Best Summer Jobs to Save Money for College

Walking dogs, tutoring, and making coffee can all pad your college savings account. Here are the best summer jobs for college students.

portrait of Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D.
by Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D.

Published on July 8, 2022 · Updated on July 9, 2022

Edited by Cameren Boatner
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Best Summer Jobs to Save Money for College
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It's no secret that college is expensive. And many families start saving for college years in advance. Whether you're a college-bound high schooler or a current undergrad, these summer jobs can help you reach your savings goals.

Summer is the perfect time to add to your college savings. And many summer jobs come with benefits aside from a paycheck. You can spend the summer walking dogs, taking kids to the pool, or working from home — and still add to your savings account.

10 Summer Jobs to Help You Save for College

Looking to make some money this summer? College students have a lot of options. Here are the best summer jobs for college students.

1. Tutor

Average Pay: $18.34 per hour as of June 2022

Tutors instruct learners in academic subjects. Many college students tutor to save money in the summer. Whether tutoring in-person or online, you can make a high hourly wage by instructing students. And undergrads with high standardized test scores can often find work tutoring high schoolers studying for the ACT or SAT.


2. Lifeguard

Average Pay: $10.50 per hour as of June 2022

Lifeguards work at pools and beaches where they keep swimmers safe. They train in CPR and other techniques, and most lifeguards hold a specialized certification. Most lifeguards work outdoors, where they interact with the public. With a national shortage of lifeguards, many areas are offering hiring bonuses.


3. Nanny

Average Pay: $15.55 per hour as of June 2022

Many families hire nannies for the summer, especially for school-aged children. Summer nannies take children to enrichment activities, prepare meals, and plan outings. Some nannies also manage household tasks. It's a great option for college students who like kids or plan to work in education.


4. Transcriber

Average Pay: $15.30 per hour as of June 2022

Transcribers create a written version of audio content. They listen to audio or video recordings to create their transcriptions. The job requires fast typing skills, and some transcribers use software to help create their transcriptions. Many transcribers work for transcription companies, while others find freelance transcription jobs.


5. Landscaper

Average Pay: $14.69 per hour as of June 2022

Landscapers do more than mow lawns. They also clean out debris, care for plants, and remove weeds. Landscapers may work for a company or recruit clients to run their own business. It's a good option for college students who want an outdoor job and don't mind manual labor.


6. Virtual Assistant

Average Pay: $16.40 per hour as of June 2022

Virtual assistants benefit from high demand. And it's a great job for college students looking to save money. Virtual assistants schedule appointments, arrange deliveries, and send messages on behalf of their clients. They may also conduct research, file documents, or perform other administrative tasks, depending on the job.


7. Dog Walker

Average Pay: $15.14 per hour as of May 2022

Dog walkers get lots of outside time — and they get to spend time with dogs. On a typical day, dog walkers might take several dogs on walks or even take the same dog on walks several times. Apps like Rover make it easier for college students to pick up dog walking jobs on their schedule.


8. Delivery Driver

Average Pay: $15.78 per hour as of June 2022

Delivery drivers transport goods to customers. Their job may include loading a vehicle, driving to customers, and unloading deliveries. Depending on the role, you might deliver food, packages, or furniture. And depending on the job, you might drive your own vehicle or one provided by the company.


9. Mover

Average Pay: $14.83 per hour as of June 2022

Summer is moving season. And movers take home an average hourly wage of nearly $15 plus tips. A summer job as a mover requires physical stamina and the ability to lift heavy loads. Some movers also pack and unpack belongings. Related roles for college students include furniture assembler or delivery driver.


10. Barista

Average Pay: $11.25 per hour as of June 2022

Baristas work in coffee shops where they take orders, prepare drinks, and serve customers. They blend customer service skills with an ability to prepare sometimes elaborate beverages. In addition to an hourly wage, baristas typically earn tips. And most college towns feature multiple coffee shops, making it one of the best jobs for college students.

How to Save Your Summer Job Earnings for College

Whether you make money as a tutor or a barista, it's important to have a savings plan. Here are some tips to save more of the money you earn this summer.

Open a College Savings Account

Most college students have a regular checking or savings account. But there are advantages to using a specialized account to save for college. Some of these options offer tax advantages, meaning you'll have more money from your paycheck for college. Check out our resource on college savings accounts to learn more.

Open a Regular Savings Account

For maximum flexibility, you can always put your summer earnings into a regular savings account. These accounts make a lot of sense if you plan to spend your savings within the next few months. Many banks offer special savings accounts for college students that offer perks. Check out banks in your area to find the best option.

Invest Your Earnings

You can also invest your earnings at the end of summer. This is a more risky option, especially if you might need the money soon. However, it's a great idea to save for long-term goals as early as possible. Putting money into an IRA or another retirement account can multiply your investment over time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Summer Jobs and Saving for College

What is the best summer job for a college student?

The best summer jobs for college students depend on your interests. Tutors and nannies can earn high wages, but both require an interest in children. Working as a lifeguard or landscaper might appeal to students who want to spend time outside and enjoy manual labor.

Others prefer gig jobs like driver or delivery driver because they offer more flexibility. Before applying for jobs, consider your interests, strengths, and savings goals. Then look for work that fits your parameters.

How do you make the most money over the summer as a college student?

College students can make a lot of money taking on freelance jobs, working positions that offer tips, or thinking creatively about jobs. For example, you can make a lot as a freelance website designer with strong technical skills.

Seasonal jobs can also offer bonuses. For example, some cities are offering $2,500 bonuses for lifeguards. Consider your skills and your area to maximize your earnings over the summer.

How much money should a college kid make for the summer?

College students can prioritize earning as much as they can during the summer or may decide to earn less but take on valuable experience. For example, a paid internship in the summer can help an undergrad's job prospects after graduation.

Other students might choose the highest-paying jobs. College students who make a large amount in the summer can save for their expenses during the school year. And in many cases, a summer job will not affect financial aid.

Will getting a job affect my FAFSA?

A summer job can affect your FAFSA. However, the federal student aid office provides an income protection allowance for college students. That means the first $7,040 earned by dependent students will not count toward the FAFSA for 2022-23.

Single independent students qualify for $10,950 in income protection allowance, and the allowance increases for married students and students with dependents. You can use the FAFSA aid estimator to see how a summer job might affect your financial aid.