18 Creative Ways to Make Extra Money in Philadelphia

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Maybe you’re a stay-at-home parent who wants to make a little extra cash.

Or you’re saving up for a dream vacation — and your regular paycheck just isn’t going to get you there.

Whatever it is, you’re looking for ways to make extra money in Philadelphia.

Don’t worry, from working at an aquarium to eating cheesecake, we’ve got 18 zany ideas to make extra money in the city of Brotherly Love.

1. Run Urban Outfitters’ Instagram Account

Urban outfitters

Urban Outfitters was founded near the University of Pennsylvania’s campus in the ‘70s, and is still headquartered in downtown Philly.

It’s on the hunt for a social media manager to oversee its Instagram account. You’ll focus on  “creating original photographic and video content,” “building a true community” and engaging with customers, employees and other influencers.

You’ll need at least two years of marketing and/or merchandising experience, a “highly-developed interest in fashion, art, music, and photography,” the ability to build relationships and work on multiple projects and a passion for “culture, branding, and the space in which they intersect.”

For someone who’s into fashion and photography, this sounds like a pretty sweet opportunity!

2. Take Medical Surveys in Philadelphia

Design contest

Want to get paid for medical research — without getting poked by a needle? M3 Global Research needs Philadelphians to participate in medical surveys.

Simply sign up and describe your health, and the company will send you survey invitations based on your personal information. You won’t be spammed with a bunch of surveys that don’t apply to you.

If you qualify, you can complete them online, over the phone or in M3’s downtown Philly office. Each one takes 20-30 minutes and pays $5-$100.

The company’s needs are always changing — so it’s worth signing up regardless. But right now, it’s recruiting for participants with several conditions, including psoriasis, cancer, migraines and cardiovascular diseases.

Want to get paid for medical research — without getting poked by a needle? We found a few local research group looking for Philadelphians to participate in medical surveys.

Simply sign up and describe your health, and the company will send you survey invitations based on your personal information.

3. Train Pups for Petco

Woof woof!

If you’re a dog lover, we couldn’t think of a better gig for you than working as a dog trainer or training apprentice for Petco.

You’ll need a “strong ability to inspire and motivate self and others” — both furry and non-furry. The ideal candidate will also have CPDT-KA or Karen Pryor Academy certification, as well as experience “teaching positive reinforcement dog training techniques in group or class settings.”

It’s a part-time position that requires you to work “during peak traffic periods” on weekdays and weekends.

4. Join These Focus Groups

Work from home

deimagine / Getty Images

Sure, taking online surveys isn’t the most exciting way to earn extra money — but it is easy. Especially since you can do it from your couch while watching TV.

VIP Voice gives you points after every single survey, which you can then redeem for gift cards, travel and electronics. After you take a few, you might even see a special survey offering a $25 reward. Be patient, though — you might have to take a few before you see this one.

Swagbucks is another one of our favorite sites, because it offers a wide variety of ways to make extra money.

In addition to surveys, you can earn points (called SB) for watching videos, playing games or shopping online. You can redeem SB for cash via Paypal, or for gift cards to retailers like Walmart and Amazon.

Even better, Swagbucks will give you $5 just for signing up and taking your first survey!

5. Perfect Your Poker Face at Harrah’s

Poker dealerEver wondered what it’s like to work at a casino? Here’s your chance to find out!

Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack is hiring a poker dealer — among many other things.

To snag this part-time position, you have to be upbeat and positive, and able to create “an atmosphere of luck.” You must understand the game and possess a certificate of completion from an accredited PA Dealers School (or equivalent).

You can bet it’s a good place to work: Harrah’s was voted as the number one place to work by Philly.com. There’s a FREE 24/7 employee cafeteria, tuition reimbursement and options for life and health insurance.

Plus, with “100,000 square feet of non-stop gaming action,” more than 2,700 slot machines, seven restaurants and “live racing overlooking the Delaware River,” you’re unlikely to ever get bored.

6. Give People a Lyft

Young man on the streets of big city.

Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people?

Try driving with Lyft!

Demand for ridesharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

We talked to Paul Pruce, who’s been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year. He earns $750 a week as a driver.

Best of all, he does it on his own time. You can work days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you!

7. Drive Your Car with Uber

Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people?

Try becoming a driver partner with Uber.

As an Uber contractor, you create your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want.

If you want to give it a try here are a few of the things to keep in mind: You must be at least 21 years old, have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S. (three years if you are under 23 years old), have a valid US driver’s license and pass a background check.

Also, your car must be a four-door, seat at least four passengers (excluding the driver), be registered in-state and be covered by in-state insurance.

Here’s a link to apply with Uber.

8. Swim With the Fishes at the Adventure Aquarium

In a good way, that is — by working in guest services at the Adventure Aquarium.

The facility has “more than 8,500 aquatic species throughout two million gallons of water” and is home “to the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast.” Oh, and did we mention there are also hippos and penguins?

Your duties will include selling tickets, conducting guests surveys and helping operate rides. You must be able to pass a pre-employment background check and drug test, work in all weather conditions, stand for long periods of time and lift 50 pounds.

The pay is only $9 per hour, but perks include food and retail discounts, complimentary tickets to other local attractions, staff outings, 24 aquarium tickets for family and friends each year — and profit sharing and 401(k) with match after your first year of employment.

9. Open a Checking Account With TD Bank

How’s your phone looking? If you’re anything like me, it’s in sore need of an upgrade.

