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If you’re still at college or recently graduated, it probably feels like you’re drowning in student debt. Juggling work with classes and keeping up with exams or term papers is already stressful. You don’t need to add more money problems to the mix.
That’s where online jobs for college students come in.
They’re flexible, and they’re well-paid. Best of all, you can work while sitting around in your pajamas.
Chances are you already have a marketable skill that can be put to good use. You just need to know how to convert your skills and knowledge into cash.
So which are the best job for earning big bucks online?
Online Jobs for College Students:
1. Bid on Graphic Designer Jobs
In 2018, 99designs.com announced that it had paid out a total of $250 million in earnings to designers. That’s a lot of cash, and getting in on the action is easier now than ever.
You don’t need qualifications or even a portfolio to work with 99designs. The setup process is simple:
- Sign up for an account and create a profile
- Watch 99designs “Build a Better Business” course to improve your skills
- Compete within the community for projects
- Get Paid
You choose exactly what kind of work you want to do. You also choose which styles and design categories you want to work in, and who you want to work with. Build up a relationship with clients, and you’ll soon find yourself with more work than you can handle.
How much work? Some of the 99designs top designers make more than $10,000 per month. That’s much more than traditional designers make at a full-time job. The site estimates that most freelancers earn between $25 and $50 per hour.
Our pro tip for scoring the best-paying jobs is to follow competitions even if you’re not taking part. Make a note of which designs win and what trends are popular in the industry. That will give you an insight into how clients think that you can capitalize on to win every contract.
2. Manage Social Media Accounts
If you’re glued to your phone and spend all your time on Twitter or Instagram, this job will be a piece of cake. Make sure you’re familiar with the most popular sites like Facebook and Pinterest. And post consistently on your own accounts. Potential clients will want to see you have a strong voice and social media presence.
Most companies search for social media managers on Linkedin. You’ll generally see people charging between $10 and $26 per hour. Just update your profile to include details of your social media knowledge. Remember to list any relevant skills you have, like photography or graphic design.
Thousands of new jobs are posted every day on the Linkedin Job Board. Just enter search terms like “social media manager”, “social media specialist” or “social media assistant” and start applying.
After that the job is pretty simple:
- Assess the client’s competition
- Set goals for followers, likes and shares
- Use analytics to track your performance
There are plenty of great social media management tools to help you get started.
Our advice is to specialize in a field that you’re interested in. If you love skincare or classic cars, then your in-depth knowledge will give you unique insights into the company. Clients will be falling over themselves to hire you.
3. Transcribe Audio with TranscribeMe
Transcribing is the easiest possible way to get started working online. There are no special skills or professional knowledge involved. All you need is a computer and an internet connection.
But the best thing about transcribing? It’s effortless to hack.
TranscribeMe pays from 0.33 cents per audio minute or $20 per hour. You also get a $2 bonus for every accurately transcribed file that doesn’t need more editing. But you’re not going to transcribe it all by hand. You’re going to use technology to help.
Services like Scribie automatically convert the audio provided by TranscribeMe for only 0.10 cents per audio minute. Once it’s been converted you can correct any mistakes, make sure it follows the TranscribeMe guidelines, and submit.
After the cost of the software, you earn 0.23 cents per audio minute, just for a little light editing.
To get started:
- Fill in the TranscribeMe application
- Read the guidelines
- Complete the 10-question test
- Sign up for Scribie’s automated transcription service
- Start picking up work
Another excellent option for supporting yourself while you finish college is Rev. The top transcribers on Rev make around $900 per month. One student in Vancouver makes an extra $400-$800 every month while still in school full-time.
4. Sign up for Research Studies
Did you know you can get paid just for having an opinion?
Companies need to do market research before they launch a product. That means gathering as much information as possible about your feelings and behavior.
You can take part in anything from focus groups to video-conference interviews to usability testing. Each study pays between $50 and $400.
