You might have heard the phrase “gig economy” get thrown around in recent times — but what exactly is it?
Even though there isn’t a fixed definition, the gig economy can be briefly summarized as “an economy in which temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace, and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees.”
Even if you aren’t directly familiar with the term, you might have come across the gig economy in other ways — think freelancers, independent contractors, or that one friend of yours who is traveling the world and sustaining themselves by juggling various side gigs.
Food delivery jobs are simply part of the mix. In case you want to get started with the highest paying delivery jobs — here are the best delivery services to work for.
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As a DoorDash Dasher, you can deliver breakfast, lunch, dinner and more to customers in your city. Available in over 4,000 cities in the U.S., Canada, and Australia, DoorDash is about connecting people with possibilities: bigger savings accounts, wider nets, stronger communities, and happier days. This gig economy app empowers local businesses and local drivers (called Dashers) with opportunities to earn, work, and live. As a Dasher, you can be your own boss and enjoy the flexibility of choosing when, where, and how much you earn. All you need is a mode of transportation and a smartphone to start making money. It’s that simple.
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a valid driver’s license (where applicable)
- Have valid insurance
- Social Security Number
- Have an Android or iOS (Apple) smartphone
Postmates is one of the most popular on-demand delivery apps in the US. Here, you can deliver anything from a cup of coffee from Starbucks to a new PS5. Postmates partners with stores all over the country to make deliveries to people’s homes. Download the free Postmates Fleet app for iOS or Android and come online whenever you want to make money.
- Be 18 years or older
- Valid driver’s license (where applicable)
- Agree to a background check
As a shopper for Instacart, you go to the grocery store like normal, except you’re getting paid to shop for others. You’ll likely need a vehicle to make deliveries since groceries are heavy and can work up to 29 hours per week. You can earn on average $15 per hour and must be over 18 years old or over to start shopping with Instacart.
Instacart Full-Service Shopper Requirements
- Be 18 years of age
- Able to work in the US
- Access to a vehicle
- Have a smartphone
- Able to lift 50 lbs with or without assistance
With Grubhub, it’s easy to earn competitive pay, keep 100% of your tips and create your own flexible schedule delivering food. You can earn $12 per hour on average by selecting bocks to indicate when you want to work. It’s easy to get started and you just have to be over 19 years old, pass a background check, and have a state ID.
- Be 19 years or older
- Have a compatible smartphone (iOS and Android are both fine) with a data plan
- Driver’s license and insurance
- A checking account that accepts direct deposits
Uber Eats Driver
Now you can make money by delivering food orders that people crave using the Uber Eats app—all while exploring your city. The benefits are similar to other food delivery jobs, no boss, flexible schedule and quick pay. You can learn more about becoming an Uber Eats driver in our full guide.
Uber Eats Requirements
- Minimum driving age in your city (if driving)
- 18 years or older if biking
- Driver’s license or a government-issued ID
- Registration papers
- Proof of residency
Shipt is a membership-based grocery marketplace, enabling delivery of fresh foods and household essentials. Experienced shoppers make an average of $22/hr and paychecks are delivered every week.
Shipt Shopper Requirements
- 18 years of age or more
- A vehicle from 1997 or newer
- A valid driver’s license
- Lift 40 pounds
- Knowledge of produce
- A compatible smartphone with Android or iOS
Caviar is a part of DoorDash. When you sign up, you’ll join the fleet of independent couriers, called Dashers. Through DoorDash, you can receive either Caviar or DoorDash delivery opportunities. DoorDash offers businesses and Dashers opportunities to earn, work, and live. As a Dasher, you’re your own boss. You choose when, where, and how much you earn.
- Be 18 years or older
- Have a vehicle (cars, trucks, bikes, scooters, and motorcycles are all fine)
- Have a smartphone
- Have been driving for at least two years
Saucey is the fastest, easiest and most reliable way to order beer, wine and spirits. Users on the app simply pick what they want, checkout, and you as a Saucey courier will be there in 30 minutes – it’s that easy! Couriers with Saucey often earn around $10+ per hour. Saucey, like GrubHub, allows you to sign up for specific shift blocks. Couriers earn a rate of $5 per delivery, plus 50 cents per item, plus a tip.
- Be 21 years or older
- A vehicle that’s a 2007 model or newer
- A compatible smartphone
- Clean driving record
Gig Economy Statistics 2021
The gig economy offers a new era in employment. Here are some gig economy statistics and trends that any gig worker should be aware of:
- 57.3 million people freelance in the U.S. It’s estimated that by 2027 there will be 86.5 million freelancers. (Upwork)
- 36% of U.S. workers participate in the gig economy through either their primary or secondary jobs. (Gallup)
- For 44% of gig workers, their work in the gig economy is their primary source of income. (Edison Research)
- For 53% of gig workers aged 18-34, their work in the gig economy is their primary source of income. (Edison Research)
- Gig employees are more likely to be young, with 38% of 18-34-year-olds being part of the gig economy. (Edison Research)
- 1 in 6 workers in traditional jobs would like to become a primary independent earner. (McKinsey)
- Overall, it’s estimated that the independent workforce is larger than previously recognized: some 20 to 30 percent of the working-age population in the United States and the EU-15 countries are engaged in some form of independent earning today. (McKinsey)
- Gig economy workers are projected to account for more than $1.4 trillion of the total US income in 2018. (PYMNTS)
- 55% of gig workers also maintain full-time or regular jobs. (PYMNTS)
- 19% say the main reason they have a gig job is to make extra money or cover day-to-day expenses. (PYMNTS)
- In 2017, the total share of the labor force working in nonstandard arrangements was 10.1%, down from 10.9% in 2005. (Economic Policy Institute)
- The largest number of gig workers (14%) find gigs in arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media followed by sales and related (10%.) (PYMNTS)
- An additional 3% to 10% of workers in mature economies and more than 30% in some developing countries reported using gig platforms as a secondary source of income. (BCG Henderson)
- Deloitte’s latest millennial study found that 64% of full-time workers want to do “side hustles” to make extra money. (Deloitte)
- In 2018, the number of occasional independents jumped 16.4% to 14.9 million from 12.9 million in 2017; their ranks have risen 42% from 10.5 million in 2016. (MBO Partners)
- 1 out of 5 full-time independents has customers outside the U.S. (MBO Partners)
- The number of contingent employees will increase worldwide. In the US alone, contingent workers will exceed 40% of the workforce by 2020. (INTUIT)
- About 40% of the American workforce now makes at least 40% of their income via gig work. (PYMNTS)
- Between 2013 and 2017, earnings fell by 53% in the transportation sector and grew by 69% in the leasing sector. (JPMorgan Chase)
- Compared with workers overall, electronically mediated workers were more likely to be in the prime-working-age category (25 to 54) and less likely to be in the oldest age category (55 and over.) (BLS)
Need More Gig Economy Apps?
You should be aware that you are not going to get rich from most of these gig economy apps. However, they serve as a chance to have some fun online and get some extra cash for your efforts.
Whatever your taste there seems to be plenty of ways to rake in extra cash online and enjoy the process.
- (MBO Partners)
- (MBO Partners)
- (T. Rowe Price Group)
- (Federal Reserve Bank St. Louis)
- (The Guardian)