Engineering can make a great income for you and your family, but the hours can also be long. That is why people just like you find themselves looking for side hustle ideas for engineers.
Depending on where you are with your career as an engineer, you will have different goals. You may want to quit your day job, or just add an additional income stream.
There are side hustle ideas for engineers whether you prefer to work online, for an institution, or anything in between below.
Side Hustle Ideas For Engineers To Start Online
These ideas are geared towards engineers who are looking to work online only. You do not want to visit people in person, have an office, or work locally.
Depending on the services you offer, working locally may be prohibited by the firm that you work for. When you expand your services globally or nationally, the same rules may not apply.
It is always best to check with your employer before proceeding.
Create Online Courses
Do you enjoy teaching the youth about your craft? If so, creating online courses is a great side hustle idea for engineers looking to earn passive income.
Creating online courses has great passive income potential. Create it once, sell and earn income for years to come.
Doing a quick search on Udemy for “Electrical Engineering” yields 6617 results.
Let’s take a deeper look into the income potential.
Income Potential For Engineering Online Course
I’ve clicked the 2nd result, “Ultimate Electrical Machines for Electrical Engineering”. Ahmed Mahdy, the instructor of the course, sells the course for $19.99. He currently has 1860 students.
Assuming the average student paid $19.99, he has earned $37,181.40.
This does not include any extra consulting, tutoring, or upsells to other courses that he offers.
Build it once, sell it twice. This is a common phrase said by many digital entrepreneurs selling courses.
If you have a knack for explaining things well or enjoy working with others, tutoring may be for you. You can tutor in person, but the world has shifted online and you can too.
Engineering courses are less in demand than most courses. Due to that, your rates can increase compared to most tutors. Tutoring can easily grow into a business where you are multiplying your dollars by hiring tutors to go out.
How to start a business tutoring online
The best way to start a business tutoring online is to leverage other platforms. The traffic is already going to these tutoring websites, so why not go where your target customer is.
Once you have received some reviews and have worked out the kinks, you can go on your own. It will be an easy switch to bring your clients from a platform to personal business when they’ve already worked with and trust you.
According to TheBalanceCareers, here are a few places you can find your first online tutoring gig:
- Best for College Students: Brainfuse
- Best for High School Test Prep: PrepNow Tutoring
- Leading/Best For College Test Prep: TutorMe
- Best for New Tutors: Tutor.com
- Best for One-Off Help: Studypool
These are all great sites with pros and cons. It is best to do your research and if you wish, join more than one.
Becoming a CAD Specialist
If you’re looking for side hustle ideas for engineers, you are probably familiar with CAD. CAD specialists will carry out technical work on files.
One of the best parts of being a CAD Specialist is that it can cater to your engineering specialty. There are companies that need CAD Specialists in electrical, architectural, mechanical and design engineering.
Rank and Rent For Engineers
In episode 82, Luke Van Der Veer comes on The Hobby Hustler Show and shares his method of ranking websites to rent out to local contractors. The concept is simple, build a website to generate leads, sell the site to someone who can use them.
One of the strategies Luke teaches is to use the leads for yourself if you are able to perform the service. I did a quick search for “CAD Specialist near me” on Google, and the nearest result was 40 minutes away.
There is clearly an opportunity in my area to generate leads, and there may be in your area too!
For more information on rank and rent, watch this video I made!
Start an Engineering Blog or Niche Site
The concept of niche sites has become popular lately. Ben Adler, an influencer in niche websites and founder of Keyword Chef, came on The Hobby Hustler Show to share his strategy to earn a full-time income with\ niche websites.
If you’re new to niche websites, the concept is simple.
Create content, link your content, drive traffic, and monetize your traffic.
You can monetize your website through display advertising as well as affiliate links.
Starting an engineering blog as a side hustle is not easy, and can take time to build. However, if you put in the work upfront, it can pay passive income for years to come.
Side Hustle Ideas For Engineers To Start For Tech Savvy Engineers
Perhaps you’re looking for a side hustle idea to utilize your engineering skills. Many engineers who are in our community are tech-savvy and want to leverage those skills to build a side hustle.
Here are some side hustle ideas for engineers who are looking to utilize their engineering skillsets.
