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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.
8. Take Online Surveys
This is a great option for students who want to fit a side gig around classes and other commitments. There are lots of sites and apps that allow you to earn points for taking surveys. You can cash out with a PayPal transfer, check, gift cards, or other rewards.
For example, MyPoints and InboxDollars award points for completing surveys and other easy online tasks, such as playing games and watching ads. Typically, you can receive a couple of dollars per complete survey, but these generally only take a few moments.
Signing up to these apps is easy, and you can often sign up for multiple platforms, so you’ll always have some work to do in your spare time.
9. SEO Consultant
If you’re an SEO whizz, you can use your skills as an SEO consultant. You’ll need to be confident about explaining your services, as if a client doesn’t understand SEO, they will not appreciate that results are not instantaneous.
Like most freelancing niches, you should develop a portfolio of your work. However, if you have strong marketing skills, you’ll find being an SEO consultant is one of the most profitable online jobs for college students.
As you accumulate happy clients and show you can reliably deliver results, you’re sure to start getting more and more referrals. Beginners can get started on freelancing platforms or by approaching businesses directly. You can expect to earn $20+ per hour.
10. Video Captioning
If you enjoy watching videos and can multi task, then video captioning could be a good online job for you. Platforms such as Rev offer a fixed rate for each minute of video clips. You’ll get paid to transcribe interviews, sermons, and other videos.
You will need to have a keen eye for detail, as clients expect you to caption verbatim. This means that you need to note fillers such as “um” and word repetitions. However, you can expect to earn up to $1 per minute of video.
11. Voiceover Work
Voiceover work involves lending your voice talents to commercials, live events, or even narrating audio books. Voiceover artists can earn up to $40 an hour, depending on your experience and the project you’re working on.
For example, you will earn far more doing voiceover work on a commercial than selling your services on Fiverr.
You’ll need a pleasant speaking voice and a consistent work ethic.
There are a number of websites and platforms offering the opportunity to work online. For example, Voices.com provides a community for voice artists with jobs posted daily. There is the option for a free guest account, but you can upgrade to a premium account and increase your chances of being hired.
12. Video Editing
Online videos account for 60% of web traffic. Whether it is to promote a business or an influencer discussing their latest purchase, videos also represent decent online jobs for college students.
If you enjoy video editing, you can make this into a decent side hustle. You can charge $20 to $45 an hour, making simple edits as a beginner. This will advance to over $100 an hour when you have a polished portfolio and able to tackle more complex editing jobs.
There are thousands of freelance video editing jobs on platforms such as Upwork. You can get started with a basic portfolio and a complete profile. This will allow you to fit your editing jobs around your college commitments and earn serious cash.
13. Teaching English
If you’re planning a career in teaching, why not get some practical experience and earn money as a side gig, teaching English. There are platforms that allow you to teach English online via teleconferencing.
You can expect to earn up to $25 an hour with platforms such as VIPkid. This will provide the flexibility to set your own schedule, and since many of your teaching clients will be overseas, the time zone differences can work for your off hours.
The different platforms do have specific requirements, so check the terms and conditions before you sign up.
If you’re bilingual can be used to create a decent side hustle. People with translation skills are in high demand, and you can choose jobs that offer the flexibility to work around your classes.
For example, Clickworker offers a variety of internet services, including translations. You can sign up to the platform for free and complete tasks for clients according to your own schedule. You’ll receive weekly or monthly payment with a rate of $10+ per hour.
Since Clickworker is a massive platform, you can supplement your translation earnings with other tasks. This makes this one of the most lucrative online jobs for college students.
15. Fiverr Gigs
Fiverr is a great platform that allows you to sell practically anything for $5. Whether you can craft items or offer services, you can tailor this online job according to your unique talents.
Signing up to Fiverr is free, and you can set up a profile, which will showcase your skills. You can add photographs and examples to your profile, so prospective clients can browse your talents.
Despite the name, Fiverr does not restrict your earnings to $5 a gig. You can offer upgrades, with a tiered pricing structure. For example, freelance writers on the platform could offer a 200 word article for $5. But, you could also offer a 400 word article for $10 etc.
16. Retail Arbitrage
Retail arbitrage is a term that essentially means buying low and selling high. The internet has made retail arbitrage a great option for those looking for online jobs for college students.
You will need to source items that you can buy at a lower cost and still sell for a reasonable profit. You will also need to consider shipping costs and fees.
There are lots of platforms that will allow you to develop a decent retail arbitrage side hustle. A great example of this is eBay. Many of us use eBay for buying and selling the occasional item. However, serious sellers can make serious cash.
17. PPC Marketing
PPC marketing uses Google ads to promote businesses and sell items. Whether you have your own product or want to sell items for a third party, PPC can be an effective way to earn decent money in your spare time.
You can create a free Google AdWords account, and there are lots of online tutorials to help you optimize your ads.
