Best side hustles in Illinois

The quest for the best side hustles in Illinois is more vibrant than ever. Whether in Pekin or Edwardsville, opportunities like part-time Amazon Warehouse work or transcription roles at Appen offer a gateway to earning extra income. These gigs are perfect for those seeking flexible work options, from remote work opportunities to project-based freelance jobs. 

The gig economy has opened doors to multiple income streams, allowing individuals to supplement their income while working full-time. These entrepreneurial ventures range from temporary jobs to high-earning side gigs, catering to digital nomads, influencers, and even those looking to make money with no experience. 

Check these diverse and lucrative side jobs to boost your financial health and explore new career horizons.

29 Profitable Ways To Make Money On The Side In Illinois

AI Prompt Engineer

Working as an AI Prompt Engineer in Illinois is a fantastic side hustle for technologically savvy individuals interested in artificial intelligence. This role involves creating and refining input to drive AI system performance.

Responsibilities: Developing AI prompts, refining AI outputs, testing AI system functionality, and documenting work progress.

Skills Required: Knowledge of AI principles, attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and strong written and verbal communication abilities.

Potential Employers: Tech companies, research institutions, and startups.

Resources: LinkedIn, AI local communities, The Illinois Technology Association (ITA).

Engaging in AI Engineering as a side job is an excellent way to elevate your tech-savvy skills while earning extra income. It’s an opportunity to be a part of a cutting-edge field significantly impacting the digital age.

Caregiver

Offering caregiving services in Illinois is a rewarding side hustle for those who enjoy helping others. This job can involve caring for seniors, children, or people with disabilities, demanding compassion, patience, and resilience.

Responsibilities: Assisting with daily living activities, administering medication, and maintaining a clean and safe environment. Providing companionship.

Skills Required: Empathy, patience, first aid knowledge, communication skills, physical stamina.

Potential Employers: Private families, local home care agencies, healthcare facilities, residential care homes.

Resources: The Illinois Department of Aging, Care.com, Local community centers

Being a caregiver is not just a job; it’s a calling. This part-time work can provide an additional income stream and immense personal satisfaction from positively impacting someone’s life.

CDL A Driver

Becoming a CDL A Driver in Illinois can be a lucrative side hustle for those comfortable with long hours on the road. This job requires adhering to safety protocols and being responsible for timely delivery.

Responsibilities: Transporting goods, maintaining logbook, ensuring safety and efficiency of a vehicle, following traffic laws.

Skills Required: Good driving skills, time-management, detail-oriented, physical health, knowledge of truck maintenance.

Potential Employers: Logistics companies, transport services, and construction companies.

Resources: The Illinois Department of Transportation, local CDL training schools, LinkedIn

Being a CDL A Driver is an exciting opportunity to explore Illinois while earning money on the side. It’s a perfect gig for those seeking flexible work options that can control their schedule.

Content Creator Jobs Remote

Taking on remote content creation jobs provides a creative outlet for those with an aptitude for crafting engaging content. This remote work opportunity does not confine you to Illinois and lets you reach audiences worldwide.

Responsibilities: Creating content for various platforms, editing and proofreading, researching trends, and promoting content.

Skills Required: Imagination, proficiency in writing, SEO knowledge, social media savvy, and research abilities.

Potential Employers: Digital marketing agencies, news outlets, blogs, businesses with online presence.

Resources: Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, LinkedIn.

Content creation allows flexible work hours and the freedom to work from anywhere. It’s a side hustle combining creativity and the opportunity to impact online.

Delivery Driver (food, appliances, farm equipment)

Delivery driver in Illinois

Working as a delivery driver in Illinois is a flexible side job for those with a reliable vehicle and good time management skills. This job may involve delivering anything from food to appliances or farm equipment.

Responsibilities: Picking up and delivering items, ensuring timely deliveries, maintaining delivery logs, and providing excellent customer service.

Skills Required: Good driving record, navigation skills, punctuality, customer service skills, and problem-solving skills.

Potential Employers: Restaurants, appliance stores, farm supply companies, delivery services.

Resources: Doordash, Uber Eats, local appliance and farm equipment stores

Delivery driving provides a way to earn extra cash while working full-time. It’s a job that offers flexibility and the chance to be your boss.

