20 Best Side Hustles for Social Workers to Make Money

Social workers help people with social issues and don’t always get paid enough. Many do it because they care, but they still need to pay bills. So, they might look for extra work on the side.

There are lots of ways to make extra money now, especially with the gig economy. But which ones are good for social workers?

This guide will help answer that question. Instead of just listing any side jobs, I’ve picked ones that actually work.

Most of these jobs let you choose when you work and you can do them from home. This way, you can earn more money for things like

  • Paying off debt
  • Saving
  • Giving to charity
  • Covering gaps in employment
  • Having more spending money

Whatever your reason, I’ve got some ideas for you. Keep reading to find out the best ways to make extra money as a social worker.

Best Side Hustles for Social Workers

1. Start a Blog

Starting a blog is a fantastic side hustle idea for social workers! 

Blogging allows you to work on your own schedule, making it perfect for social workers who have busy or irregular work hours.

As a social worker, you have valuable knowledge and experiences to share. You can write about social work topics, share tips for improving mental health, or discuss your experiences helping others.

Once you’ve built an audience, there are various ways to monetize your blog. You can earn money through advertising, sponsored content, affiliate marketing, or even by offering digital products or consulting services related to your niche.

Blogging allows you to reach and help people on a larger scale. Just like in your social work practice, you have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of others through your blog content.

2. Create a YouTube Channel

Starting a YouTube channel is another excellent side hustle option for social workers looking to supplement their income.

YouTube provides a user-friendly platform for sharing video content, making it easy for social workers to create and upload videos without needing advanced technical skills.

You have the freedom to create videos on any topic you’re passionate about, whether it’s related to social work, personal interests, hobbies, or lifestyle content.

Engaging content, regular uploads, and interaction with viewers can help increase your channel’s visibility and subscriber count. Once you have built a sizable audience, you can monetize your YouTube channel through various means, including ads, affiliate marketing, subscriptions (such as Patreon), donations (via platforms like PayPal or Buy Me a Coffee), and brand sponsorships.

3. Sell Crafts on Etsy

For social workers with a creative flair, considering selling crafts on Etsy could be a lucrative option.

Whether it’s woodworking, jewelry making, or any other craft, Etsy provides a platform to showcase and sell your creations. With crafting, you can express your creativity and make unique, handmade items that reflect your personality and style.

Etsy boasts millions of active users who specifically seek handmade or vintage items. By setting up a shop on Etsy, you gain access to a large audience of potential buyers.

Setting up an Etsy shop is easy. The platform provides intuitive tools and templates for creating your store, uploading product listings, and managing orders. You don’t need any coding skills to get started.

Etsy also offers built-in marketing features to help promote your products and attract customers. For example, you can set up shopping on Instagram through Etsy.

To further increase your visibility on the platform, you can optimize your Etsy listings for SEO.

4. Public Speaker

For social workers who are comfortable presenting and sharing their expertise, they might consider making money as a public speaker. 

Social workers often have strong communication and presentation skills from their work in advocating for clients and leading group sessions. Leveraging these skills, you can command attention and deliver engaging talks on social issues or relevant topics.

There are various avenues for public speaking, including conventions, conferences, community events, and educational institutions. As a social worker, you can offer insights on topics such as mental health, social justice, diversity, inclusion, and community engagement.

Many organizations are willing to pay for knowledgeable speakers who can provide valuable insights and perspectives. With the availability of teleconferencing platforms like Zoom, you can also look for opportunities to deliver talks remotely from anywhere with an internet connection. 

You can find speaking opportunities through various online platforms such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Speaker Hub, and SocialWorker.com.

5. Create and Sell an Online Course

Social workers can leverage their expertise to create an online course. It’s an excellent opportunity for you to generate passive income. 

As a social worker, you possess valuable knowledge and skills that others may be eager to learn. You can create an online course on topics such as mental health, counseling techniques, conflict resolution, or self-care strategies, to attract learners who are specifically interested in your niche. 

