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Best Sites to Find Gig Jobs

Upwork tops our list of the best sites to find gig jobs

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The gig economy is booming, and it’s estimated that by 2023, 52% of the U.S. workforce will either be gig workers or have worked independently at some point in their career. What’s more, 48% of millennials use gig job platforms to find work or engage in business with clients.  

People take on gig jobs to make extra money to do things like pay off debt or to make themselves less dependent on full-time employment. They can be anything from side-hustle jobs to freelance projects based on their professional skills.

We reviewed nearly two dozen gig and freelance job sites and chose the best based on reputation, career or job focus, ease of use, and cost. Here are our top picks. 

Best Sites to Find Gig Jobs of 2022

Best Sites to Find Gig Jobs
Best Sites to Find Gig Jobs

Best Overall : Upwork


Upwork

 Upwork

Why We Chose It

Upwork is one of the largest freelance marketplaces, and it tops our list of best chose it as the best overall site to find gig jobs because the variety of work listed serves both entry-level and experienced freelancers equally.

Upwork helps freelancers find both one-off gigs and long-term contracts in a variety of industries, including design, development, accounting, marketing, writing, customer service, and more. Freelancers create a free profile where they can post details about themselves and their experience, case studies, build a portfolio, detail their rates and skills, and even post a personal video.

Upwork’s AI-powered search engine then filters through tens of thousands of opportunities to match the freelancer to potential projects. Freelancers can review a client’s ratings, history, and project details before submitting a bid. Clients and freelancers can also ask and answer questions and negotiate rates and details through Upwork, and every aspect of a contract is managed through Upwork, including time-tracking, invoicing, file sharing, messaging, and payment options.

Creating a profile on Upwork is free, but the platform takes a percentage of a freelancer’s earnings based on the amount billed:

  • 20% for the first $500 billed to a client across all contracts with them
  • 10% for total billings with a client between $500.01 and $10,000
  • 5% for total billings with a client that exceed $10,000
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Large marketplace that connects freelancers with short- or long-term contract jobs

  • Free to create a freelancer account

  • All aspects of a contract are managed on Upwork

Cons
  • Some freelancers report problems with customer service responsiveness

  • Buying connections to gain access to opportunities can become costly

Runner-Up, Best Overall : Freelancer


Freelancer

 Freelancer

Why We Chose It

We chose Freelancer as our runner-up for best site for gig work because, although it has a larger reach and is a little easier to break into than Upwork, clients tend to underpay for projects.

Rather than focusing on specific industries, Freelancer organizes projects by skill-related categories, including websites, graphic design, illustration, 3D modeling, WordPress, product design, and more. It even allows users to browse local jobs, including teaching/lecturing, drafting, general labor, drone photography, and more.

Like Upwork, Freelancer is free to join. Users create a profile that showcases their skills and experience and set their fees. Then they can browse for jobs using a number of customizable filters, check out client ratings and histories, and place bids on projects. Finally, freelancers can communicate with clients right through the platform as well as track time, submit invoices, and get paid through Freelancer’s Milestone Payments.  

One of the main differences between Freelancer and Upwork is that anyone can open a Freelancer account, but to create an account on Upwork, you need to be approved. Upwork’s vetting process narrows down the competition, making it easier to find quality work than Freelancer does. As a result, Freelancer is better for inexperienced freelancers looking to get simple, lower-paying jobs for building a portfolio or for short-term low-priced hourly work. 

Although creating a profile on Freelancer is free, the platform takes a percentage of a freelancer’s earnings based on how much is earned:

  • Fixed-price projects: 3% fee or $3, whichever is greater
  • Hourly projects: Flat 3% fee
  • Services: 20% fee
  • Refer an employer to the platform: No fee for all future work with that client
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • World's largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace

  • Free to create a freelancer account

  • All contracts managed through Freelancer

Cons
  • Clients tend to underpay freelancers

  • No vetting process for freelancers

Best for Experienced Gig Workers : Guru


Guru

 Guru

Why We Chose It

Guru is our pick for experienced gig workers because it targets professionals rather than entry-level freelancers and offers paid memberships to help users rank higher in the site’s search results. 

Guru focuses on placing talented professionals with projects in nine different categories: programming and development, writing and translation, design and art, administration and secretarial, sales and marketing, business and finance, engineering and architecture, education and training, and legal. Besides these nine, there is also an "other" category for everything else.

As with many gig websites, users can create a profile for free. From there, users can either browse freelance jobs online or get recommendations based on their skills with Guru’s Top Match and Good Match search features. Once a freelancer finds a job they’re interested in, they submit a bid.    

Guru’s platform also offers virtual WorkRooms where freelancers collaborate and add team members to a job. Users can also track time, share files, communicate with their team, create agreements and invoices, choose payment terms, and get paid, all from Guru’s platform.  

