The Best Side Hustles for Engineers

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Engineering specialties are numerous and require a huge array of skills. So it makes sense that there’d be plenty of side hustles for engineers to choose from.  

The perfect side hustle job for an engineer is where their talent, skills, interests, and availability intersect. Drawing a side hustle/talent/interest Venn diagram may not be a bad idea! 

Best side hustles for engineers: “general” category

  • Quality control consulting as a contractor (for electrical, structural, technical, environmental factors, etc.). 
  • Substitute teaching in subjects such as math and science.
  • College-level teaching (part-time and remote are possible).
  • Training and mentoring other engineers who are just starting out.
  • Designing an online course or YouTube tutorial channel for topics engineering students need help with. 
  • Remote data entry. 
  • Creating systems for small businesses and training how to implement them. 
  • Become an apartment manager (which also usually reduces your housing costs). 
  • If you like woodworking and furniture, buy “trash” and turn it into treasure to make a profit selling custom furniture pieces. 
  • Better yet, design and sell custom-order furniture, cabinetry, tables, kitchen islands, etc. 
  • 3D parts are especially hot right now due to supply-chain issues. If you spring for a 3D printer, you can help fill those needs. 
  • Offer 3D custom printing for prototypes, housing designs, and much more. 

Weekend Engineering Jobs for Extra Cash 

If you’re an engineer who doesn’t mind a bit of weekend work, you could try a few of these ideas. Of course, these side jobs might also work during evening hours as well. 

  • House inspections for real estate that’s in escrow.
  • Tutoring students who need math help.
  • Helping college students prepare for exams in engineering subjects. 
  • Offer your services as a freelancer to a commercial real estate build or a start-up company that needs advice on machinery layouts, electrical systems, or technology system design. 
  • Hire out your drafting or CAD design services through online portals such as Upwork. 

There are many options for side or weekend work with the amazing talent you possess as an engineer. Remember, most of the population can’t do what you’re trained to do. 

Get creative and look for opportunities to offer your expertise. LinkedIn, Upwork, Indeed, and other big job and business platforms are full of people looking for and offering services that are specialized like yours. 

Software Engineer Side Hustles 

A software engineer is responsible for designing and testing software to make people’s lives easier and companies’ operations run more smoothly.

From artificial intelligence to apps used on your smartphone — and everything in between — chances are, a software engineer played a very large part in its design. 

With extensive knowledge and experience in coding and computers, there’s no shortage of ways to earn money online by contracting out your software engineering skills. 

Consider these in-demand side jobs:

  • App design and development for tech-based businesses and online business owners who want to offer special functions to customers. 
  • Data analysis and gathering for companies who want to streamline operations. 
  • IT support roles — remote and part-time within a company that needs only intermittent tech support.
  • If you enjoy using your creative side, you can design and sell custom website themes. 
  • Offer your tech and coding knowledge as a freelancer on Upwork, Fiverr, or Indeed. 
  • Technology freelancers can offer a variety of full stack development skills as a side remote job on platforms like this one.  
  • Artificial intelligence development skills are in high demand — you can offer training services or design to tech companies that need the extra help. 

Other alternatives include teaching positions online that allow you to set a flexible schedule. Platforms such as TeacherOn allow you to offer tutoring and mentoring services for extra cash on the side. 

Mechanical Engineer Side Hustles  

Mechanical engineering is an extremely diverse field that includes developing, testing, and improving just about any mechanical device you can imagine. 

From medical devices to household appliances, robotics, and many others — this engineering field is full of side-hustle opportunities. 

Consider offering your services to help inventors build prototypes. You can easily list your services on platforms such as Upwork or hire out your expertise to a prototype development firm. 

Part-Time Remote Jobs for Mechanical Engineers 

Part-time remote jobs for mechanical engineers for extra money include jobs such as consulting, leading teams for engineering projects, and designing systems and models for companies in need of that field of expertise. 

Some companies and interesting openings noted on Indeed:

  • Facebook App — mentor and lead a team of mechanical engineers and design, test, and prototype various systems and products. 
  • Content writer for various companies needing written reports and content in the mechanical engineering field of information. 
  • Part-time position ensuring all machinery in a company is laid out for maximum efficiency and production. 

Mechanical engineers are also good at mathematics and CAD (computer-aided design) software. It makes sense to explore side hustles involving these skills. 

Online Jobs for Mechanical Engineers

  • Substitute math teacher.
  • CAD trainer for various companies who need team training.
  • CAD instructor at the college level as a remote or in-person position part time.
  • If you’ve got a LinkedIn profile, offer your engineering skills as a freelancer; make it visible on the top portion of your profile so it’s obvious you’re for hire. 

Freelance mechanical engineer work can also be found on sites like Upwork, allowing you to list your services and prices for hire. This can be a very lucrative side job that works into your daily schedule. 

If you’d like to work exclusively for yourself, consider purchasing a 3D printer and filling orders for more complex parts. This is something you can do on the side or full-time. And the best thing is you can set your pricing. 

Electrical Engineer Side Hustles 

An electrical engineer is experienced in all things electrical. This includes designing electrical equipment, solar systems, electronics like smartphones, military systems, and dozens of others. 

Since there is such a broad range of knowledge in electrical engineering, there are hundreds of ways to earn money on the side. 

