Straight talk: High paying jobs for college students are rare. But don’t worry because I’ve done the digging for you and compiled a list of the best and most profitable ways to make money while in school.
Of course your studies are a top priority, so the jobs on this list won’t take up too much of your time. The idea here is to focus first on your education, then earn extra cash in your spare time—but not add to the pressures you already face.
In fact, 45% of American college students face more than average stress. Scary stat, right? With that in mind, let’s look at a few jobs that will allow you to keep your grades up but keep your stress to a minimum.
The best jobs for college students
We decided to mention fields that will cover a wide range of jobs (rather than be overly specific) to give you more options. So get comfortable and keep reading for the best job opportunities for you.
Sales is often treated as a dirty word, but really everything is sales.
Sales jobs can include working as a sales associate, marketing intern, or door-to-door salesperson. As for building skills, you’ll master the art of negotiation and persuasion. We all know how important both of those are in the job market—whatever your role or industry. After all, life is sales.
Content writing is one of the easiest ways to increase your income. One of the greatest advantages of this field is that you’re a freelancer. Content writers earn around 5% of the entire GDP for the U.S.
One major highlight is being your own boss and therefore setting your own schedule. Content writing features jobs like ghostwriting, resume writing, copywriting, and anything that involves writing on the internet.
Being a consultant can be extremely lucrative because there are no up front costs, and clients are willing to pay money for specific expertise.
If you have a particular skill set or specific knowledge where you can offer counsel, there are plenty of opportunities to market your services—especially if you’re majoring in a relevant subject.
Management, environmental, and investment consultancy are just some of the jobs you could pursue. Be warned that you do need to have an in-depth understanding of your subject, as well as a strong resume and cover letter if you want to get a job like this. It pays well, but it doesn’t come easy.
If you are looking for something straightforward, tutoring might be for you. Remember what you learned in high school? Awesome! As long as you have good people skills, patience, and the ability to explain your subject matter, you’ll do well as a tutor.
You can opt for private lessons, join an afterschool facility, or channel your inner Khan Academy and tread the internet.
10% of students have been tutored, so to say the market is large is an understatement.
Are you good with kids and do you enjoy spending time with them? If so, then babysitting is an obvious choice. It’s not a walk in the park, however. Many people assume (wrongly) that it’s an easy feat, but you need to be vigilant, engaged, and energetic to excel at this job.
An interesting fact is that 97.1% of babysittersare female. This gender disparity is mind-boggling. The point is, it’s a good field, and more men should participate. Don’t let dated gender stereotypes keep you from exploring this opportunity. Bottom line? If you’re good with kids, this might be the perfect job for you.
If you think this should have been grouped with babysitting, you’re not fit for either. Taking care of a pet is a whole other deal.
The international pet-sitting market was worth 2.6 billion dollars in 2019 with plenty of expected growth, so this is a financially viable option.
I could create a whole list solely devoted to types of pet sitting jobs. Pets are a big responsibility and require all kinds of care—both in the day-to-day and when pet owners travel. If you’re a newbie in this industry, try starting out as a dog walkerto get a taste of the pet market.
If you’re a fitness advocate, there are so many jobs for you. If you thought the statistics about the pet-sitting industry were insane, here’s a fun fact: the gym industry was valued at 96.7 billion dollars in 2020.
So, whether it’s yoga, pilates, or weight lifting, if you know your exercises and can physically perform them, this is an easy and fun source of income for you.
Coffee shops are everywhere. Coffee is the lifeblood of our generation; there are very few people today who don’t like the drink.
If you happen to be one of the many coffee lovers out there, why not work as a barista? Just think about it: you’re surrounded by that heavenly smell every day. Jokes aside, it’s a job that compensates you well for your efforts—especially if it’s Starbucks, which ranks 149th on the Forbes list of America’s best employers. With base pay and bonus, benefits, retirement savings, stocks, and even tuition coverage (yeah, for real), what’s not to love?
Let’s get one thing straight: waiters and waitresses are awesome and super under-appreciated. Honestly, it’s a shame how some people treat them.
Again, this is a common job for people who need time to study. The work hours are forgiving, and the pay is decent. The base annual salary in the U.S. is almost $34,000 dollars. Not to mention, the skills you’ll pick up in building rapport, multi-tasking, and sales? Priceless.
People are now moving away from fine dining while the fast-food industry is truly taking over. With a yearly revenue of $110 billion, few other industries can even compare. Unfortunately, the wages often don’t show this.
