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Pandemic fuels high demand for delivery drivers, tutors and creative types

Illustration of a food delivery vehicle
Freelance delivery jobs are particularly hot and are expected to remain so.
(Pearl Shen / For The Times )

Looking for work? The editors at SideHusl.com have found jobs for drivers, tutors, warehouse workers, cleaners and creatives of all types.

Although the pandemic crushed travel and entertainment jobs, it fueled rapid growth in other industries. Delivery and tutoring jobs are particularly hot and are expected to remain so.

Jobs for drivers

Delivery Drivers Inc. enlists drivers to deliver groceries, legal documents and more. The company says it quadrupled its roster of freelance drivers in 2020. It plans to add 140,000 drivers nationwide this year.

“Delivery drivers have always been essential,” Aaron Hageman, chief executive of the Irvine-based company, said in a statement. “But especially this year, we’ve seen a demand for more drivers across all industries, from grocery to e-commerce.”

Delivery Drivers is a middleman between freelance drivers and companies that need delivery services. It says its corporate clients determine the workers’ pay, which makes it difficult to generalize about the drivers’ wages and working conditions.

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In California, the drivers earn at least 120% of the minimum wage. In other states, wages vary dramatically but largely depend on tips.

On average, the service says drivers make 1.5 to 2.5 deliveries per hour and earn a $5-per-delivery fee plus an $8 tip. That’s good pay if you’re lucky enough to receive tips on every delivery. But if you’re not, it’s sorry wages for using your own car and gasoline.

Other options in delivery include Amazon Flex, DoorDash and Uber Eats.

Jobs for tutors

Many students have fallen dramatically behind grade-level expectations as the result of distance learning. As students prepare to go back to classrooms, demand for tutoring, both online and in person, is brisk.

What do you need to qualify as a tutor? There’s no standard answer. Although some tutoring platforms require teaching credentials or tutoring experience, others merely demand subject-matter mastery and patience.

TutorOcean makes few demands on tutors, who select their own subject areas, rates and availability. It expects tutors to post their education and experience. But you’re not barred from registering on the platform if your experience and credentials are less than stellar.

Using the site is free for tutors who bring in their own students and handle their own billing. The site charges only if you want it to help you find students or bill for you.

Other sites to find tutoring jobs include Wyzant, Wize, Juni Learning and Lessonface.

Light industrial work

A site called MyWorkChoice hires warehouse, janitorial and light industrial workers in 10 states, including California. Unlike many other online platforms that offer flexible jobs, MyWorkChoice hires its workers as W-2 employees. That means it pays the employer portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes and provides other employee benefits. That’s a big plus.

Unfortunately, the jobs are physical and the site pays only slightly more than minimum wage. There’s also no guarantee that the site will have enough work to keep you busy.

If you’re looking for work in warehouses, you may also want to sign up with Wonolo, Shiftgig and Bluecrew.

Jobs for creatives

If your talent is in fashion, fine art, marketing or filmmaking, a new platform called Creatively could work for you.

Launched by Alice + Olivia founder Stacey Bendet, the site makes it easy to post a portfolio and apply for jobs offered by a wide array of local and national brands.

Creatives can sign up and post a profile for free. Brands and employers are asked to subscribe to connect with creatives.

Launched last summer, Creatively doesn’t have a long enough track record to indicate whether it’s an effective tool for finding work. However, there’s no downside to posting a portfolio here. And, possibly because of Bendet’s reputation and connections, there are already numerous high-end help-wanted advertisements on the site.

Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.com, an independent site that reviews hundreds of money-making opportunities in the gig economy.


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