The 13 Best Jobs for College Students

Here’s the deal: College isn’t supposed to be about money.

But with the tremendous amount of tuition and living expenses, it’s no surprise that college students often need to work part-time jobs to save money while going to college.

It’s a Herculean task to juggle both academics and work. Not to mention, it’s difficult to know what kind of jobs to even apply for. That’s why we made a list of the 13 best part-time jobs for college students like you, who are trying to earn some extra cash.


1. Social Media Manager

If you’re a young adult who owns a smartphone, chances are you’ve already heard hundreds of lectures about how you’re wasting precious time on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. 

While there are valid reasons to unplug more often, I’d like to make a counterargument. Your time spent on social media has actually taught you some useful skills that could help you earn some extra cash. 

Put those hours logged on your phone to good use by working as a social media manager for a local business or startup. If you’re social media savvy and tuned into current trends, you’ll have an advantage. 

These positions are sometimes part-time jobs that can be done remotely—which is a great advantage for busy college students. Working from home means you don’t waste time traveling to and from your workplace. As long as you have access to a computer and a stable internet connection, you’re equipped to maintain social accounts from anywhere. 

Aside from engaging with customers, such positions usually require you to schedule posts, write blogs and social posts, ensure SEO optimization, and find new ways to improve customer engagement.


2. Sales Associate

Many college students work as sales associates at retail stores. (Think Walmart or Whole Foods.) 

The advantages of working as a sales associate begin with being able to schedule your shifts at your convenience. Having flexible hours helps a lot during those hectic final weeks we all know and dread.

Another possible perk is that you might receive employee discounts, which will help you save some extra money when you shop for your necessities. Some stores even offer a commission on sales made. This can act as a good incentive, as such positions are often paid minimum wage. Be aware of the minimum wage rate so you have an accurate idea of what your hourly pay for such positions might be.

Another benefit: Many more sales associate positions open up during the holidays. So, if you want to make some dough leading up to or during your winter break, keep an eye out for seasonal positions. 

Duties include helping customers shop, managing cash and credit card transactions, helping the retail store make more sales, sorting out store inventory, and cleaning up the outlet. You may also be asked to upsell products when talking to customers.


3. Barista

Ever sat at a coffee shop, marveling at the beautiful latte art in your cup, and wishing that you could replicate it? If so, then a barista position might be for you. 

You can spend your shift immersed in the heavenly scent of roasted beans and freshly brewed coffee.

However, the hours might not be the most comfortable ones. Many cafes stay open during college students’ study hours, so it could require very early or late shifts. 

Most barista positions require previous experience. But working at cafes, especially ones near your college campus, can give you the chance to interact with people from your college or nearby ones—all while earning some extra cash.


4. Brand Ambassador

If you’re outgoing, lively, and comfortable with making conversation with strangers, why not work as a brand ambassador for a local business or startup? You can earn some extra money and work on your interpersonal skills. 

As a brand ambassador, you might hang around your campus or local store and hand out free samples. Brand ambassadors may often sell products. Some businesses offer commission or other rewards based on how many sales you make.

For that reason, you’ll need to interact a LOT with people if you want to be a brand ambassador. Getting customer feedback on products, and setting up booths in different places and fests may also be a part of the job. 

This position could require participation in other kinds of marketing activities as well—such as cold calling, email marketing, social media marketing, and attending different events to represent the brand. 

Travel could be required, but if the places you need to go to are usually close to you, this won’t be an issue. If they’re not nearby, consider how much time you’d spend on travel and how much it will cut into your personal time.


5. Babysitter 

Babysitting is a nice way to earn some extra cash and the flexibility is a great advantage. If you enjoy babies or young children, this can be a great fit.

While it’s a huge responsibility to be in charge of one or a few human beings, it can be very rewarding too.

Babysitting jobs can be ideal for college students, as there’s often work available on nights and weekends. You could also seek out opportunities that fit into your weekday schedule when you don’t have any classes. 

Some families are even willing to offer a room to a babysitter in exchange for their services. This can be a humongous advantage when it comes to saving if the rent in your city is very high.  

If the kids are in bed for the night (or have a regular nap time during the day), you might even have the chance to study. 

Other potential duties include helping the children with their homework and school transportation (if they’re school-age), household chores (especially if you live there), and meal preparation.

Alternatively, you could get a job at a daycare center.


6. Bank Teller

Prefer sticking to a more traditional work schedule? Take up a job as a bank teller. A full-time position could be doable if your classes are online or you take night classes. There are many part-time bank teller positions as well.

So, what exactly does this job entail? As a bank teller, you’ll need to provide account services to customers, handle monetary transactions, deal with confidential information, and ensure that all security protocol is being followed. You may also need to carry out some rudimentary recordkeeping tasks. 

While this is a good entry-level position for anyone it could be particularly valuable for students studying finance, marketing, business, and accounting. Students who hope to one day work at financial institutions and are majoring in something relevant. If this describes you, being a bank teller can add some weight to your resume and help you land a good job post-graduation. 

Keep an eye out for job openings at bank branches near your college campus.


7. Data Entry Clerk

To be a data entry clerk, you may need to complete recruitment tests to qualify for the job, depending on the company you’re applying to. These tests usually assess the candidates’ typing and IT troubleshooting abilities. 

