35 Online Jobs for College Students to Make Bank
January 4, 2020
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Along with academic and social stress, college students also worry about finances. Based on a study by Chegg, nearly two-thirds of college students reported experiencing particularly stressful financial concerns.
One way to mitigate that financial stress is to do what college students do best: spend time online. There are plenty of online jobs for college students to make some quick cash while balancing busy schedules. This guide walks through 35 online jobs for college students as well as some other student discounts and ways to save while at school.
How Can College Students Make Money Online?
Between classes, extracurriculars and a social life, it’s hard for students to tack on a part-time job. That’s why online jobs are perfect. From online gaming to web development, these gigs range in skill set, experience and pay, but can all be done from the comfort of a dorm room couch. Read through these 35 job opportunities, open a new tab and get earning!
1. Audio transcription. Get paid to transcribe audio files through TranscribeMe. Put a pair of headphones in, open a blank document and type everything you hear. Potential pay: Do this for a few hours per week and you can start to earn some quick cash, as TranscribeMe’s rates run $15–$22 per audio hour.
2. Blogger. Setting up a blog takes less than five minutes and costs less than five dollars with web developing platforms. When starting out blogging, cash won’t be rolling in, but keep up with it for a couple years and reap the rewards. Joining affiliate marketing programs and regularly producing engaging content to drive traffic can pay dividends in the long run. Potential pay: Nationally, the hourly rate for a freelance blogger is $27, but if you’re writing for companies you can charge up to $300 for a ~1,0000-word post. Editor’s note: Looking to set up a blog? Save some money with these Wordpress.com discounts.
3. Data entry. Entering numbers into a spreadsheet might not have the same ring as a professional racecar driver, but it’s an easy, online gig that pays. Use Flexjobs, search for “remote data entry jobs” and start to browse options. Potential pay: According to Payscale, data entry workers make around $13.61 an hour.
4. Date concierge. Ever been on an awkward date? Well, if you could reverse time, you’d want a date concierge the night before that date. This person plans every detail for an ideal date including booking reservations, coming up with conversation topics and matching compatible people. Check out Tawkify to get started laying the framework for the next great love story! Potential pay: Varies by service.
5. Dropshipping. Start by setting up an online store through a platform like Shopify, then research some in-demand products that can cheaply be sold wholesale from stores like Alibaba Express. After the online store is set up and you’ve sourced products to sell, it’s time for the “drop” shipping part. Dropshippers don’t actually need to physically have the product with them. Instead they buy from a wholesaler and then ship it directly to the customer’s address. Potential pay: Varies, but possible to generate ~$1,000+/month
6. Freelance designer. Know the ins and outs of Adobe? Consider freelancing that design expertise on 99designs. The freelancer platform has a range of different projects including web design, logo creation, personalized illustrations and more. Potential pay: Pay is based on a per project basis, but the average hourly pay for a freelance graphic designer is $27/hour.
7. Freelance writer. If you have a way with words, try freelance writing. Upwork is a great platform that connects companies and brands with freelance writers for both short-term work and longer projects. Potential pay: Pay varies based on experience level, but you can expect to make $15–$30 per 500 words.
8. Gamer. Monetize your love of Imposter by becoming a professional gamer. The easiest way to get into making money through video games is by becoming a tester. To do so, you’ll want to sharpen your quality assurance skills and scour job posting sites for video testing opportunities. Alternatively, you can start a YouTube channel or Twitch page streaming yourself playing and commenting on the video games. Potential pay: Varies by service.
9. Genealogist. Genealogy is the study of families and heritage. People will pay you a pretty penny to uncover the complex roots and branches of their family tree. Potential pay: Anthony Adolph, a professional freelance genealogist, charges anywhere in the range of $70–$700 per request. While you might not be at that rate when you start, you can certainly build your credibility and portfolio constructing family trees.