A lot of fast food companies opt to pay their workers the bare minimum. It makes sense since it’s an entry-level job. Then why is it on this list? you might be thinking. Well, the likelihood of getting promoted is always a possibility—especially for those who work hard and show leadership potential.
A basic worker doesn’t earn much, but team leaders and store managers are different positions altogether. Those jobs pay a lot.
Do you have a passion for photography? Well, put that DSLR to good use. Photography is one of the most bankable skills in the world right now. If you have an artistic eye, and have a good grasp of the right angles and lighting, your services will be in-demand.
This job is mainly freelance, too, so you can mix and match your gigs to fit your routine—which of course is vital for a college student so you have ample time to hit the books as well.
Speaking of being able to mix and match your schedule, working as a driver is another flexible option. Uber has simply revolutionized the industry. Before the $90.29 billion dollar company entered the market, driving was not an accessible job.
Now, anyone with a car can download the app and start earning instantly. It’s not like Uber is the only one on the market either. You have several ride-sharing apps to choose from. Just drive and earn.
Artist or graphic designer
This field includes a wide range of possibilities such as sketching, painting, molding, illustration on the computer, or layout and design. Again, this is a freelance operation, so you set your schedule. For many, this can double as a fun hobby/creative outlet.
Graphic design, on its own, is a $15 billion dollar industry so there’s absolutely the opportunity to be paid well—especially as your skills and experience grow.
Of course, you have to be friendly with everyone regardless of whether or not you’re having a bad day. You’re representing the company as the first point of contact for many, which is a reflection of the company’s culture and reputation.
The warehouse is an integral part of any company. You don’t need a college degreeor any formal education, so it’s an accessible opportunity to make money and gain experience.
The physicality associated with manual labor like this can take its toll, so if you aren’t very active, you may want to skip this one despite the decent paycheck.
Given how large libraries are, it’s next to impossible for one librarian to handle all of the reading materials by herself. Enter the need for capable library assistants. If you’ve always loved books and have a knack for organization, this could be a great job for you as a student. Learn more about this type of position and the skills you need here.
After 2020, we all likely feel an even greater appreciation for the incredible humans who save lives daily. Healthcare is one of the most important industries globally, and you can play your part in it today.
People assume that this industry is only for students in the medical field, but this is not the case. You can be a companion for the elderly, helping them in their daily lives, or try your hand at being a massage therapist. The healthcare industry is vast, and it pays well, too (deservedly so).
Remember all the times your mom told you to clean up your room? If you were one of those kids who thought, “What’s the point? It’ll get dirty, again.” First of all, ew. Secondly, thanks to her, you know how to clean up after yourself.
Unfortunately, an alarming number of people don’t. And that’s what keeps 3.24 million working in the cleaning industry (reported for 2018). We aren’t going to lie, it’s one of the lowest paying jobs on this list, but it’s enough to make a living, and pretty solid income for a college student.
Social media manager
Social Media platforms have come to dominate business and our way of life. Facebook alone has a user base that includes two-thirdsof the U.S. adult population.
Whether it’s content creation, following the latest trends, or calendar planning/scheduling posts, there’s no shortage of jobs in the social media world. Depending on your experience and abilities, you can seek out a role that is best for you.
Nobody likes to do their taxes. Bookkeeping is exhausting. Auditing is the most boring thing on the planet. If you disagree with any or all of the statements above, boy, do I have a good industry for you.
Besides the mundane tasks we mentioned, there are plenty of other jobs in the accounting field. You could pick up an internship or prepare financial documents.
Speaking of tracking your money, if you can’t seem to quit splurging, check out our guide on how to save better and keep yourself from breaking the bank.
One of my best friends in college was a bouncer at a bar. It was one of the easiest jobs he ever held. In the security industry, the options for a college student are limited as most of these jobs are overnight.
However, if you can land a gig as a bouncer at a bar and check IDs, it’s a fairly easy job for a college student.
There you have it—a list of the most high paying jobs for college students.If you’re confused about your prospects, here are two suggestions to give you clarity:
The first is obvious. Take the job that aligns with your goals AND pays well—either now or in the future. Sometimes valuable experience can ultimately have greater returns than a job that pays well at the moment (but doesn’t fit your interests).
Second, if you’re thinking about dabbling in sales, no one does it better than we do. Join our team to gain real-world experience, professional development, and competitive pay (with plenty of opportunities for growth). Your future self will thank you.