9 Side Jobs for Athletic Types


Want to stay active in your personal and professional life? Turn your sweat equity into actual equity with these nine side jobs for athletic types. (See also: 12 Great Side Jobs for Outdoorsy Types)

1. Writing Fitness Content

If you have decent writing skills, try your hand at writing fitness articles for print publications (credibility helps in this regard; a degree or certifications will get you further) or blogs. There's no shortage of fitness-based sites that publish editorial content, and if you add those to general lifestyle sites that push out content about fitness, you have a lot of resources to tap into to get started.

2. Local Coaching

Help shape a future generation of athletes by becoming a coach in your area. Some leagues run year-round — whether it's a kids' rec league or a social sports league for adults — and you can switch it up from season to season if you'd like, depending on your skills and availability.

"Coaching gives you the ability to build yourself up as the authority figure in your local niche and share the experience you have acquired over the course of your athletic career," says aspiring Olympian Sirena Alise, who has served as a coach in the past. "It's a great way to segue into a professional career after your athletic career comes to an end. It is also a great way to give back to your community and help build the athlete in someone else if you love sharing knowledge."

Janae Cardona is the owner of a cheering organization, and she says they're always on the lookout for great coaches.

"Depending upon their skill set and if they're good with children, being a cheer coach or a tumbling instructor in the afternoons/evenings and/or weekends is a great side job," she says. "Most of our coaches have a daytime job — many involve athletics, such as personal training — and work with us in the evenings and weekends."

3. Summer Camps

If you have the summers off for some lucky-duck reason, being a summer camp athletic director or coach might be up your alley. If you're hired at a sleepaway camp — which can run from four to eight weeks — you'll receive room and board, plus a decent wage. As an example, I was an art director at a summer camp in 2003, and I made about $3,000 for eight weeks while I lived and ate on campus for free. This may not be an ideal situation if you're trying to support a family of four at home, but if you're recently out of college it may be a legit solution.

"Athletic camps are a great way to make a lot of money, if done right, in a short amount of time," Alise suggests. "Similar to coaching, camps are a great way to segue out if your athletic career comes to end. With both, you can build your clientele up and earn a respectable amount of income once you take either coaching or camps full time."

4. Modeling Gigs

Do you put in serious work at the gym to have a smokin' hot bod? You might be able to turn that dedication into dollar bills by looking for modeling gigs. You don't have to be in New York or L.A. to make this dream come true, either. Businesses in your area may need a physical specimen for an upcoming campaign. Keep an eye on the "Gigs" section of Craigslist, or reach out to companies with which you identify to see if they could use your assets in the future.

5. Brand Ambassadorships

If you can't find any coveted modeling gigs, brand ambassadorships may be the next best thing. The way this works, essentially, is that a brand will pay you to represent it — either in cash or free product — on social media platforms like Instagram. You'll certainly have a better chance of scoring one of these plush gigs if you fill out clothing nicely and/or you've amassed an enviable following on social media.

"I think the best side/part-time job for athletic and fitness orientated people would be to seek a brand ambassador position with a health or sports brand," says Joshua Schall, a fitness business strategy consultant in Austin, Texas. "These types of positions get you access to great brands in the world you already love. A brand ambassador usually gets to pick his/her own hours and gets paid to attend sporting events, health fairs, or other events that are interesting to athletic people."

Schall provides a few pointers on how to get started:

  • Follow your favorite sports, health, and fitness brands on social media, because they usually post about needing help.
  • Visit local sports events that have vendor setups, health fairs, or sampling events at gyms and ask the brands if they need any help marketing.
  • Reach out to brands you love by email and let them know you would love to help them market their brand in your city.

"The main takeaway would be that a person is passionate, knowledgeable, and can express their value to a company that they love and enjoy already," he says.

6. Mowing Lawns

If you don't mind breaking a sweat — and then continuing to sweat all day long — lawn care is a money-making option that'll keep you on your feet. Signing up to mow lawns with companies like LawnStarter can help bring the customers to you without you worrying about advertising or spending extra time during the week. There are plenty of top-notch providers on the LawnStarter platform that mow lawns on the side, so it's a great fit for anyone, whether they are full-time or part-time.

7. Referee Sports

If you prefer to be in the middle of the action — and have a hawk-eye to make the right calls — consider refereeing sports instead of coaching. Nearly all kids' sports leagues have the need for refs, and it can net you some decent cash if you do more than one game a weekend. There is a small upfront fee for registration/classes and a uniform, but you can quickly make back the expenses in a weekend.

8. Dog Running

You've heard of dog walking, of course, but have you heard of dog running? It's totally a thing, and you add that title to your resume if you love dogs and running.

"I work in the pet industry, and one side job I've seen work for people is to advertise themselves as dog runners," explains Matt Holden of Furlocity.com. "Anyone with the time can walk their dog, but for those people with athletic breeds, not all of them are willing to expend the energy on those walks that the dog might need. Enter the dog runner!"

Holden says runners charge $20 a run and take a few dogs at a time. Not a bad way to stay in shape, and make some money while you do it.

9. Work at Your Gym

Are you always in the gym? Turn your time into money by asking what positions are available. They can likely use front desk help, but you may even segue into a career as a personal trainer as a result, if all goes well. Plus, you'll save money on your gym memberships since as an employee of the gym, you'll be granted access for free.

Are there other side jobs for athletic types that you'd like to add? Let me know in the comments below.

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