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7 Low Stress Jobs that are Perfect for Moonlighting

by Kevin Mercadante

Everybody needs extra money from time to time, either to cover a rough budget patch, to pay off debt, to save for a vacation, or to build up an emergency fund. There are easy ways to make extra money, and hard ways. Since you have a job or business already, you’ll want to keep your side activities on the low side of the stress meter. Here are seven low stress jobs that are perfect for moonlighting.

Security guard

Moonlighting Jobs - Security Guard

Security Guard jobs often have flexible hours.

This one is at the top because it is my personal favorite – a low stress job that I held while I was working my way through college. It’s the perfect fit for just about anything you want to do.

Most security guards are on site primarily for insurance purposes. The owner of a large building or facility will have security guards on duty as a way of keeping their property insurance rates to a minimum. For that reason, you’re paid mainly to be there, and not necessarily to do anything.

I was actually able to do this job on a near full-time basis while I was a full-time student in college. Since most of what I did involved sitting at a console, checking IDs and watching monitors, I mostly did my homework while I was there.

Not only is being a security guard low stress, but the schedules can be quite flexible. You can do it either full-time or part-time, weekdays or weekends, and just about any shift that works with your schedule. Here is a place to learn more.

Fitness trainers and instructors

These positions usually involve performing specific services, either working with individual fitness club clients, or running classes in just about any physical activity you can think of – aerobics, zumba, stationary bikes – you name it.

You’re paid an above average rate for the time you’re actually working with clients, and the rest of the time you’re either keeping hours in the gym, or you’re off-duty.

If you have specific fitness skills or training, and you’re a winning “people person,” you can build up a following clients who will pay decent money for your services. It’s part job, part business.

Hotel night front desk clerk

The low stress part of this job isn’t universal – in large, busy hotels, the job can be quite stressful. But in more remote or less popular facilities, you’re mostly there to answer phones, and check people in and out. In between is considerable downtime. If you’re able to stay up nights, this can be a perfect moonlighting situation.

Pool lifeguard

This involves more than simply being paid to hang around a pool, but it is still less stressful than more typical jobs. Your primary responsibility is to sit in an elevated seat – or very close to the pool – to keep an eye out for people in distress. Since that doesn’t happen 99.9% of the time, well – you get the picture. During evenings or on days with less-than-perfect weather, there may be few people at the pool anyway.

The best places to be a lifeguard are neighborhood and community pools, particularly in smaller ones. You may have other duties, such as light cleaning, or maintaining the pool, but these are less stressful than being, say, a cashier in a busy grocery store.

Self-storage manager or clerk

Generally speaking, this is one of the most passive jobs available. Since customers typically have their own keys or pass cards, you’re mostly there to man the front office, answer phone calls, and help the occasional customer in distress.

Self-storage facilities typically run on extended hours, such as evenings and weekends, so you should be able to get an off-hours shift that will work with your primary job or business.

Overnight baby sitting

Everyone has at least an occasional need for an overnight babysitter, and not everyone has family or friends who are available to handle it for them. In fact in many instances, family and friends are attending the same function that has the parents needing an overnight babysitter.

If you have babysitting skills, and particularly an existing babysitting clientele, overnight babysitting can be a low stress extension of your services. It is even possible that you could have the kids stay in your own home overnight. It will be a matter of watching them, much the way you would your own children, and since it’s an overnight arrangement, they’ll be sleeping much of the time anyway.

Elderly companion

There are many elderly who live alone that are not quite ready for either assisted living or a even visiting nurse, but they still need some extra attention. You can become an elderly companion, visiting with them periodically, keeping company with them, performing routine services, and just checking with them to be sure they’re all right.

You may develop several clients by working with senior citizens homes, senior citizen centers, and even hospitals or geriatric health providers. This can be much less stressful – and a lot more satisfying – than holding a job with regular hours.

If you need to moonlight for extra money, you may have to think out-of-the-box to find a suitable situation that will be less stressful than a regular part-time job. This list should get you started.


Published or updated February 24, 2014.
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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mark Ross

If I will be asked to pick one of those, I think I’ll be picking the job of a hotel front desk clerk. I like staying at hotels and talking with other people, especially tourists.

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2 Kevin Mercadante

Hi Mark – That’s an excellent point, some jobs are actually fun. A job in a hotel would have a strong social component, where you’d meet all kinds of different people, and they’re usually in a good mood when traveling.

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3 Bryce @ Save and Conquer

All of these would be great second jobs if I were still single. I am not willing to lose any more time with my family than what my 8-5 job already takes, though.

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4 Ryan Guina

Bryce, there are many reasons for, and against, moonlighting. If you need a part-time job to make ends meet, or eliminate high interest debt, then it makes sense. The same thing goes for a short-term job to boost savings, or meet some other financial goal. But if you don’t have a pressing need for the money, then it doesn’t make sense to take time away from family just to make a little extra money.

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5 Kevin Mercadante

But then family can be a strong reason to moonlight. If you need more money to support them, you’ll want to take the most stress-free 2nd job situation. But I’m with you, time is more important than money when it comes to family.

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6 Jack @ SeeJackSave

My absolute favorite low stress, second job was video store clerk, night shift. Serves few customers, watched movies and did homework. It was awesome. Damn you iTunes and your movie downloading! :)

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7 Kevin Mercadante

Hi Jack – Yes, way back when, when there WERE video stores! I think that for a teenager that would have been the ultimate cool job. I’d have to say mine own favorite was security guard. That’s what enabled me to get through college. It gave me a quiet place to do my studying and homework where I was also on the payroll. It was like getting paid to do homework!

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