Believe it or not, summer can be a really tough time for students to get jobs. Why? Because many employers look at the time frame the student can work (2-3 months), and then turndown student candidates. Why hire a student when there is someone else that would stay around for longer? Heck, it takes 1-2 months just to train someone well – by the time we finish training, they're gone.
But college student's shouldn't give up. There are plenty of ways for college students to make money over the summer. Here are 15 money making ideas for college students that they can do over the summer even if they can't get a “real” job.
1. Search The Internet
Do you search the Internet for stuff? Want to get paid for it? There are two main companies that pay you for doing online tasks like searching the Internet. The more tasks you complete, the more you get paid. Even better, both of these companies offer bonuses just for signing up.
Swagbucks is a site that lets you earn points called SB for doing various online tasks like taking surveys, watching videos, and using their search engine. When using their search engine, you get SB points after several searches, usually in the amount of 10-15 SB. You can start cashing out the SB points at the 500 points mark.
If you sign up for Swagbucks through THIS LINK you can earn a $5 bonus!
2. Do Online Jobs At Fiverr
Fiverr is becoming one of the most popular ways to make money online. It's a simple premise – you can buy anything offered on the site for just $5. However, what people don't always realize is that there are add-on services that people can purchase, which boosts the order size dramatically. Personally, I always end up spending about $30 per order when I buy stuff on the site.
Don't know what to sell? Check out all the crazy ideas that people have and see if something fits what you're good at and can do quickly. We also have a story about how you can earn $10,000 by starting a Fiverr gig. It’s possible!
3. Sell Stuff On eBay Or Amazon
Selling stuff on eBay was one of the first ways I ever made money online. I used to sell everything old in my house. I soon started selling on Amazon as well, simply focusing around music, movies, and books.
Selling on eBay eventually turned into a very large side business for me, and was earning me about $3,000 per year – very part time.
4. Fill Out Online Surveys
Believe it or not, there are companies out there that will pay you to take online surveys. The reason? They simply want your opinion. All you have to do is register, and these companies will contact you when they have a survey that fits your profile. Typically these are online market research surveys for big brands.
Some of the most popular online survey sites include:
- Swagbucks Surveys – Swagbucks now has a dedicated survey section, and you can get $5 just for signing up.
- ProOpinion – Get cash and rewards for filling out surveys. If you’re working, this is probably the best survey site available. It’s cleverly disguised, but pays well.
- Pinecone 18-24 – If you’re 18-24, you can earn $3 per survey with Pinecone.
- Pinecone – Earn about $3 for each survey you complete.
- Survey Junkie – Earn cash and rewards for sharing your thoughts and opinions.
- Survey Spot – Earn cash and rewards for filling out surveys and sharing your opinion.
- iPoll – Earn cash, gift cards, and more. You get $5 just for signing up with this link.
- Harris Poll – This company is run by Nielsen, and gives great rewards for filling out surveys.
- Opinion Outpost – Earn cash for filling out surveys.
- Pinecone Males – If you’re a guy, there’s special surveys you can fill out that pay even more.
- Points Club – Earn points for filling out surveys which you can redeem for gift cards. Get 2,000 points for signing up with this link.
5. Do Small Online Tasks On Amazon's Mechanical Turk
Amazon's Mechanical Turk is a great potential way to earn money. The gigs on this site pay incredibly low amounts – less than a nickel typically. However, they take seconds, and you can typically earn around $6 per hour if you keep at it.
I put together a full guide on how to maximize the amount of money you make by leveraging tools and forums. Check it out here: How To Make Money With Amazon's MTurk.
6. Selling Crafts On Etsy
Maybe buying and reselling isn't your thing, but creating awesome pieces of art, crafts, or other homemade goods is. Etsy is an awesome online marketplace that allows people to create handmade goods and sell them. Think of eBay, but with a focus on handmade products.
I've bought several types of products from Etsy, including stationary and invitations, and I've always been pleased. If you have a creative mind, this could be a great money making endeavor.
7. Drive For Uber or Lyft
If you're home for the summer and have a car, you could make money simply by driving people around. All you need is a car and some spare time. This could earn you several hundred per week if you are in an area where ride-on-demand is popular. Plus, you never know how many fun people you could meet.
You can easily sign up with Uber or Lyft and start driving people around as a side hustle. You’ll make what you put into it. Harry at The Ride Share Guy has a lot of great resources about getting started.
8. Be A Task Rabbit or Postmate
Both Task Rabbit and Postmates are services where you do random jobs for people for a fee.
TaskRabbit.com is a place where you can sign up and run small tasks for others. It can include anything from picking up the groceries to cleaning or even moving help. Typical tasks take a few hours, but there are a lot of tasks available in most large cities. This could be a great gig if you have time and transportation.
PostMates is an on-demand delivery service where you get paid around $20 per hour to deliver food. In fact, right now you are guaranteed to earn $1,000 per 60 deliveries in New York or San Francisco. That’s not bad.
9. Join Agent Anything And Do Random Tasks
Agent Anything is a site that outsources tasks, but is more geared to students. People post projects on the site and you can make offers on how much you’re willing to pay to help. Most gigs on the site earn anywhere from $20 to $100, but some earn more. However, they are usually pretty quick and easy jobs.
Think of this as another version of Task Rabbit, but one focused towards young adults.
10. Babysit Or Housesit
Babysitting and housesitting are two great ways to make money while you're home on summer vacation. Both require no long term commitment, and they both can earn you good money.
Start by asking friends, family, and neighbors if they need anyone to help. If they don't, you could always consider posting to a site like Care.com and looking for work there. Finding work through friends and family is typically easier, but looking online opens up more options.
11. Become a Dog Walker
Another great way to earn money, especially if you love animals, is to become a dog walker. In many cities people are looking for individuals to walk their dogs and pets. Even in more suburban areas, people are looking to hire others to spend time with their pets – especially when the owners have a busy schedule.
12. Start A Summer Moving Service
Another great way to make extra money during the summer is to start a moving service. This job is even better if you can get 1-2 friends to join you.
The best way to look for gigs is to post on Craigslist as a moving service. People will contact you, and you can negotiate the rate. Remember, you'll likely have to rent a U-Haul truck, pay for gas, and spend a lot of time for each client. Price yourself accordingly.
13. Do House Painting Or Handyman Work
You can also look for house painting or handyman work. Many people start looking to do home improvements once summer arrives, and if you are willing to put in the manual labor, this could be a great way to earn money.
There are a few ways to go about it: 1) do the work on your own from start to finish by contacting individuals and setting up deals. 2) you can join a company that you are affiliated with, you do the sales, and the painting, but they provide the infrastructure, billing, supplies, and more. 3) you go and work for a company as summer/on-demand labor.
14. Be A Part Of A Medical Survey
This is one of our favorite unique ways to make money, and it can earn you hundreds or even thousands of dollars for your time. Given that you have time on your side for the summer, you could be a great candidate to participate in medical studies. Check your local schools or hospitals and see if they have any information on studies you can be a part of. The higher paying studies are the ones that require overnight stays.
15. Get Paid To Be Someone's Friend
If you want to go out and do a fun activity – like eat dinner or watch a movie – but don't have anyone to do it with, you could join a service like Rentafriend.com, where you can get paid to become someone’s friend for a period of time. This is strictly platonic stuff here, so don’t think about it any other way please.
Just because getting a summer job at a big company or retailer is difficult, that doesn't mean that you can't work and earn money. There are lots of ways to earn money during the summer, you just have to find it. And who knows, some of these gigs might turn into side hustles that you can do during college when you go back in the fall.