The workforce is changing, and in today’s gig economy, people are increasingly looking for jobs that pay under the table. “Under the table” is another term for getting paid “off the books”, meaning that your employer doesn’t keep extensive records or collect taxes from you.
Under the table jobs allow you to take home every cent that you earned through your hard work. Being able to keep your entire income yourself allows you to invest it and make even more money by the time tax season comes around.
Another benefit to jobs that pay under the table is that the vast majority of them don’t require any college level education.
While there are plenty of under the table jobs, not all of them pay enough to support someone on their income. Listed here are ten of the best under the table jobs to sustain an individual or a family.
If you know how to craft marketable items, you could easily put your maker skills to work for you. This can be one of the best jobs that pay cash under the table because it is common for handmade goods to be purchased directly.
You can list your crafted items for sale online, using an intermediary if necessary, or you can sell them in person at local events such as flea markets and antique shows.
Bottom Line: you may even find local retailers that are willing to pay cash for your product, which they can then sell in their stores at a markup.
Caring for Children or Elders
Providing in-home care for children or the elderly is a common example of a cash job that can pay daily. This type of work pays by the hour and by the number of people you would be caring for.
Because the hours are usually set in advance, this is one of the most reliable part time under the table jobs. To find work, you could post a local listing that advertises your availability and rates, or search for families that have written their own listings to seek care for their loved one.
Bottom Line: after establishing trustworthy care, it is common to be hired by your clients’ friends and family as they recommend you to others.
Most people already have the knowledge necessary to run their own cleaning business. The amount of money required to start a house cleaning service is low, as you most likely already have suitable cleaning equipment in your household.
This is another job that can pay daily and is also a job that would pay cash under the table. By establishing a weekly or bi-weekly schedule with your clients, you can reasonably establish a regular income for yourself.
Building and Construction
Joining a construction crew is a good choice if you are looking for a job that can pay weekly. Construction offers a lot of career growth opportunities. You might begin as an apprentice and learn a new trade skill.
If you already have experience in certain installation types, you could even work as a subcontractor and hire your own assistants.
A lot of jobs that pay cash under the table are solo jobs, but this one allows you to have a crew you can work and socialize with, so it is a good gig to get into if you want to work alongside others.
Yard work and landscaping is seasonal work, but it is in high demand during those seasons. Many offset the seasonal nature of this work by running snow shoveling services during the cold months of the year.
Another side gig you can do with the equipment and skills of landscaping is clearing out trees and debris from people’s yards after a storm.
Landscaping might consist of trimming hedges, mowing lawns, planting trees, or even maintaining flower or vegetable gardens. If you can provide advanced services such as terracing, you can charge even more for your work.
Handyman and Odd Jobs
If you consider yourself a handyman and are familiar with an assortment of tools, there are lots of odd jobs out there that need doing. For this job, you should have your own set of standard tools and a general knowledge of how to repair various appliances in a household.
Not all household labor is repair work, however. Some odd jobs you might be able to offer could involve moving furniture or acting as a courier.
Bottom Line: just browsing a local listing site will show you that the possibilities are endless for getting paid under the table doing these random tasks.
Graphic and Web Design
Because no manual labor is required, graphic or web design is a good option if you need an under the table job for a disabled person.
There is a high demand for skilled graphic artists and this kind of work can keep you paid comfortably. You could browse forums and social media to look for people who are looking to launch a new website or business.
Bottom Line: the best part about this job is that your clientele can come from anywhere in the world, so your growth potential is limitless.
Computer programming is another valid under the table job for disabled people. Night owls might especially enjoy being able to work from your own computer and set whatever hours you want. This is a great option for the technically inclined, though you do not need a formal education to do this.
The demand for software developers is only growing, and the types of projects you might work on can be quite interesting. You might develop software for an indie game studio or even choose to develop and sell your own software.
Turking is quite similar to doing odd jobs, but these are computer-based. Turking is performing small tasks that can’t be easily automated by computer.
These jobs are called human intelligence tasks (HITs) and an example of such a task is translating documents into foreign languages.
You can find HITs listed with set payment rates on sites dedicated to this kind of work, or you could even seek out work anywhere on the internet and bid on the job yourself.
Bottom Line: out of all the under the table jobs on this list, this one most benefits someone who is quick to snap up an opportunity.
Tutor or Personal Trainer
Maybe you know how to play an instrument or perhaps you are athletic and know the ins and outs of a particular sport. If you would like to pass on that knowledge and make money doing it, you might consider being a tutor or a personal trainer.