Unlike active income streams that require ongoing effort, such as client sessions or consulting work, selling online courses allows you to generate a regular source of revenue even when you’re sleeping or traveling!

Platforms like Skillshare, Udemy, Teachable, or Coursera provide user-friendly tools and resources for creating and marketing online courses. These platforms handle tasks such as hosting, payment processing, and course delivery, making it easy for beginners to get started.

Through online courses, you can reach a broader audience beyond your local community or client base. Your course content can educate people from diverse backgrounds, extending the reach and impact of your work as a social worker.

6. Life Coach

Becoming a life coach is a rewarding side hustle for social workers who enjoy helping others navigate life’s challenges.

The demand for life coaching services is growing fast, with an estimated 6.7% average yearly growth rate from 2016 to 2022. More and more people are now turning to life coaches to help them reach their goals.

Life coaching usually encompasses various aspects such as spiritual, personal, or marriage coaching. As a social worker, you possess valuable skills in counseling, empathy, and problem-solving, which are essential for effective life coaching.

You can work with clients in person, over the phone, or through online platforms. This gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of scheduling and service delivery.

As you gain experience and build a reputation as a skilled life coach, you can increase your rates and attract more clients.

You can create a professional website to showcase your life coaching services using platforms like Strikingly, Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, or Zyro. These platforms offer user-friendly tools and templates for building a website without coding.

7. Sell Books Online

Selling books online can be a lucrative side hustle for social workers. 

Certain types of books, such as old textbooks, modern first-edition books, out-of-print used books, and collectibles/antique books, can fetch higher prices and offer greater profit margins. 

You can find books to sell from a variety of sources, including online marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist, secondhand or thrift stores such as Goodwill, garage sales, and flea markets. 

There are several online platforms where you can sell books, including Amazon, eBay, BookScouter, and your own eCommerce website. These platforms provide a convenient way to list and sell your inventory to a wide audience of potential buyers.

Depending on the types of books you want to sell, you can also explore specialized marketplaces catering to specific niches. For example, there are marketplaces for rare and collectible books, vintage paperbacks, and niche genres. 

You can work at your own pace, whether it’s sourcing books on weekends or shipping orders during your free time. This flexibility makes it a convenient side hustle option for social workers with busy schedules.

8. Offer Consulting Services

Consulting is an excellent side hustle option for social workers to leverage their expertise.

Social workers possess valuable skills and knowledge that can benefit various clients, including social service agencies, non-profits, and ordinary people. As a consultant, you can offer strategic advice, training, and support based on your expertise in social work.

You have the freedom to choose your clients, projects, and working hours, allowing you to balance your consulting work with your other commitments.

You can find consulting opportunities through various platforms such as BetterHelp, IP.Experteer.com, JFCS, Indeed, and GovernmentJobs.com.

Depending on your skills, experience, and the value you provide to clients, the rates you can charge vary, ranging from $50/hr to over $100/hr.

9. Work As A Virtual Assistant

If you want to have a flexible remote job that complements your social work profession, you might consider working as a virtual assistant.

Virtual assistants handle various tasks, including email management, social media management, scheduling appointments, making travel arrangements, data entry, and more.

One of the key benefits of working as a virtual assistant is the flexibility it offers. You can choose your own hours and work from anywhere with an internet connection, allowing you to balance your VA work with your other commitments as a social worker.

There are numerous websites that connect virtual assistants with clients seeking their services. Platforms like 24/7 Virtual Assistant, Belay Solutions, Upwork, Fancy Hands, and FlexJobs list a wide range of VA opportunities, making it easy for you to find work that suits your skills and preferences.

As you gain experience and build a reputation as a reliable virtual assistant, you can attract higher-paying clients and negotiate better rates for your services.

10. Become a Ghost Writer

Taking on ghostwriting gigs can be a lucrative and fulfilling side hustle for social workers with strong writing skills. 

As a social worker, you have valuable knowledge and insights into various topics related to social issues, mental health, community development, and more. Ghostwriting allows you to leverage your expertise to create compelling content that resonates with your target audience.

