Being your own boss sounds like a dream—no uniforms, no meetings and no regular schedule! But being in charge of your own income can be difficult.
If you’re looking to gig work for a bit of side income or hoping to make a full-time living in the gig economy, we’re here to break down how much money you can make driving for Uber, Doordash, Lyft or on other gig platforms.
Which gig platforms can earn you the most money? Curious how to maximize your profits with the gig work you already do? Just keep scrolling for all the answers you need!
What is the gig economy?
They drive you to the airport and pick you up after a night out at the bars. They rent their homes to you when you vacation and fix things like leaky faucets and running toilets in yours. They deliver groceries and food to your front door or office. They are the members of the gig economy, and they’re playing an increasingly large role in our daily lives.
Gig Economy Definition
The “gig economy,” or “sharing economy,” are terms coined after the financial crisis of 2008 to describe platforms that employ temporary or independent workers to provide a variety of services. Companies like Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, TaskRabbit, and DoorDash provide delivery services, ridesharing, home or car rentals, and assorted odd jobs to their customers.
Their popularity is growing, too: a Pew study found that more than 20% of Americans earn some income through these platforms or online selling platforms.
So, who is making the most money in the sharing economy? How much are people making on average? What are the best platforms to maximize your earning potential?
What are the best gig work platforms?
There’s a large variety of options for gig work out there, from ridesharing to odd jobs to renting out your home or car. Take a look at some of the most popular gig work platforms to get an idea of which ones might fit your skills or availability.
- Airbnb allows hosts to rent their property on a short-term basis, most often for travelers.
- DoorDash provides on-demand delivery from a variety of local restaurants.
- Postmates is a general delivery service and provides delivery from local restaurants, convenience stores, liquor stores, and more.
- Fiverr is a marketplace for goods and services where sellers set their prices and buyers decide based on their budget and needs. Sellers can provide a variety of services, from writing and translation to virtual assistants to psychic readings.
- Like Fiverr, TaskRabbit is a platform that facilitates various services and odd jobs. Customers describe the task they need accomplished and are matched with a Tasker, who completes the task. On average, TaskRabbit Taskers make significantly more than their Fiverr peers, though tasks tend to involve physical as opposed to online labor.
- Lyft and Uber are ridesharing services that offer comparable products. Uber is generally more widely available, but Lyft is continuing to expand its service area.
- Etsy is an online marketplace for artisans and craftsmen to sell their work.
Who should work in the gig economy?
Approximately 8% of the population regularly earn money through a gig-economy platform, according to the Pew study.
Of those people, 56% considered the income they earned essential or important, while 42% said it was nice to have. 49% of those who considered their income from the sharing economy important or essential earned money by completing online tasks, while 32% worked in ride-hailing and 25% performed cleaning or laundry services.
Overall, those who depend on the sharing economy for most or all of their income tend to value the ability to control their own schedules the most, but may also have more fun with their work. While they tend to have lower household incomes on average, many consider themselves to be independent contractors and may be more satisfied with their work lives than they would be in more traditional positions.
How much do gig economy workers make?
While you may think that quitting your job to work for yourself sounds pretty nice, keep in mind that 85% of gig economy employees earn less than $500 per month on their platform. While this may seem startling (after all, $500 per month is hardly a living wage), it is important to note that many gig workers are using these platforms as a side hustle to earn additional income, not as their main job.
Here are the average incomes, broken down by platform:
Average Airbnb host income
On average, Airbnb hosts make nearly triple the average income of other gig economy workers, with nearly half of hosts making $500 per month or more.
Average rideshare driver income
While Lyft and Uber drivers make approximately the same amount, it's interesting to note that drivers who work on both platforms tend to make slightly more through Uber. This could be because in many cities, Uber is the more popular of the two apps, so there are more jobs available. Your geographic location and times you’re available to work will make a big difference in the amount you’re able to earn through rideshare apps.
Average gig worker income
Let's break down income by platform, in order from greatest to least average monthly income:
How much do Uber drivers make?
On average, Uber estimates that drivers who drive 40 hours a week make around $1,309 weekly driving with Uber. However, this can vary widely based on your location, the hours you’re available to work, the number and types of rides you get, how much riders tip and other factors. The average driver—not necessarily working full-time—makes around $364 a month.
Uber drivers themselves have shared they make between $900 - $2,000 weekly, depending on the market, the location, the hours worked and the amount of hours they’re available to drive. As with any gig working app, the more hours you’re willing to put in, the more you can potentially earn.
How much do UberEats drivers make?
The average UberEats driver makes around $15 an hour. However, as with most gig work, this can vary a lot depending on the market, your location, the hours worked, and so on.
