How One Auto Tech Earns $13K/mo Answering Questions on JustAnswer

Discover how Chris, a former transmission technician, turned his automotive expertise into a six-figure income on JustAnswer. Learn his strategies for success and tips for transforming your specialized knowledge into a lucrative online side hustle.

Meet Chris Pyle: the automotive transmission tech who turned his expertise into an online income stream of over $10,000 per month.

He transformed his life by leveraging his automotive knowledge on JustAnswer, a platform where experts provide answers to users’ questions for a fee.

For those looking to replicate his success, Chris’s experience shows how anyone can turn specialized knowledge into a lucrative online side hustle.

What Is JustAnswer?

A mockup showing the JustAnswer platform on a laptop

JustAnswer is an online platform where users can ask questions and get answers from verified experts in various fields, ranging from car mechanics to legal advice.

Experts earn money quickly by providing detailed, helpful responses to these inquiries. The compensation structure is based on customer satisfaction and the quality of answers, making it a lucrative side hustle for those with specialized knowledge and excellent communication skills.

From Factory Floors to Ford

Chris Pyle and his wife and two sons

Chris’s path to success wasn’t straightforward. After high school, he tried college but quickly realized it wasn’t for him. He shifted to a technical school for heavy equipment diesel and juggled his studies with a factory job as a plastic injection mold crane operator. “I spent six years in school while working a factory job,” Chris recalled.

His dream was to work for Caterpillar (CAT), but fate had other plans. A local Ford dealership needed a transmission technician, and thanks to a personal connection and a budding relationship with the owner’s daughter, he landed the job in 2003.

“I knew the owner and was dating his daughter, who’s now my wife,” he explained. Chris has attended 13 Ford schools and completed hundreds of online courses to become Ford master certified.

How Chris Discovered JustAnswer

A quote from Chris that reads "No more back-breaking work or being dirty and oily every day. Plus, being my own boss and controlling my hours was a huge draw.”

Chris stumbled upon JustAnswer during a frustrating moment at work. “I was rebuilding a transmission and it failed on the test drive. I turned to the internet for answers and found JustAnswer. I didn’t ask a question, but I figured out the issue myself. That’s when I decided to start answering questions on JustAnswer in October 2006.”

It didn’t take long for Chris to see the earning potential from the platform, but he remained dedicated to balancing his time spent there with the time spent on his full-time job. By July 2012, though, he made the leap to pursue JustAnswer full-time.

The decision was driven primarily by the prospect of financial security and the allure of having a work-from-home job. “No more back-breaking work or being dirty and oily every day. Plus, being my own boss and controlling my hours was a huge draw,” Chris said.

Mastering the Workflow

A quote from Chris that reads "Sometimes chat works best and sometimes calls work best. The key is to connect with the customer and provide the best possible help.”

Handling multiple customer inquiries efficiently is no small feat, yet Chris manages to help anywhere from 100 to 150 customers in a 24-hour period. “Sometimes I have 15 customers waiting for me. I remember previous conversations by reading their last reply. I try to provide multiple solutions at once, which helps me manage my time better.”

Chris’s ability to handle high volumes of inquiries comes down to organization and multitasking. “In a 10-minute period, I can help an RV, electric lawnmower, Kubota tractor, Ford F350, and VW Jetta customer. I try to provide multiple things for them to do instead of one sentence at a time. That helps to give me time to help others.”

The types of car issues he encounters vary with the seasons. “More questions come in when it’s warm, and people are more likely to fix their issues. Electrical issues, stored codes, and engine performance concerns are common, likely because people want to save money by doing the work themselves.”

For those interested in joining JustAnswer, Chris emphasizes the importance of understanding the platform’s compensation structure. Experts are paid based on customer ratings and response quality, with additional earnings for phone consultations. “Sometimes chat works best and sometimes calls work best. The key is to connect with the customer and provide the best possible help.”

How His Life Has Changed

A picture of Chris fishing with the quote "I am debt-free and I own a lot of land, toys, and buildings."

Chris’s success on JustAnswer has completely transformed his life since his days as a transmission tech. He enjoys financial security, personal satisfaction, and the ability to live debt-free while building a new home from savings.

“I’m very good with money. JustAnswer allows me to work in my boxers and a tank top, rarely needing to fuel or repair my trucks. I’m also a Cub Scout Master, teaching my boys the value of hard work and the meaning of a dollar.”

Working from home has allowed Chris to save on commuting and work-related expenses, contributing to his financial independence. “I rarely go anywhere, so my trucks rarely need fuel or repairs. I am debt-free and I own a lot of land, toys, and buildings.”

Related: Side Hustle Statistics 2024: 70% of Americans Cashing In

Chris’s Advice for Aspiring JustAnswer Experts

For those considering JustAnswer as a side hustle, Chris emphasizes the importance of imagination and diagnostic skills. “You need to diagnose without your eyes, hands, ears, taste, smell. Often I close my eyes and repeat the customer responses in my head and imagine sitting in the driver’s seat just like themselves. Investing in good internet, phone service, and workspace is crucial. If you don’t like helping people, even when they’re blaming you, this isn’t for you.”

Chris also recommends investing in the right resources for success. “A fast computer, good internet, and phone service are essential. I pay $400 a month for car repair guides to provide accurate information to customers. You need to be fast on the internet and know how to navigate it.”

Future Goals

Looking ahead, Chris says he is content with his achievements and has no plans to change his current setup. “I can’t imagine JustAnswer wanting to make me an employee in a different position. I answer questions, and we both make money. I feel like I’ve reached all my goals at 45: a family, a house, no debt, good health, and the ability to enjoy life.”

Chris’s journey from a transmission technician to a successful JustAnswer expert just goes to show that with hard work and adaptability, you can transform your life and achieve financial freedom, all from the comfort of your home.


Jeff Proctor

Hi! I'm Jeff. A personal finance nerd and entrepreneur at heart, I'm here to bring you all the latest cool ways to make and save extra money. I am a quoted contributor in several online publications, including Entrepreneur, NBC News, GoBankingRates,, Credit Karma, US News & World Report, Lifehacker, MSN Money,, Yahoo! Finance, and more.

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