What is a Gig Economy Worker?

May 27, 2021

what is a gig worker? food delivery, tech gigs, many more. Image featuring bike delivery

Temporary workers. Platform workers. Independent workers. These are just some of the names thrown around when you dive into the meaning of what is a gig economy worker. A gig economy worker is a non-traditional worker who finds gig work opportunities in various fields via an online gig platform.

Instead of the primary source of income coming from a full-time job, gig economy workers enjoy a flexible job experience over set periods of time from multiple jobs. It puts a new meaning into clocking in and out.

Types of Gig Economy Workers

The numbers of people participating in the gig workforce vary, but Statista estimates that 57.3 million U.S. workers are freelancers pre-pandemic. That number, post-pandemic, is only predicted to increase. Gig workers are everything from food delivery drivers to graphic designers. Below are some popular gig jobs.

Food Service and Restaurant Workers

When one thinks of a gig job, a food delivery driver or restaurant worker comes to mind. The gig economy labor force employs these types of workers all the time. Restaurants are notorious for toxic turnover, and restaurants regularly need experienced workers to fill shifts.

ShiftPixy offers job opportunities for food and hospitality workers at the tap of a finger. Plus, with a few added benefits of health insurance, employee protections, and retirement benefits.

Household Services

The gig economy worker also can find jobs cleaning homes or helping out with odd jobs. If you love animals, become a pet sitter or dog walker. Or, if you love the outdoors, people regularly need help with lawn maintenance or gardening services. Finding a gig job in this category is a popular way to make some extra bucks.


There are many different kinds of independent workers in the freelance economy. One of the biggest ones is freelance writers. Even before the explosion of gig apps, freelancers enjoyed the flexibility and work-life balance with gig work.

Freelance writing includes everything from blog writing to white papers. It can be a one-off experience or a regular gig with a magazine or company. This type of work can pay pretty well as well.

Tutoring Gigs

A definition of a gig definitely includes jobs for tutors and teachers. Parents regularly look for tutors for the kids in everything from math to language. Teachers also enjoy the freedom of tutoring on the side for extra income or leave the classroom behind forever and teach when available—plenty of gig economy worker jobs in this category.

Administrative Support Professionals

Project managers, virtual assistants, office managers, and many more fit under this category. A gig economy is an excellent place for working professionals to venture out on their own and become their own boss.

Software Services

Project-based workers in software development, computer services, robotics, and more all look for gigs through mobile apps. Sometimes as a consultant, you can earn more than you would at a full-time gig, and the ever-changing job scene fits the Millennial or gig worker mindset.

Companies regularly need specialized workers in advanced areas of math and science for a slew of different types of jobs in the tech world.

Ride Service Providers

The sharing economy got its name from gig workers using personal vehicles to cart people around. The explosion of such ride services shook up the transportation and taxi cab industry from the wheels up.

Driving services, including limousine service and traditional cabs, follow strict regulations, and suddenly there was serious competition without all the rules. Plenty of gigsters make extra dough driving people around or have turned it into their regular job (without all the headache, of course).

Finance Professionals

For those who deal with numbers every day, you’ll be happy to know that gig jobs are available in accounting and finance. The need for specialized skills is growing, and becoming a consultant in the gig economy is more needed and popular than ever. If you got the skills and want to venture into gig work, now may be the time.

How to Succeed as a Gig Economy Worker

Success can be all relative when it comes to the gig economy. Each person enters the gig world for different reasons—some for extra bucks, others for the work-life balance. Regardless of why you’re making the leap, there are a couple of things you can do to make the decision worthwhile as the future economy unfolds.

Follow Your Skills

The best bet for a quick gig is to start looking for work in the areas you know best. It could be what you’re doing at your full-time job or something you dabbled in years before.

But even though a gig is a temporary job, employers look for experience and knowledge in the area they need filling. So, take a good look at what you have to offer and focus on those areas first.

Build a Portfolio of Work

The best way to score gig economy jobs is to start building your portfolio, highlighting your education and training. Nowadays, having some sort of website or gig app showing your portfolio of work or experience helps zoom you ahead of other job applicants. Now, you’re ready to start applying for a temporary job that can earn way more than minimum wage.

Choose an Online Gig Platform

The most crucial step is to review the different digital platforms and choose one. Not all gig platforms are created equal and offer various kinds of gig jobs and benefits. If you’re interested in driving people around, do you need to supply your own auto insurance? Does the gig app offer health insurance or some kind of retirement plan?

You deserve some kind of social protection that full-time employees enjoy, so look at the benefits for the gig economy worker. ShiftPixy offers these kinds of protections and has gigs for restaurant workers and all sorts of independent contractors that want to earn money with a mobile app they can trust.

Now, you know what a gig economy worker is, it’s time to get started. ShiftPixy is waiting for you.