But why spend an arm and leg on a new device when you can get one for free? You don’t even have to do anything crazy.

Just sign up for a new Convenience Checking account with TD Bank. In return, you’ll receive a brand-new Samsung Galaxy phone — a value of nearly $600!

How cool is that?

And unlike many checking accounts these days, TD Bank won’t charge you any fees as long as you keep a $100 minimum balance in the account.

10. Eat Lots of Dessert at The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory is hiring for a bunch of positions, including host, server and busser, but this dessert finisher and espresso maker gig caught our eye. Because, YUM.

You’ll assist guests with their dessert and coffee selections… and probably get to sample lots of cheesecake while you’re at it.

Not to mention, getting in with this well-respected company would probably be good for your career. For the third year in a row, it was named one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” — the only restaurant on the list!

Perks include paid time off, health insurance, discounts and promotion opportunities — the company claims 40% of managers are promoted from within.

11. Get Free Flights on American Airlines

Ever wanted to work for an airline — but don’t want to be away from home all the time?

Then this job is for you. You’ll work as a customer service representative at PHL’s American Airlines club. You’ll need “extraordinary” customer service skills, the ability to work well under pressure and prior travel industry experience.

Let’s be real, though: The biggest benefit of working for an airline is the free travel.

AA doesn’t disappoint: “Our employees, their families, and friends enjoy the ability to travel almost anywhere in the world on American and American Eagle. Plus they can take advantage of discounted travel on other airlines.”

12. Give Beauty Makeovers for Bobbi Brown

If you’re a makeup fanatic, this job might be a dream come true.

As a beauty advisor for Macy’s, you’ll specialize in the Bobbi Brown line — sharing it with others to help them look their best.

You’ll connect with customers and learn about their sense of style, then “develop your artistic side through customer consultation and make-up and product application.”

Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Though prior cosmetics experience is a plus, it’s not required. You must have communications, math, organizational and time-management skills, as well as the ability to multi-task. Weekend, evening and holiday availability is a must.  

13. Generate Buzz for Zipcar

Are you outgoing and energetic? Mosaic Sales Solutions is looking for brand ambassadors to work at demonstrations and events.

This particular listing is for Zipcar, but the company has clients in all sorts of industries. Several years ago, Mosaic was even listed as one of the “Best Places to Work in Marketing and Media” by Advertising Age.

In this part-time position, you’ll work at trade shows, community events and college campuses. You’ll “generate buzz” about Zipcar by talking with — and educating — consumers. You must possess “strong speaking skills” and a “natural ability to create networks.”

14. Party at Dave & Buster’s

Calling all party animals!

The grownup version of Chuck E. Cheese’s is looking for a captain who can make sure visitors are ready to have a good time.

You’ll greet guests, help them understand all of D&B’s offerings and assist them with shuffleboard and billiards. In addition to the fun-making, you’ll be responsible for diffusing difficult situations and enforcing company policies — so timid people need not apply.

The perfect candidate must thrive in loud and fast environments, have night and weekend availability and be known for their “positive, enjoyable and radiant disposition.”

15. Join the Wegmans Family

If you’re from the Northeast, chances are you’re obsessed with Weggies. Not only is it a fantastic place to buy groceries, but it’s been on Fortune’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For” every year since 1998.

Right now, the beloved chain is hiring for a variety of positions throughout its Southeastern Pennsylvania locations. Even if you miss the job fair on July 19, check the website — you could find jobs as a cashier, baker or overnight food stocker, to name a few.

Both full- and part-time positions are available, and certain positions come with benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, adoption assistance, life insurance and paid vacation.

16. Reveal Your Inner Bookworm at Books-A-Million

I don’t know about you, but I always wanted to work at a bookstore when I was younger. And despite what you might think, it’s still achievable.

Books-A-Million is the second largest book retailer in the nation. It’s looking for a bookseller with a love of books (obvi!), good communications and customer service skills, a professional appearance and the willingness to be a team player.

In this role, you’ll be responsible for greeting and helping customers, running a register and providing “a clean workplace.”

17. Stay in Shape at Lifetime Fitness

Sure, chasing after kids is a good workout, but it generally doesn’t come with a paycheck… Unless it’s this kids activities team member job at Lifetime Fitness.

You’ll basically be an officer of fun, “organizing kids programming, activities, and games for children between the ages of three months and 11 years.” Your duties could include hosting birthday parties, arranging kickball games or instructing kids how to use of the rock wall.

Because you’ll be working with kids, the pre-employment background and health checks are pretty strict. To be eligible, you must be working toward a high-school diploma or GED, and preferably have some experience with kids.

And if the job itself weren’t enough of a workout, you’ll also get a complimentary membership to Lifetime Fitness, plus discounts on certain products and services.

18. Help Gentlemen Look Their Best at MySuit

If you dream of working in fashion in an “elegant” Center city location, this is the job for you.

MySuit is a “pioneer” in the made-to-measure men’s suit industry. It uses software to create, measure, fabricate and deliver custom suits to its customers.

The options include hundreds of “different patterns, weights and colors” — and the company is looking for fashion consultants to help customers sort through them all.  

In this full- or part-time position, you’ll guide clients toward looking their best by measuring, fitting and styling custom shirts and suits. You must be “confident,” “well-spoken,” “familiar with contemporary mens’ fashion” and willing to work weekends.

How’s that for some fun ways to earn extra money in Philadelphia? Good luck!


Do you think this article might help you put more money in your pocket?

Honest Abe


Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.