As with retail arbitrage, you will need to find the right product and work out your costs and potential profit to plan a campaign. However, Google has analytics tools that help you to track your campaign and make the necessary changes to maximize clicks and sales.
18. YouTube Channel
Starting a YouTube channel is not the key to instant cash, but it could provide an income stream in the long term. Channels are still a massive industry, with some content creators earning millions of dollars.
YouTube has made changes to its terms and conditions. So, now it is more complicated than making a video and uploading it. You need to have minimum views and meet the subscriber requirements before you start to enjoy ad revenue.
Once ads are on your videos, you could receive anything up to $2,000 a month. Ryan of Ryan’s Toys earnings have reached a massive $26 million! Your earnings will vary according to your niche, posting consistency, and your content. So, choose a niche that you enjoy.
19. Virtual Assistant (VA)
Being a virtual assistant can involve a variety of tasks. You may need to deal with tasks such as email marketing, admin assistance, customer support, scheduling, and more. VAs can earn up to $25 per hour.
Your basic goal will be to help out each of your clients in any way they need. Once you build up a client base, you should be able to make a decent hourly wage.
There are plenty of platforms to help you to find VA clients. As with most freelancing jobs, once you start working, you’ll be able to showcase your talents and find even more clients.
20. Start a Blog or Niche Website
A blog or niche website can pay anything from a couple of dollars to thousands each month. This job allows anyone to make money online part time. There is no immediate return, but if you can commit to consistent posting, blogging can be one of the best online jobs for college students.
It typically takes six months plus of blogging before you start to see revenue. However, you can choose a topic that you’re passionate about. There are virtually limitless possibilities and successful bloggers earn thousands of dollars a month. For example, Lindsay Ostrom earns $10k+ just from affiliate marketing sales on her blog Pinch of Yum!
Blogging is an online business rather than a traditional job. You can get paid to put ads on your site, earn commissions through affiliate marketing, selling your own products, or generate leads for your services.
21. Search Engine Evaluator
The search engines are continually evolving, but an algorithm cannot do everything a human can. This is why positions for search engine evaluators exist. Your task will be to rate search results so that the user sees the best possible results. This means that you can earn cash and help to improve the search engine results.
You’re likely to rate Google or Bing search results. You’ll look at specific results and ensure they follow the specified guidelines. There is usually a time limit for these tasks.
This means that if you want to maximize your earnings, you will need to be more efficient. You can expect to earn $12 to $15 per hour.
22. Remote Call Center Worker
As a remote call center worker, you’ll be providing information to customers who need help with a query or concern. This is typically an hourly job, but it is possible to receive bonuses for peak performances.
Some companies also offer commission for upselling. You can expect to earn an average hourly rate of $14. The most popular company offering remote call center positions is Amazon, but there are opportunities for companies worldwide.
23. Rideshare Driver
Ridesharing has become a popular side hustle over the last decade. The two leading companies, Uber and Lyft, allow you to manage your journeys and earnings through an app.
After considering your expenses, you can expect to earn an average of $12 per hour. However, with bonuses and working busy shifts, it is possible to earn far more. You receive pay per mile and minute, but there is often a “base fare”.
The only possible downside is that both Lyft and Uber have stringent requirements for the vehicle you use. This could be a potential barrier for those looking for online jobs for college students.
24. Deliver Food
If you have an older car and being a rideshare driver is not possible, you can still earn money with your car delivering food. The on demand delivery industry is rapidly evolving, making it an ideal side hustle, particularly for students. There are three leading companies; Uber Eats, Postmates, and DoorDash.
Unlike rideshare driving, the requirements for a food delivery driver are far more relaxed. Providing you have a reliable mode of transportation, you can work hours to suit your schedule. The apps also encourage tipping, which can boost your hourly rate to as much as $15 per hour.
25. App Tester
Becoming an app tester is an upgraded version of completing surveys. Rather than answering questions about products or shopping experiences, you’ll be helping companies with the functionality, design, and usability of their apps.
The app tester role involves a variety of tasks. Essentially, you’ll use the app as normal, but the user tests require recording your screen or taking voice notes to provide feedback.
For example, ImpactQA offers rates of $25 -$49 per hour.
More complex testing jobs require bug testing for technical issues. You’ll receive rewards for finding and reporting issues. This can take practice, but it can pay up to $10 per test.
26. Mystery Shopper
Companies often need information about how their physical stores operate, and the service customers are receiving. A mystery shopper gets paid to secretly shop at a specific store and provide feedback on their experience.
You may need to report on promotion signage, checkout experience, or merchandise stocking. However, you need to watch out for scammy companies that require you to participate in expensive training seminars or pay a membership fee.
A great place to find mystery shopper gigs is Secret Shopper. This company has been around since 1990 and offers the chance to make up to $25 per hour.
27. Chat Agent
Chat agents provide the customer support for a variety of companies. While there are some that require phone time, many positions are 100% online.
