How to make side money in the military

how to make side money

Being in the military can be a great experience and sometimes you have enough free time for a side hustle. This can be a passion project that you can work on passively or a dedicated secondary source of income. 

Military deployment and side hustles can be challenging to manage. You’re either home or you’re not home, which makes it hard to plan on starting a side gig. There are a lot of ways you can start to make extra monthly income. 

These side-money gigs can also be pursued by military spouses as well. No matter your reason, here’s how to make side money in the military using our top nine tips! 

1. Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistant positions have gained popularity in recent years. These positions allow you to handle administrative tasks remotely. This means, in some cases, your boss can live on a completely different side of the country or in a part of the world that is time zones away from your location. Virtual assistants complete tasks such as scheduling meetings, sending emails, and managing social media content. The average virtual assistant can make $15.79 per hour. 

Tools needed: Requirements can vary based on your employer, but some virtual assistants find success with a high school diploma. It is important to be organized and competent with technology. 

Pro tip: There are virtual assistant certifications that can make you more appealing to potential employers. Being certified in things like Microsoft Office and 

2. Landscaping

No matter the season, landscapers are part of an industry that is forever thriving and always needed. As a landscaper, you might be called to cut grass, winterize someone’s lawn, or even maintain a client’s garden. 

The average landscaper makes roughly $18 per hour, unless you become the head of a landscaping team, in which case you are known as a landscape architect, which can bring in nearly $30 per hour. 

Tools needed: You need to be ready to work year round no matter the weather or the season. It is also possible that you will need your own yard equipment and need to transport it to your different job.

Pro tip: Small, private companies tend to pay their workers more than larger companies. Try to seek job opportunities with smaller businesses because they will also be more likely to train you.  

3. Food and grocery delivery services 

Food and Grocery services like Shipt and UberEats have become a staple for so many during the pandemic. These services allow customers to get their products and meals delivered to their doorstep. 

As an employee, it means you can pick your own schedule, turn down options, and go to some of your favorite stores and restaurants for other people. And don’t forget the tips! The average experienced shopper can make about $18 an hour. 

Tools needed: A smartphone, a reliable vehicle, auto insurance, and the ability to lift 40 pounds are some of the requirements for a  Shipt driver. These requirements are similar to other delivery services as well. 

Pro tip: Providing great customer service, even via an application, can increase your tips and also help you book more jobs.  

4. Freelance handy jobs 

There are quite a few freelance platforms for physical labor jobs. Someone in your area could post jobs that ask you to perform tasks like cleaning the bathroom, organizing the kitchen, mounting a TV, or planting flowers. This option is perfect for people who struggle to commit to a full-time job and if you consider yourself handy. These jobs range in terms of pay because of the variety of options. Most sites let you know the rate before committing to the job.  

Tools needed: You will need a smartphone to have the apps required to book the jobs. Also, reliable transportation to make sure you can get to all the jobs you’ve booked. 

Pro tip: Spend time enhancing your profile. You will land more jobs with a better profile. 

5. Starbucks

You probably see Starbucks coffee shops everywhere and they are likely hiring. Starbucks is generally pretty flexible when it comes to scheduling, and they are usually open very early in the morning as well as late into the night. This can come in handy when you are looking for a more flexible income stream. You can make up to $15 an hour as a barista, too. 

Tools needed: Reliable transportation is key because you need to make it to work on time. 

Pro tip: You might get raises when you work harder, but be friendly to the customers at all times. Since they are in charge of the tips, making a better experience for customers can result in better tips for you. 

6. Renting out your home 

As part of the military, you travel to different areas frequently leaving your home empty. Why not rent it out while you are gone? Sites like AirBnb and VRBO allow you to rent out your place for  two nights or longer. You get the freedom to choose. Your earnings can vary based on your location and the size of your home. 

Tools needed: You do need to be easy to reach when renting out your home just in case your guest has needs, you also want to ensure your guests have maximum comfort, and avoid canceling on your guests to keep your ratings high.

Pro tip: Providing guests with items like toilet paper, linens, soap, and coffee can help make their experience better, which will result in better ratings for you. 

7. Catering

Love to cook and meet new people? Catering can be the best of both worlds. You’ll get to go to parties and bring delicious meals for others to enjoy. Someone is always celebrating something special which means you can have a lot of opportunities to pick up some jobs. As a caterer, you can earn about $14 per hour.

Tools needed: You may need to buy your own professional attire if the company you work for does not provide one for you.

Pro tip: Caterers often receive tips at the end of the night. Maintain good manners during the entire event and you’ll likely end up with a nice little bonus. You can always start your own catering business and hire contracted workers to work the events while you are deployed.

8. Photography

When you travel for the military, you have the opportunity to experience some unique places.  You can take that opportunity to  capitalize off of your adventures by taking photographs and selling the pictures. 

If you don’t sell them, at least post them on Instagram. Doing so can help you generate an online following on social media, which can result in an opportunity for revenue if your social media accounts gain traction and popularity. 

Tools needed: You will need a phone with a decent camera, if not an actual camera. If you enjoy photography, buying an actual camera might be worth the investment. 

Pro tip: Editing your photos is a critical part of the process of being a photographer. Make sure you invest in great programs to take your editing to the next level and get your work noticed. 

9. Baby Sitting  

Finding a childcare provider that parents can trust can be a challenging process. If you have childcare experience, you can use that skill to make some extra money. Websites like can be a great way to advertise your skills and pick up jobs when you have the time. 

The rate can depend on your location, time of day, and the number of children you watch. Given this information, the average rate is about $14 an hour for childcare. 

Tools needed: Childcare experience is helpful if you plan on listing yourself as a childcare provider on a professional website. 

Pro tip: Some parents really love a babysitter that not only has experience but has certifications such as CPR or even a background in child development can really help you stand out. 

Military hustle

You might think that once you join the military, you will only have the military as your sole source of income, but making side money in the military is definitely possible. Most hiring managers are very likely to be flexible with their scheduling, especially if you let them know that you are in the military. There are endless opportunities for you to apply your military work ethic! Enjoy the flexibility and collect some serious cash


Can I have a second job while in the military?

You can get another job while you are in the military, but it can not be a federal job. You must also get permission from the military before accepting another job, and there might be restrictions that you must abide by as well.

Can you DoorDash while in the military?

DoorDash has strict licensing requirements, so it could be an issue. However, generally speaking, it is likely that you’ll be able to work for DoorDash while in the military. 

Can you have two jobs in the military? 

There are some restrictions in place, but with permission, you can hold certain part-time positions while in the military. Just make sure you always seek out clarification from your leadership officials. 

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