Joining Guru and creating a profile is free for freelancers. However, the company offers paid memberships to help freelancers bid for more jobs, boost their search results, send messages to clients before placing a bid, and earn more money:

Plan Monthly Cost Fee/Job Monthly Bids Annual Bid Rollover Premium Bids Search Boost Sales Messages Link to Profile?
Basic Free 9% 10 None None None None X
Basic + $11.95 9% 50 None None $1,000 None X
Professional $21.95 7% 50 100 6 bids $2,000 5 bids
Business $33.95 6% 50 200 5 bids $4,000 4 bids
Executive $49.95 5% 50 300 4 bids $8,000 3 bids
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Targets more experienced freelance professionals

  • Offers nine categories of freelance work

  • Manage all aspects of a contract on the platform

Cons
  • Membership levels can be confusing

  • Some users report being charged for identification verification

Best for Moonlighting : TaskRabbit


TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit

Why We Chose It

TaskRabbit is our pick for moonlighting since it offers flexible, local, one-off, or ongoing jobs to suit anyone’s schedule.   

Getting started with TaskRabbit is easy. Users, called "Taskers," create a profile and provide basic information including pay rates and their experience level for their task categories. Tasks can be just about anything, from assembling furniture and planting flowers to cleaning houses and delivering groceries. 

Before they can bid on projects, users have to apply to be a Tasker. Applicants must be 18 or older, have a checking account and smartphone, pass background and ID checks, provide a valid Social Security number, and pay a one-time, non-refundable $25 registration fee. Once a Tasker is approved, they can set up direct deposit.   

After a Tasker is onboarded, they will be notified of potential jobs nearby via the TaskRabbit smartphone app or they can search for them. They can select a job they want to complete, confirm details with the client, complete the work, and submit their invoice.

Taskers rely on completed jobs and good reviews to get more jobs. Users will often save their favorite Taskers to book again and again, so getting regular work is a definite possibility with TaskRabbit.   

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Good for flexible, one-off, and local jobs

  • Offers a wide range of job types

Cons
  • Taskers must pay a one-time, non-refundable $25 application fee

Best for IT Professionals : Toptal


Toptal

 Toptal

Why We Chose It

We choose Toptal as the best for IT professionals because the company’s aggressive screening process creates an exclusive opportunity for highly skilled freelancers.     

The quality of Toptal’s talent pool is the result of the company’s application process. Applicants begin with a comprehensive English language and communication evaluation. Toptal also assesses personality traits to find passionate and engaged candidates. Applicants are then given in-depth skills assessments, live problem-solving and creativity exercises, and test projects. As a result, only 3% of Toptal’s applicants make it through the application process.   

Due to its rigorous vetting process, Toptal’s freelancers are well-positioned to receive competitive rates for their services, and the company doesn’t charge its freelancers any fees. Instead, it marks up a freelancer’s rate for its clients. Clients are typically invoiced twice a month for ongoing projects with Net 10 terms and can pay for a freelancer’s services via a credit card, ACH, bank wire, or PayPal.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Aggressive screening process provides opportunities for talent

  • No fees for freelancers

  • Freelancers must pass in-depth skill assessments

Cons
  • Only 3% of Toptal's applicants are approved, making the competition stiff

Best for Remote Jobs : FlexJobs


FlexJobs

 FlexJobs

Why We Chose It

FlexJobs is our choice as the best for remote jobs because the company’s trained researchers scour hundreds of online job resources every day and evaluate each posting to connect freelancers to the best opportunities.

FlexJobs’ extensive research and screening process weeds out ads, broken links, repetitive postings, and scams from remote job postings. The company also works with thousands of companies that post flexible jobs directly to its site. The result is a curated list of professional, high-quality, and flexible job opportunities for freelancers looking for remote work.      

In addition to its curated job listings, FlexJobs offers job search checklists, career advice articles, more than 200 expert skills tests, and tips to help freelancers’ resumes stand out. FlexJobs’ paid memberships offer discounts on career coaching and resume reviews from FlexJobs as well as negotiated discounts from job search-related products and services from other companies.

While FlexJobs offers free job-related information, users must have a paid membership to access the full job listings in the company’s database. Members get unlimited job access; free skills testing; email alerts; expert job tips, resources, and offers; and portfolios with resumes and work samples.

Payment Option Cost
Weekly  $9.95
Monthly $24.95
Quarterly $39.95
Annually $69.95

Although reviews are mostly positive, some freelancers complain that listings are outdated and that the filters offered are lacking for certain skill and educational levels.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Members get unlimited job database access, portfolio and resume resources, and job tips

  • Job sites are curated for remote-only work

Cons
  • Some customer reviews complain that the job filters are insufficient

  • Listings may be outdated

Best for Creatives : Fiverr


Fiverr

 Fiverr

Why We Chose It

Fiverr.com was started in 2010 by Micha Kaufman and Shai Wininger as a way for people to offer digital services typically offered by freelance contractors for $5. Along the way, the started allowing bigger jobs and a variety of prices. Today, the company has over 100 service categories and tens of thousands of users from over 160 countries. We chose it as the best for creatives since it offers the opportunity for freelancers in just about any digital creative field to offer their services to a global marketplace. 