Ghostwriting gigs cover a wide range of content types, including video scripts, blog posts, emails, social media posts, and more. You can specialize in a few types of formats that you’re good at to become more skillful

This side hustle offers flexibility in terms of workload and scheduling. You can choose projects that align with your interests and availability. 

When finding ghostwriting gigs, you can go to online platforms such as including Best Writing, iWriter, Freelance Writing Gigs, Fiverr, and TextMaster. 

11. Art Therapy

Art therapy offers a unique and impactful way for social workers to leverage their skills while earning income on the side.

Art therapy allows people to express themselves creatively through various art forms such as painting, drawing, sculpting, or collage making. It can be particularly effective in addressing mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and stress.

As a social worker, you can facilitate these sessions to help clients explore their emotions, thoughts, and experiences in a non-verbal way.

Many organizations, including mental health clinics, hospitals, schools, and community centers, hire social workers to lead art therapy sessions as part of their mental health services.

You can also set up your own private practice or offer freelance art therapy sessions.

12. Review Case Files

As a social worker, you can monetize your expertise by reviewing case files. Many agencies and organizations struggle to keep up with the demands of their caseloads, making them open to hiring independent contractors for assistance.

In this role, your responsibilities would include examining client case files to ensure compliance with regulations and standards. Apart from that, you might also offer insights or recommendations where necessary.

Case files often contain detailed information about clients’ backgrounds, needs, and goals. Since social workers are familiar with the available services, resources, and programs, they can better connect clients to the appropriate services to address their needs.

It’s a flexible and intellectually stimulating way to supplement your income while contributing to the efficiency and quality of social work services.

13. Social Media Manager

If you’re a social worker who is familiar with popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest, you might work as a social media manager.

As a social media manager, you can use your knowledge to help small businesses and professionals attract new customers, increase brand visibility, and drive sales. Your tasks usually include content creation, scheduling posts, engaging with followers, and managing advertising campaigns. 

Social media management can be done remotely, offering flexibility in terms of where and when you work. This makes it an ideal side hustle for social workers who want to earn extra income while balancing other commitments.

You can find social media management opportunities on various online platforms such as Tradements.com, Swipe Jobs, Jooble, Remotasks, and Idealist.

14. Online Tutor

Becoming an online tutor is a profitable side hustle option for social workers.

Social workers possess a range of skills, including communication, empathy, and problem-solving, which are valuable for tutoring. You can offer your services to social work students preparing for licensing exams, as well as students in other subjects where you have expertise.

As an online tutor, you have the flexibility to set your own hours and rates, allowing you to work around your existing commitments as a social worker.

There are several online platforms where you can find tutoring opportunities, including Wyzant, SuperProf, Village Reach, Preply, and Tutor Nerds.

15. Become an Airbnb Experiences Host

For social workers who enjoy planning events and meeting new people, they might consider working as an Airbnb Experiences host. It’s an exciting side hustle option!

As an Airbnb Experiences host, you have the opportunity to showcase your interests and talents by offering activity-based opportunities to guests. Whether it’s a city tour, cooking class, art workshop, or yoga session, you can create unique experiences that reflect your passions and expertise. 

Hosting Airbnb Experiences allows you to set your own schedule and availability, making it easy to balance your hosting responsibilities with your other commitments as a social worker. You can also set your own price for your experience and determine how many guests you can accommodate.

If you decide to become a host on Airbnb Experiences, simply sign up on the platform, create a unique profile highlighting your experience, and describe the activity you plan to host. Once approved, you can start accepting bookings and managing your experience through the Airbnb platform.

16. Pet Sitting

Pet sitting offers a fulfilling and flexible side hustle option for social workers who enjoy spending time with animals. It allows you to engage in activities like walking, playing, and cuddling with furry companions, making it a fun and enjoyable way to spend your time.

It gives you an opportunity to make a positive impact on pets’ lives by providing them with love, attention, and companionship while their owners are away.

Pet sitting typically involves weekend assignments. You can choose the pet sitting gigs that fit your schedule and availability.

