33 Flexible Jobs for College Students

Updated on May 5, 2023
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  • Many students need flexible jobs while they're enrolled to offset the high cost of college.
  • Students can pay loans and other bills by earning money through flexible side hustles.
  • Online jobs for college students include tutoring, freelance writing, and graphic design.

Attending college lets you pursue your interests, build long-lasting relationships, and prepare for your dream career.

Unfortunately, due to rising tuition costs, the average college student graduates with $28,500 in loans. Furthermore, an uncertain economic situation means that it might take some time before you can find gainful employment.

To mitigate post-graduation debt and keep up with bills, many students take on part-time or one-off gigs. This guide contains 33 flexible jobs for college students.

Due to widespread quarantine measures in response to COVID-19, we prioritized online jobs and other work you can do while maintaining a safe social distance.

33 Flexible Student Jobs and Side Hustles

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1. Edit and Proofread Your Peers' Papers

Even as U.S. schools transition to distance education in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, you can still find work editing your peers' essays and research reports. Get started by advertising on your school's social media platforms and asking your friends to spread the word.

You can also ask your college department or program to send out a mass email on your behalf.

2. Tutor Other Students

Take a subject you excel in and help other students improve their grades by becoming a tutor. You can find work by posting ads on your school's Facebook page and other social media. You might also apply for positions with tutoring websites like Wyzant and VIPKid.

3. Work for a Professor

Try asking a professor if they need help with any personal projects — they may be able to pay you to conduct research or fact-check existing information using grant funding. Some professors might also require assistance with surveying and other forms of fieldwork.

4. Apply to Be a Research Assistant

You can find formal undergraduate research positions by asking your professors and departmental advisors. Your school's career center can also help you secure assistantships on campus or with national organizations, such as the American Psychological Association.

5. Become a Brand Ambassador

Also known as college reps, brand ambassadors market products and services through merchandising and events. In this capacity, you'll run booths at campus fairs and build brand exposure by posting on social media. Companies like Red Bull and Apple maintain robust ambassador programs.

6. Become a Resident Advisor

Almost all colleges and universities employ resident advisors (RAs), i.e., student leaders who serve as role models and dorm monitors to the undergraduate cohort in return for discounted or free housing. To become an RA, you must complete a competitive application process and undergo extensive training.

7. Join Campus IT Support

Tech-savvy students can earn money by working with their school's IT support staff through a work-study program or as an independent employee. In this position, you'll help students, staff, and faculty, either in person at the IT office or remotely through a help-desk system.

8. Manage the Front Desk at a Local Gym

Gym receptionist is another popular job for college students. You can work at your school's fitness center or a nearby private establishment. Duties typically include monitoring the welcome area, handling correspondence, and ensuring that guests have the equipment they need.

9. Become a Campus Tour Guide

As a tour guide, you'll immerse prospective students and their families in college life by showing them major campus facilities and painting a picture of the school's culture. You can apply for this position through the admissions office. Most tour guides earn an hourly wage.

10. Write for Blogs and Businesses

As businesses rush to create engaging online content, the demand for freelance writers continues to grow. This line of work often pays per project. Generally speaking, you'll be able to access more lucrative gigs as you sharpen your writing skills and build a professional portfolio.

You can search for freelance writing opportunities on Upwork, Freelancer, and ProBlogger.

11. Become a Virtual Assistant

Virtual assisting is ideal if you're a good organizer and enjoy administrative work, such as data entry and website maintenance. You can find these positions on general employment sites like FlexJobs and ZipRecruiter, or through industry recruiters like Fancy Hands.

12. Sell Work on Fiverr

Fiverr is an online marketplace that lets users sell and buy freelance services in nine broad categories, including digital marketing, programming and tech, and business. Sellers can charge anywhere from $5 to $10,000 for their work. Though it's free to join Fiverr, the company does take 20% of earnings for each transaction.

13. Offer Online Design Work

Another freelancing website, 99designs connects clients with graphic designers. You can work directly with clients or compete in design contests with other users for prize earnings. You may submit designs for website landing pages, product packaging, book covers, and more.

14. Transcribe Various Media

Put your typing skills to use by working as a transcriptionist for sites like TranscribeAnywhere and GoTranscript. Projects can include producing text for podcast episodes and transcribing a police interview video. Pay varies but tends to increase if you have specialized knowledge in fields like medicine or law.

15. Translate

If you're proficient in a foreign language, you might consider working as a freelance translator through a platform like Gengo. With Gengo, once you pass the initial assessment, you'll receive access to a variety of projects and pay scales. Passing the pro qualification test unlocks the highest-paying jobs.

16. Ship Stuff for Others

Online marketplaces like uShip let you work as a carrier by creating a profile, finding shipments, and submitting quotes to potential clients. With the company's mobile app, you can communicate with customers in real time, allowing you to ask and answer questions and set expectations.

