The gig economy is rapidly expanding.
In 2022, 16% of Americans used a gig platform to earn additional income.
By 2023, that figure has risen to nearly 20%.
For many people, however, the many types of work available can make it hard to distinguish between great jobs and ones that are a waste of time.
That’s why we’ve curated a comprehensive guide to the best gig economy jobs on the internet.
- The Best Gig Economy Platforms (Overview)
- An Overview of Gig Economy Platforms
- The Best Gig Economy Platforms at a Glance
- Features to Look for in Gig Economy Platforms
- Best Gig Economy Platforms: Our Top 3 Options [Ranked & Reviewed]
- Notable Mentions: Other Gig Economy Platforms to Check Out
- Other Companies Relevant to Gig Economy Platforms
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
The Best Gig Economy Platforms (Overview)
If you’re short on time, read through our list of the best gig economy platforms. For detailed information on each pick, scroll down.
- Upwork: Our Pick
- Freelancer: Our Pick
- Fiverr: Runner-Up
- Toptal: Also Great
- Guru: Most Accessible
- LinkedIn: Best for Career Professionals
- FlexJobs: Best for Beginners
- Prospa: Best for Full-Time Jobs
- appen: Best for Flexibility
An Overview of Gig Economy Platforms
With the growing demand for remote and flexible work, gig economy platforms have cropped up across the web.
If you find yourself wanting to work for yourself, a gig platform is a great option.
Many platforms require an up-front investment or need to vet their listings properly.
Others do not strictly offer work that is categorized as a gig.
What is a Gig Economy Platform?
Gig economy platforms are digital platforms that facilitate the temporary or freelance jobs that make up the gig economy.
Rather than working for one company, many gig workers choose to work with many different entities for a temporary, set period.
Why Are Gig Economy Platforms Important?
Research shows that gig platforms are more efficient in connecting employers to employees than traditional hiring structures.
Additionally, gig economy platforms can provide a flexible income and schedule for many workers to depend on.
They have allowed a new, previously excluded workforce to enter the market.
Do I Need a Gig Economy Platform?
Using a gig economy platform is a distinct advantage for anyone seeking to maximize their income without compromising too much of their time.
You should use a gig economy platform if you:
- Are you seeking a side hustle
- Need additional income
- Are you a freelancer or a contracted worker
- Are a creative professional
The Best Gig Economy Platforms at a Glance
The gig economy platforms below offer the best work experience and the highest pay.
Either would be an excellent choice for those seeking to join the market.
What is the Best Gig Economy Platform?
The best gig economy platform is Upwork.
Upwork offers the best work experience, including a comprehensive platform with embedded payment, scheduling, and communication capabilities.
What is the Highest-Paying Gig Economy Platform?
The highest-paying gig economy platform is Flexjobs.
Features to Look for in Gig Economy Platforms
Before choosing a gig economy platform, consider what the gig economy offers you as a worker.
While most gig workers primarily look for optimal pay, you may wish to assess other factors that contribute to your experience, including perks and benefits, worker support, and educational resources.
1. Income & Perks
Whether you are looking for a long-term, full-time position or a side hustle, consider the income you stand to earn from your job.
Additionally, consider any additional benefits or perks that may accompany your employment.
For example, some companies offer bonuses and special employee prices.
2. Gig Work Opportunities
When choosing a platform, consider the quantity and quality of job opportunities available on the website.
Consider the number of listings and updates on the platform to ensure that you will have access to opportunities.
Determine whether you wish to work by assignment or under consistent management.
Some platforms may require you to schedule or plan work ahead of time, while others let you operate whenever you want to.
Consider your options for turning work down or failing to meet deadlines/quotas.
It’s essential to know how much flexibility you have.
4. Worker Support
No matter where you work, it’s always good to have access to a robust support system.
If you have a question or if something goes wrong, you will want to be able to reach out to someone or find the right resources to resolve your issue.
5. Opportunities for Growth
The best job opportunities offer the potential for advancement and growth.
Determine how important it is to you to have access to skill development opportunities and promotions and choose accordingly.