It can be a lucrative side hustle, especially if you build a steady client base through platforms like Wag, Rover, PetExec, Time To Pet, and Pawshake.

17. Podcasting

Starting a podcast is an excellent side hustle for social workers. It’s a platform for sharing your expertise while earning extra income. All you need is a basic setup: a microphone, computer, and free editing software like Audacity.

You can explore a wide range of topics, whether they’re related to social work or entirely different areas. There are multiple ways to capitalize on your podcast, including ad revenue, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, brand partnerships, donations, Patreon subscriptions, selling digital products (like printables or ebooks), and speaking engagements.

The potential for earnings is boundless, similar to blogging and YouTube. While you won’t see immediate returns, persistent effort can yield substantial long-term gains.

18. Write a Book or E-Book

Writing a book or e-book is an excellent side hustle opportunity for social workers.

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform makes book publishing accessible to everyone. You can easily upload your book or e-book to Amazon without navigating traditional publishing routes or investing in costly print runs.

As a social worker, you can leverage your knowledge and experience to write a book on social work topics, sharing insights, strategies, and advice with readers.

Writing a book is a powerful tool for establishing yourself as an authority in your field. It enhances your credibility and visibility, potentially opening doors to speaking engagements, consulting opportunities, and other professional endeavors.

With print-on-demand services, you don’t need to invest in large quantities of books upfront. This eliminates the financial risk associated with traditional publishing and allows you to publish your book with minimal upfront costs.

While income from book sales depends on the book’s success, a well-crafted book can provide a steady stream of passive income over time.

19. Start a Rental Business

If you’re a social worker looking for a low-effort way to generate extra income, starting a rental business with Neighbor is an excellent choice. You can rent out various spaces in your home or property to people in your local area, creating a passive income stream.

Neighbor simplifies the process by handling payment logistics, allowing you to set your own rental rates, and marketing your available space to potential renters. The types of spaces you can rent out are diverse, including basements, attics, garages, sheds, closets, or spare rooms.

With Neighbor, you can enjoy the benefits of passive income without the hassle of managing complex rental arrangements. You only have to make ensure that renters can access the space they’ve booked.

This side hustle is a fantastic option for social workers who have underutilized space and want to turn it into a consistent source of income.

20. Take Online Surveys

Taking online surveys is a flexible side hustle that social workers can easily integrate into their schedules.

It allows you to earn extra income on your own terms. You can complete surveys whenever it’s convenient for you, whether it’s during breaks between client sessions, in the evenings, or on weekends.

It’s easy to get started with online surveys. Platforms like Swagbucks, InboxDollars, and Survey Junkie offer user-friendly interfaces where you can sign up and start taking surveys immediately.

In addition to surveys, many platforms offer other ways to earn money, such as downloading apps, watching videos, and playing games.

While taking online surveys may not lead to significant earnings overnight, you might be able to make some extra cash for covering bills.

What’s the Best Side Hustle for Social Workers?

Well, it really depends on your availability, skills, and financial goals. If you’re a social worker with a busy schedule, you might only have time for taking surveys.

For me, I’d choose a side hustle that can establish me as an authority in my industry. Because that can lead to other lucrative opportunities such as speaking engagements or consulting work that pay well but won’t eat up too much time.

If you need more inspiration, check out our side hustle database.


How do I balance my side hustle with my social work job?

If you don’t want your side hustle to interfere with your social work job, you should set clear boundaries for prioritizing your responsibilities. For example, you can restrict yourself from participating in any side gigs during office hours. Alternatively, you can set aside weekends for side hustles.

How much extra money can I make from a side hustle?

The extra income from a side hustle can vary based on your work, time, effort, and market demand. Some side hustles like online tutoring or pet sitting might only earn you a few hundred dollars a month, while others like blogging or running a YouTube channel can help you quit your job.

Can I start a side hustle without experience or expertise?

Yes! Many side hustles don’t require experience or investment to start. However, having relevant skills or knowledge can help you stand out and attract clients.

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