side jobs for veterans
Updated April 28, 2023

Side Jobs for Veterans: 21 Legitimate Money Making Opportunities

Side Hustles

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Are you one of the over 18 million U.S. veterans trying to build a life for themselves and facing financial hardships? Finding and adjusting to a full time job can be difficult, especially when you have no qualifications and experience to rely on, but there are many side jobs for veterans that could bring you the money and the challenges you need.

Of course, only you can decide what type of activity you’d like and how much time and effort you can put in. We wanted to help, so we’ve put together a list of veterans’ side gigs to inspire you.

We’ve chosen activities that do not require special skills and will allow some flexibility when it comes to working hours.

Important note: These are just to get you started and help you find your place on the job market. Remember that you can do anything you set your mind to and it is never too late to learn a new trade or expand your knowledge and skills.

Preliminary recommendation: When reviewing the suggestions below, don’t forget to take into account your skills, interests, and availability. Your long-term goal is to find something you can do with pleasure, to avoid unnecessary stress and fatigue.

21 Side Jobs for Veterans Wanting to Supplement Their Income

1. Bodyguard or Personal Protection Officer

If you enjoyed defending your country, you may enjoy defending its high-profile citizens. They could be celebrities from the entertainment industry, politicians, professional athletes, etc.

Things to keep in mind:

  • The usual requirements for bodyguards and PPOs involve a high school degree and military background or experience.
  • In some states, a license is required, but it is never too late to obtain it and there are organizations that can help you.
  • Most employers offer on-the-job training and licensing, so they will consider you if you’re physically fit and ready to train continuously.
  • Bodyguard and PPO jobs are among the best-paying side jobs for veterans, reaching record amounts when the clients are wealthy and famous public figures.
  • If you are disciplined, able to detect danger, ready for hand-to-hand combat, and comfortable using firearms, a bodyguard job could be just what you need to keep adrenaline and money flowing.
  • As the need for personal protection officers increases, career perspectives are expanding as well. Once you’ve earned enough experience and qualifications, you can become a PPO instructor or, better yet, start your own personal protection services business.

2. Security Guard / Surveillance Officer

Many public and private properties need protection against theft, vandalism, trespassing, and other similar illegal activities.

You’ve surely seen security guards in public institutions, office buildings, and retail stores. They also have colleagues who work in observation rooms, monitoring the audio and video equipment.

Things to keep in mind:

  • As with personal protection officers, requirements start at high-school degree. Military training and experience is definitely a huge plus, making security guard jobs excellent side gigs for vets.
  • Some employers may impose additional training requirements but they should not be a challenge to you, given your background.
  • You will not get rich working as a security guard or surveillance officer, but the stress levels and workload are acceptable, and you’ll never run out of employment opportunities.

3. Customer Service Representative

Most companies nowadays hire representatives to interact with their customers, handle complaints, and offer information on their products or services.

Their offers could translate into excellent side jobs for veterans with strong communication skills who would like to leave their military background behind.

Things to keep in mind:

  • In order to become a customer service representative, you will probably need a high school diploma and some on-the-job training. Your employer may test your communication and computer skills.
  • Some customer service representatives work full time at their employer’s premises, but 20% of 2016’s jobs in the field were part-time and more and more companies offer work-from-home and online opportunities.
  • You could work in a call center, for a credit or insurance agency, in a bank, or in retail stores. If you like this type of veterans’ side gigs, you may also like the idea of working as a virtual assistant.

4. Uber or Lyft Driver

Ridesharing is a great way to get around town without driving or paying high taxi fares. But you can do more than just use ridesharing services to reach your destination. If you own a car, you can drive for Uber or Lyft.

Things to keep in mind:

  • The ridesharing company will check your criminal and driving records, your car, and your insurance coverage before accepting you as a partner.
  • You will be free to choose your working hours and routes but for this purpose you will need a smartphone on which to install the ridesharing company’s app.
  • As a new driver, you can win consistent bonuses by accepting more rides and referring other drivers.

