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Career as a Sign Waver

Updated on September 9, 2011

What is a sign waver (a.k.a. sign dancer, sign flipper)? They are people who you see on street corners waving a sign. They wave it to catch your attention so that you'll read the sign. Obviously it works since most of us do see and read the signs.

Anyway, if you are unemployed or have extra time on your hands, and are able to stay on your feet for long hours, you may have a career as a sign waver. If this looks like a possibility for you, read on and learn more.

Why Businesses Use Sign Wavers

Why are companies using sign wavers? It all about costs. Using a sign waver is extremely cost effective for the following reasons:

  • Sign wavers are generally treated as independent contractors. Thus there aren't any health benefits and other benefits involved, just the hourly wage being paid.
  • Billboard advertising can cost a company anywhere from $700-$2500 per month (reference: Billboard advertising costs) and are only available at certain locations. Sign wavers can only cost as much as $9 per hour and they can practically be placed on any street corner. Sign wavers can be positioned at a corner during the busiest times of the day for maximum impact; and this can be as much as 2 to 4 hours a day (or $540 to $1080 per month).
  • Sign wavers are very eyecatching. A company can almost get 100% exposure (meaning that the sign is read) for every car or person that sees the sign waver.

Why Become a Sign Waver?

There are a lot of reasons to become a sign waver.

  • You are unemployed and can't find another job; sign waving can buy you time.
  • You have extra time on your hands and you can use the extra cash.

If you are unemployed and cannot find a job, sign waving can be an alternative to making a bit of extra cash. It doesn't require much skill (although having some skills can improve your ability to catch attention), but it does require the ability to stay standing for extended periods of time.

Even in a "down" economy, businesses require advertisement to continue bringing business in. Sign wavers are an effective means to advertise in areas where there is a lot of car traffic. Do a search for "sign wavers" and you'll see there is some demand there. Note that some positions aren't advertised; you may have to visit your local business to find such openings.

If you have extra time and can use the extra cash, why not be a sign waver. Being a sign waver has added benefits:

  • You can work out while being paid $8+ per hour. Instead of paying In Shape City to work out at their facility, why not get paid to work out on a street corner? Bring your iPod and head phones, and dance to the beat of your favorite music as you wave and spin the sign. You can burn some calories doing this, and earn a few bucks in the process.
  • You can learn and get paid $8+ per hour. Where in the world have you ever seen someone being paid to learn? Nowhere? Well, if you have audio books, you can listen to subject matters that can help improve your skills and knowledge. This you can do while waving your sign. Doing this has the advantage of having time fly by so fast, that you wonder where time went? Some audio books are several hours long and as such can last you many hours of sign waving.

Tools of the Trade

As a sign waver, you are expected to be on a street corner for several hours. You'll need a few things to help keep you comfortable.

  • Bottles of water. Sign waving is physical; stay hydrated.
  • Portable cover. Bring a beach umbrella or one of those portable shades; when you are taking a break, you'll want to be as comfortable as possible.
  • Snacks. Sign waving is like running a marathon; you'll need some energy along the way.
  • Cooler. You'll want to keep your goodies fresh by keeping them in a cooler.
  • iPod or some form or MP3 player. Keep from getting bored by listening to your iPod/MP3 player.
  • Shades/sunglasses. On sunny days, you'll want to use sun glasses. It will help protect your eyes from the sun and glare.
  • Sunscreen. Being exposed to the sun for extended period of time isn't good for your skin. Make sure to put some sunscreen on.
  • Porta-potty. For the extreme sign waver who isn't within easy reach of a restroom or the main business office, you'll need a place to relieve yourself.


Sign waving can be an alternative to earn extra cash if you are unemployed or have extra time.

Depending on location, you can make as much as around $9/hour.

Businesses find advertising through sign wavers to be very cost effective, and that is why there is an upsurge in its use. That is good for you if you seen sign waving as a possibility.

Sign waving has advantages. You can work out or learn as you get paid. This work is a physical activity, and as such, you will need certain things to make your job as comfortable as possible.

So, are you unemployed? Have extra time? Why not go sign waving.


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    • forlanda profile image

      Juancho Forlanda 3 years ago from US of A

      OK. I found it. Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics (, the closest I can come up with a job classification for this is "Advertising Sales Agents" with standard occupational classification number of either 41-3010 or 41-3011.

    • forlanda profile image

      Juancho Forlanda 3 years ago from US of A

      John, since you aren't selling anything but simply providing information, this may fall under some category of information services. But I'm not 100% sure. When I get a chance to research it, I'll post the answer here.

    • profile image

      JOHN 3 years ago


    • forlanda profile image

      Juancho Forlanda 6 years ago from US of A

      JT, sorry I couldn't get back to you earlier. It would certainly be an approach for those who are working the front lines in an election. It does attract attention, and if your budget isn't that big, this would be the perfect medium, especially on a very busy street corner.

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Hi Forlanda,

      This is an interesting premise and is a good idea with the up coming election cycle.


    • forlanda profile image

      Juancho Forlanda 6 years ago from US of A

      Mary, thanks for a comment directly from someone who has experienced it. I'm sure it is tough. Standing up for 8 hours is tough work, let alone move around on top of that. But if you have no other choice, there are things you can do to help keep things comfortable, like listening to your favorite playlist of music. Even better is listening to an educational ebook; think about it, you are getting paid to learn if you look at it from this stand point.

    • profile image

      mary 6 years ago

      You get bored. Make sure you do it less then 8 hours a day. You get very swore my back hurts and I can barely sleep. I'm 17 so I'm not old or anything and I'm in good physical health. Very tiring. To much sun. Burnt off my glface

    • forlanda profile image

      Juancho Forlanda 6 years ago from US of A

      Seriously though, it isn't much of a career; it might be able to get you by with extra cash during desperate times, but it isn't steady job unless you've developed a well known reputation of seriously attracting a lot of attention.

      I wrote this out of curiosity and fun.

      Thanks for reading and stopping by.

    • saxrunner profile image

      saxrunner 6 years ago

      Interesting career path, might be worth a try. Nice, informative hub. Voted up and useful!