  • Consulting in large projects involving extensive electrical systems. 
  • Quality control for companies with complex electrical needs. 
  • Teaching positions in the electrical field. 
  • Tutoring electrical engineering students. 
  • Cellphone repair as a freelancer or for a repair company on the weekends. 
  • On-call or freelance training for commercial generator companies; sales staff often need guidance on electrical components of the equipment they sell. (A family member sells generators and has customer questions he’s not qualified to answer due to insufficient training that was promised.)
  • Other types of commercial equipment companies may need on-call help as well. 
  • Design consulting for tech advances such as holograph work, wireless power products, etc. 
  • An obvious side job would be hands-on electrical work. In areas with a housing boom, there are likely dozens of jobs for electrical specialists to inspect electrical systems or install them. 

Data Engineer Side Hustles

A data engineer has a lot of the same skills as a software engineer. They are in charge of helping companies transfer large amounts of data from a third party to the company’s own database and maintaining it for smooth daily operations. 

Since data engineers have a lot of computer and coding knowledge besides data management, there’s no shortage of lucrative side hustles.  

If you’re interested in a totally flexible schedule, you can freelance as a web developer or offer coding services to a web agency. You could also offer an online course teaching some top skills for data management. 

Remote data engineer jobs to do as a side hustle

  • Companies like Shopify, Ezoic, and CVS Health are looking for remote data engineering help. 
  • Due to their extensive knowledge in computing, data engineers can fill in-demand side jobs like remote IT help. 
  • Freelance training or assistance in implementing better workflow systems in small businesses; offer virtual assistant work to help an online business owner put daily operating systems in place. 
  • According to listings at FlexJobs, there are also positions in: 
    • Data engineer consulting. 
    • Engineering mentorships.
    • Data science writing. 
    • Technical instructors with data and coding skills. 

Civil Engineer Side Hustles 

If you’ve ever driven across a bridge, flown out of an airport, or ridden the subway, then you have a civil engineer to thank. These engineers are the backbone of infrastructure projects and so much more. 

From soil and water testing, to hydraulics design, and city permitting for construction projects — the civil engineer is a Jack (or Jill) of many trades, which definitely qualifies them for a variety of side hustles. 

Side jobs for civil engineers 

  • According to a fabulous Reddit thread, quite a few civil engineers enjoy woodworking, carpentry, and building custom furniture on the side. 
  • Tutor engineering students to pass the PE exam. 
  • Start a YouTube channel for demonstrating whatever your top skills are (car maintenance, woodworking, etc.). This can be monetized with ads. 
  • Offer your services on platforms such as Upwork as a freelancer. 
  • Provide flood elevation certificates for homeowners. 
  • Become a freelance house inspector. 
  • If you have concrete experience, consider contracting with a concrete company for consults, construction advice, or laying concrete for projects. 

Architectural Engineer Side Hustles

An architectural engineer is responsible for making a building structure work for the purpose at hand. From football stadium lighting to environmentally sound components, to acoustics in a theater — architectural engineers play a large role.  

Design, creativity, and problem-solving are the hallmark skills of architectural engineers. Therefore, side jobs that are heavy in creativity and critical thinking are quite good for these folks. 

Side jobs for architectural engineers

  • Offer drafting services on the side. As a contractor, you can set your own rates. 
  • Freelance your expertise in noise reduction for a building project. 
  • Offer consultation for building technology design and troubleshooting. 
  • Maximize your creative side by designing various products to sell on Fiverr or Etsy (jewelry, art, paintings, metal sculpture, etc.).
  • If you love drawing, offer custom logos or graphic designs for paper products, etc. 
  • Environmental consultations might be a great fit as well. Guide a company on how to incorporate more green practices into their operations. 

Part-Time Jobs for Engineers Who Want a Side Hustle

Here’s a solid general list of possibilities for engineers who’d like to work on the side to earn some extra money. We found some fabulous ideas for engineers on Reddit forums. 

  • Consider selling 3D-printing products such as brackets, hangers for garage storage, props, car parts, and dozens of other in-demand items. 
  • Make replica props for collectors and sci-fi buffs, etc. (Think swords, models of special characters, spaceships, and the like.)
  • Sign up for market research groups to provide opinions and feedback on a variety of products, including various technologies. Fieldwork is an excellent group I’ve personally worked with. 
  • Drafting jobs, including house framing designs/drawings for small builders. 
  • One engineer used his skills to create a lightweight aluminum racing skateboard and has plenty of customers. 
  • Teach and tutor in math and science on Wyzant for some really good side money in your spare time. 
  • Become a freelance home inspector. 
  • Real estate sales or property management would be a great fit for many engineers. 
  • Consider a home staging business that adds the wow factor for homes that are on the market (and for the pictures needed for listings). This can be done on weekends or in the evenings. 
  • If you love video or photography, you could offer services for photographing and recording video walkthrough footage for real estate listings. 

The Bottom Line

With the incredibly broad knowledge base all engineers have, there’s no shortage of side jobs you can do for extra income. 

Check out job boards listing part-time work, hop on platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork, or build a stellar LinkedIn profile and advertise your services. 

You can also consider teaching courses on sites like Udemy and Skill Share for on-demand skills such as CAD design.

If you’re still looking for side hustle ideas after reading this article, there are many more we haven’t mentioned. 

No matter which side hustle you choose, extra income is always a welcome result — am I right? 

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