Farm Worker

Working on a farm in Illinois is an active side job for those who enjoy working outdoors and are interested in agriculture. This job can range from planting crops to maintaining farm equipment.

Responsibilities: Tending to crops, operating farm machinery, repairing fences, feeding livestock.

Skills Required: Physical stamina, basic knowledge of farming practices, ability to operate machinery, reliability.

Potential Employers: Local farms, agricultural companies, greenhouses.

Resources: Illinois Department of Agriculture, Local farmers markets, Agricultural Job Board

Working on a farm can provide a connection to the land and the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of your labor. It’s a side job best suited for those who enjoy outdoor work and love the rural lifestyle.

Flipping Items Online

Flipping items online is a profitable entrepreneurial venture in Illinois for those with a keen eye for valuable items and negotiation skills. This job involves buying items at a lower price and selling them for a profit.

Responsibilities: Identifying valuable items, negotiating purchase prices, listing items online, and shipping items to buyers.

Skills Required: Negotiation skills, knowledge of product values, marketing skills, and familiarity with e-commerce platforms.

Potential Employers: Self-employed, consignment stores, flea markets, garage sales.

Resources: eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Etsy.

Offering an opportunity to make money from the comfort of your own home, flipping items online is one of the best side hustles for those looking to supplement their income. It’s a chance to turn a passion for treasure hunting into a profitable venture.

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is a desirable option for those skilled in crafting compelling narratives. This gig economy job allows you to work on varied topics while enhancing your writing abilities.

Responsibilities: Creating engaging content, proofreading and editing work, performing research, and meeting deadlines.

Skills Required: Excellent writing ability, creativity, research skills, discipline, SEO understanding.

Potential Employers: Online publications, marketing agencies, blogs, corporations.

Resources: Upwork, Freelancer, ProBlogger, LinkedIn.

Freelance writing provides a creative outlet while ensuring multiple streams of income. With the ability to work remotely and manage your schedule, this job is an excellent way to earn money on the side.

Front Desk Jobs

Working at a front desk in Illinois is a versatile side job for organized individuals with excellent communication skills. This job can involve roles in various hospitality, medical, or corporate sectors.

Responsibilities: Answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, welcoming guests, and handling mail or deliveries.

Skills Required: Communication skills, organization, multitasking, familiarity with office systems.

Potential Employers: Hotels, medical offices, corporate offices, gyms.

Resources: LinkedIn, local community centers, Illinois Department of Employment Security

Being a front desk employee allows you to enhance your interpersonal skills while earning additional income. It’s a side job well-suited for those who enjoy interacting with people and managing administrative tasks.

Graphic Designer

Freelancing as a graphic designer in Illinois is an attractive side hustle for creative minds with a knack for visual communication. This job lets you flex your creative muscles while working on exciting projects.

Responsibilities: Creating visuals, meeting clients’ needs, understanding design elements, and using design software.

Skills Required: Creativity, attention to detail, knowledge of design software, time management, understanding of color and typography.

Potential Employers: Advertising agencies, corporations, publications, and small businesses.

Resources: Upwork, Behance, Freelancer, LinkedIn

Embarking on freelance graphic design is an excellent way to supplement your income by honing your creativity. This side job is ideal for those passionate about visual storytelling and design.

House Cleaning

Being a house cleaner in Illinois is a feasible side job for individuals who appreciate cleanliness and order. It can range from basic house cleaning tasks to more specialized ones like carpet and window cleaning.

Responsibilities: Dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning ceiling vents, restroom cleaning, window cleaning, and carpet cleaning.

Skills Required: Attention to detail, physical endurance, customer service skills, knowledge of cleaning products and techniques.

Potential Employers: Homeowners, cleaning service companies.

Resources: TidyMe, Handy, Care.com, Housekeeper.com

House cleaning is a solid side gig, offering regular work and income. It’s a fitting job if you find satisfaction in neatness and tidiness and possess a good eye for detail.

Industrial Designer

Industrial designing in Illinois is a viable freelance work for creative individuals with a keen sense of design. As an industrial designer, you can provide design solutions to various industries.

Responsibilities: Developing concepts for manufactured products, sketching out ideas or creating renderings, and making 3D models of new products.

Skills Required: Creativity, technical skills, problem-solving skills, computer-aided design CAD skill

Potential Employers: Manufacturers, industrial design firms

Resources: Upwork, Freelancer, Guru.com.

