Last Updated on March 28, 2023
While college life can be exciting and full of experiences, it also comes with lots of expenses that can be challenging to deal with. Between tuition, books, and living expenses, you may find yourself struggling to make ends meet. That’s where side hustles for college students come in.
A good college side hustle is one that allows you to make money in your free time without affecting your regular job or studies. Not only can a side hustle help you pay bills but also equip you with new skills and knowledge you need to succeed in the real world. Besides gaining valuable experience, you could even build a sustainable source of income to rely on for years to come.
In this article, we’ll go through the best online and offline side hustles for you as a student. Most of them don’t need any special education or expensive equipment to start and can even work for high school students. Read on to find out more details.
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Online Side Hustles for Students
The Internet has made it easier to find remote gigs that allow you to work from anywhere. I’ll list some of the most popular online side hustles for college students below:
1. Freelance Writing and Editing
If you’re skilled in writing, one of the top ways to make money online as a student is freelancing as a writer or editor. Many businesses need content for their website, meaning that you can work as a freelance content writer and get paid for it.
As a freelance writer, you can choose to specialize in a specific area. Still, you’re not limited to just one writing niche and can write about different topics that align with your knowledge and interests.
You can start by looking for jobs on freelance platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, and PeoplePerHour. Other than that, you can create a profile on LinkedIn, list your writing services, and set alerts for new job opportunities. All you’ll need to do next is send out your application.
Remember, you’ll have better chances of getting hired if you have a good portfolio. Be sure to publish a few samples of your writing online to share with potential clients. When hired, offer quality work and you may get more jobs and endorsements.
2. Online Survey Jobs
One of the quickest and effort-free side hustles in college is doing survey jobs online. All you need is a legit survey app on your phone.
Some of the top survey apps to use are Branded Surveys, InboxDollars, and Survey Junkie. Most of them offer nice sign-up bonuses to get you started.
You simply create an account on one or more platforms to start getting survey invitations. There’s usually no limit to how many surveys you can take in a day. But the number of survey gigs you get will vary depending on the site you use as well as demographics like your age and location.
You’ll access more survey opportunities if you complete your profile with accurate details and be honest in your responses to questions. Also, always log in to check for any new surveys and set up alerts via email to avoid missing opportunities you qualify for.
3. Social Media Management
In case you like to spend time on social media like most other college goers and young people, you might as well get paid while at it. Social media management is a great side hustle for students that involves managing the social profiles of businesses and sometimes individuals, mainly prominent ones.
Many business owners don’t have time to publish posts and interact with users on their social media pages. That’s why it’s possible to get paid to manage pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social platform.
You’ll need skills like creativity and good communication to succeed. Also, you may want to learn about social media marketing because part of your job will likely involve growing a specific page to boost its followers and engagement rates. You can find social media management opportunities by searching for them online or contacting businesses you may like to work with.
4. Creating YouTube videos
YouTube is one of the most visited platforms on the Web every day. Lots of videos are uploaded each minute from different corners of the world. While this may mean competition from other YouTubers, it also signifies that there are lots of people that can view your videos.
It’s possible to succeed as a new YouTuber if you offer unique and interesting video content. You can film new videos using your smartphone as long as it has a good camera and there’s enough lighting. Many video tutorials on the same are available on YouTube.
Another idea is to create faceless YouTube videos with the help of screen recording or editing software. Keep in mind that consistency is key to getting your videos in front of the eyes of more users. That’s how you’ll grow your viewership, get more subscribers, and be able to collaborate with brands in your YouTube niche.
Several other ways to make money on YouTube exist. They include displaying YouTube ads (the requirement is 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours), affiliate marketing, and fan contributions.
5. Becoming an Influencer
Becoming an influencer isn’t only about gaining popularity and having lots of fans. You can be an influencer for the sole purpose of income generation and acquiring financial freedom as a college student.
