Singaporeans may not be the most productive people at the office, but when it comes to making money a lot of people are much more industrious than you think. Your colleagues might pretend they go home to mind the kids, watch TV or chill out with their friends, but you’d be surprised to discover that many people actually moonlight with their own side gigs unbeknownst to their bosses.
In fact, many self-employed people I know actually got a head start freelancing on the sly when they were still employed by someone else. Here are some of the most popular jobs Singaporeans use to get side income.
This is far and away the most common form of side income amongst Singaporeans, simply because the demand just gets higher every year, and the only requirement is to have successfully gotten through the education system. It is also one of the highest paying side gigs out there, and probably pays more per hour than your day job. I know more than a few PMETs who take on a couple of tuition kids after work or on weekends.
MOE teachers in particular get to earn a pretty astronomical hourly rate if they take on tuition kids outside of school, and I know more than one teacher who left the school system and went on to make big bucks as a star tutor.
Skills: O level cert, A level cert and/or degree
Pay: $20 to $100 an hour
While the blogshop craze has died down quite a bit over the past few years, it remains one of Singaporeans’ favourite small businesses to start. Risk is relatively low as you don’t need to rent a shop space, and if you know where to source for your products, your profit margin can be quite high. In the past, blogshop owners used to go to Bangkok to source for apparel.
These days, the scene is a bit more diverse, with some people designing their own Tshirts to sell online, others hawking handcrafted wares or customised designs. In addition, it’s not all about the ubiquitous “blogshop dresses” anymore. Blogshops are now much more likely to sell accessories or homeware.
Skills: Enough capital to buy some stock and basic web skills
Despite the low wages plaguing the F&B industry, due to the flexibility and the ready availability of jobs, it remains a very accessible side gig for Singaporeans looking to earn a bit of extra money in the evenings or on weekends.
Speak to the bar staff at a club and you might be surprised to find that many of them have a day job. Plus, so many cafes are now sprouting up that blitzing them with applications is sure to land a job or two.
Pay: $6 to $8 an hour
Similar to F&B jobs, retail jobs are aplenty, allow you to work evenings and weekends and are relatively easy to obtain given the manpower crunch. As with F&B, don’t expect to be paid that much. One advantage is that this job tends to be a little less tiring than working as a waiter in an F&B establishment.
However, you will need to familiarise yourself with the product range, in theory anyway. Pick a retail store you actually shop at so you can get staff discounts. Plus, it won’t be as much of a pain to memorise information pertaining to the products on offer.
Pay: $6 to $9 an hour
Many yoga or pilates instructors in Singapore work on a part-time basis, teaching after-work or weekend classes. If you’re a yoga practitioner yourself, you might want to consider going for a teacher training course so you can teach a couple of classes in your spare time. Some instructors go one step further by conducting weekend or evening classes in their own homes.
Others teach yoga on platforms like Meetup, charging a small fee per class. How much you earn varies, but if you’re conducting your own classes rather than being attached to a studio, your hourly rate should be quite enviable.
Skills: Yoga teacher training cert
The demand for wedding photographers in Singapore is huge, with many couples hiring more than one to shoot their weddings. Staging pre-wedding photoshoots has also become a lucrative business, and with so many activities on the actual day, from the wedding ceremony to wedding banquet, that’s a lot of hours during which you could be earning money.
Even as an amateur, so long as you have a DSLR there’s a chance you’ll be hired by someone you know if you put a nice portfolio up on the web and spread the word. You probably won’t be hired as the main photographer when you’re still a noob, but it’s not uncommon to see students or amateurs serving as backup photographers.
Skills: Basic photographic skills and a DSLR
Pay: $30 to $200 an hour
Do you have a side job? Tell us about it in the comments!