10. Moderator. If you’ve ever ventured into Facebook community groups, you know how heated some conversations become. Moderators are paid to guide such discussions. Potential pay: Online community moderators make an average of $19/hour. Beware though as Internet conversations can steamroll into some troubling stuff, so make sure you have the emotional stamina for this gig.
11. Mystery shopper. If retail therapy is your thing, consider being a mystery shopper. Essentially, a company will pay you to pretend to be a customer to evaluate a real customer’s experience. In most instances, you’ll be asked to purchase something and the company will reimburse you the amount for the item purchased. Now, mystery shopping is riddled with scammers, so be sure to vet the prospect thoroughly or use BestMark, a trusted source in the retail industry. Potential pay: Mystery shoppers can make as much as $20/hour.
12. Online survey taker. Pineapple on pizza, yes or no? Socks and sandals, trendy or not? Imagine if you got paid for your opinions. Well, you can legitimately make money completing online surveys with Swagbucks. Potential pay: You can earn up to 200 swagbucks points per survey with 100 SB equaling $1.
13. Online tutor. Evaluate what subjects are your strongest. Maybe you’re a math wiz or a literary buff — whatever the case may be — you can tutor kids in that subject. Fill out an application on Tutor.com, become a verified tutor and start connecting and hosting sessions. Potential pay: According to Angie’s List, the average rate of a one-hour tutoring session is between $30 and $40.
14. Personal stylist. Calling all fashionistas to become an online personal stylist. Through websites like Stitchfix or Flexjobs you can browse to see openings for being a personal stylist. Your responsibilities would include communicating with your client to get a feel for their fashion taste and sourcing some outfits for them to wear. Potential pay: According to Ziprecruiter, you can earn $21 per hour as a fashion stylist. Editor’s note: Earn a discount on some outfits using these Nordstrom coupons and discounts!
15. Photography. The average iPhone user has 650 photos on their phone, according to Gigaom. Monetize some of that iCloud storage by selling your photos. With the app 500px, you can post your photos to the marketplace and see if buyers are interested in purchasing. Get snapping! Potential pay: Varies by service and price of photographs. Editor’s note: If you’re interested in getting into photography professionally, consider investing in a new camera. You can save using these Target coupons and discounts.
16. PowerPoint presentation designer. How many PowerPoint presentations have you done for an assignment at school? By now, you must be an expert. Use those skills to become a professional presentation designer. Compile your school projects into a portfolio and then get on LinkedIn to scout out potential clients who might benefit from a presentation makeover. You could also make a custom slide deck and sell those digital assets for some cash. Potential pay: Varies.
17. Product tester. Test emerging products for companies and earn cash by becoming a product tester. Sign up to become an “influencer,” or product tester, through Pinecone Research. You might not make a lot of money for a single project, but if you have some free time and complete a good deal of assignments, you can make a generous amount. Potential pay: Varies by service.
18. Proofreader. Correct your and you’re misuses and other grammar no-goes by being a freelance proofreader. You can do this casually by asking your classmates if they’d be interested in a proofreading service for their final papers or you can make it professional by browsing job sites like LinkedIn or Indeed. Complete this Ultimate Proofreading Course to become a certified proofreader! Potential pay: Around ~$25/hour for a freelance proofreader.
19. Remote call center work. If you’re a good conversationalist, being a remote call center worker might be the gig for you. Larger companies that require army-sized customer service teams usually seek remote help. Do a quick Google search for “remote call center workers,” and browse the listings. Potential pay: According to ZipRecruiter, remote call agents around make $12/hour. Not too bad for talking to strangers on the phone!
20. Resume writer. As a college student, you know that a polished resume goes a long way. Offer to make your peers’ resumes for a small fee or apply for a resume writing service like ResumeEdge. Potential pay: Professional resume writing service costs can range between $100 and $2,000 per project, according to Great Resumes Fast.