5. Uber Eats or DoorDash Driver

If you like the idea of driving for money but you would rather avoid carrying passengers in your car, delivering food could be a better side job for you. To do it, you can join Uber Eats or DoorDash.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Both companies require that you provide your data before being accepted, so they may conduct a background check on you.
  • Your job will involve picking up orders from partner restaurants and delivering them to the client’s door.
  • You can work as much or as little as you want. You just sign in on the app when available, accept orders, deliver them, and sign out when you’re done for the day.

6. Postmates Delivery Driver

Quite similar to the previous driving side jobs for veterans, this one covers a wider array of products. Besides take out, you could also deliver groceries, alcohol, and more.

Things to keep in mind:

  • To become a Postmates driver, you’ll have to create an account, undergo a background check, get the welcome kit (prepaid card and delivery bag), and download the Fleet app.
  • You cash in your commission upon completing the delivery, so this is one of the fastest paying side gigs for vets.
  • With time, the company claims your earnings can reach $25/hour. While you shouldn’t count on that much, this could be a steady and convenient source of income.

7. Instacart Grocery Shopper

Some people need more than just food delivery services. They need someone to do their shopping. If you think you’re up to the task, consider joining Instacart.

  • The recruitment process is similar to that of Uber Eats, Doordash, and Postmates and you have full control of your time.
  • Your job will include grocery shopping, so you’ll have to focus on finding quality products and deliver them in adequate condition.
  • Your pay will depend on the complexity and value of the order, as well as on the driven miles, but you can expect average earnings of $15/hour and, if your clients are satisfied with your work and generous, tips.

8. Renting out Your Car

Perhaps you don’t like driving or your schedule doesn’t allow you to take any of the above driving jobs. That doesn’t mean your car cannot help you make money. Check out apps like Turo and Getaround.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Getting started is easy: you have to name your car, set its availability and location, and describe it
  • The companies have their own insurance coverage, so there’s no need to worry about damages
  • You can earn around $5/hour. If you don’t use your car much and you live in an area of high demand, you could make even $1,000/month.

9. Becoming an Airbnb Guest

This is one of the best side jobs for veterans with at least one room to spare in their home. You can register with Airbnb and rent out the available space by the night to make money.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Becoming an Airbnb is easy and you should be able to have your rental ad ready within a few minutes.
  • You’ll have to clean the rooms you rent out and refill/replace consumables after your guests leave or before receiving new ones
  • Check out our guide to becoming an Airbnb host and our creative tips on how to make the most of it.

10.  Investing in Cryptocurrency

You’ve surely heard about Bitcoin, Etherreum, and other cryptocoins, maybe even wanted to take part in the action, trade, and make money. Now you can, and websites and apps like Coinbase and Binance and bots like the iCenter Bitcoin Bot make it easy.

Things to keep in mind:

  • You’ll have to create accounts and invest a preliminary amount of money.
  • The investment tools above don’t control the value of bitcoin, so there’s a risk of losing some of the money you invest.
  • Using our Binance Referral Code 12861012will allow you to trade other cryptocoins as well.

11. Taking Paid Surveys

Would you rather work from the comfort of your home, enjoy your privacy, and take your time

This company is looking for vets to take surveys.

12. Dog Walking

People will pay anything to keep their pets healthy and happy, especially their dogs. You can now monetize their concern easier than ever. Apps like Rover allow you to make money by walking dogs in your neighborhood.

Things to keep in mind:

  • In order to take on clients, you’ll have to register and create a convincing profile.
  • You can walk other people’s dogs while caring for your own.
  • A half-an-hour walk can get you between $10 and $30.
  • You can set preferences regarding the characteristics of the dogs you wish to walk.

13. Lending Money to Peers

I know you’re not looking into side jobs for veterans because you have too much money but peer-to-peer lending is an easy way to make more. You can do it safely through Prosper.

Things to keep in mind:

  • The lowest you can invest is $25
  • You can check the borrower’s credit score, income, employment details, and more before trusting them with your money.
  • There are no commission’s involved and you have the freedom to choose the loans or projects to invest in.