You can promote your services on Fiverr or other freelance platforms. However, the most effective way to find chat agent work is through FlexJobs or other work boards. You typically need to pay a small subscription fee to access the full job postings, but this is a small investment for a decent side hustle.
You can expect to earn as much as $11-$12 per hour. Many remote opportunities offer the flexibility that is ideal for students.
28. Online Shopper
If you enjoy shopping and want to make some cash, then an online shopper job is ideal. As a shopper, you’ll be testing products and services, providing feedback. Evaluations can take up to 15 minutes, and you can earn as much as $50 per assignment.
It is possible to find opportunities on freelance platforms such as Upwork, but the most effective way to locate jobs is on Ziprecruiter or other recruitment platforms.
29. Amazon FBA
Amazon FBA or Fulfilled by Amazon, is a marketplace that can earn you up to $100 per hour. The selling process is simple, but a little tedious. You need to find discounted products and sell them on the Amazon store.
If you enjoy bargain hunting or have a line on products that may be popular on the platform, you can create a substantial business.
You will need to calculate shipping expenses, time spent sourcing products, and adhering to the Amazon terms and conditions into your plans.
Dropshipping does not offer the same profits as stocking and shipping products. It is a more convenient way to get paid up to $500 or more per item.
You will need to create a storefront and list the products you’re offering for sale. You can then arrange for direct shipping to the customer from your supplier. This eliminates the need to store stock, making it ideal for a college dorm room.
It is possible to sell almost anything via dropshipping. However, you will need to look at profit margins, so you can choose the best products.
When looking for online jobs for college students, investing is not likely to be at the top of your list. Investing can be intimidating and confusing, as you need to make smart investment decisions.
Fortunately, there are apps and web solutions that can help you. Just like an automated bill payment app, you can automatically invest to allow you to earn in your spare time. Many of these apps also offer free services or low costs. So you can start small as you build up your confidence.
You will need to have a little capital to begin. However, as your investments pay off, you can start to invest larger sums, for greater rewards.
32. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is another one of the ideal online jobs for college students. If you’re web savvy, you can start to earn hundreds of dollars around your class schedule. Essentially, you’ll be promoting third party products and services. This can be done via your own websites or through your social media platforms.
You’re likely to have seen your favorite influencer on YouTube offering a discount on a specific product. This is likely to be an affiliate product, so the influencer also receives a percentage of the sale.
The most successful affiliate marketers keep up to date on the latest SEO trends. So, you will need to maintain your knowledge base to maximize your earnings.
33. Online T-shirts Business
Setting up an online T-shirt business has never been easier. Whether you want to supplement your social media earnings with merch or you have some creative ideas, you can create a thriving business.
Merch by Amazon is a print on demand service that allows you to earn income as a designer. You can upload your designs and set your price with no upfront costs. You’ll earn royalties on every item you sell on the Amazon marketplace.
You’ll make approximately $1 for every T-shirt you sell. So, if you create appealing designs, you can start to see a significant income.
34. Telephone Mystery Shopping
A Telephone mystery shopper evaluates calls for companies. While not technically one of the possibilities for online jobs for college students, it is still a good opportunity. As an independent contractor, you’ll enjoy flexible hours that can work around your class schedule.
For example, CallCenterQA has part time opportunities for telephone mystery shoppers. You’ll receive $5 for each successful call. Additionally, you can receive your earnings via PayPal within 24 hours.
You will need to pass an evaluation to qualify. But, once you’re working, you only need to submit an email evaluation for each call.
35. Sell Used Books
Most students need to read lots of books, but you may simply give them to a thrift shop when you’re done. However, this can be the inspiration for a new side hustle.
You can start with your own unwanted books, but you’ll need to work consistently to source more stock. The key to success is matching the right books to waiting customers. It is up to you whether you specialize in student textbooks and required reading materials or take a more general approach.
You can set up your own website or use a third party platform, such as eBay to sell your books. If you get your market research right, you could earn a couple of hundred dollars a week.
36. Create a Course
You don’t need formal teaching qualifications to help others to learn a skill. You can create a course on almost any topic. “How to” courses tend to be the most popular, and you can typically earn up to 60% of every copy you sell.
You will need to have an in-depth knowledge of your topic, so you can walk your student through the steps.
With affiliate partners and some efforts with promoting your product, you could create a decent residual income. You can sell your course on platforms like Udemy. This will allow you to work with affiliates and make course updates.
37. Sign Up with Cashback Websites
Finally, you can earn cashback on your purchases. There are a number of websites and platforms that offer cashback. For example, Rakuten is a free reward site, where you can receive cashback with popular stores, including Amazon and Sephora.
You can shop through the website browser extension. This will automatically help you to find deals as you’re shopping. Most of the platforms pay your rewards via PayPal, so you can quickly receive the cash you earn.
It is worth signing up for multiple cashback websites. The sites don’t all offer the same retailer rewards. So, you can find the best reward and shop through that website for each of your purchases.
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.