Some platforms even offer courses or certifications to help you advance in your career.
Best Gig Economy Platforms: Our Top 3 Options [Ranked & Reviewed]
Once you have determined which features matter to you most in a gig economy platform, it’s time to choose the right website for your needs.
Upwork – Our Pick
Upwork is one of the most popular gig economy platforms.
Founded in 2013, this website operates on a marketplace structure in which employers post job listings and freelancers “bid” on them with tokens.
Freelancers receive ten free tokens, called “Connects,” every month, though they must pay for additional tokens.
Upwork is famous for its high-paying job, robust security features, and diverse work opportunities.
Key Features of Upwork
Consider the following key features of Upwork before using the platform:
- Pay Structure: Upwork has a minimum hourly rate of $3, which helps to prevent the common phenomenon of low-skill labor driving income down.
- All-in-One Platform: The Upwork platform is valuable and easy to access. It features a scheduler, work diary, payment tracker, and more.
- Proposals: On this website, freelancers apply for jobs using recommendations, which allow them to showcase their skills and talents and make a bid for a specific job.
- Professional Profiles: Upwork allows freelancers to create high-quality profiles to showcase their credentials. This profile can replace a website for many users.
- Support Structures: Upwork offers many support structures for employees, from educational resources to a responsive help desk.
Pros of Upwork
There are many advantages to using Upwork. These include:
- Vetted, Reliable Jobs: Unlike many other platforms, Upwork does an excellent job of vetting listings and ensuring secure payments and reliable work.
- Beginner-Friendly: Upwork is beginner friendly because the platform features an intuitive interface and many supportive structures.
- Connects Cost Money: If you wish to acquire more than 10 Connects a month, you will need to pay $0.15 per Connect.
Cons of Upwork
Although there are many benefits to using Upwork, there are several drawbacks. Consider the following:
- High Competition: There are more freelancers than employers on Upwork, so you may face high competition rates.
- Lengthy Proposals: Upwork proposals are relatively complex and may take some time to adjust, reducing your valuable time.
- Restrictive Security Features: Upwork practices random ID checks and other security measures, which can present challenges to those without accessible documentation.
There is no natural way to know how much you stand to earn from Upwork since each job offers different pay.
However, you can expect at least $3 per hour for every job, and many users report relying on Upwork for their entire income, so it’s possible to earn significant money.
Upwork will claim a percentage of your earnings, so keep this in mind when using the platform.
Conclusion: Should You Choose Upwork?
Upwork is an ideal solution for most gig workers.
With its accessible and valuable platform, additional resources and educational materials, and relatively high-paying jobs, Upwork is the best gig economy platform.
Upwork is ideal for remote workers and those seeking to break into freelance industries like copywriting or graphic design, and you can find almost any remote job on the platform.
Freelancer – Our Pick
Much like Upwork, Freelancer is an outsourcing marketplace where employers connect with willing freelancers.
This platform is among the best ways to find gigs.
Freelancers bid on detailed proposals and start working immediately when approved.
Freelancer typically claims a small commission for each job, and gig workers can choose to upgrade their profiles to acquire more jobs.
Key Features of Freelancer
Freelancer offers the following key features to gig workers:
- Massive Job Database: Because Freelancer doesn’t charge for listings, tons of listings are available on the platform, making this the best choice for those seeking diverse options.
- Communication Capabilities: Freelancer offers comprehensive B2B communication tools like direct chat and file-sharing capabilities.
- Flexible Payment Options: With Freelancer, you can choose from different payment options and trust that your payments will remain secure.
- Freelancer Profile: Like Upwork, Freelancer allows you to create a top-quality profile to appeal to employers.
- Dispute Resolution: If any conflicts should arise between you and your employer, Freelancer provides dispute resolution services that can help you quickly and reasonably amend the situation.
Pros of Freelancer
Consider the many benefits of using Freelancer below:
- Secure Payments: With Freelancer, you can use a secure payment portal and trust that your payments will securely arrive in your bank account without compromising your information.
