21 Summer Jobs for College Students: Earn Money and Experience

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Summer Jobs for College Students

Don’t waste your summer vacation; consider searching for summer jobs! For students, these opportunities allow you to make money while on break from school and add some meat to your resume.

Summer is filled with opportunities to eat out, travel, or just have fun. Working towards some extra dough will give you just the wiggle room to make the most of your summer. Here’s our take on the top 21 summer jobs for college students in 2024!

Find side gigs designed around your time this summer!

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Where to find good summer jobs for college students

College career centers are an excellent resource for finding summer jobs and internships. Retail, restaurants, camps, and local businesses often ramp up hiring for the summer months. Online job boards like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn allow you to search for “summer” positions. And don’t overlook opportunities on campus! Many departments hire students for the summer to assist with projects, events, and more.

21 popular summer jobs for college students jobs

Employers always appreciate summer help, and many students have the time to provide it. Here are some of the most popular, and even high-paying summer jobs for college students.

1. Dog walker

Animal lovers can earn an average of $14.85 per hour walking dogs. Work with an established dog-walking company, or contact your local animal shelter to network with potential customers. You can also always reach out to friends and neighbors and get started through word of mouth.

2. Tour guide

Put your undergraduate education to use by working as a tour guide. Check with your local museum or historic sites for openings. Pay averages at $15.54 per hour, but you may earn more in a specialized area. 

3. Lifeguard instructor

If you have experience as a lifeguard, pass on your skills by becoming a lifeguard instructor. You’ll need to be certified in CPR, AED, and first aid and must pass a course to become an instructor. Pay varies by state, but you can expect to earn $15 per hour once certified.

4. Retail associate

Retailers look for seasonal help during the summer months. Check online job listings or keep your eyes peeled for “help wanted” signs at your local store. The average retail associate earns over $17 per hour, and some industries offer commissions based on sales.

5. Event staff

Event staff earn an average of $32.56 per hour, though hours may be limited to the event itself. Local temp agencies are a great place to find these positions, though universities may also need help with things like food, ticket sales, and parking.

6. Freelance writer

Freelance writers make anywhere from $15 to $85 per hour, depending on your education and industry niche. Websites like Fiverr or Upwork help you connect to potential clients. Set your own hours, or continue working (remotely) even during the school year.

7. Gardener

Local lawn care companies may be looking for extra summer help, or you can contact your neighbors to start a freelance business. Gardeners typically earn $18.64 per hour nationwide. If you don’t mind the hard work, you can often get up to full-time hours.

8. Tutor

Tutoring can be a great way to receive payment while giving back to your community. On average, tutors earn $16.35 per hour. You can start freelancing with parents in your area. Alternatively, you can consider becoming an online tutor through sites like tutor.com, which may give you more hours.

9. Social media coordinator

Those with experience in digital marketing might seek the position of a social media coordinator. Some companies have internship opportunities that let you gain experience and a paycheck. Career sites can help you find these roles, which offer an average salary of $24.19 per hour.

10. Camp counselor

Those who like kids and the outdoors might enjoy becoming camp counselors. The average pay is $14.98 per hour but often includes perks like free meals or lodging. Local religious organizations may have particular needs, as may the Boys and Girls Club. Hours vary but likely involve overnight trips.

11. Take online surveys

Sites like SwagBucks connect you to surveys, some of which pay up to $25 to complete. Be aware that you won’t qualify for every survey, and some rewards come in the form of gift cards. Still, it’s an easy way to earn some extra cash without leaving the couch.

12. Babysitter

Babysitters earn an average of $23.61 per hour. Hours may be limited if you only work for people you know. Advertising on sites like Care.com can help you connect to a broader network of clients. Babysitting can be a great gig, and it’s also one of the top high-paying summer jobs for college students.

13. Park ranger

If you live near a National or State Park, you could earn $21 per hour as a park ranger. While many parks require a bachelor’s degree, you may be able to find an internship, especially if you’re majoring in forestry or ecology.

14. Hotel housekeeping

Hotels see more business during the summer. Search career sites or find hotels in your community to apply. Hotel housekeepers make roughly $15.00 per hour. During the summer, you may find opportunities to work full-time.

15. Office assistant

Companies may offer internships as office assistants, though others may simply be open to summer help. Hours depend on the company, but full-time work may be available. Check with your school or college for internship opportunities or search career sites for positions that pay an average of $15.12 per hour.

16. Content creator

Creative professionals can make content for websites and social media pages. This includes freelance photography, writing, and web design. Selling stock photos on sites like iStock.com can provide passive income. Keep in mind that earnings vary widely, so be prepared to find your niche.

17. Golf caddy

Check with your local golf course for caddying opportunities. An average caddy earns $17.71 per hour, though you can often earn more from tips. Hours may vary, but caddying for multiple players can make this a lucrative summer job.

18. Ice cream scooper

Ice cream scoopers make an average of $15.00 per hour, and busy summers may make hours rise to nearly full-time. Search career sites or find local ice cream parlors to inquire about summer help.

19. Summer school teacher

While some regions may require a teaching credential, recent college graduates might consider applying through their local school board to teach summer school. You’ll work full-time and earn over $24 per hour. 

20. Food delivery driver

Drivers for services like Uber Eats or Grubhub set their own hours and make an average of $20.63 per hour before tips. By following certain strategies, such as working during the busy lunch and dinner rushes you can often earn as much or as little as you’d like.

21. Language translator

Do you speak another language? Check whether your local court or school system could use you as an interpreter, for which you make anywhere from $27 to $36 per hour. Hours may be limited based on need, but this could be a worthwhile pursuit if you live in a diverse community.

How to find a summer job as a college student

Summer jobs for college students can be a stepping stone to a future career. Finding your niche is valuable in and of itself, and a summer job could provide the means to pay for your past and future education. Plus, you can’t go wrong when it comes to earning some extra side income for summer fun.

Make sure to check out local job sites as well as options for earning cash through a side hustle or gig.

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Are part-time summer jobs good for students?

Part-time jobs help you develop sound habits and earn a paycheck. Additionally, work experience looks good on a resume for future employment.

Can a student apply for a full-time job for the summer?

Students 18 or older can work full-time in the summer. Federal regulations place limits on how many hours per day and week minors can work, though a 40-hour workweek is still possible.

Can LinkedIn help me get a summer job for a student?

For sure! LinkedIn is a great place to build connections, network, and you can use it to search for jobs.

Does a student summer job count as self-employment?

Freelance jobs are typically considered self-employment. In other jobs, you could be an employee or an independent contractor.

Do summer jobs get taxed?

All summer jobs get taxed. If you work freelance, you’ll need to pay self-employment taxes, which means saving from each paycheck to meet your obligations.

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