Summer is an awesome time for college students to make money while home on break. Earning cash is a good way to keep busy and save funds for the following school year.
Whether you want to work full-time or part-time this summer, there are plenty of opportunities to find good-paying seasonal work.
If you’re looking for summer job ideas, this guide shares a few of the top choices to make money.
What is the Best Summer Job for a College Student?
Earning money while away from school is essential for many students. However, not all jobs are created equal. You want a job that offers flexibility without sacrificing a decent income.
It is possible to find work that checks both of these boxes. Typically, these are not traditional retail jobs. Instead, they are independent contractor gigs that work around your schedule.
Here are the top summer jobs for college students who want to earn extra cash.
1. Delivery Jobs
Working as a delivery driver is a fantastic way to make money this summer.
The on-demand delivery space has experienced substantial growth in recent years and is a legit way to make money on the side.
The beauty of many food delivery jobs is that you can work on your own schedule. Additionally, most companies pay weekly and allow you to earn tips.
In most cases, you need access to a car. But, you can deliver via bike or scooter in some cities.
Each platform has its own specific requirements. Here are some common ones you can expect to encounter:
- Pass a background check
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Own a current smartphone
- Have valid auto insurance
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a bank account to accept payment via direct deposit
- Be able to lift at least 25 pounds
- Have a clean driving record
DoorDash is our top-rated delivery service to work for. It is available nationwide, so you might even be able to continue working for them once you go back to school.
As a Dasher, you deliver meals from local restaurants to customers. DoorDash drivers can get paid $23 per hour while on a delivery.
Instacart Shopper is another choice to make extra money. If you choose to work for this service, you’ll purchase and deliver groceries to customers.
Read our guide on delivery app gigs to learn about other opportunities to find high-paying summer jobs.
Get paid $23 per hour while on a delivery!
Deliver food with just a car or scooter. Get started today!
2. Care for Pets
Do you love animals but can’t have a pet at school? You can spend summer break caring for dogs or cats and make good money in the process.
Due to hectic work schedules, pet owners usually don’t have the time to give their dogs the exercise they need to stay healthy. You can meet that need as a dog walker.
Rover is one of many dog walking apps that connects people like you with clients who need help with their pets. If you’re a cat person, you can earn money caring for them as well.
Dog walking is the primary earning opportunity on most sites like Rover. But, you can increase your income potential by offering the following services:
- Pet boarding
- House sitting
- Drop-in visits
- Doggy daycare
Rover lets you create a profile on its site so you can get referrals. It also has many of the same requirements as delivery gigs.
You can expect to earn up to $1,000 a month on Rover. Read our guide on how the platform and other dog walking services work here.
|Rover - earn up to $1,000/mo. walking dogs! |
Rover offers $1,000,000 in protection, 24/7 support, and vet assistance.
Babysitting is a classic way to make extra money. Long thought of as a job for teenagers, watching children can be a lucrative summer gig.
The average pay for one child is slightly over $20 per hour and over $23 for two children, according to a study from UrbanSitter.
Rates do vary based on where you live, but the pay is typically well above minimum wage.
Additionally, if you’re majoring in Early Childhood Education, babysitting might even help with your studies.
Word of mouth is a good way to land gigs. You can also share with friends on social media that you’re looking for babysitting work.
Care.com is another resource to use to find work. The site lets you create a profile, look for jobs, and get referrals. It can be a great way to find new clients.
4. Find Local Gigs
Finding short-term work isn’t always easy. Some employers might not want to hire temporary staff, while others may not offer good pay.
There’s an app that can help you with that. Steady is an independent contractor marketplace to find high-paying jobs.
The app is free to use and allows you to connect with prospective hiring agents. Work can range from a one-time gig to a part-time job.
Possible jobs can include any of the following:
- Delivery jobs
- Warehouse jobs
- Online work
- Traditional part-time work
The pay rate depends on the job. Keep in mind that you don’t receive payment through the app. Instead, it comes from the hiring party.
Creating an account is simple. You answer a few questions about your skills, and then you can start applying for jobs.
*Related: Looking for other income options? Check out our guide on ways to make money in college that anyone can do.*
The app includes tools like an income tracker to help you stay on top of your earnings. If you need a tool to supplement other summer jobs, Steady is a handy tool.
Read the Steady app review to learn more.
5. House Sitting
Traveling for summer vacation is a common practice for many families. You can turn that into a money-making opportunity by watching houses while people are out of town.
House sitting is not a difficult job. We commonly hire a house sitter when we travel just to ensure someone is at the house and that everything runs smoothly.
Common house sitter tasks can include:
- Watering plants
- Taking out the trash
- Checking the mail
- Watching a pet
Housesitter.com reports that the average income for a sitter is $25 to $45 per evening. The more tasks you do, the more you should expect to earn.
