Side Hustle Spotlight: Snow Removal/Plowing and De-Icing

Blog | November 17th, 2022

Snow removal and de-icing are great ways to make some extra cash, and it’s an important job for keeping the community safe. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snowfall, it’s also a reliable gig that you can count on.

Snow and ice removal is the process of keeping walkways and roads clear in winter weather. It ensures public safety and keeps businesses open when storms hit. Here’s everything you need to know to start this side hustle.

How To Get Started

Getting started isn’t difficult, and there are a few different routes you can take. If you want to turn it into your freelance business, you’ll need to know who to approach. But it can be as simple as getting up early and offering to shovel snow in your neighborhood. 

If you want to do larger jobs, such as in parking lots, you’ll need larger, more efficient equipment. If you don’t have any equipment, there are some crews you might be able to join if they are willing to take you on an hourly basis, but this isn’t guaranteed. 

Training, Certification, and Permits

You don’t need any formal training to start removing snow, which is why you might even see kids doing it. As long as you have a snow shovel and the right gear to do the job efficiently, there’s no reason you can’t head out the door as soon as you see the flakes falling.

If you want to take on jobs that require heavy equipment, you might consider training with the plows, whether you clean the sidewalks or streets. But this equipment is available to the general public.

It is worth noting that you should always double-check where you are plowing. Just because you don’t need to be certified doesn’t mean you can remove snow and ice from just anywhere. Many public spaces and businesses already have snow removal.

Job Opportunities

Everyone is expected to take care of the snow on their properties, so the job opportunities for this position depend largely on your success as an entrepreneur. If you’re good at marketing yourself and creating a client base, it’ll be easy to pick up clients when it does snow. 

Of course, it also depends on how much it snows. Depending on where you live, that could mean not seeing any jobs for weeks at a time. If you are only looking for something seasonal and part-time, this is still a great gig.

Expected Returns

How much you make will ultimately come down to how much you work. If you live in an area like Mt. Rainier, then you can expect to make up to $75 an hour, especially if you become a full-time remover with a company. Otherwise, anywhere from $25-$75 per hour is achievable.

Equipment for this job is, unfortunately, pricey. Heavy-duty snow plows, outdoor gear, and salt spreaders can cost thousands of dollars, but you don’t necessarily need them just to get started and you can also rent them on a per-need basis.

For entry-level, all you need is a shovel and the willpower to do it!