There are people out there who know they need to earn a living but want to keep their effort to a minimum. These people are relaxed, maybe even a bit…lazy? If you know someone who fits that description, or if YOU fit that description, we have some ideas for jobs that you could do nicely.

With these jobs, minimal amounts of effort can still bring a paycheck. These employment opportunities aren’t just a good fit for people who lack ambition — there are lots of other situations where they work well, too. They’re great for introverts at heart or for people who are taking care of a family member. They’re also ideal for those who realize they have to make time for a lower-stress lifestyle that lets them pay attention to other parts of their lives.

Television watcher

Are you an expert at relaxing in front of the TV? Do you love to unwind by binge-watching your favorite shows? You may be qualified to be a professional television watcher.

Streaming giant Netflix, as well as other online services, hire people to watch an entire series of a show and then develop descriptions of the series and categorize them for the service. The job, called an editorial analyst, primarily requires a love of TV and the ability to synthesize what the show is all about and translate that into something that sounds interesting to viewers.

Payrate: $25K – $78k/year

Vlogger / influencer

This job can earn surprising amounts of money.

Online influencers are valued by product marketing teams in almost every industry. They also work to grow their audience and, if they’re successful, can receive significant advertising revenue. While this job may require more effort than other jobs on the list, it winds up being so much fun that it doesn’t feel like work at all.

Payrate: Varies

Video game tester

If you just can’t pull yourself away from your video console and you love to keep on top of the latest developments in video game tech, you might get hired as a video game tester.

The job is a lot like it sounds. You take time to play video games that are in development so that you can identify any problems early — before they hit the market. Beyond simply finding bugs, testers can also offer valuable feedback that helps designers make their games better.

Payrate: About $14 – $22 an hour.

Online survey taker

People with a lot of opinions who aren’t afraid to express themselves are a great fit for this job. This opportunity is also one of the most flexible on our list. Employees can choose topics related to a variety of areas and surveys can be taken almost anywhere, including from your living room sofa.

Payrate: .50 to $3 per survey (10 -20 minutes)

Food taster

Networking in the industry you’d like to work in is a great way to see what’s out there.

Some specialized industries rely on individuals to sample products and provide their feedback. Some of these sampling experiences can be more delicious than others. Do you love beer? Beer tasters are required at bigger breweries. Are you addicted to chocolate? Chocolatiers need tasters, too. So do ice cream makers, whiskey distillers, and coffee roasters.

Sure, there is an extensive list of possibilities for this job, but obtaining one may not be easy. Networking in the industry you’d like to work in is a great way to see what’s out there. Keep in mind that many of these jobs are taken pretty seriously and require some tasting skills development before you’re hired.

Payrate: Depends on the industry.

Hotel tester

Just like the food industry, hotel chains want to know everything about their guests’ experience so that they can ensure that they provide a great stay for their visitors.

To be sure that everything is on track, hotels may employ testers to stay in rooms for a night or two and try out every aspect of the hotel.

Testers get to make sure that heating and cooling systems are working right, beds and furniture feel great, and all amenities are up to standard. This is one job that can feel like you’re on vacation during working hours.

Payrate: Approximately $57,757/year

Restaurant critic

In every city, lucky and skilled individuals are hired as restaurant critics by local publications that want to inform readers about the hottest restaurants and entertainment spots. This job isn’t necessarily easy to get, but once you obtain it, there are plenty of perks. Writing skills and some knowledge of the food industry are required.

Payrate: Up to $88,000/year

Breath odor evaluator for breath freshening and mint/gum companies

Your nose can get you an interesting, though slightly stinky, job. 

If you have a keen sense of smell and a willingness to experience bad breath on a regular basis, you could be a good fit for this job. These testers have to use their noses to make notes on the quality of a subject’s breath both before, and after, using their employer’s product. Your comments help companies make improvements.

Payrate: Up to $64,000/year

Cuddler

Believe it or not, there are individuals who hire others to serve as a professional cuddler. These cuddlers spend their time making intense, but non-sexual, body contact with their clients. It is calm, relatively stress-free, and it is likely one of the times when it is okay for an employee to fall asleep on the job!

Payrate: As much as $80/day

Motivational sports fan

If you’re a sports fan, there’s a way you can get paid for watching a game.

If you become a professional sports fan, individuals will hire you to make sure that they have an exciting time. Your job is to help them have fun, and let loose a little. Doesn’t seem too hard, right? It may be a challenge to find this job, but it does exist. And once you’re in it, it may be more enjoyable than you could imagine.

Payrate: Varies

Apologizer

Some people know that they need to say sorry, but they just can’t find the time to get around to it. If you’re in Japan, you can pay someone else to do the task for you. This unusual job pays unexpectedly well — perhaps because of its uncomfortable nature.

Payrate: As much as $60,000/year.

Sleep study participant

Dozing for dollars can be one of the laziest, and most helpful, jobs out there.

When you can’t sleep well, it can be a big deal. Luckily, there are plenty of experts working on identifying what happens when humans sleep so more people can get the rest they need. These experts are often looking for individuals who want to get paid to simply, sleep. Dozing for dollars can be one of the laziest, and most helpful, jobs out there.

