As the jobless rate has spiked to a 26-year high, more Americans are looking for part-time work to bridge the home-budget gap.
About 19 million currently hold part-time positions by choice, a number that has remained steady for the past five months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you're thinking of joining the crowd, here are a few options to consider:
With a college degree and expertise in a particular field -- say, business or accounting -- you can earn extra cash in the evenings and on weekends by tutoring high school or college students, or those studying for standardized grad-school tests such as the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). Tutoring certifications are available from a number of organizations, such as the College Reading and Learning Association and the Association for the Tutoring Professional, but they aren't a requirement in most cases. Advertise locally or contact your local high school or college to ask about tutoring opportunities. Alternatively, consider working for an established tutoring outfit such as Kaplan, owned by
The Washington Post
, or the
2. Teaching English:
There is high demand for teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) and English as a second language (ESL), both domestically and abroad. Certification from well-recognized institutions such as the Boston Language Institute can cost more than $2,600 and require a month or more of class time. Alternatively, you can get certified online for much less at places such as
, but you'll still have to make up the required in-class practice hours. But beware that many online certifications don't meet the requirements to teach in the U.S. Regulations to teach ESL domestically vary from state to state, so contact your local college or university to see what teacher education programs are offered near you.
3. Life coaching:
There are plenty of people looking to reach their full potential, and you can help them by becoming a life coach. There aren't any tests or certification processes required to become a life coach, but clients are increasingly asking coaches for credentials. Coaching programs are offered nationwide, and the best ones have been approved by the
. Certification can be pricey, however, costing upwards of $3,000 and requiring six months or more of classes. But the hours are flexible and coaches can earn between $100 and $150 an hour.
4. Web design:
. Web designers charge by project, by page or by the hour, and can earn anywhere from $20 to $100 an hour.
Earn extra money by offering your services as a consultant in a specific field of expertise, such as accounting or human resources. It takes little to become a consultant in terms of capital investment, but it does require knowledge and understanding of the field you want to consult in. Not all fields require certifications, so check with your local office of the
(SBA) to find out what regulations apply in your state or municipality. Even if your field doesn't legally require certifications, it's a good idea to offer clients credentials that prove your qualifications. For instance, if you wish to consult on green building practices, consider applying for certification from the
U.S. Green Building Council
.You should also make sure you fully understand the legal and liability issues in your field before taking on new clients.
Peter McDougall is a freelance writer who lives in Freeport, Maine, with his wife and their dog.