14. Blogging

If you like reading and writing and you feel that you have a lot to share, you could start a blog and monetize it. There’s a lot of money in blogging, and it could be a fun, interesting activity.

Things to keep in mind:

  • You don’t have to be a tech guru to succeed. We’ve explained the steps in our post on how to start a blog.
  • You can blog about anything, from combat strategies to news, politics, cooking, or caring for pets.
  • There are several ways to monetize a blog, and you can discover 100+ of them by following this link.

15. Dropshipping

Let’s say you’re passionate about fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities requiring specific equipment. You can make money by creating a storefront with the equipment and products you find in your favorite stores and consider suitable for the purpose.

Things to keep in mind:

  • You will be basically redirecting orders and cashing in a commission without actually handling any merchandise
  • It will take some time and money to learn the trade and create an appealing online storefront
  • You can find all the information and guidance you need in our post on starting a dropshipping business.

16. Affiliate Marketing

If you like spending time online, you’ve started the blog suggested above, or you have a considerable number of followers on YouTube and the social networks, you could make money by promoting various products or services.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Affiliate marketing means receiving a commission for driving sales, traffic, and leads to specific merchants.
  • You can do affiliate marketing without a website (think YouTube, social media, etc.), and it is up to you which products or services you promote.
  • You can promote a single huge merchant, like Amazon, or focus several merchants at the same time.

17. Voice Over Gigs

This is probably one of the most entertaining side jobs for veterans. You can read all about what it entails and how to find your first gigs by following this link.

Things to keep in mind:

  • It is up to you to find your clients
  • You may need to invest some money in audio recording equipment
  • Your voice over gigs could cover anything from cartoon character voice to audiobooks, video scripts, commercials, etc.

18. Start a Service Business

If you’re good at something, you should put your skills to work. You could offer accounting, roofing, cleaning, home restoration, and many other services people need.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Some services require obtaining various licenses or permits
  • You may need to invest in tools and equipment
  • The money you make will depend on how good you are at what you’re doing.

19. Create and Sell Digital Products

If you have a lot of knowledge or stories to share, you could do it for money. Just give them a digital form and sell them, either on your own website or on third-party platforms.

Things to keep in mind:

  • You can create books, audiobooks, video tutorials, online courses, take photos, create book covers, etc.
  • Payments can come as subscriptions, one-time transactions, or royalties, depending on your product’s specific and selling method.
  • If you think your products are successful, you can recruit others to promote them by listing them on ClickBank or starting an affiliate program.

20. Teaching English Online

If you’re sure of your language skills and you have a Bachelors’ degree, you could teach English. It is up to you whether you work with kids or adults, beginners or adults, online or in person.

Things to keep in mind:

  • If you have some experience working with kids, you could earn $14-$25/hour teaching English from home with
  • Babysitting and caring for your own children count as experience.
  • If you sign up through this link, you’ll get a $300 bonus upon teaching the first three classes.

21. Assembling Products

It’s easy and you can do it from the comfort of your home. You won’t get rich, but you’ll work at your own pace and according to your own schedule. This is one of the no-brainer side jobs for veterans, kind of like Lego for adults.

Things to keep in mind:

  • There are more than 250 companies willing to pay people to assemble all types of products, from jewelry to crafts, direct mail packages, and more.
  • You may need to invest a small amount in the starter’s kit or deposit a guarantee. You will receive the materials at your door, along with the assembly instructions.
  • You can choose what type of products to assemble and ask your friends and family to help.

From Side Jobs for Veterans to Paid Entertainment for All Ages

It is up to you to review the above veterans’ side gigs and decide which one is fit for you. You know your skills, interests, and limits better than anyone, and it is important to do something you like and you’re good at it.

Until you decide what to do, get started, and make money, I have one more recommendation: apps that will pay you money.

I know, these don’t qualify as side gigs for vets, and they will not make you rich. However, they are fun and do not require too much effort. Here are a few examples:

Which of these side gigs for veterans interests you or which ones did you try and what’s your take on them? I’d love to read your opinion in a comment below along with, why not, other recommendations!


Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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