Payrate: Depends on the study budget and participant frequency.

Imitation business person or customer

In some foreign countries, companies or wealthy individuals will hire people to play the role of a business colleague or customer. When you’re hired for this job, you’re often asked to attend things like an open house, an art opening, or a conference be ready to make small talk, shake hands, and look good. This is a particularly in-demand job for foreigners in China, who are valued participants at some meetings and events.

Payrate: Unidentified

House sitter

If you are responsible, handy around the house, and can develop a deep level of trust with your clients, you may be perfect for one of the most low-key jobs around — a house sitter. These individuals take charge of a person’s house while they’re on vacation so that everything stays secure and on-track. Perks of this job include free room and board and the ability to see how someone else lives.

Payrate: Approximately $50 a day, pay varies.

Baby chick sexer

3 baby chicks on a towel
congerdesign / Pixabay

Do you ever wonder how farmers know whether a baby chick is going to become a male or a female? In one of the lowest-tech jobs on this list, the work is often done the old fashioned way — by hand.

Some chicken producers are in need of individuals to manually check out baby chicks and identify their gender. This low-stress job is repetitive but it might be for you if you think baby chicks are adorable.

Payrate: As much as $60,000/year

Dog walker

This is the perfect job for anyone who can’t get enough of dogs. Often, individuals with busy work schedules can’t make it home at lunch to let their pets out. If they don’t want to use a doggie daycare, they may be interested in hiring a dogwalker to ensure their pooch gets some needed attention.

Dogwalkers can make their jobs as simple or as busy as they’d like. If they have the right skills, they can even walk several dogs at the same time. That’s efficient!

Payrate: Approximately $30,000/year, but can vary by location and number of clients.

Pet sitter or animal caregiver

To many, their pets are almost like family.

When owners go on vacation they need to make sure their dog, cat, bird, reptile, pot-bellied pig, or other companion is well taken care of. If boarding services aren’t an option, pet sitters can come in handy.

This job is a great way for a conscientious, trustworthy person who loves animals to make a living.

Payrate: Approximately $5 – $10 a visit, depending on the local market.

TV or movie extra

You’re getting paid for doing next to nothing, and it can be exciting when you get close to movie stars and see what Hollywood is really like.

From time to time, film and television productions need a group of individuals to serve as part of a scene. They’re mostly used for background purposes but can provide the sense of a crowd’s reaction that contributes to the atmosphere in a movie.

Sure, the job can be boring, as you stand around for long stretches of time when there’s not much to do between scenes. On the upside, you’re getting paid for doing next to nothing, and it can be exciting when you get close to movie stars and see what Hollywood is really like.

Payrate: $160 – $180/day (SAG rate sheet)

Street performer

Anyone with the ability to develop an act and the experience to take it to the street can make a fair amount of money. The skills required can include just about anything that’s entertaining including music, standup comedy, acrobatics, magic, juggling or even mime performance.

While this mode of making a living sometimes receives a bad rap, it can be a legitimate way for serious performers to hone their skills.

Payrate: Varies

Brand ambassador

Serving as a brand ambassador can be a lot of fun, but it is also tiring.

If you like attending parties and events and talking with people, this job may be for you. Brand ambassadors represent companies in sampling opportunities in a variety of venues. They can be found everywhere from large corporate events and tradeshows to festivals, shopping centers, and supermarkets.

Sometimes, brand ambassadors are asked to wear specific clothing to represent their brand, but other times, they can come as they are.

Payrate: Generally starts at $15.00/hr 

Furniture tester

It’s hard to believe, but you really CAN find a job where your main work responsibility is to sit around all day. In some cases, major furniture retailers need to pay individuals to test out their products.

After you spend extensive time on their couches, chairs, or beds, these retailers will then ask for your opinion on things like quality level and comfort.

Payrate: $36,000/year

Line holder

When hot retail items go on sale, huge lines can develop in front of a store before it even opens. Some people can afford to skip the lines and pay a professional line holder to wait their turn for them.

While this doesn’t entirely seem fair, it is a great way for someone with a lot of time on their hands to make extra cash with little effort.

Payrate: Varies. Sometimes pay happens through trade rather than cash.

Mystery shopper

If getting paid to shop sounds like a dream, you may be a great fit for this job. 

Retailers that want to know about the quality of their customers’ experience will often hire a mystery shopper to test out how things are going. If you become one of these shoppers, you’ll be paid an hourly or a per-visit rate to anonymously buy things from the store.

Your clients will want feedback on a range of store elements, including staff customer services, the availability of items, and how those items are merchandised.

Payrate: Starts at $25 an assignment, pay varies by client and geography.

Focus group participant

In-person focus groups are a key part of the product development process for marketing companies and retailers. Group members are often paid for their time and asked to sit in a room for an hour or two with other people, commenting on their responses to a product.

While these groups have been partially replaced by online survey technology, they still exist and can be a fun way to bring in some extra cash.

Payrate: Generally $15 to $25/hour, though this can vary. 

A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101