An Easy Guide to 16 Side Jobs for Nurses: Salaries and Primary Duties

The health care field has a variety of career options, and with an aging population, there’s a growing need for a wide range of health care employees. If you enjoy taking care of others and …

The health care field has a variety of career options, and with an aging population, there’s a growing need for a wide range of health care employees. If you enjoy taking care of others and you desire a career field that can provide you with both job security and stability, health care can be a good option. Knowing what health care jobs have promising outlooks can help you make a more informed employment decision.

Benefits of working in health care

The health care industry has a wide variety of occupations for you to consider, and many have a high demand. Not only does this field offer lucrative careers, but it also makes it easier for you to improve the health of others. Here are some of the primary benefits of working in the health care industry:

  • High demand: There’s a high demand for jobs in the health care sector, especially with the increase in many chronic diseases and the growth of the aging population. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects employment in the health care industry to increase by 13% through 2031, which is much faster than the average across all other occupations.

  • Flexibility: Since health care is becoming increasingly digitalized, there’s a wider variety of jobs for interested candidates. For example, you may be able to find more telehealth and virtual care opportunities outside of a traditional hospital or medical clinic setting.

  • Diverse career choices: The health care field has many diverse career options, each of which offers a unique career path. If you’re interested in health care, you can choose from a variety of specializations, including disease prevention and control, community health care, mental health, nutrition, health care education, emergency medicine and health care leadership.

  • Career advancement: Health care can offer you many opportunities to advance your career. For example, if you begin working as a certified nurse assistant and continue your education, you can become a registered nurse and access even more opportunities.

  • Rewarding tasks: People who work in the health care industry help diagnose, treat and monitor patients who have a variety of health conditions. Regardless of their specialty or specific position, they have the opportunity to improve the lives of patients every day.

Fastest-growing health care jobs

The health care industry has several positions for you to consider, depending on your interests and skills or expertise. The expected growth of the health care industry may make it easier for you to search for jobs in this sector and find ones that best match your educational level and aspirations. Here’s a list of 20 of the fastest-growing health care jobs, their national average salaries and primary duties. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries:

 

2. Home health and personal care aide

National average salary: $35,636 per year

Primary duties: Home health aides provide supportive care to patients in their homes. They prepare and serve meals to their patients, provide medical services such as vital sign checks or medicine administration, organize their schedule and arrange transportation to their doctor’s office. Home health aides also perform a variety of personal care tasks for patients, including bathing, dressing and assisting with housekeeping duties such as laundry or dishwashing.

3. Physical therapy aide

National average salary: $42,924 per year

Primary duties: Supervised by physical therapists, physical therapy aides assist patients recovering from injuries or illnesses. Their goal is to help them manage their pain and regain movement through exercise, massages and stretching. Physical therapy aides set up therapy equipment, observe patients, wash their linens and document their progress. They also schedule appointments and answer phone calls.

4. Medical assistant

National average salary: $42,349 per year

Primary duties: Medical assistants have a wide variety of clinical and administrative responsibilities that may include meeting with patients and doctors, ordering new supplies and completing paperwork. Depending on their employment location, they may collect patients’ medical information and histories, monitor their vital signs, record their findings, assist physicians with exams and schedule appointments. Medical assistants also file patient records and handle correspondence and schedule patient appointments.

5. Phlebotomist

National average salary: $49,137 per year

Primary duties: Phlebotomists draw a patient’s blood by puncturing a vein with a cannula and preparing it for testing, research, transfusions or donations. As they draw blood, they try to put the patient at ease and help them if they feel faint or weak. Phlebotomists also test blood samples for a variety of conditions and supply diagnostic notes to physicians and health care staff.

6. Dietitian

National average salary: $53,912 per year

Primary duties: Dietitians help their clients improve their physical health by creating dieting plans and educating them on the latest nutritional guidelines. They use their expert knowledge of food and nutrition to promote human health and well-being and recommend important lifestyle changes. They may also work with physicians to recommend supplements to their patients and calculate their nutritional requirements.

7. Massage therapist

National average salary: $54,129 per year

Primary duties: Massage therapists treat clients by manipulating their body’s soft-tissue muscles. This helps them relieve patient pain in a designated area, improve circulation, ease stress and heal injuries. Massage therapists aim to improve their clients’ overall wellness by offering a variety of massage services.

8. Mental health technician

National average salary: $59,353 per year

Primary duties: Mental health technicians work in psychiatric centers and facilities and offer treatment to patients diagnosed with mental health conditions. They collaborate with psychiatrists, social workers and mental health counselors to create treatment plans, administer prescribed medications and counsel patients. They may also complete paperwork, such as admittance forms for new patients.

9. Medical and health services manager

National average salary: $76,188 per year

Primary duties: Medical and health services managers oversee medical staff recruitment and training, maintain budgets, coordinate care and services with a health care team and communicate with medical leaders. They work with insurance agents, patients and medical staff such as doctors or nurses to ensure that patients receive the proper medical care. They may also ensure that the facility where they work is compliant with current laws and regulations.