Given that it’s not a very involved job, you can combine house sitting with other summer jobs to increase your earnings. Care.com is a good resource to find paying gigs, as is word of mouth.
6. Doing Odd Jobs
If you like working with your hands and enjoy outdoor jobs, working as a Tasker for Taskrabbit is a perfect opportunity to find fun summer jobs.
Taskrabbit is a site that connects individuals in need of help with contractors who can complete tasks. It also has many of the same requirements as delivery app jobs.
It’s one of the better alternatives to Steady if you are skilled or like to work with your hands.
Creating a profile on the site is free in most instances, but you must pay a $25 registration fee in some cities. After creating a profile, you can start applying to posted jobs.
You can provide assistance in over 50 categories on the site. Some of the common tasks include:
- Furniture assembly
- Heavy lifting
- Home repair
- Maintain outdoor spaces
- Moving help
- TV mounting
It’s possible to create your own hours and rates as a Tasker. The site manages payments between you and clients, so there’s no need to exchange cash.
Payment is distributed weekly, and you get to keep 100 percent of your earnings.
Read our guide on the top Taskrabbit competitors to identify other avenues to earn cash.
7. Yard Work
Do you have a green thumb or enjoy spending time outside? If so, working as a landscape contractor is an excellent summer job for college students.
Local companies often hire additional help during the warmer months. If you prefer to go it on your own, that’s possible as well.
Responsibilities vary but can include:
- Mowing yards
- Pulling weeds
- Aerating lawns
This is more physically demanding work, but it can be rewarding for the right individual.
Pay depends on the type of work you do, but Salary.com reports a median wage of $30 an hour.
You can find local jobs through sites like Taskrabbit or let friends and family know you’re looking for work.
8. Help People Move
If you don’t mind physically demanding tasks, working as a mover is another job that pays well.
Summer is a common time for people to move. If you can lift up to 100 pounds, you can earn decent money. Indeed.com reports the average mover salary is almost $19 an hour.
You can work for local companies or offer services through sites like Taskrabbit or Handy.com. Another option is to sign up through Bellhop.
This on-demand site connects you with people who need assistance with moving. It has similar requirements to working for an on-demand delivery service.
The site claims you can earn up to $21 per hour working for their service.
If you love to swim and help people, being a lifeguard is one of the top jobs for the summer. While you will need certification for this work, it’s a great way to make money on break.
You can even teach swimming lessons to maximize earning potential. Lifeguards average just under $15 an hour, according to Indeed.com.
Reach out to your neighborhood recreation center, YMCA, or waterpark to find work.
10. Golf Caddy
Do you love golf or spending time outside? Being a golf caddy is a fantastic way to make money as a teen who is home on college break.
Being a golf caddy isn’t difficult work, per se, but it does require you to follow a few basic rules. These include:
- Knowing the basics of golf
- Having a basic knowledge of the golf course
- Knowing where to stand
- Being ready with the right club
- Keeping pace with the golfer
- Knowing when to stay quiet
Earnings vary for caddy work, but it can be fairly lucrative. You also often earn tips.
Contact your local golf courses or country clubs to find work.
11. Social Media Manager
Managing social media for local businesses is a terrific way to make money on the side during the summer.
Companies need to have a presence online, creating an employment opportunity for you.
Typically, this work can be done remotely. This means that you may be able to continue to work when you are back at school.
If you’re majoring in marketing or communications, you can gain valuable experience to use after graduation.
The average social media manager’s salary is $22 an hour, according to Indeed.com.
Let friends and family know you’re searching for work. You can also contact local companies to see if they could use some assistance with their social media efforts.
How Can I Make $5,000 Over the Summer?
It is relatively simple to earn at least $5,000 when you are home on summer break. You want to create a plan before finding work to determine how much you need to make a week.
For example, if you’re home for ten weeks, you will need to earn at least $500 a week. If you find a job that pays $20 an hour, that requires 25 hours of work a week.
Many of the jobs on our list will make that possible.
How Can a College Student Get a Job?
There is more opportunity than ever for college students to find a job while on break. Gone are the days when a part-time retail job or stuffy internship were the only opportunities.
The internet makes it possible to find jobs in your local area or virtually that allow you to earn a good income over the summer.
Don’t just settle on just getting any job, if possible. If you can pair work with your degree focus, it will better serve your long-term goals.
Finding work during the summer is essential for many college students. You may need it to support living expenses during the school year or to reach a financial goal you’ve set for yourself.
There are plenty of jobs that pay well. From fun jobs to something more involved, you can earn cash while on break and still enjoy some time away from your studies.
What kind of job are you looking for this summer?
*Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like the number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.