UberEats drivers say they can earn as much as $750 or even more than $1,000 a week when doing UberEats full time (8-12 hours a day). Driving during peak hours, working in a downtown area with lots of restaurants, and not accepting small orders are ways you can improve your earnings with UberEats.
How much do Lyft drivers make?
The average Lyft driver—not necessarily driving full-time—makes around $377 a month. Lyft drivers themselves who drive full-time (35-60 hours a week) report that they regularly make $900-$1,500 weekly, depending on their location, market and amount of time spent driving. You can learn more about how Lyft calculates pay here.
How much can you make on Etsy?
The amount you can make on Etsy is essentially determined by your product, your supplies costs, your sales volume and more. However, the average seller makes about $150 a month via Etsy. Successful Etsy sellers can make much more than this though: while some may make less than $500 a month, others can make $3,000 - $5,000 a month or more! Keep in mind that these estimates are gross earnings and don’t factor in things like costs of supplies, shipping costs or taxes.
How much can you make on Taskrabbit?
The average Tasker earns about $110 a month using Taskrabbit. However, it’s important to note that most Taskers do not use Taskrabbit as a full time job. It’s certainly possible to earn more than this. Your personal threshold for how much you can earn on Taskrabbit will be determined by your skills, your availability for work, and your market.
While some Taskers may earn $5,000 or more each month, keep in mind that’s not the norm, and it can take time to build up your business in the gig economy.
How much can you make on Fiverr?
The average freelancer using Fiverr brings home less than $100 a month via the platform. While earning big money on Fiverr might seem difficult, it’s not impossible if you have marketable skills and a profitable niche.
How much can you make on Airbnb?
Airbnb hosting income has continued to grow from year to year, with hosting income up 34% from 2019. On average, Airbnb hosts make between $924-$1,150 a month. This can also vary a lot depending on the size of your rental, the location, the time of year, the occupancy rate and other factors as well.
If you’re thinking about starting as a host on Airbnb, you can use an Airbnb calculator to help determine how much you might be able to make annually based on your location, property size, and standard rental rate and occupancy rate for your area.
How much do Doordash drivers make?
Doordash drivers (aka “Dashers”) make between $2-$10, or more, per order. You also earn additional pay for promotions and keep 100% of your tips. Promotions include driving during peak hours, meeting certain challenges, or completing certain numbers of deliveries in a set period of time. Doordash will always tell you the minimum amount you will earn before you accept an order.
As a result, how much Doordashers make varies a lot depending on where you work, how saturated your market is (how many Dashers are available and how many orders there are) and when you’re available to work. On average, Doordashers make anywhere between $10 - $30 a hour.
How to Maximize Your Income with gig work
Do you receive income through one of these platforms, whether for a significant portion of your income or as a side gig?
If so, it's important to be smart about your work and keep detailed records of everything from your expenses to your mileage to your utilities (especially if you have a home office ).
There are lots of ways to maximize your income—here are some of the quickest ways to maximize your earnings:
Keep accurate expense records.
Keeping accurate records of your expenses will help you make all the applicable deductions during tax season. You need to be tracking your work expenses to maximize your tax deductions. The easiest way to do this is to use Everlance, an automatic mileage and expense tracking platform that makes maximizing your deductions easy.
Be strategic about the platform you choose.
Pick a platform that will pay you well for your chosen field of work. There is some data to support the idea that gig economy workers often work for less than the market rate. While there are other explanations for why income for so many gig economy workers averages less than $500 per month, it is nonetheless important to look out for yourself as an independent worker. Platforms usually have protections for independent contractors in place, so it is a good idea to stay within the platform to help ensure that you'll be paid.
Many gig workers who make upwards of $1,000 per week use multiple platforms as well. Rather than putting all your eggs in one basket, choose several platforms that align with your skills and pick up more work in fewer hours.
Experiment within your market.
In order to have the most earnings in the least amount of time, you’ll need to experiment with your market and geographic location to see what days, times and types of rides/orders work best for you.
Track your mileage.
Tracking your mileage = more tax deductions at the end of the year. You have to pay out of pocket for things like gas, car maintenance, and so on, but these expenses are tax-deductible in the form of mileage deductions.
Find out everything you need to know about mileage tracking for gig workers and how to track your mileage and turn it into money at tax time.
Find resources that will help you level up your strategy. Check out our Top Tips for DoorDashers and Pro Tips for UberEats Drivers. Plus, the subreddit r/couriersofreddit is full of expert gig workers who are eager to help their fellow gig workers succeed.
Ready to optimize your taxes as a gig worker?
Meet Everlance, the #1 mileage & expense tracker.
It's the easiest way to maximize the money in your pocket—the average user saves $6,500 a year on taxes just by using Everlance.