10. Prosthetist

National average salary: $78,267 per year

Primary duties: Prosthetists evaluate their patients’ needs and measure them for orthopedic and prosthetic support devices to help them regain mobility. They design a variety of devices, including artificial limbs, braces and other medical devices. To design these devices, they take a mold of a patient’s body part, select the appropriate materials and fit, test and adjust them according to their patient’s needs. They may also repair these devices to ensure that they continue to function properly.

11. Audiologist

National average salary: $83,268 per year

Primary duties: Audiologists use their scientific knowledge to diagnose and treat patients with hearing, balance and other ear-related disorders. They examine patients, administer treatment and fit and distribute hearing aids. Audiologists work in a variety of health care settings, including audiology clinics, hospitals and physician offices.

12. Occupational therapist

National average salary: $85,887 per year

Primary duties: Occupational therapists help injured, ill or disabled patients engage in various therapeutic activities such as light exercise or stretches. They transport patients from room to room, prepare and clean treatment areas and meet with their patients to discuss their treatment options and assess their progress. Occupational therapy aides also teach patients how to use certain equipment and help them develop the skills necessary to function on their own.

13. Physical therapist

National average salary: $85,730 per year

Primary duties: Physical therapists diagnose and treat patients with limited mobility. They help patients of all ages regain the movement required to perform basic tasks. Physical therapists also consult with patients to learn more about their conditions, develop a treatment plan and promote healing through massage or other techniques.

14. Dental hygienist

National average salary: $96,233 per year

Primary duties: Dental hygienists monitor the oral health of their patients. Their duties may include removing plaque from teeth, polishing teeth, performing routine checkups, reviewing their patient’s oral health history and teaching them proper brushing and flossing techniques. They may also take X-rays of their patient’s teeth to check for cavities or other anomalies.

18. Respiratory therapist

National average salary: $98,681 per year

Primary duties: Respiratory therapists use their pulmonary medicine training and knowledge of therapeutic techniques to help patients recover from pulmonary disease. Their duties may involve examining patients, consulting physicians, performing diagnostic tests and creating comprehensive treatment plans. They may also maintain their patients’ natural or artificial airways and perform hemodynamic monitoring to check their circulation.

 

Some nurses may decide to work side jobs for a variety of personal and professional reasons. These jobs can provide extra financial support for nurses or allow them to follow their passions outside of work. You can assess your options and discover second-job opportunities by understanding your needs beyond what your primary role provides you.

In this article, we explain some reasons nurses look for a side job and provide a list of 16 potential side jobs for nurses, including their average salaries and primary duties.

Why do nurses look for a side job?

The main reason nurses look to take on a side job is to maintain financial security. The salary of a nurse can vary based on their experience, qualifications, setting or employer. Some nurses may want to pay off student loan debts or save money. Having a side job can increase the amount of income they can earn regularly. Because full-time nursing positions may include irregular hours and challenging situations, some nurses may pursue part-time, flexible side job options in calmer work environments.

Another reason nurses may seek a side job is to pursue a personal interest. For some, nursing may be a job rather than their passion. If they create a side hustle based on their passion, they can discover its feasibility as a career option. Having a side job that aligns with their personal interests can ensure they have fun while making money outside of their full-time nursing job.

If you’re interested in taking on a side job as a nurse, try to think about positions that use your passions or existing skills. You may find side jobs within the health care industry or outside of it. Some side jobs may require you to receive specific training or certification. To help you consider your options, here are 16 side job ideas for nurses. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries.

 

1. Medical transcriptionist

National average salary: $31,913 per year

Primary duties: A medical transcriptionist converts medical professionals’ dictations into written materials. This role may require specific certifications, and individuals can either work directly for medical facilities, through an agency or be self-employed. Their main responsibilities include:

  • Transcribing audio quickly while ensuring accuracy

  • Reviewing transcriptions for errors

  • Updating health records

  • Maintaining patient confidentiality

 

2. Home health aide

National average salary: $34,692 per year

Primary duties: A home health aide is a health care professional who provides in-home support to individuals who are elderly, ill or have disabilities. Some states require home health aides to obtain certification or licensure. Their responsibilities may include medical duties, such as checking vitals, administering medications and tracking patients’ health conditions. They also perform some everyday tasks for their patients, such as getting them dressed, bathing them, taking them to appointments or errands and preparing meals for them.