Metalworks, Woodworking, and Mobile App Development
If you’re a civil, mechanical, computer, or even a production engineer, there are skills you know that you can use to build a side hustle.
For example, if you’re into computer engineering and understand coding, you may want to develop a mobile app. Another option could be to develop software as a service, just like Nathan Rosidi did (listen here).
Regardless of your engineering background, there will be a side hustle for you to choose. Engineers are technical, and when you possess technical skills, you can craft ways to monetize them.
Technical Side Hustle Ideas For Engineers Locally
Building onto your technical skills locally is a great idea. If you are able to compete locally and it is not a conflict of interest, starting locally may be easier.
Creating a local lead generation website (I also teach how in this workshop) allows you to rank organically on Google searches. For example, if someone searches for “CAD Specialist [your city]”, your business and website would pop up first.
The reality is, some businesses will not allow you to operate locally and you will have to look at side hustle ideas that are remote.
Technical Side Hustle Ideas For Engineers That Are Remote
Finding remote work, especially when you’re competing with worldwide wage ranges, can be difficult. Another person in a different country may be able to offer the same type of work for a fraction of the price due to standards of living.
Your goal for remote work is to start with a low hourly wage, rack up reviews, and slowly increase your wages. As you get more reviews and badges on your profiles, you will have no trouble attracting top-quality clients, willing to pay more.
Here are a few places to go to find remote work for engineers:
Flying a Drone as a Side Hustle
As a drone hobbyist myself, I can say that flying drones is extremely fun. If you are not familiar with flying drones, the learning curve is simple and easier than expected.
I purchased a DJI Mavic Pro on their website a few years ago, and have thought about using it commercially but haven’t. I primarily use it for hobby purposes, including vacations and checking out neighbors roofs after storms!
If you are thinking of purchasing a drone for commercial purposes, consult your local bylaws. In some jurisdictions, you will need commercial pilot licenses as well as liability insurance.
Side Hustle Ideas For Engineers To Start In a University
It’s no secret that you spent a lot of time in school before becoming a practicing engineer! One of the best side hustle ideas for engineers is to go back into the education part of engineering. If you’re a practicing engineer with a firm, chances are, there is no conflict of interest here.
Part-Time Adjunct Professor
According to Resilient Educator, an “adjunct professor now makes up the majority of instructors in higher education institutions nationwide.”
This presents a great opportunity for engineers who have an interest in teaching. Adjunct professors will have a set schedule and know everything upon accepting the job offer. This allows you to choose what is suitable for your lifestyle.
Requirements to be an adjunct professor
Becoming an adjunct professor will differ from institution to institution and State laws, but typically you will need:
- Doctoral or Bachelors degree (Masters is a bonus and preferred by many institutions)
- Work experience that shows career development
- Willingness to teach and educate
- Great attitude and personality
If you meet the requirements, you’d be happy to hear that the average salary for an adjunct professor in the USA can be anywhere from $50,000 to $75,000.
Side Hustle Ideas For Engineers To Start For Seasoned Engineers
Last but not least, if you’re an engineer looking for a side hustle idea that you can transition to a business that will bring generation wealth, then you may want to consider starting a consultancy.
Create a consultancy
I recently wrote a post about how to start a consultancy as a side hustle. A major benefit of starting a consultancy is that your output is not related to your income. With a consultancy, you can price your services based on the value you provide, not how long it takes.
Not tieing your income to your hours worked allows you to hire employees and scale your consultancy. At the beginning of your engineering consulting practice, you may want to do much of the work yourself, allowing for scale down the road.
Here is a roadmap to starting your engineering consultancy:
- Choose a niche within the engineering space
- Develop a list of services that you’d offer
- Set your price list (include monthly retainers too)
- Create a one-page website with WordPress
- Announce it on social media (LinkedIn may be your target market)
- Develop a plan to attract clients
- Get started!
The last step is the hardest! It is easy to get caught up in building a website, crafting your services, but getting started is difficult.
Final Thoughts on Starting a Side Hustle as an Engineer
There are tons of different side hustles ideas for engineers that you could start today. The reality is, you need to choose something that will fit your lifestyle and will not be a conflict of interest with your day job.