By far this is the best under the table job if you possess an enviable skill. Specialized knowledge can be offered at a premium price and most people are willing to pay you directly for it, as well. You can set your own hours and even require your clients to come to you.
Freelance Writer and/or Editor
If you're a good writer and don't mind doing some research, freelance writing and editing are great ways to earn some extra money.
People need writers and editors for all types of work. College students need help editing their research papers; bloggers get writers block and need people to write articles for their blogs.
There is even a market for writing love letters for people who aren't romantic enough to write their own!
Bottom Line: however, if you do start freelance writing, keep in mind certain freelance sites, such as TextBroker, will require you to submit your tax id information and will send you a 1099 at tax time, so if you're wanting to keep it off the books, be careful about where you pick up your work.
For people who love animals and like to get some outside exercise, dog walking could be their dream job.
Dog walking is a fun way to earn some money and burn calories at the same time; it's not a job for lazy people.
Some people have multiple dogs, while others have only one really big dog. Either way, walking dogs can take a lot of energy, so be sure you're ready to sweat!
Event planning is an excellent way for single moms to earn a little extra cash on the side, especially if they're creative and can throw a great party.
A lot of times, parents want to have big events for their children's birthday parties, but they just don't have the time to plan the theme and shop for the supplies, cake, decorations and other necessities.
However, non-working moms often have time to do these types of things once they've sent their own kids off to school in the mornings.
Bottom Line: the events they plan aren't limited to birthday parties, either. A creative person can earn a lot of money planning bachelorette parties, graduation celebrations and more.
The great thing about learning a trade such as plumbing, carpentry or electrical work is that you can easily do these things off the books if clients want to call you directly and pay you in cash.
People are always in need of electrical work; however, they don't always want to pay the huge fees that come along with them.
Bottom Line: if people know you have skills in electrical work though, they're much more likely to call and ask you to rewire their lights or fix their fuse box for some cold hard cash.
Online Survey Taker
Taking online surveys is a great, non-taxed way for anyone to earn extra spending money, but it's especially great for teens or pregnant women who can't exactly go out and find a full-time job.
There are several survey sites out there that pay people simply to give their honest opinions.
These sites usually pay in gift cards, but the gift cards can be redeemed for PayPal if you want to turn them into cash.
This is a great job because it can done from the comfort of your own home. There are also no set hours, making it the perfect opportunity for insomniacs or other people who keep odd hours.
Online English Tutor
Recently, there have been several sites popping up all over the internet looking for native English speakers willing to teach students from other countries - particularly China - how to speak English.
You don't have to speak a second language because they only want you to speak English to the students.
Some of these sites pay 15 an hour or more simply to sit in front of a webcam and talk to foreign students in your native tongue.
Bottom Line: it's a great gig, and because most of these sites are based solely in China, with no American affiliates or offices, people who use them aren't required to file the income on their taxes.
If someone you know owns a small business or simply has a very hectic, busy or disorganized life, find out if they could benefit from a personal assistant.
Many people would pay cash just to have you do things they don't have time for in a normal day.
Personal assistants might answer phones, take messages, pick up kids from school, pick up dry cleaning or even help cook dinner.
As a personal assistant, it's basically your job to assist your boss wherever assistance is needed - within reason, of course.
People love massages, but often, they can't afford to pay 100 dollars or more for a half hour or an hour massage.
If you have strong hands and don't mind massaging backs, feet, necks or shoulders, put the word out that you're willing to provide in-home massages for a fraction of the cost.
You can even research different massage techniques and offer different services for different needs.
If you become licensed, you can even charge a bit more. Just let your clients know you prefer cash.
Those who are fond of driving can make a decent weekly paycheck by driving around other people. Recent immigrants from other countries often don't have American licenses.
The elderly, the home-bound, people who've had their licenses removed or suspended or people simply going out for a night of fun and drinking and need a safe ride home are all potential clients for someone who wants to start driving for a living.
Bottom Line: other options include driving to run errands for people. You could go to purchase and deliver groceries for shut-ins, pick up meals and deliver them to people who can't leave work or any other manner of errand that requires driving.
Cutting & Selling Firewood
This is a great job if you own a lot of land, live in a rural area or have access to a forest or timber you can legally cut and sell.
People with fireplaces or fire pits are always in need of fire wood, but not many people enjoy cutting it up and bringing it in.
If you'll check your local "Buy-Sell-Trade" pages, you'll often find people with "free firewood" as long as you'll come cut it up yourself and haul it off. This is another way for you to get firewood to sell.
Gardening & Selling Fresh Produce
We all go through phases where we try to eat healthier, and that always includes eating more vegetables. However, most vegetables bought in a store just aren't that great.