- Detailed Listings: Freelancer requires employers to make relatively straightforward listings, so you know exactly what you are in for before committing to a job.
- Responsive Customer Support: Freelancer has an expert customer support team. They will be happy to answer your questions and usually support their employees.
Cons of Freelancer
Consider the following drawbacks before using this gig platform.
- Scam Listings: Freelancer is not as secure as Upwork, so watch out for scammers and potentially illegitimate job listings.
- User Interface: The Freelancer platform leaves something to be desired, and it takes longer to get accustomed to than others on this list.
- Difficult for Beginners: Freelancer is a competitive platform, and it is easier for beginners to land jobs with credentials.
As with Upwork, you are estimating your income from Freelancers is hard.
This platform also has a $3 minimum payment requirement, but the company takes a commission (typically from the buyer).
Conclusion: Should You Choose Freelancer?
Freelancer is an excellent gig economy platform.
Many users love it for its broad offerings, diverse listings, and flexible payment and communication features.
Although Freelancer doesn’t screen its listings, as some would like, the company offers secure payments and dispute resolution services to protect its employees.
A freelancer is a great place to look for work unless you are a freelancing beginner.
Fiverr – Runner-Up
Fiverr is a freelancer marketplace that functions differently from most.
On this popular platform, freelancers create profiles to list their credentials, skills, and achievements, and employers connect with them.
By eliminating bids and proposals, Fiverr makes it less time-consuming for freelancers—but harder to reliably find work.
Weigh your pros and cons before deciding whether to go with Fiverr.
Key Features of Fiverr
Consider the following key features of Fiverr before making your decision:
- Custom Offers: With Fiverr, employers can extend custom offers to freelancers, eliminating the need for bids and allowing for more flexible contracts.
- Comprehensive Payment Services: With Fiverr, you can rely on secure payments. Additionally, this website enables automated payments, a considerable advantage when working for yourself.
- Freelancer Profiles: With Fiverr, as with other sites, you can (and should) create a sophisticated profile to entice employers to work with you.
- Multi-Category Jobs; On Fiverr, you can find jobs across multiple categories and fields, ensuring diverse opportunities for workers of all stripes.
- Seller Integrations: Freelancers can benefit from Fiverr’s many integrations, allowing them to link websites, payment portals, and more.
Pros of Fiverr
Consider the benefits of using Fiverr before opting for this platform:
- No Bids: For many freelancers, writing bids or proposals aren’t worth the time. Fiverr eliminates the need for creating complicated suggestions, which can be an advantage for many.
- Broad Listing Categories: On Fiverr, you can find jobs across different fields and markets, making this one of the most diverse gig work platforms.
- No Marketing Necessary: Most freelancers dread marketing themselves, and Fiverr takes care of that for you by setting you up with willing employers.
Cons of Fiverr
Although Fiverr is an excellent platform, there are certain drawbacks, including:
- High Commissions: Fiverr takes 20% of your earnings, which is a relatively high commission rate compared to others.
- Complex Interface: Fiverr’s interface is relatively difficult to learn, and your ability to get jobs will depend on how well-designed your profile is.
- Strict Regulations: To protect people on the platform, Fiverr implements strict regulations, preventing freelancers from building lists of repeat clients or creating networks.
The average monthly income on Fiverr is $2100.
This averages to around $105 per gig, far more than most freelancers make from gigs.
However, Fiverr takes a 20% commission, which is a lot compared to other similar sites.
You will need the credentials to get those gigs, so keep this in mind before using the platform.
Conclusion: Should You Choose Fiverr
Fiverr is an ideal gig economy platform for those with experience in their relative fields.
Because it functions slightly differently than demand-first platforms, you’ll have to build a compelling profile to land jobs.
Once you do, however, they pay better than most.
Notable Mentions: Other Gig Economy Platforms to Check Out
If you haven’t yet found your ideal gig economy platform, consider choosing one of our additional options below.
Toptal – Also Great
Toptal is a unique database of freelancers that helps employers find the right person for their jobs.
The company maintains an exclusive database of freelancers chosen from a vast pool of applicants.