21. Search engine evaluator. Artificial intelligence is the future of the web and for the most part is the engine behind our Internet search. But AI has its shortcomings and that’s where search engine evaluators come into play. Some tech companies need real humans to identify bugs or errors in the system. If you want to scroll the Internet for some quick cash, check out Lionbridge AI for search engine evaluator opportunities. Potential pay: Varies
22. Sell old stuff online. When in doubt, work with what you have. Old clothing, books, worn furniture and clutter of the like sell online. Not only will you tidy up, but you’ll make some money in the process. Potential pay: Varies. Editor’s note: Looking to sell off old books? Read through our bookselling guide to learn how to do it!
23. Sell your notes. All of those terms you diligently highlighted and wrote down during class can do more than just help you study, they can be used to get some quick cash. Easily sell your old notes, study guides and exam prep resources on Stuvia. Potential pay: According to that site, sellers make an average of $103 per month.
24. Social media influencer. The ultimate Gen-Z occupation is becoming a content creator, or a social media influencer. Now, you might not become as popular as Addison Rae, but if you build an organic presence online, you can make a lot of money. Start by simply posting regularly on YouTube or TikTok and see how your content is received. Potential pay: The salary varies, but you can make up to $100,000 per post if you make it big, according to Vox. Even if you don’t, you can generate a small side income by partnering with lesser-known brands.
25. Social media management. In most cases, companies will turn to the younger generation for social media ideas. After all, Gen-Zers don’t miss a beat when it comes to TikTok trends, Twitch terminology or YouTuber feuds. As a college student, you could consider managing a social media account part-time or for a local business. Simply put together a portfolio or your social accounts, call up the small businesses in your town and ask if they’d be interested. Potential pay: Approximately $24/hour.
26. Task completer. If you’re a do-er, this is right up your alley. Sign up for Fiverr and complete any miscellaneous tasks posted in the freelancer marketplace. Be cautioned that these tasks can get pretty wild. For example, you may be asked to be a rental friend for two days or create original memes for social media accounts. Potential pay: Varies by task.
27. Textbook flipper. Every new semester starts with purchasing textbooks, which get tossed out after a few months when classes wrap up. Instead of throwing out your old textbooks, try flipping them. If you have a class forum like a class Facebook page, connect with your peers to see if they need the same book for a class and offer a fair price using ScoutIQ. Potential pay: Varies.
28. Video captioning. Similar to transcribing, you’ll write down the audio portion of a video. Along with the transcription, you’ll also have to sync the written text of the audio with the scenes in the video. Potential pay: Try out Rev to get started, and earn up to $240 a month captioning miscellaneous videos.
29. Virtual assistant. Are you the A+ organized type? Then being a virtual assistant might be your college calling. You act as the task rabbit for an executive at a company. Mainly, tasks will include administrative responsibilities, content and email writing, database creation and management along with any other thing the executive asks. While it might not seem ideal to be at someone’s disposal, you’ll form a trusted relationship with someone who can advance your career. Potential pay: Nationally, virtual assistants make an average of $32/hour.
30. Virtual fitness coach. For the gym rats, consider becoming a virtual fitness coach. Post your workouts on social media to grow a following or see if anybody in your community is looking for a private fitness instructor. Potential pay: Once you have a couple of clients, you can start to book them regularly for a medium rate of $50 per session, according to Lessons.com.
31. Virtual golf instructor. Welcome to the virtual era, where you can take golf lessons online. Better yet, you can become a golf instructor online and get paid to give tips on someone’s swing. Swing Fit Golf Club offers virtual lessons for both juniors and adults, so start by checking out if they’re looking for extra instructors. Potential pay: Varies.
32. Virtual juror. If you’re a fan of true crime podcasts and documentaries, this one’s for you. Register through the site virtual juror and get paid to be an important part of our country’s justice system. Potential pay: $5–$10 per case.
33. Voiceover artist. You know that booming, anonymous voice that plays over impressive scenes of a mountain range? Well, that voice could be yours, if you do freelance voiceovers. You can check out Backstage to become a voice actor, but before you do anything, you’ll need the right equipment. Potential pay: Up to $31/hour. Editor’s note: Looking to become a voice actor? Save on microphones and headphones using these Best Buy coupons.
