When you’re a college student, it’s all about managing your time. You’d like to earn extra money, but it has to fit into your ever-shifting load of responsibilities, along with classes, homework, studying, extracurriculars, family commitments, sports, and so much more. And you’d like to avoid shift-based work — like waiting tables or retail — because that’s one more time constraint in your already-hectic schedule.
The good news? There are lots of gigs you can scale up or down as needed. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, the number of remote working opportunities has increased dramatically in the last few years — so you can make money from the comfort of your dorm or even the library. Earning potential varies, but if you start thinking outside the box, and you’ll discover something that might be perfect for you!
As you job hunt, keep these questions in mind:
- Will this job improve a valued skill set in your field of study?
- What “transferrable skills” can you develop — soft skills and know-how that will serve you in any future job you choose?
- Could this job increase your network, directly or indirectly? Even if you don’t get your foot in the door at your dream company, maybe you’ll grow your network in a field that is tangentially related to what you’re studying.
Study resources for the courses you’re actually taking—whenever you need them.Start here
1. Freelance Writer/Proofreader
You don’t have to be a seasoned writer to make money freelancing. There are plenty of entry-level gigs that pay writers for blogs and other web content. This is your chance to write about a topic that you’re passionate about, get paid, and start building a portfolio. Even if you’re not studying mass communications, you can position yourself as a thought leader in whatever field you’re pursuing — from fashion merchandising to biochemical engineering.
- Whether you want to be a physician or musician, writing skills are important in any job. Emails, presentations, creative briefs, proposals — they all require clear and concise written communication.
- Improve your research and analytical skills. Know how to parse the information you need.
- Know how to pitch yourself in your cover letter!
Sites to get you started finding freelance writing work:
2. Product Tester
You can make up to $30 an hour just by sharing your opinion! Big-name brands are continuously soliciting feedback from consumers so they can improve their products. At UserTesting.com, you’ll get paid $10 via PayPal for every 20-minute task — viewing websites, videos, mobile apps, and prototypes, you’ll have the opportunity to provide insight on a variety of impactful projects!
- Provide constructive and actionable feedback.
- Organize your thoughts.
- As you give feedback about what works (and doesn’t) on a website, app, or prototype, you’ll be collecting your own insights about great design.
How to get started as a UserTesting tester:
- Visit UserTesting’s FAQ page to learn more and see if it’s right for you.
- Sign up to be a UserTesting tester.
3. Chore Person
Freelance labor sites offer short-term gigs for anyone looking to make some extra money. If you have a free day or a few hours to spare to do some yard work, furniture moving, dog walking, or other chores, this is a great way to make some extra cash and meet new people.
- You’ll get to practice your communication skills with a variety of people.
- Negotiation skills will certainly come into play as people may try to haggle over your pay rate.
- Learn the art of prioritization and scheduling multiple gigs.
Sites to get you started finding freelance labor gigs:
4. Course Hero Tutor
Online tutoring on a platform like Course Hero is one of the most flexible ways to make money in college. You can literally do it anytime and anywhere you want. Course Hero pays tutors for each question they answer, so if you’re able to answer lots of questions, you can pull in some major dough! Some of the top-performing tutors on Course Hero make up to $500 a week.
- “Learn by teaching” — deepen your knowledge of subjects you already care about and become an expert at communicating complex topics in a way that people can understand.
- Develop critical analysis as you find the best way to answer each question.
- Increase your adaptability as you handle a variety questions from multiple students.
How to get started as a Course Hero tutor:
- Visit Course Hero’s Tutor program to learn more about the program and see commonly asked questions.
- Sign up to be a Course Hero Tutor.
5. YouTube Partner
There’s more to YouTube than funny pet videos. It’s a thriving online community with millions of viewers just waiting to hear what you have to say. Like a blog, YouTube can be a portal for your passions and professional development. Plus, when you become a YouTube partner, you can monetize your videos with Google Adsense and sponsorships.
You do not need professional camera equipment or editing software to start your YouTube channel or to grow your audience. YouTuber Jenna Marbles filmed on her Macbook and acquired millions of subscribers. Indeed, her channel became so successful that she made YouTube a full-time career! Other YouTubers, like PewDiePie (a video gamer) and Michelle Phan (a makeup guru), channeled their passions on YouTube and accumulated millions of dollars in ad revenue and sponsorships.
Start your own empire today!
- Making videos will improve your presentation and communication skills.
- Even if your channel doesn’t become a viral hit, having a YouTube channel gives you a competitive edge. For example, if you have a book channel and you’re a library science major, it’s a great asset to include on your resume!
- A strong online presence can make you a thought leader.
- As you edit your videos and learn what works (and what doesn’t), you’ll improve your marketing and technical skill set.
Sites to get you started as a YouTube star:
- 7 Things to Consider When Starting a YouTube Channel
- YouTube’s Creator Academy beginner course (Provides tips on how to get started and best practices to help grow your channel)
- 10 Beginner Tips if You’re Starting Out on YouTube (Tips from a travel vlogger on how she grew her channel to more than 100,000 subscribers)
- 8 Simple Ways to Improve Your YouTube Channel