Fiverr broadly categorizes its services (like graphics and design, digital marketing, and writing and translation), but freelancers can offer services as specific as they want. Examples include Facebook page banners, podcast intros, book covers, menu design, comic book illustration, and more.

Sellers start by creating a free profile with their listed expertise and setting the services they want to offer, known as Gigs. Sellers can add up to three different packages to the Gig Page to give buyers more choices and upsell their Gig with extras before, during, and after the order. Finally, sellers can send custom offers to potential buyers to offer more flexibility.

Fiverr allows sellers to keep 80% of their funds. When a seller gets paid, Fiverr puts a 14-day hold on the funds in the event a dissatisfied client wants a refund. After that period is over, the seller can withdraw their funds to a PayPal account, credit their Fiverr Revenue Card, which works like a debit card, or transfer money to a bank account. 

Although third-party reviews are mostly positive, some freelancers report problems withdrawing their money, as well as with poor customer service and getting scammed by people who didn't want to pay for their work.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Creators keep 80% of their funds

  • A number of payment options are available to freelancers

Cons
  • Some reviewers complain about getting scammed

  • Freelancers express problems with customer service

Final Verdict

Freelancers have special needs when it comes to seeking out their next gig. This is why we reviewed more than two dozen gig job sites to find the best options for your needs.

Upwork tops our list with its network of clients seeking freelancers to complete jobs. But if Upwork isn't right for you, Freelancer might fit the bill. More experienced freelancers might find a regular gig through Guru, while those seeking to do tasks may find opportunities at TaskRabbit. Freelance IT pros may have luck using Toptal while those looking for remote opportunities might want to check out FlexJobs. Creatives will want to check out Fiverr for their next gig.

Questions & Answers

What Are Gig Jobs?

Gig jobs are small projects that people complete for small amounts of money—often equivalent to just a few hours of work. Gig jobs can be as simple as running errands and assembling IKEA furniture or as complex as designing logos and managing complex business projects.

Some people use gig jobs to supplement their full- or part-time jobs in order to make a little extra cash without having to commit to an employer or a set schedule. Others use gig or freelance jobs as a way to transition into another career or to scale down their existing job and make room for more rewarding or more profitable work.

Taking on a gig can help create multiple streams of income rather than relying on income from a simple job. Those looking to transition to another career can use gig or freelance jobs to test the waters to see if the new career is right for them.

How Do Gig Job Sites Work?

Gig job sites have two sides: one side is for businesses and individuals looking for help; the other side is for providers who have services to offer. 

A typical gig or freelancer site allows a user to create a profile with their list of skills, experience, and rates. The site will then try and match users with businesses or individuals who have projects in line with the user’s skills.  

Once a user finds a job they’re interested in, they use the platform to submit a proposal, negotiate terms, and accept the job. Most gig sites also handle invoicing and payments to ensure that both sides get what was agreed upon. 

What Is the Cost of Using a Website to Find Gig Jobs?

Most gig sites don’t charge users anything to create a profile and advertise their services. Instead, they take a percentage of profit from each job. This can be anywhere from 5% to 20%, with the lower amounts usually applying to users who have larger total billing amounts with their clients.  

Other gig sites offer membership pricing between $12 to $50 per month and offer additional ways for freelancers to boost their profiles on the platform and get more jobs. 

Finally, a few sites allow gig workers to take 100% of their profits and either add a markup or take a percentage of the buyer’s purchase.

How Much Do Gig Workers Earn?

According to Priceonomics, 85% of gig workers make less than $500 a month. On the flip side, Steady reports that gig workers add an average of $624 to their monthly income.

It’s important to note that these amounts are based on jobs that require relatively little skill, like ridesharing, food delivery, and running errands. Talented creatives on platforms like Fiverr will earn less than their professional counterparts but can also focus on the work they love and build their portfolio accordingly.

Finally, skilled professionals using sites like Guru and Toptal can get competitive industry rates for their services without having to commit to a single employer. In all, while gig jobs may not pay as much as full- or part-time jobs, they make up for it in the flexibility freelancers have to set their schedules and take on the work they want.

How We Chose the Best Sites to Find Gig Jobs

To build our list of the best sites to find gig jobs, we looked at nearly two dozen different freelancing sites. We focused on top-rated sites with large pools of freelancers and clients looking to hire them. We also made sure to look at companies with intelligent matching systems and that allow buyers and sellers to communicate and make arrangements, including payments, straight through the site.

Finally, we made sure to choose platforms that cater to specific seller needs, such as skilled professionals, creatives, or those just looking to pick up the occasional odd job. In the end, the success of any gig worker depends on finding the right buyers who are willing to pay for their services again and again.  

Graphic designer working at desk
Klaus Vedfelt / Taxi / Getty Images
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