As a college student, summer is the best time to find short-term work. If you have some time off from school, you can make some extra money and learn about the real world. But college students have a lot of summer jobs to choose from. How do you know which one is best for you?
Here are some ideas to help you find a summer job, whether you’re looking for something that fits with your career goals or you just want to make as much extra money as possible.
Here are the 10 best jobs for college students to do over the summer:
Outdoor Summer Jobs for College Students
1. Swim Coach or Lifeguard?
Why work in an office during the summer when you can be out in the sun? Becoming a swim instructor is a great summer job for college students who want to make money, get some exercise, and help people feel more comfortable in the water. Check out your neighborhood pool or the beach closest to you to see if they need instructors for the summer.
How to tell if it works for you: If you like the water and can swim well, put on your red swimsuit and sunscreen, because this job is perfect for you.
Range of average hourly pay: $10 to $18
2. Camp Counselor
Camp counselor is a classic summer job for college students. Grab your canteen and whistle. There are thousands of summer camps in the U.S. and around the world, and all of them need counselors to help plan activities and run classes. Find a camp that has the kinds of things you like to do, like outdoor adventures, quiet retreats, or even a comedy camp. You might also be able to teach young kids in your major or minor. Different programs may have different requirements. For example, some camps may want you to have worked with kids before or have a CPR certification.
How to tell if it works for you: If you like being outside, working with kids, and getting better at being a leader.
$8 to $14 per hour, on average, per page.
Depending on where you live, landscaping may be a job you can get. You can join local companies or start your own landscaping business in your neighborhood during the summer. Landscaping and work like it can pay well, but it can be hard work. A landscaper’s daily tasks include working long hours, lifting heavy things, and getting dirt under their fingernails. But it’s a great way for college students to make extra money for school if they want to work outside and on their own (or in a small group).
How to tell if it works for you: If you want a summer job that lets you spend a lot of time outside, landscaping might be a good choice.
Range of average hourly pay: $11 to $21
College students can get summer jobs in business
4. Work in an office
As an office assistant, you will help things run smoothly by coordinating schedules, ordering office supplies, and taking phone messages. Most of the time, these jobs pay a little more than other hourly summer jobs. They can also help you build your resume by showing that you have worked professionally in an office setting.
How to tell if it works for you: If you are good with people, have a good eye for details, and are very organized, working as an office manager might be a good fit for you.
Range of average hourly pay: $10 to $20
5. Local Social Media Manager
Starting a career in content or social media for a local business is a good way to get steady work during the summer that might even last past your seasonal gig. Most college students know how to use social media well, and many companies want to hire young people to give their marketing efforts a new perspective.
You might even be able to find work-from-home jobs when you’re looking for a job, so keep an eye out for jobs that would be easy to start and that you could even do during the next school year.
How to tell if it works for you: Working as a social media manager could be a fun summer job for you if you like to write, can work on your own, and know how to use computers.
Range of average hourly pay: $12 to $27
6. Worker in a store
Another popular seasonal job is working in a store. You can work at a clothing store, sell golf clubs or electronics, or do anything else. As with jobs in customer service, you’ll work directly with people. Most retail jobs require you to stand for most of your shift, which can be hard on your body. However, they also teach you how to work in fast-paced environments and help customers solve problems. And while retail jobs are great for college students during the summer, you can also try to pick up hours during the busy holiday shopping season during winter break.
How to tell if it works for you: This job might be perfect for you if you’re friendly and don’t mind talking to new people.
Range of average hourly pay: $9 to $16
Service Summer Jobs for College Students
7. Work in a restaurant or food service
College students also often get jobs in restaurants during the summer. Food service is a great way to make money during the summer because it is fast-paced and involves working with the public. Most restaurants hire people all year long, but they often hire more people before summer. If you want to work part-time, you can probably get a schedule that works for you.
How to tell if it works for you: If you like to talk to people and work with them, a food service job could be a great summer job for you.
Range of average hourly pay: $9 to $15
Because young kids aren’t in school during the summer, families are more likely to hire a nanny to watch over their kids. Nannying is a great job for college students who want to work with families and have experience with kids. Also, it’s easier than ever to find nannying jobs. There are a lot of apps and websites that can connect you with people who need short-term or long-term care. Care.com can help you decide if being a nanny is right for you.
How to tell if it works for you: If you enjoy working with children and taking care of them.
Range of average hourly pay: $10 to $20
9. Dog Walker
Sites like Rover and Wag! can put you in touch with pet owners who are looking for summer dog walkers. You could even take care of more than one dog to keep yourself busy. If you ask your friends and family back home if they know anyone who needs a pet sitter or someone to walk their dog, you might find the perfect job.
How to tell if it works for you: If you like dogs and want to start your own business.
$10 to $29 per hour, on average, per page.
10. Driver (Rideshare, Delivery, and More)
If you have a car and like being behind the wheel, you can get jobs like food delivery, rideshare driver, or valet. You can start out with rideshare jobs like Uber or Lyft, where you can set your own hours and driving range as you go. Many rideshare and food delivery apps will even give you a boost when you first start using them. You can also keep working part-time during the school year to make extra money.
How to tell if it works for you: If you like being on the road and having the freedom to set your own hours.
Range of average hourly pay: $9 to $24
A summer session may also be a good choice for you if you want to get ahead of your required classes during the summer. Some schools let you take classes online so you can work during the summer and study when you don’t have to. You can also apply for summer financial aid to help pay for a session or class during the summer.
Most of the time, the best summer jobs for college students are the ones that fit with what you like to do and what you want to do for a living in the future. Find a part-time job with a local company you like if you want to go to business school. If you want to start your own business, customer service is a good place to begin. Check out local businesses, camps, and organizations to see if there are any opportunities that interest you.