Industrial designing can be a rewarding side job if you’re talented in both design and technology. It allows you to work on different projects and contribute to producing unique, practical products.

Light Industrial Jobs

Light industrial jobs in Illinois are an excellent solution for those seeking temporary work for extra cash. This sector includes jobs in warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers.

Responsibilities: Loading and unloading goods, packing and unpacking items, maintaining inventory records, and operating machinery.

Skills Required: Physical strength and endurance, good hand-eye coordination, attention to detail.

Potential Employers: Warehouses, manufacturing facilities, distribution centers.

Resources: Labor Finders, Nextcrew, Randstad US

Light industrial jobs are suitable for those seeking flexible work options and providing an additional income stream. They’re an excellent choice for those who enjoy active, fast-paced environments.

Nursing Jobs

care giver helping man doing exercise

Illinois nursing jobs offer opportunities for healthcare professionals to supplement their income. This can range from full-fledged nursing professions to part-time caregiver roles.

Responsibilities: Administering medication, monitoring patient health, and educating patients and their families about health conditions.

Skills Required: Medical knowledge, compassion, excellent communication, and organizational skills.

Potential Employers: Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes.

Resources: Nurse.com, American Nurses Association, Illinois Nurses Association, Medical jobs

Nursing is a high-earning side job that enables you to help others while earning a decent income. It is a good option for those who are compassionate and patient-oriented.

Online Tutor

Becoming an online tutor in Illinois is a rewarding remote side hustle for those with expertise in a specific subject. This flexible work option allows you to share your knowledge with students worldwide.

Responsibilities: Planning and executing lessons, assisting with homework, preparing students for tests.

Skills Required: Expertise in a specific subject, excellent communication skills, patience, and an interest in teaching.

Potential Employers: Students, parents, and tutoring companies.

Resources: Chegg Tutors, Tutor.com, Wyzant, and Skooli

Online tutoring is a popular avenue for earning extra income, particularly when you enjoy teaching. It provides flexibility, allowing you to work from home and manage your schedule.

Pet Sitting

Pet sitting in Illinois is an enjoyable side job for animal lovers. This task involves taking care of other people’s pets while away, ranging from walking dogs to caring for cats.

Responsibilities: Walking dogs, feeding pets, providing companionship, administering medication if required.

Skills Required: An understanding of animal behavior, patience, reliability, and strong communication skills.

Potential Employers: Pet owners, pet sitting services.

Resources: Rover, Care.com, PetBacker, and DogVacay

Pet sitting is a perfect way to turn your love for animals into a source of additional income. It provides a significant income stream, especially during vacations when pet owners travel.

Product Designer

Working as a Product Designer in Illinois is a viable freelance job for those passionate about designing and improving products. This gig economy role allows you to work on various projects.

Responsibilities: Sketching initial design ideas, identifying new product opportunities, defining product specifications, and presenting product design concepts.

Skills Required: Creativity, technical knowledge, attention to detail, CAD skills.

Potential Employers: Manufacturing companies, design agencies, and startups.

Resources: Coroflot, Behance, Toptal, and Dribbble

Product designing can be a rewarding side job, allowing you to express your creativity and technical skills in creating or improving products. It offers opportunities to work with various industries and organizations, adding diversity to your portfolio.

Product Review Jobs – Tester

Product reviewing is a simple and fun way of earning money on the side in Illinois. As a product tester, you will try out new products and provide feedback to companies.

Responsibilities: Receiving and testing products. Providing honest feedback. Writing and submitting reviews.

Skills Required: Clear communication, honesty, attention to detail, writing skills.

Potential Employers: Marketing agencies, manufacturers, and startups.

Resources: Vindale Research, American Consumer Opinion, Pinecone Research

Product reviewing can be a fun and easy way to get extra money while working full-time. You can try new products; your feedback helps companies improve their offerings.

Quality Assurance Associate

Quality assurance roles provide a good opportunity for detail-oriented individuals to earn extra cash in Illinois. This involves testing products or services to ensure they meet specific standards.

Responsibilities: Inspecting and testing products, identifying defects, reporting findings, and suggesting improvements.

Skills Required: Attention to detail, problem-solving skills, experience with QA methodologies, and good reporting skills.