Influencer marketing is whereby brands pay influencers to promote their products and services. As an influencer, you simply publish sponsored posts in exchange for a sum of cash.
If you’re worried about showing your face, it’s not a must, just like in YouTubing. You can have a well-established social media page that posts nothing more than cute cat videos, motivational content, or the latest cars. The ideas are practically endless!
Besides working with brands, you can also make money as an influencer through affiliate marketing. This is where you promote someone else’s product or service for a commission, which can range from 5 to 50 percent of the sale or more.
6. Online Tutoring
You don’t need to be an expert or a professional teacher to tutor others. As long as you’re knowledgeable in a particular subject, online tutoring would be a great college side hustle for you.
You can tutor kids or even people your age spending on your preferences. It could be English, basic Math, or more advanced subjects like Calculus.
Online tutoring jobs are available on job boards, employment websites, or specific tutoring sites. Tutor.com is one example that allows college students at accredited universities to work part-time as tutors. You could also market your services on social media to find students.
The good thing about online tutoring is that you can have students from anywhere in the world. Besides your knowledge, you just need to be able to use video conferencing platforms.
7. Virtual Assistant
Another great remote side hustle for students is offering virtual assistant services. This is where you do admin tasks like scheduling appointments and checking emails for someone. The services you need to offer will vary from one client to another.
As a virtual assistant, you’ll likely be working with online business owners like bloggers, course creators, and coaches. So, to find work, you can connect with such professionals on platforms like LinkedIn and promote your VA services to them.
Offline Side Hustles for Students
It could be that you prefer to work with your hands or interact with people in person. There are plenty of offline side hustles to choose from, with popular options including the following:
8. Dog Walking or Pet Sitting
If you like dogs, working as a dog walker would be a perfect idea to generate income as a student during your free time. Sites like Rover and Care.com make it easy to connect with pet owners nearby and get hired.
Your work is simply to walk dogs for a specified period in exchange for payment. You can choose to work during the evenings or at the weekends.
A pet sitter does more than a dog walker. Pet sitting involves taking care of pets, mostly cats or dogs. But if you’re a dog sitter, for instance, you’ll do more than just walk them.
You may need to spend time with them and this includes overnight stays in some cases. You’ll also play with them, feed them, and even administer medication, depending on what’s required of you by a specific dog owner.
All these lead to the reason why you need to be good at handling the pet you choose to care for as a sitter. It’s good that you can easily find information on how to care for a particular animal online. Still, you’ll need to be passionate to do the job well.
Parents always need a reliable babysitter to oversee their kids’ needs when they’re away. If you don’t mind looking after babies and young children and you’re good at it, this side hustle idea may interest you.
You’ll have to be a trustworthy person that understands babysitting basics too. Your job will be to engage kids in fun activities, keep them safe, and ensure they’re clean and well-fed. You can find babysitting work in your area through websites like Sittercity or by networking with friends and family.
10. House Cleaning
It might be that you’re a neat freak. Why not offer house cleaning and organizing services to homeowners in your city?
You just need the right tools for the job to do it well. Some basic equipment for house cleaning is a vacuum cleaner, brooms, and scrub brushes. Some homeowners may have the necessary tools already and all you do is just clean.
While one way to find houses to clean is simply asking around where you live, you can also use an online tasks platform like TaskRabbit.
11. Snow Removal
Here comes a great winter side hustle for students. You can assist homeowners, offices, and other business premises in clearing snow from their grounds.
You can start by working on a lower level with just a shovel, which can cost 30 bucks or less. When you feel like you’re ready to go in all the way, a plow truck would be the perfect investment to make your work easier and help you achieve more.
12. Event Planning
Event planning may look like a fun way to make money on the side as a student. However, the work can be hectic since it involves a lot of details that you must consider to make an event work.
If you have the energy and the thrill, you can get started as an event planner. You don’t have to go directly to weddings and other big events. Begin with smaller events in your college area, such as birthday parties.