 

3. Health coach

National average salary: $42,138 per year

Primary duties: A health coach works with clients to support and manage their well-being. They often have an initial consultation with clients to assess their current situation and discuss health goals and challenges. Their responsibilities include:

  • Providing individualized guidance on beneficial lifestyle and diet habits

  • Evaluating clients’ progress

  • Communicating or collaborating with health care providers

  • Conducting seminars to share their knowledge

 

4. Bookkeeper

National average salary: $43,129 per hour

Primary duties: A bookkeeper maintains the financial records of an organization. Nurses with financial knowledge can find part-time bookkeeping opportunities because of their expertise in administrative tasks. Common responsibilities for this role include:

  • Recording financial transactions

  • Conducting audits on financial records

  • Processing employee payroll

  • Preparing financial statements, such as balance sheets

 

5. Babysitter

National average salary: $44,175 per year

Primary duties: A babysitter or nanny takes care of clients’ children. Nurses’ medical knowledge may prove beneficial to parents because it demonstrates their ability to act in emergencies and perform first aid services when needed. Their duties may include:

  • Managing and planning activities for children

  • Maintaining children’s schedules

  • Preparing meals and supervising homework

  • Doing household chores

 

6. Retail sales associate

National average salary: $44,772 per year

Primary duties: A retail sales associate works in a store, and they sell products or services to customers. Nurses can find part-time sales associate opportunities for additional income and might want to pursue positions in stores that align with their interests. Their responsibilities often include:

  • Answering customers’ questions

  • Providing support for purchases

  • Handling transactions

  • Organizing merchandise

 

7. Blogger

National average salary: $46,184 per year

Primary duties: A blogger creates content for a personal or commercial website. They can work for a company, but many are self-employed and earn money through advertisements, sponsored blog posts or affiliate programs. Nurses can create a blog that provides nursing advice or recommendations for their audience, or they can focus on another topic they enjoy. A blogger’s responsibilities include:

  • Reading and researching to find ideas for blog posts

  • Developing content to post online

  • Monitoring website traffic and comments

  • Using social media to promote their blog

  • Staying updated on relevant trends to attract audiences

 

8. Phlebotomist

National average salary: $51,213 per year

Primary duties: A phlebotomist is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. Nurses can find such work at labs or clinics, or they may find employment through insurance companies that need them to draw blood in patients’ homes. Their responsibilities include:

  • Preparing patients

  • Maintaining sterilization and organization of equipment

  • Conducting blood draws and transfusions

  • Ensuring proper labeling of patients’ vials

 

9. Freelance writer

National average salary: $52,647 per year

Primary duties: A freelance writer creates content for clients, and they typically focus on a specific area of interest. Nurses who enjoy writing may find freelance writing opportunities for nursing or medical organizations, or they can choose to write about other topics that interest them. Their responsibilities include:

  • Developing or pitching content for clients

  • Using research to write accurate content

  • Following style guidelines

  • Proofreading their work

  • Submitting assignments on deadline

 

10. Fitness instructor

National average salary: $53,270 per year

Primary duties: A fitness instructor leads and teaches exercise classes. This role often requires certification, and some instructors also work as personal trainers to provide individualized training. Their responsibilities include:

  • Demonstrating exercises

  • Correcting participants’ techniques as needed

  • Creating a positive and motivational environment

  • Providing alternative exercise methods to account for participants’ skill levels

 

11. Tutor

National average salary: $53,799 per year

Primary duties: A tutor works with students to provide educational support and guidance outside the classroom. Nurses may find work as part-time tutors for nursing students. Their responsibilities include:

  • Preparing students for standardized tests

  • Developing personalized learning plans

  • Providing advice and instructions to aid students’ educational development

  • Evaluating and providing feedback on students’ progress

 

12. Medical coder

National average salary: $54,884 per year

Primary duties: A medical coder, also called a coding specialist, works within a health care facility’s billing department. They primarily manage patients’ medical claims to obtain reimbursement from insurance companies, so they assign the appropriate codes to medical treatments to ensure accuracy. Their duties also include:

  • Maintaining and analyzing patients’ medical records

  • Creating and using medical charts to extract patient data

  • Collecting and submitting statistical data to other departments

  • Communicating with insurance companies to fix errors

 

13. First aid instructor

National average salary: $55,066 per year

Primary duties: A first aid instructor teaches students how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other first-aid skills in an emergency. They have certification certified to perform CPR and also have a teaching certification to work as an instructor. Their responsibilities include:

  • Coordinating classes

  • Traveling to various locations

  • Demonstrating and providing instructions on proper first aid procedures and CPR

  • Transporting and maintaining training equipment

 

14. Virtual assistant

National average salary: $73,583 per hour

Primary duties: A virtual assistant performs administrative tasks for organizations while working remotely. Their duties often vary based on their skills and their employer’s needs. Their common responsibilities include:

  • Organizing calendars and meetings

  • Responding to phone calls or emails

  • Performing data entry tasks

  • Creating presentations

  • Providing support for company websites or social media profiles

 

15. Dog walker

National average salary: $79,104 per year

Primary duties: A dog walker exercises customers’ dogs, either individually or in groups. Nurses with a passion for animals may see this as a fun way to earn additional income. Their responsibilities include:

  • Picking up dogs from clients’ homes

  • Keeping them safe during walks

  • Cleaning up after them

  • Ensuring they have sufficient food and water

 

16. Real estate agent

National average salary: $96,579 per year

Primary duties: A real estate agent helps their clients buy or sell homes and property. This role requires obtaining a license to practice real estate, and nurses who work as real estate agents can work part-time and set their schedules. Their responsibilities include:

  • Researching homes and properties in their area

  • Coordinating home showings for clients or prospective buyers

  • Developing marketing plans for the homes they sell

  • Negotiating offers