17. Search With Swagbucks

At Swagbucks, you can earn gift cards and cash through rewards and loyalty programs. To accrue points, simply watch videos, search the web, and answer surveys. You can also get paid for activities you already do, such as shopping online and playing mobile games.

18. Fill Out Online Surveys

Because customer motivations and behaviors are a major driving force behind business operations, you can get paid for answering survey questions, as well as testing and reviewing products and services. Look into sites like Survey Junkie, Opinion Outpost, Branded Surveys, and Pinecone Research.

19. Participate in Market Research

Similar to the survey gigs above, companies pay people to participate in their market research projects through either a focus-group setting or one-on-one interview. All you need is a phone, a computer, and a webcam. Get started by joining sites like User Interviews, American Consumer Opinion, and Respondent.

20. Do Online User Testing

Platforms such as UserTesting and TryMyUI offer yet another pathway to earning money for your consumer opinions. As a user tester, you'll visit a website or use an app, and then complete a series of tasks in a 20-minute video in which you describe the experience and voice any critiques.

21. Complete Everyday Tasks for Others

Another freelance marketplace, TaskRabbit connects you with people who pay you to complete household chores (like cleaning a kitchen) and DIY projects (like mounting a TV). With many people confined to their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may also find work buying and delivering groceries.

22. Take Part in Medical Studies

College students can earn money by participating in clinical trials, which may require you to be monitored while sleeping or test the effects of different medications. You can access these positions through websites like CenterWatch and Just Another Lab Rat. The federal government also maintains a database of clinical trials through the National Library of Medicine.

23. Run Errands or Deliver Food

The emergence of the sharing economy means you'll find plenty of work completing everyday tasks. Apps like Postmates, Uber Eats, and DoorDash can connect you with people in your area who will pay you to deliver take-out orders and groceries. Just make sure to respect social distancing protocol.

24. Enter Scholarship Competitions

Since you're likely stuck at your apartment or parents' house due to the quarantine, you may want to consider applying for some scholarships. These awards can go toward tuition and/or help you pay for a research project or study-abroad trip.

Look for funding opportunities on your school's website and general scholarship search sites, like Fastweb, the College Board, and Chegg.

25. Drive for Uber or Lyft

Many people still require transportation, even as their cities restrict movement for the sake of public health. Uber and Lyft are the dominant players in this industry, with each company maintaining different standards and pay rates.

Be sure to review the terms and conditions carefully before becoming a driver. You should also consult resources like The Rideshare Guy for tips on maximizing your earnings.

26. Sell Your Class Notes

College students can get paid for something they already do by selling their class notes online. In addition to advertising on social media, you can find opportunities through your school; many colleges and universities offer in-house note-taking and/or note-selling services. Alternatively, you can sell your notes through StudySoup.

27. Sell Stuff on Craigslist

Reduce clutter and make some money by selling clothes, furniture, and electronics you no longer use on Craigslist. The site is free to use and allows you to filter by criteria, such as location and item type. You may renew your listings every 48 hours.

28. Get Rid of Old Clothes

Because second-hand stores in your area are likely closed due to the coronavirus, make use of websites like thredUP, VarageSale, Refashioner, and Facebook Marketplace to start selling old clothes and accessories.

Be sure to take clear pictures of each garment and provide accurate measurements. Additionally, if you're selling vintage clothing, try to conduct some research so you can price the items correctly.

29. Sell Crafts on Etsy

As one of the most popular e-commerce platforms, Etsy enables you to sell vintage goods, handmade items, and craft supplies. The website offers an easy-to-use interface and a huge customer base. Just don't forget to factor shipping costs and seller fees into your profit calculations.

30. Profit Off Your Artwork

Another way college students can make money is by selling original artwork through sites like DeviantArt. This platform lets you upload images and sell your art as prints or other items, such as mouse pads and coffee mugs. Artists receive 20% of the purchase price.

31. Produce Instagram-Worthy Pictures

You can sell photos and videos on websites like Shutterstock and iStock. Foap is another popular platform for visual artists. On top of giving you 50% on individual sales, Foap lets you earn rewards by competing in brand-sponsored contests called "Missions."

32. Buy and Resell Textbooks

You probably already considered selling some of your old textbooks for cash, but you can take it to the next level by buying textbooks online and reselling them for a profit. To do this, find out how much a particular book is worth by looking up its ISBN on BookScouter. Then, search for copies selling for less than that price.

33. Become a Pet Sitter or Dog Walker

Animal lovers can earn money by working as a pet sitter or dog walker through Rover. This site lets you set pricing and schedules, as well as preferences, such as the size or age of an animal. Rover also protects your services for up to $1 million.