To get started, simply join the Respondent website and fill in as much information as possible:
- Sign up with Linkedin to verify your employment background
- Answer 8 questions about your job and company
- Answer 4 demographic questions
- Respondent uses the data to match you with companies
As an example, one recently advertised focus group was searching for men aged 18-30. They took part in a 45-minute interview on the personal care products they use. Participants were paid $50 for each interview.
Alternatively, sign up for Vindale Research and share some demographic information. The company will match you to paid surveys that you can fill in on your laptop. Payment varies depending on how long the survey is and how many people sign up. For example, a 30-minute survey on beverage choices paid $5.60, while a 55-minute survey on healthcare paid $25.
5. Apply for Writing Gigs on People per Hour
If you want to set your own rates for jobs and build your skills at the same time, People Per Hour is the ideal place to get started.
People Per Hour connects businesses and freelance workers. A simple project might involve writing a short blog post of 300-400 words. At the top end of the scale are jobs looking for content writers with a strong knowledge of Forex and CFD trading for $65 per hour.
A few tips for how to get the most out of the website:
- Put some time into building a great profile to make yourself really stand out
- Limit your search to the Writing category and focus on what you’re good at
- List all your relevant skills and how they help clients
- Collaborate with the client once the job is in progress and check in with them regularly to get feedback
Typically freelancer rates vary from $8 to $58 per hour, and project budgets vary from $12 to $2900.
Companies will pay more for writers with in-depth knowledge of their field. Our advice is to leverage any interests you have in topics like finance, health or food to appeal to clients.
If you spend time building your reputation on sites like Upwork and People Per Hour, then the sky’s the limit. In 2014, Danny Margulies made more than $100,000 in a year doing freelance writing gigs on Upwork.
6. Test Out Website Functionality
Ever wondered how companies test their websites? To check functionality and navigation, companies hire people to record themselves as they complete tasks on a site. Testers note any problems they encounter or anyplace they’re confused.
One of the most popular usability sites is UserTesting. They pay $10 for every 20-minute video. This means you make around $30 per hour, although in some cases you can earn up to $60 per test.
To get started you will need:
- A PC or Mac, an internet connection, and a microphone
- If you want to test mobile sites and apps, you’ll also need a phone or tablet
- Testing software (free to download from UserTesting)
- The ability to speak your thoughts out loud in English as you use the site
- You need to be at least 18 years old
As an example, you might have to book a 4-star hotel in Tokyo from June 20 to 25 using Kayak.com. You would need to record yourself as you book and share your opinions. Tell Kayak about how easy it is to find a relevant hotel or how complicated the booking process was.
As a bonus, if you do good work, your quality rating goes up. UserTesting will then offer you more and better opportunities.
7. Do Some Data Entry on Clickworker
If you’re looking for some straightforward work that you can fit in around your busy schedule, data entry fits the bill.
Clickworker is a site that offers users microtasks, small that take only a couple of minutes for low payments. You could be asked to create a list of a company’s products in Excel, categorize data or correct a short text.
You can earn money on your own schedule. All you need is a computer or smartphone, and internet access. To join Clickworker simply:
- Fill out your user profile
- Complete a short assessment
- Good test results may land you more jobs
- Pick up jobs online whenever it’s convenient
On average, Clickworkers can expect to earn around $9 per hour.
It won’t make you a fortune, but Clickworker is our recommendation for busy people looking to make a couple of extra dollars here and there. Next time you’re waiting for a bus or at the doctor’s office, open the Clickworker app instead of Facebook. Spend a few minutes completing tasks instead of scrolling through your feed. It won’t make much difference to your free time, but it will make a difference to your bank account.
You Don’t Need to Flip Burgers to Make Money
There are plenty of options for college students and new graduates looking to supplement their income. Flexible, part-time work that you can do at home is the best option for college students. It lets you focus on maintaining your GPA while keeping your student debt to a minimum.
And if you get a taste for one of these jobs, there’s lots of potential for turning it into a lucrative career.
Looking for more ways to make money? Check 41 Ways to Make Money Fast.