shirts for engineers. You could design t-shirts with funny sayings or inside jokes that other engineers would appreciate.
Starting your own print-on-demand business is easier than you might expect and requires no technical skill. You can easily create your own e-commerce website with Shopify and then integrate it with Printful to fulfill and ship orders to your customers.
One of the great things about starting a print-on-demand business is that it’s relatively easy to scale up as your sales increase. Since you don’t need to purchase inventory, you can add countless new products with relatively low costs and without the growing pains that come with a more traditional e-commerce business.
The products you create may continue to generate sales for years to come, so it has the potential to generate passive income. And if you don’t have any design skills, don’t worry. You can easily hire a designer on Fiverr to create designs for any products you want to sell.
20. Delivery Driver
This side hustle doesn’t involve your engineering experience or skill, but it’s an excellent option if you’re looking for a way to start making extra cash quickly.
If you have a truck or a van, you could start a side hustle as a delivery driver. Many businesses will pay you to deliver their products, and you can typically set your own schedule.
You could work as a courier for a local business or sign up with a delivery service like DoorDash or Instacart. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll start receiving orders from customers in your area (subject to availability).
You’ll need to use your own vehicle to make the deliveries. It’s also important to note that some expenses are associated with being a delivery driver, like gas and vehicle maintenance. But as long as you can offset those costs, delivery driving can be a great way to make extra money.
We recommend DoorDash because they’re already in thousands of different cities and towns, so it’s probably an option where you live. Also, you can use any car or vehicle to make deliveries for DoorDash, so you don’t need a newer vehicle.
21. Rent Out Storage Space
Do you have an unused room in your house or apartment? Or maybe you have space in your basement, attic, garage, or shed. If so, you could start renting out storage space to people in your community.
You can list your storage space on Neighbor, and they’ll market it to potential renters. Once you find a renter, you’ll just need to provide them with a key to access the space, and then you can start earning money from your side hustle.
Renting out storage space is a great way to generate passive income since you don’t need to do anything once the space is rented out. And if you live in a larger city, you could earn a lot of money from renting out storage space.
Neighbor also handles everything from marketing your storage space to screening potential renters to collecting payments.
Neighbor makes it easy to earn extra cash by renting out storage space in your basement, attic, garage, or even a shed. Make extra money each month without needing to spend time on a side hustle.
- Earn thousands of dollars per year
- Very little time or effort required
- Neighbor markets your space to people in your local area
- Set your own rates
- Neighbor handles all the payments for you
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many ways that engineers can make money on the side. Some popular options include starting a consulting business, freelancing, teaching engineering courses online, or using your skills to repair things for people.
There are several ways to generate passive income as an engineer. One option is to create an online course teaching engineering concepts. Another option is to start a blog or YouTube channel on engineering-related topics. You could also start a print-on-demand business where you create designs printed on products and sold to customers.
Freelance engineers typically make money by charging an hourly rate for their services. They may also work on a project basis, charging a fixed price for a specific project. Many freelance engineers also offer consulting services.
There are a few ways to make money while studying engineering. One option is to offer tutoring services to other students. Another option is to start a small business selling 3D printed items or offering 3D printing services. Finally, you could also look for part-time or full-time jobs related to your engineering field.
To become an engineering consultant, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of engineering principles and practices. You should also have experience working as an engineer in a professional setting. Once you have the necessary engineering skills and work experience, you can start your own consulting business or work for an existing consulting firm.
Final Thoughts on Side Hustles for Engineers
As you can see, there are many different side hustles for engineers that you can try. If you’re looking for a way to make extra money, one of these ideas could be a great option for you along your career path.
While some side hustles might require a bit of work upfront, others allow you to start making money quickly. And if you can find a side hustle that’s in demand and scalable, it could even become a full-time business if that interests you.
So if you’re ready to start making some extra cash, pick one of these side hustles and get started today.