Getting your first event can be challenging. Feel free to start with volunteering to build up your network and enhance your abilities.
When granted the opportunity to plan an event, do your best and document the experience. You can later share the pictures and videos with other potential clients in the future to get their consideration.
Maybe you like taking pictures of other people or things. One side hustle that would suit you is photography.
To work as a professional photographer, you’ll need a camera if you don’t already have one. You also require some photography skills because people that hire you will expect good-looking photos.
You can make money as a photographer in different ways. Some ideas are photographing at events, doing studio shoots, and taking product images for businesses.
Hybrid Side Hustles for Students
Some side hustles for college students combine online and offline work to give you a taste of both worlds. Check out the examples that follow:
14. Renting Your Space
If you happen to be living outside in an apartment and have a spare room, you can make money by renting it out to other people. One of the top ideas here is to rent the space for storage.
You can store other people’s belongings in the room and get paid monthly for it. Neighbor is the best storage marketplace to interact with people in need of storage space.
What you earn depends on the location and the size of your room. Besides a spare room, other storage facilities to rent out are sheds, basements, and garages.
15. Delivery Jobs
Do you own a car or have access to one? If so, among the most suitable side hustles for you is doing delivery jobs.
Working as a delivery driver is all about picking items on behalf of others and delivering it to them. It could be food for restaurants or groceries from stores. In some cases, if it’s a short distance, you don’t even need a vehicle to get the work done.
You can find delivery jobs on apps such as DoorDash. This particular one allows you to use a bike or scooter in select cities. You can work anywhere, whether it’s the place you study or a town you’ve just visited.
16. Grocery Shopping
Did you know that you can get paid to shop for groceries as a student? This is possible through grocery apps like Instacart which hire personal shoppers. Your work is to pick the freshest grocery items as per someone’s order, pack them, and prepare the package for pickup and delivery.
Instacart in particular allows you to either work as an in-store shopper or a full-service shopper. Full-service shoppers, unlike in-store shoppers, need a car to do deliveries, besides shopping for the items.
17. Ride-Sharing Services
In case you have a car as well as a good driving record, you can offer ride-sharing services to passengers that need to go to various destinations in your city. Besides driving skills, you’ll need to be a good communicator and be able to work under pressure.
You can use various ride-sharing platforms to find individuals nearby in need of a ride. Two popular ones are Uber and Lyft.
18. Odd Jobs
There’s a variety of odd jobs you can do as a student to get paid. They include heavy lifting if you’re strong, packing and unpacking if you have good organizational skills, and errand running if you’re a time saver. Most of these jobs usually require some muscle but no special education.
Still, you may need specific skills or experience, depending on the work you choose to take on. Home services like furniture assembly, equipment installation, and repairs are a few examples. As for finding odd jobs, TaskRabbit is among the best sites to use.
Tips for Success in Side Hustles for Students
Follow the tips I’ll share below to get the best results in making money on the side while in college.
You need to be a good time manager to succeed in working, studying, and having a social life altogether. Be sure to work enough to earn the income you need but without sacrificing study time. You can start by creating a daily or weekly schedule that highlights what you’ll be doing at a specified time each day of the week.
There’s only so much you can do as a student. So, be sure to have boundaries at work, whether it’s happening online or offline.
Fulfill your job requests as much as you can but without doing something that a regular high school or college goer wouldn’t do, maybe because of age restrictions or experience. Also, let clients know your available hours, and don’t take on more work that you can complete without strain.
Maximizing Your Earnings
You have to be able to make a good amount of money even without working a lot to save time for books. So, make sure you’re paid what you’re worth and not anything below that. Boost your skills and charge more for services as you become more experienced.
Wrapping It up
Having a side hustle as a student is a great way to sustain yourself without burdening your parents or asking too much from them. You get to cover some personal expenses and treat yourself with your own money.
But you need to remember good money management and not blow all your earned cash on unnecessary things. Practice saving and investing and you’ll be able to watch your money grow!