34. Web developer. Before you dismiss this online gig as “too difficult,” consider the upsides to knowing how to develop a website. Nearly every company needs an online presence, so your skills are in high demand. Potential pay: Freelance web developers make around $35/hour. Ca-ching!
35. Website tester. Get paid to browse and scroll by becoming a web tester. Basically, companies will pay you to give feedback on the websites they’re rolling out to ensure an enjoyable user experience. Go to the site User Testing, click on the “get paid to test” button and get earning! Potential pay: Approximately $26/hour.
Which Online Jobs Are Most Suited For Students?
Okay, so maybe you aren’t going to become a virtual golf instructor or a date concierge. Out of the above options, these are the five online jobs most suited for students and why you should try them out.
- Freelance writer. Not only is freelance writing financially rewarding, you’ll be able to put together a portfolio as well. Sharpening those skills will help you become a better writer in school and after you graduate.
- Dropshipping. If you learn how to do it right, you can make a good amount of money selling items. Not only is it extremely rewarding if done right, there are also plenty of platforms that make it easy to set up a storefront. Etsy, Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, Shopify, Squarespace and a series of others make buying and selling online easy.
- Tutoring. Tutoring is a great thing to highlight on your resume. It shows your expertise in a subject as well as your willingness to help educate others. Plus, tutoring pays well ($30–$60 per session) compared to doing an online survey or completing one task on Fiverr which might only pay $10–$20.
- Virtual assistant. Being a virtual assistant to a principal at a company is great from a networking standpoint. You become their go-to person for daily tasks and if you perform well, they may make introductions for you that could propel your career.
- Social media management. Understanding social media is critical in our digital-driven times. So, the quicker you understand how to market and convert on social media, the more valuable you are to novice companies who might not be as tech-savvy as you are.
Ways to Save Money as a College Student
Even if you’re making a steady income through an online job, college expenses add up quickly. Here are some other ways to save money as a student:
- Rent textbooks instead of buying. Hard-copy textbooks are known to be detrimental to your budget. They cost a ton and only for a semester’s worth of use. Instead of buying brand new textbooks every term, trying renting them on sites like Chegg. Editor’s note: If you want to save even more on rental textbooks, check out these Chegg coupons and discounts.
- Forgo expenses you can recreate at your dorm. Plastic water bottles, to-go coffee and dining out every night are luxuries that can be expensive if you’re trying to save money. Instead of plastic water bottles, invest in a water filter. Replace your Starbucks order by brewing some coffee in your dorm. Eating out a bunch? Try meal prepping at the beginning of the week instead.
- See what skills your college friends have. Maybe your neighbor knows how to cut hair or your roommate has a knack for upcycling old clothing. Get to know your friends and their unique abilities that may save you some money in the end.
- Use budgeting apps. There are scores of budgeting apps out there that can help you budget, save, invest, pay back loans and even plan for retirement. Make sure you’re doing the smart thing with your money by using a personal finance app.
Before you go doomscrolling on social media or watch another episode on Netflix, consider trying an online job. You’ll make money and build some professional experience all from the comfort of your couch! If you still think a part-time, in-person role is best for you, check out these jobs with employee discounts.
Sources: Chegg | TranscribeMe | Flexjobs | Payscale | Tawkify | 99designs | Indeed | Upwork | Glassdoor | Anthony Adolph | BestMark | Swagbucks | Tutor.com | Angie’s List | Ziprecruiter | Gigom | 500px | Pinecone Research | Ultimate Proofreading Course | ZipRecuriter | ResumeEdge | Great Resumes Fast | Lionbridge AI | Stuvia | Vox | Fiverr | ScoutIQ | Rev | Lessons.com | Swing Fit Golf Club | virtual juror | Backstage | User Testing
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