They allegedly accept only 3% of applicants to ensure the highest quality.
If you can get into Toptal, you can earn significantly more money than other platforms, making this an ideal solution for qualified experts seeking lucrative work.
Why is Toptal a Great Option?
Toptal is an excellent option since most employers pay more through Toptal than other platforms.
Additionally, Toptal uses AI and live support to pair freelancers with employers, ensuring a better fit than if you were shooting in the dark.
Lastly, Toptal handles any disputes or issues internally, as the company aims to reduce freelancers’ efforts to get the work they need.
Drawbacks to Toptal
There are several issues for freelancers using Toptal.
First, it is highly selective, so you may only get accepted onto the platform if you have the proper credentials for your field of work.
Toptal is also less appropriate for creative freelance work like writing, graphic design, or art. Toptal is more suitable for web designers and developers or finance experts.
According to Glassdoor, the estimated yearly pay for a freelancer is $93,467 on average.
This is significantly higher than most gig workers can make on digital platforms, so Toptal offers the highest pay.
Remember that pay is higher because competition is lower. Toptal accepts only the most qualified freelancers on the site.
Guru – Most Accessible
Guru is a freelance marketplace not unlike Upwork or Freelancer.
With Guru, simply sign up and create a profile.
You can then view job listings and bid on jobs that suit your needs and skill set.
Guru takes only a tiny percentage of your earnings and charges meager fees, so it is one of the best platforms, to begin with.
Why is Guru a Great Option?
A guru is an ideal option for beginners and expert freelancers alike.
This platform charges low commissions and fees to prioritize accessibility.
The venue is easy to use, boasts an intuitive design, and you can take advantage of flexible payment methods.
Additionally, Guru offers project management functionalities, allowing you to track your work and payments through the website easily.
Drawbacks to Guru
Guru’s website is less secure than others, and buyers and sellers must be appropriately vetted.
Additionally, Guru’s fee structure tends to become more complicated as your earnings grow, which can be a deterrent to some.
Lastly, Guru does not offer comprehensive service options.
There is no live chat or dispute resolution service.
While you will likely earn less on Guru than on another platform, the company only takes 9% of your earnings, allowing you to keep more than you usually would.
However, jobs aren’t always easy to find on Guru, and the platform isn’t the most secure, so if you are looking for reliable income, this may not be the best place to start.
LinkedIn – Best for Networking
LinkedIn is one of the oldest platforms on this list.
Launched in 2002, this social media platform and job board caters specifically to professionals seeking to expand their professional connections and build the relationships that lead to jobs.
Why is LinkedIn a Great Option?
LinkedIn is an excellent resource for most freelancers and professionals.
Making an account on LinkedIn can allow you to connect with other professionals and creators, building invaluable connections that can serve you.
Drawbacks to LinkedIn
LinkedIn isn’t specifically a gig economy platform, so it may be more difficult to find individual gig jobs on this platform.
LinkedIn isn’t optimized for gig work, so it doesn’t embed many valuable features that other platforms might, like built-in payment portals and video conferencing.
Because LinkedIn is a massive social network and job board, it is impossible to estimate how much you will make from the platform.
However, LinkedIn is typically best for career jobs and high-skill labor, so you can expect to earn more than you would on a standard gig economy platform.
FlexJobs – Best for Beginners
FlexJobs is a job board and freelance marketplace that allows people to find part-time, full-time, and remote jobs.
Flexjobs offers more resources than any other platform on this list, making it ideal for beginners and those seeking to grow and improve.
Why is FlexJobs a Great Option?
FlexJobs is an ideal option for beginners and those seeking to grow and expand their practice.
This platform offers more supportive resources and educational tools than any other on this list, so you can count on finding the answer to your every question—and expanding your repertoire of skills and capabilities.
FlexJobs is also ideal for those seeking flexibility, as you can accept or turn down jobs without penalty.
FlexJobs does not claim a commission, unlike other sites.
Drawbacks to FlexJobs
There are a few drawbacks to FlexJobs.
The platform is crowded, so you may face high rates of competition.
