Doing side-work is one of the most controversial issues in being an electrician. Across the country there are different laws, standards, and practices to handle electricians doing work outside of working for their company.
Here in Texas it is illegal to do sidework. Sidework is defined as any work not done under the direct supervision of a licensed and insured Master Electrician. This means as an apprentice, residential wireman, or Journeyman electrician you are breaking the law by doing paid work for your buddy down the street who just needs help hanging a ceiling fan. Say you put an ad out online somewhere advertising that you're a Journeyman Electrician for hire. Boom, you're breaking the law. You cannot advertise electrical contracting services without owning an electrical contracting business, having general liability insurance for that company, and being under the supervision of a Master Electrician.
The reality is....everybody does side work. So why is it that so many people across the country break this law? Well, the truth is that once somebody finds out that you're an electrician it's difficult to NOT get sidework. Everybody wants to know a good electrician. Electricity is scary to the average person who does not understand it, so they want somebody they trust to come out and fix the problem. Once your family finds out you're an electrician you'll get calls from your Aunt or brother to come and figure out why his breaker keeps tripping. Most likely they'll flip you some cash for your time. You just did side-work.
As time goes on, your uncle will tell his buddy that his niece or nephew is an electrician and he can probably install those recessed cans in the living room that he's wanted all summer, and do it cheaper than any company around. The guy calls you and you agree to go check it out because you could use some extra money. After all apprentices don't get paid very well during their apprenticeship. So you put together an estimate and realize you can triple your weekly paycheck in one afternoon. Now you start wanting more sidejobs.
Side-jobs happen in this trade, however due to the extreme risk involved with our trade, it is often times not worth getting into. If you're caught doing sidework in Texas, you can get a huge fine, get your license suspended or revoked perminantly, and God forbid you hurt somebody or burn a house down you'll most likely face a lifetime lawsuit and some jail time. So is it worth it? How well do you really know what you're doing, and do you have enough money saved up to buy somebody a new house after you destroy theirs because you left a loose termination in a wall?
I'm not condoning sidework, I'm just saying make sure you check your local/state laws and assess whether or not you really want to take the risk involved to get some extra money on a Saturday. Make sure the "juice is worth the squeeze" so to speak.