Potential Employers: Manufacturing companies, software development firms, food processing companies.

Resources: Dice, TechFetch.

Quality assurance is a valuable role that contributes to improving products and services. It’s a good fit for those who are detail-oriented and enjoy problem-solving.

Rideshare Driving

photo-of-person-driving

Rideshare driving in Illinois is a flexible side hustle, allowing you to make money while setting your schedule. Uber and Lyft are popular platforms for rideshare driving.

Responsibilities: Driving passengers to their destinations, maintaining vehicle cleanliness, and providing excellent customer service.

Skills Required: Safe driving skills, customer service skills, reliability, and a suitable car.

Potential Employers: Uber, Lyft, Via Transportation.

Resources: Uber, Lyft, Via Transportation

Rideshare driving can be a valuable source of extra income, especially during peak hours. It offers much flexibility, making it a popular side job for those with other commitments.

Sitting Jobs

Sitting jobs, such as babysitting, house sitting, or senior companionship services, are popular side jobs in Illinois. These roles are ideal for compassionate, reliable, and responsible individuals looking for temporary work or part-time jobs.

Responsibilities: Looking after children, the house, or older people. Preparing meals, cleaning, and running errands.

Skills Required: Patience, reliability, first aid knowledge, good physical health, and excellent communication skills.

Potential Employers: Families, working professionals, travel agencies, and elderly care providers.

Resources: Sittercity, Care.com, Housesitter.com, Senior Companionship Services in Illinois.

Sitting jobs offer a flexible way to earn extra cash while working full-time. This could be an excellent opportunity if you are interested in nurturing relationships and providing care.

SEO Consultant

If you have skills in digital marketing, working as a Search Engine Optimization Specialist could be a profitable side hustle in Illinois. This freelance work involves improving clients’ online presence, increasing website visibility, and driving organic traffic.

Responsibilities: Conducting SEO audits, keyword research, on-page and off-page optimization, and reporting.

Skills Required: Knowledge of SEO tools and tactics, strong analytical skills, and proficiency in web analytics.

Potential Employers: Small businesses, startups, digital marketing agencies, and individual entrepreneurs.

Resources: SEO Specialist Certification by Moz, Upwork for SEO Consultant Jobs, LinkedIn, SEO Meetups in Illinois.

As an SEO consultant, you can work per project, offering your expertise to help businesses improve their online visibility. This digital nomad job offers a high earning potential.

Snow Shoveler

Snow removal services are an income-generating side job during Illinois’ cold winters. If you enjoy physical work and can deal with the cold, consider this temporary work option.

Responsibilities: Clearing snow from driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots, applying salt, and maintaining snow removal equipment.

Skills Required: Physical stamina, knowledge of snow removal techniques, and quick responsiveness.

Potential Employers: Homeowners, corporations, government entities, and landscape companies.

Resources: City Snow Removal Services in Illinois, TaskRabbit, YourMechanic’s Guide on How to Start a Snow Removal Service.

Snow shoveling provides an additional income stream during the cold months and helps serve the community by keeping local areas safe and accessible.

Social Media Manager

Social media management is an excellent remote side hustle for those with a flair for creativity and a knack for effective communication. This role involves managing social media campaigns, analyzing engagement data, and understanding business trends.

Responsibilities: Creating and scheduling posts, managing ad campaigns, engaging with followers, and analyzing performance metrics.

Skills Required: Content creation, knowledge of social media platforms, marketing strategies, and analytics.

Potential Employers: Businesses, influencers, celebrities, and non-profit organizations.

Resources: Hootsuite Social Media Certification, Freelancer.com, LinkedIn for Social Media Manager Jobs, Illinois Social Media Manager Meetups.

Becoming a social media manager allows you to work remotely while helping brands grow their online presence. It’s a rewarding and creative role well suited to the gig economy.

Substitute Teacher

Becoming a substitute teacher in Illinois can be a fulfilling side job that offers the opportunity to inspire young minds. It could be an excellent fit if you’re passionate about education and desire flexible work options.

Responsibilities: Implementing lesson plans, ensuring a safe and respectful classroom environment, evaluating student progress, and maintaining classroom records.

Skills Required: Excellent communication skills, classroom management, patience, the ability to use diverse learning styles, and a basic understanding of different subjects.

Potential Employers: Local school districts, private schools, and after-school programs.