If you want to work remotely, you can try looking for online data entry positions. Such jobs can be done from anywhere—your dorm room or apartment, your favorite cafe, etc. And if it’s an online job, you can complete your tasks whenever it’s convenient for you (as long as you’re meeting deadlines).  

As a data entry clerk, you would have to update existing data to the company’s database, verify information, finish regular reports, and categorize data. You might also need to collect data directly from sources like the company’s customers.


8. Lifeguard

You can look at local lifeguard positions in the summer if you are willing to get trained and certified for the job. Opportunities include working at a beach, a local swimming center or pool, or a hostel. 

Your duties as a lifeguard will include opening and closing down the swimming facility, surveilling the swimming facilities for any possible safety hazards, and keeping track of weather forecasts and reports for any risky weather conditions. If any parties are going on at the pool or beach, you may have to look after them and act as a chaperone too.

Being a lifeguard is a great responsibility, and, of course, requires training. Before even applying for an open lifeguarding position, you will be required to be trained and certified by the American Red Cross for most jobs. 

You are likely to have colleagues your age, so this might be a good way to meet new people—especially ones who like being around water as much as you do—while earning some extra cash. The work environment is fun and dynamic, so you’re not likely to get bored either.


9. Tour Guide

If you’re an outgoing and active person who is comfortable speaking in front of strangers, being a tour guide can be a good way to earn some extra money. 

Campus tours are often led by college students like you. So, if you love your campus, this could be the perfect fit. You can talk to people who might potentially go to your college soon, so it could be a fun way to meet new students as well.

Aside from college campus tour guide positions, you could also try being a city tour guide. These positions often offer flexible hours while being a quite enjoyable way to earn extra cash too. (And even more so if your major is in English, the arts, or history. Thought that’s not a necessity by any means.)

Moreover, if you have been wanting to work on your public speaking skills and engage in more physical exercise (but never actually get around to it), being a tour guide will help you do both! You’ll need to speak in front of a group of strangers, converse with them a bit, answer their questions—all the while walking along the tour.

Job duties include research preparation and/or memorization, telling your audience about the history of your campus or city, and answering any questions. Minor bookkeeping tasks may be required, as well as driving between locations—if the sights you show are far apart. 

Make sure you compare the hourly rate you have been offered from a particular company with the travel time/spread of the sites you’ll have to cover before deciding if the job is worth it for you.


10. Virtual Assistant

Working as a virtual or administrative assistant is a good way to earn some “real world” experience before graduating and entering the real world yourself. The job is quite comparable to that of an administrative assistant. But, thanks to technology, you can do such jobs remotely—hence the term virtual assistant. 

Online jobs like virtual assistants usually mean that you can have somewhat of a flexible schedule. But you’ll need to stay on top of many things, so it might not be as flexible as some other jobs.

Being tech-savvy will greatly help you out, too. You’ll also need to be patient and organized, as you’ll be assisting busy professionals.

The hourly rate may differ quite a bit, depending on what duties a particular company needs to be fulfilled. 

Tasks can range from updating the professional’s schedule, booking reservations or flights, conducting any research needed, and handling some financial information.

If this position seems interesting to you, try applying to the companies you would like to work at after graduation. Working and networking with other professionals could lead to a career boost if you play your cards right. If you’re smart and hard-working—with the right connections—you could launch your future career, too, while working as a virtual assistant. 


11. Dog Walker

If you’re a dog lover, this won’t be a tough sell. Websites like Rover and DogVacay offer on-demand options that you can choose from. Since you get to choose the gig, you can decide which jobs fit within your schedule.

If you have experience with other animals, such as cats or horses, you can earn even more.

Aside from walking dogs, more in-depth jobs may require you to clean them, feed them medicine, and in case of any emergencies, take them to the vet. You would be entirely responsible for the animal(s) during your paid hours.

Playing with the cutest beings on Earth while earning extra cash? Seems like a pretty sweet deal!


12. Warehouse Associate

With the e-commerce industry growing at an even faster pace than before (just think about how many Amazon orders you have placed since the lockdown began), warehouses are hustling to keep up. This means a higher demand for warehouse associates.

Many warehousing facilities continue working at night or on the weekend. The extremely busy phase usually occurs during the holidays—increasing the demand for workers during these standard peak times as well. 

Many such jobs are part-time or seasonal, as you can see in this list of similar, available jobs at Amazon warehouses.


13. Freelance jobs

If you’re a creative individual, freelance jobs could be right for you. They can absolutely boost your career if you intend to work in the same industry after graduation. Freelance workers range from content writers, cover letter editors, graphic designers to SEO experts.

Websites like Fiverr and Upwork are wonderful places to find freelance work. You can enjoy flexible hours that work for your schedule, as long as you meet project deadlines.


One final tip

Try to choose a job that’s relevant to the field you want to work in. This will help your career while you earn money too.

College is difficult, honestly. And figuring out what to do with your life on top of it? Even more unnerving.

The good news? You don’t have to have it all figured out right now—just do the next right thing. For all-things-career, read more on The Vector Impact today.


Additional Resources:

What Should I Do with My Life? These 8 Questions Will Tell You
The Defining Decade: How to Make the Most of Your Twenties
Starting a New Job? Here’s What You Need to Know
I Messed Up My 20s So You Don’t Have To
Why You’re Not Landing Job Interviews (and How to Apply for Jobs Online)
This is How to Make Money in College and Thrive