Since engineers have an incredibly broad knowledge base and an array of skills, there’s no shortage of side hustles for engineers to earn extra income.
The perfect side job for an engineer is where their talent, skills, interests, and availability intersect. Remember, most of the population can’t do what you’re trained to do, and job platforms are full of people looking for specialized services.
If you’re an engineer looking to make some extra cash, we’ve listed the best side hustles for engineers by subfield.
Best Side Hustles for Engineers
- General Engineers
- Software Engineers
- Mechanical Engineers
- Electrical Engineers
- Data Engineers
- Civil Engineers
- Architectural Engineers
General Engineering Side Hustles
- Quality Control Consulting: As a contractor (for electrical, structural, technical, environmental factors, etc.)
- Substitute Teaching: In subjects such as math and science
- Training and Tutoring: Help students prepare for exams in engineering subjects
- Design an Online Course: For other engineers who are just starting out
- Start a YouTube Channel: For tutorials on topics engineering students need help with
- House Inspections: For homebuyers or real estate investors
- Create Custom Items: If you like woodworking, make a profit selling custom furniture, cabinetry, kitchen islands, etc.
- 3D Part Printing: If you spring for a 3D printer, offer 3D custom printing for prototypes, housing designs, and much more
- CAD Designs: Hire out your drafting through online portals such as Upwork.
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Side Hustles for Software Engineers
A software engineer is responsible for designing and testing software to make people’s lives easier and companies’ operations run more smoothly. With extensive knowledge and experience in coding and computers, there’s no shortage of ways to earn money online by contracting out your software engineering skills.
Consider these in-demand side hustles for software engineers:
- App Design and Development: For tech-based businesses and online business owners who want to offer special functions to customers
- Data Analysis: Organize information for companies who want to streamline operations
- IT Support: Work remote and part-time within a company that needs only intermittent tech support
- AI Development: Offer training services or design to tech companies that need the extra help
- Web Design: If you enjoy using your creative side, you can design and sell custom website themes
- Technology Freelancers: Offer your tech and coding knowledge as a freelancer on Upwork, Fiverr, or Indeed
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Side Hustles for Mechanical Engineers
Mechanical engineering is an extremely diverse field that includes developing, testing, and improving just about any mechanical device you can imagine. From medical devices to household appliances, robotics, and many others — this engineering field is full of side-hustle opportunities.
- Build Prototypes: Offer help to inventors or hire out your expertise to a prototype development firm
- Substitute Math Teacher: Or help students who need math tutoring online
- CAD Training: For various companies that need team training or instruction
- Freelance Engineering: Offer your engineering skills as a freelancer
Freelance mechanical engineer work can also be found on sites like Upwork, allowing you to list your services and prices for hire. This can be a very lucrative side job that works into your daily schedule.
Electrical Engineering Side Hustle Ideas
Since there is such a broad range of knowledge in electrical engineering like designing electrical equipment, there are hundreds of ways to earn money on the side.
- Hands-on Electrical Work: In areas with a housing boom, there are likely dozens of side jobs for electrical specialists to inspect electrical systems or install them
- Consulting: In large projects involving extensive electrical systems
- Cellphone Repair: As a freelancer or for a repair company on the weekends
- Quality control: For companies with complex electrical needs.
- On-call Help: For commercial companies; sales staff often need guidance on electrical components of the equipment they sell. i.e. generators, appliances, other electrical equipment
Side Hustles for Data Engineers
A data engineer has a lot of the same skills as a software engineer. Since data engineers have a lot of computer and coding knowledge besides data management, there’s no shortage of lucrative side hustles.
- Remote IT: With extensive knowledge in computing, data engineers can fill this in-demand side job
- Freelance Web Development: Or offer coding services to a web agency
- Teach Online: Offer an online course teaching some top skills for data management
- Virtual Assistant: Work to help an online business owner put daily operating systems in place.
According to listings at FlexJobs, there are also positions in:
- Data engineer consulting
- Engineering mentorships
- Data science writing
- Technical instruction
Side Hustle Ideas for Civil Engineers
If you’ve ever driven across a bridge, flown out of an airport, or ridden the subway, then you have a civil engineer to thank. From soil and water testing, to hydraulics design, to city permitting for construction projects — the civil engineer is a Jack (or Jill) of many trades, which definitely qualifies them for a variety of side hustles.
- Woodworking: According to a fabulous Reddit thread, quite a few civil engineers enjoy carpentry and building custom furniture on the side
- Tutor: Engineering students to pass the PE exam
- Start a YouTube Channel: for demonstrating your top skills are (car maintenance, woodworking, etc.). This can be monetized with ads.
- Inspect Homes: As a freelance house inspector or provide flood elevation certificates for homeowners
- Concrete Work: If you have concrete experience, consider consulting or laying concrete for projects.
Architectural Engineer Side Hustles
From football stadium lighting to environmentally sound components, to acoustics in a theater — architectural engineers play a large role.
Design, creativity, and problem-solving are the hallmark skills of architectural engineers. These side jobs are heavy in creativity and critical thinking.
- Drafting: Offer drafting services on the side. As a contractor, you can set your own rates
- Freelance: Your expertise for a building project
- Offer Consultation: For building technology design and troubleshooting
- Get Creative: By designing various products to sell on Fiverr or Etsy (jewelry, art, paintings, metal sculpture, etc.). If you love drawing, offer custom logos or graphic designs for paper products, etc.
Other Part-Time Jobs for Engineers Who Want a Side Hustle
Here’s a solid general list of possibilities for engineers who’d like to work on the side to earn some extra money.
- Make replica props for collectors and sci-fi buffs, etc. (Think swords, models of special characters, spaceships, and the like.)
- Sign up for market research groups
- Become a freelancer
- Real estate sales or property rentals
- Pet-Sitting or Walking Dogs
Check out job boards listing part-time work, hop on platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork, or build a stellar LinkedIn profile and advertise your services.
If you’re still looking for side hustle ideas after reading this article, there are many more we haven’t mentioned.