Pay is relatively low compared to other platforms, although the company does not claim a percentage of your earnings.
With FlexJobs, you can benefit from a small side hustle or make up to six figures with consistent, reliable work.
Flexjobs does not claim commission or take any amount of your earnings, allowing you to make the most of your time.
Prospa is a gig economy platform that allows entrepreneurs and freelancers to create profiles and peruse listings freely.
However, if you’re looking for a long-term, full-time remote job, Prospa isn’t the wrong place to start.
It’s great for those in professional fields like law and healthcare, and customer service jobs.
Why is Prospa a Great Option?
With Prospa, you can choose your clients according to your preferences as a freelancer.
Like other gig platforms, you can also choose from various options.
Prospa is ideal for select markets like healthcare, telecommunications, financial services, real estate, transportation, utilities, software development, graphic design, and human resources.
To create jobs, consider looking elsewhere.
Drawbacks to Prospa
Prospa does not cater to creative sectors like copywriting or design, so if you want to exercise an artistic ability, consider looking elsewhere.
Additionally, this platform is less well-known than others, so you may need help finding a job.
There are few metrics available and few reviews online, so it isn’t clear how much users enjoy this platform.
No data is available for the average income freelancers earn from Prospa.
Ultimately, each job offers a different income level.
However, since Prospa is better for full-time employment, you can count on a more reliable and predictable payment structure than you would get with other gig apps.
appen – Most Flexible
appen is a data management company that hires freelancers to train artificial intelligence and work on search engine evaluation and other tech-related jobs.
With appen, you can create your schedule and work on your time, making this the most flexible platform we’ve evaluated.
appen does take applications and requires you to take a qualification test, so keep this in mind before applying.
Why is appen a Great Option?
appen is ideal for those seeking flexibility.
On this platform, you can completely assemble your schedule.
You can claim as many tasks as you wish or choose not to work for a while.
The platform is excellent for those seeking a side hustle or part-time gig.
Additionally, appen offers more exciting jobs than most other platforms, so you can learn about different fields and topics as you go.
Drawbacks to appen
appen makes you take a qualifying exam before working for the company, so this platform may not be accessible to all.
Additionally, appen is ideal for those in the digital economy or tech-related jobs and less appropriate for creative freelancers and writers.
Lastly, appen takes security very seriously, and you may have to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
If you ever breach data security, it will likely be taken quite seriously.
According to reviews, appen typically offers lower pay than most other gig apps.
Wages typically range from $12–$15 an hour.
Each gig offers a different pay rate; this platform has no guarantees.
Consider searching elsewhere if you’re looking for lucrative jobs and a reliable payment structure.
Other Companies Relevant to Gig Economy Platforms
If you enjoyed this article, consider checking out other companies similar to the ones listed here.
- Best Remote Job Boards: Remote job boards can allow you to find and secure remote jobs without leaving your couch (or bed!). Whether you just need to earn some extra cash or want a remote job to provide a full time income, this article rounds up the best job boards available online in 2023.
- Best Passive Income Apps: Earning money while you sleep is the dream, and these apps can help you find the right passive income opportunities for your needs.
- Best Places to Sell Items Online: If you make or resell physical products, consider using one of the best online marketplaces for sellers like you!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are still trying to decide which gig economy platform to use, consider the answers to our most frequently asked questions below.
Which Platform is Best for New Freelancers?
Upwork and FlexJobs are the best platforms for new freelancers.
Upwork is the best online freelance marketplace, while FlexJobs offers tons of educational resources for novice freelancers to get acclimated to the industry.
What is the Fastest App to Earn Money?
The fastest app to earn money is Freelancer.
The sheer number of listings on the platform makes it easy to find something that adapts to your needs and skills.
These best gig economy platforms will help you find jobs quickly and efficiently.
You should experiment with the options we covered above before committing to one platform.
If you can’t find one that works for you, consider using Upwork, as it provides the highest relative pay and the most diverse opportunities of any platform.
Remember to exercise patience and don’t be afraid to start out by taking small jobs for lower pay.
That small gig could grow into large gigs.