That's why Americans love fresh vegetables. However, with the busy lives everyone leads these days, very few people have the time to grow them themselves.
However, with the busy lives everyone leads these days, very few people have the time to grow them themselves.
If you have the time and a bit of a green thumb, growing some fresh corn, tomatoes, onions - or fruit, if you live in an area where that's possible - can make you a lot of money. You can sell individually, at farmer's markets or online.
Some people have a real knack for picking up things at thrift stores, consignment shops or online for a little of nothing and then turning around and selling those things for a large profit.
If this sounds like you, you might consider becoming a reseller. Just be sure not to become a hoarder in the process!
Interpreter or Language Coach
If you're one of the increasingly rare people who speak more than one language fluently or if you're willing to master an online language course, then you could work as a freelance interpreter or language coach.
Interpreters are needed for all kinds of situations, especially important ones like doctor's appointments, meetings with employers or government officials and school visits.
People would gladly hire you to talk on their behalf at these types of meetings.
Other people may want to hire you to teach them a language, which is another way you could make money.
Bottom Line: some people might want you to teach them a second language; others may speak your second language only and need your help learning English. Either way, it's a very lucrative skill to have.
Whether you live in a big city or a rural area, there are always open mic nights and singing competitions happening somewhere nearby.
If you're a talented singer or musician, join in on these every chance you get, and try your hand at winning some prize money.
However, you can also book yourself out to play at parties, wedding receptions and more.
There are always events going on that need entertainment, and if you're good enough, word of mouth alone will be enough to keep securing you gigs. However, you can also advertise online.
Singers and musicians who are talented enough can also make extra money as private music instructors.
Parents are always dying to find someone relatively inexpensive to teach their children how to play guitar or piano or to give them vocal lessons.
People are often in need of a good photographer. In addition to the obvious wedding photographer, more and more people are also turning to private, "amateur" photographers to take their children's graduation pictures rather than paying the exorbitant fees charged by the designated school photographer.
Engagement photos, baby pictures, family portraits, pictures of pets - these are only a few of the different types of photographs people will pay to have taken.
If you're a skilled photographer, you can really rack up the dough.
For those of you who live in a large, bustling city such as New Orleans, New York City or Los Angeles, street performing can bring in a lot of money.
The great thing about street performing is that it isn't limited to musicians and singers. If you have any marketable talent, you can be a street performer.
Dancers, magicians, painters, artists and more - all of these people are able to make a decent living by performing in the streets for tips.
The downside is, of course, you're relying on good weather and the kindness of strangers, but people coming to cities like NOLA, NYC and LA expect street performers and usually pay them quite well.
Becoming a specialty instructor is a great job for women or men who have a specialized skill, such as dancing or martial arts, that other people want to learn.
There are all kinds of how-to guides online that can tell you the steps you need to take to start teaching specialized courses.
These can include yoga or other types of:
- exercise classes,
- art classes,
- music or language classes,
- kickboxing or martial arts classes,
- swim lessons, ballet classes,
- modern dance classes and more.
If you can teach it, chances are there is someone out there who wants to learn it.
Going to an auto body store or mechanic shop can be outrageous. People with family members who are mechanics are lucky because they can get some off-the-books mechanic work done at a fraction of the price.
If you're a mechanic, then you can offer those services to people as well.
You can advertise through Craigslist, your local newspaper, flyers hung around town or even on church bulletins.
Bottom Line: let people know you're available to help with their car troubles at a reduced rate, and they will be flocking to you for oil changes, new belts and hoses and even tire rotations.
Hairdresser & Make-Up Stylist
Some people are born with a natural ability to do hair and make-up. If that's you, you can make a ton of money just doing what comes naturally.
However, if you're not naturally gifted but want to learn, there are always at least one or two schools close by that will teach and license you to be hairdresser.
Family members and friends will enjoy coming to you for their styling needs rather than having to go to the salon.
You'll also have prom season and homecoming season, which will greatly boost your clientele. You can even do the bride's and bridesmaids hair and makeup for weddings!
Whether it's a party, a wedding reception, a prom, a bat mitzvah or something else, there's always an event going on that needs a good DJ.
If you have a love of music and a good ear for what is popular, this might be the job for you. There are tons of online guides on what you need to get started as a DJ.
Over time, as you get more gigs and more money, you'll be able to build a great kit. Initially though, all you'll need is a very large collection of music and a way to broadcast it to a crowd.
DJ'ing is a job that is easy to get into and can turn into a fairly decent career as time goes by.