Resources: Illinois State Board of Education, Kelly Educational Staffing, Teachers On Call.

Substitute teaching enables you to participate in children’s education while maintaining a flexible schedule. It’s an excellent pathway to supplement your income or gain experience in the education industry.

Transcriptionist

A transcriptionist is a great remote work opportunity for individuals with excellent typing skills and a high attention to detail. This side job involves converting audio recordings into written text.

Responsibilities: Listening to audio files, typing verbatim transcripts, proofreading and editing transcripts, and delivering completed transcriptions promptly.

Skills Required: Fast typing speed, strong listening skills, and attention to detail. Excellent grammar and punctuation skills.

Potential Employers: Legal offices, medical professionals, media companies, and market research firms.

Resources: Transcribe Anywhere, GoTranscript, Rev, Scribie.

Becoming a transcriptionist offers a flexible work-from-home opportunity to make money on the side. It’s an excellent choice for those looking for independent contractor jobs that provide steady work.

Tutoring

Offering tutoring services in Illinois is a rewarding side job for those with expertise in specific academic areas. This job allows you to help students improve their understanding and performance in various subjects.

Responsibilities: Providing one-on-one academic instruction, preparing lesson plans, assessing student progress, and providing feedback.

Skills Required: Subject matter expertise, excellent communication, patience, and teaching skills.

Potential Employers: Parents, tutoring centers, and online tutoring platforms.

Resources: Wyzant, Tutor.com, Care.com, Tutoring in Illinois.

Tutoring is a great option to earn extra cash while improving students’ academic performance. It’s an excellent path for those who enjoy teaching and wish to contribute to a student’s academic success.

UIUC Student Jobs

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) offers numerous part-time jobs for students looking to earn some extra money. These roles range from administrative assistants to research positions, catering to various skills and interests.

Responsibilities: Varying depending on the job role – could include administrative tasks, research assistance, tutoring, campus event management, etc.

Skills Required: Strong communication skills, time management, dependability, and the specific skills required for the job role.

Potential Employers: University departments, faculty members, campus services, and organizations.

Resources: UIUC Virtual Job Board, UIUC Office of Student Financial Aid, UIUC Career Services.

Working part-time while studying at UIUC provides an additional income stream and valuable experience, networking opportunities, and potential career pathways.

Vacation Rental

Renting out an unused room or property in Illinois through vacation rental platforms can be lucrative. It’s an exciting entrepreneurial venture for those with real estate and hospitality inclinations.

Responsibilities: Managing listings, providing clean and comfortable accommodations, communicating with guests, and handling check-in and check-out procedures.

Skills Required: Customer service, property management, cleaning, communication, and marketing.

Potential Employers: Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Flipkey, Hipcamp, Marriott Homes and Villas, local vacation rental management companies, Plum Guide, and Vacasa.

Resources: Hosting on Airbnb, Become a Host on Vrbo, Rentalpreneur.

Running a vacation rental business allows you to make extra cash from your property while creating memorable experiences for travelers. It’s a great way to meet people worldwide while earning additional income.

Virtual Assistant

Becoming a virtual assistant (VA) is a fantastic side job for people with excellent organizational and communication skills. This remote role involves providing administrative support to individuals or businesses from a remote location.

Responsibilities: Calendar management, email correspondence, data entry, customer service, and project management.

Skills Required: Time management, customer service, excellent verbal and written communication, proficiency in various office software.

Potential Employers: Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and busy professionals.

Resources: International Virtual Assistants Association, Virtual Assistant Jobs on Upwork, Freelancer.

Working as a virtual assistant offers flexible work options and a reliable income. It’s an excellent remote work opportunity for individuals seeking to effectively balance their personal lives and work responsibilities.

Conclusion

Illinois offers diverse side hustles, from remote Prompt Engineering roles on Upwork to dynamic positions like the Red Bull Student Marketeer in Champaign. These opportunities provide additional income streams and offer the flexibility and freedom characteristic of the gig economy. 

Whether you’re looking for part-time work, contract jobs, or freelance projects, these roles cater to various lifestyles and career aspirations. They are ideal for anyone, from digital nomads to those seeking to supplement their income without a degree. These side hustles can lead to multiple streams of income, providing financial stability and the chance to explore new entrepreneurial ventures.


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